Friday, 4 March 2016

Almost Spring Watch

Here we are in March and we awoke to snow falling this morning! However, it's been a busy week with the YQA Super Tench completed and sent out for test and more excitingly for some the release of the YQA Parr which can be found on Steam Marketplace.

Alongside this we've decided to create an extra bonus item to include in a future pack and settled into process of starting another wagon we think will be popular.

ZEA Bream

Fastline Simulation: An in production render of a ZEA Bream runner wagon converted from the slightly unsuccessful SSA steel carrying wagons.
Runner wagons have always been an important part of railway operations. When a load is too long for wagon a runner can be marshalled between that wagon and the next to provide the space for the overhang without the load colliding. As a quirky and useful item we thought it would be fun to include a runner wagon in our forthcoming YAA Brill wagon pack along with some suitably long loads to make use of them.

Following the wholesale transfer of the early BDA conversions to the engineers department a need would have been fairly quickly identified for suitable air braked runner wagons to operate with them. One of the sources of these wagons were the less than successful SAA 2-axle steel wagons which had already found themselves in runner use for revenue traffic along with a considerable number converted for other uses.

The runner conversion itself was relatively straightforward with the folding stanchions and various other surplus components removed to give the required 10cm clearance between the top of the runner wagon and the underside of the overhanging load.

JNA Falcon

Fastline Simulation: Early render showing development of the body for a JNA Falcon bogie ballast box wagon.
It's been refreshing this week to start with a blank canvas and a whole new model to tackle. This is likely to be another one which many people will want to add to their collecting in the shape of a JNA Falcon ballast wagon.

The wagon is still in floating wagon state at the moment as the rest of the major steelwork is added to the body but the intention is clear from the render above. What has become apparent as the modelling progressed is that the construction is much more than a simple box!

Friday, 26 February 2016

A fishy plate week

It's always good to have a week where the progress is tangible and there's something new to show.

YQA Super Tench

Some of the YLA/YQA wagons have found themselves converted to general materials wagons by stripping off the existing deck and fitting mesh sided 'Tench' modules originally designed to be fitted to container flat wagons. Nicknamed as 'Super Tench' as they are much larger than the other 2-axle 'Tench' general materials wagons, one or two can often be found marshalled as a part of engineering train formations to carry small items and odd materials as required. Although not as prolific as the container flat conversions they are still an impressive vehicle and will help to add to the engineering wagon variety available in Train Simulator.

SPV 33t Plate Wagon

Work has continued on the 33t plate wagon with the completion of the texturing and decals with thoughts moving towards the loads for the wagons. Naturally big steel plates will feature but as that traffic reduced and the wagons found themselves spare, alternative uses were found including carrying bogies and wheel-sets between BR workshops.

Thursday, 18 February 2016

Plates, Vans and Sleepers

It's been another one of those periods where tasks completed don't produce pretty pictures with more manuals compiled and packs submitted to Dovetail Games for QA but things stride on nonetheless!

SPV 33t Plate Wagon

Fastline Simulation: A clean Dia. 1/434 22t Plate wagon in its original pre 1964 Bauxite stands waiting ready for another load.
The modelling of the wagons is now complete along with the unwrapping and shadow baking to allow the application of the base liveries and the decals. With this process virtually complete thoughts are now turning to the loads that these wagons carried.


Both of the COV AB van packs have now passed Quality Assurance at Dovetail Games and are waiting their turn to be released. While we wait for them to be released here are a few pictures of some of the finished examples.
Fastline Simulation: This work weary ventilator fitted version is carrying faded Railfreight flame red and grey livery which seems almost an odd mixture with the ventilator on the end harking back to the steam age.

Fastline Simulation: A freshly constructed 46t van stands outside of the works in pristine freight brown livery accompanied by COV AB coding and the Air Brake Network yellow disk.

Fastline Simulation: This dia. 1/257 has been repainted in maroon livery and along with a VBB TOPS code the wagon has a white roof to help keep interior temperatures down when carrying chocolate for Rowntrees.

Fastline Simulation: Moving forward in time this example of lot 3840 has gained a sparkling coat of Railfreight flame red and grey livery along with the correct TOPS code!

YQA Parr

Fastline Simulation: A work weary YQA Parr with a full load of concrete sleepers.
These have now completed internal testing and have been submitted to Dovetail Games for thier quality assurance checks in preparation to join the release queue.

Friday, 5 February 2016

Sleepers and Track Panels

It's been one of those weeks this week where lots has happened like compiling manuals and unwrapping models ready for baking/texturing, things which don't make for exciting blog post pictures!

YQA Parr

Fortunately around all these tasks some progress has been made on the track panel and concrete sleeper loads for the Mullet and Parr wagons for the forthcoming YQA Parr wagon pack.

The first image shows a short lived task for the Mullet with a load of track panels. Only a small number were converted and originally they just gained the TOPS code YMA rather than the YLA code of the bolster fitted versions with the Fishkind then changing to Parr.
Fastline Simulation: A YMA Mullet in engineers grey and yellow livery loaded with 4 prefabricated track panels.
Use as track panel carriers seems to have been short lived and recoding to YQA Parr and other body changes took place around the time that further YLA Mullets were converted for sleeper carrying. These further conversions appear to have been coded YLA with the Fishkind of Parr from the outset and originally had 9 tensioners per side and a foot step/recess at each corner.
Fastline Simulation: A YQA Parr with Civil Link branding loaded with over 60 concrete sleepers.

Thursday, 28 January 2016

Thursday 28th January 2016

It's been a week with a number of projects making progress and others being submitted to Dovetail Games for quality assurance in preparation for release. More excitingly we've now finalised and signed the contract for the next batch of expansions to be released via Steam Marketplace which means we can start to show some of them in this post.

YLA Mullet

We've just heard that this pack has passed Quality Assurance and has entered the queue for release. The images below show a number of variations and loads which have not been seen before in their final state.

Fastline Simulation: A YLA Mullet in faded engineers livery carrying a load of concrete panels.

Fastline Simulation: Rust with a hint of engineers yellow and grey is the best description for this YLA Mullet carrying lengths of rail recovered from a work site.

Fastline Simulation: Prior to privatisation wagons were often transferred or borrowed between the revenue and engineers fleet. Since privatisation the boundaries have all but vanished and a number of YLAs have found themselves in EWS livery and used for revenue traffic like this large I-beams.

Fastline Simulation: The EWS livery on the YLA Mullet has started to fade but it is still finding useful work carrying long steel sections

BDA 80t Bogie Bolsters

These have been submitted to Dovetail Games ready for quality assurance. The images below show a selection of the loads that are included in the pack.

Fastline Simulation: An early built BDA to design code BD006C is seen in faded freight brown livery with a load of pipes.

Fastline Simulation: Later build to design code BD006C BDA in clean freight brown livery and a load of H-beams.

Fastline SImulation: A load of steel blooms are seen loaded on a BDA from the latter ones built to design code BD006C in weathered freight brown livery.

Fastline Simulation: Built to the final design code used for the BDA conversions, BD006D, this bolster has faded Railfreight livery and a load of steel slabs.


After showing a render of the completed shape last week we hit a frustrating couple of days when the shape didn't want to play nicely as we made different variations. However, it's sorted now and as can be seen below is in game with base textures and decals in place for a number of different versions.

Fastline Simulation: YMA Mullet and YQA Parr wagons complete with all decals and base textures in place.


These are the first of the new round of packs we are developing and a complicated bunch they are too! As the first variation of long wheelbase air braked vans (albeit with through vacuum pipes in some cases) they precede our previously released VCA vans but still found useful service well through to the end of the 1980s. Given their complicated nature and the sheer number of variations these vans will be split across two packs but are shown in no particular order in the pictures below.

Fastline Simulation: One of the 20 COV AB wagons built with ventilators on each end wearing clean freight brown livery and carrying the VAB TOPS code.

Fastline Simulation: A rather grubby maroon liveried COV AB without the end vent and carrying the TOPS code VBB.

Fastline Simulation: This COV AB has gained the VBA TOPS code and is wearing grubby maroon livery complete with a hardly noticable white roof from when it was allocated to Rowntrees chocolate traffic.

Fastline Simulation: Even though the COV ABs were the first mass produced long wheelbase van and constantly improved upon in later builds, they were still repainted into the Railfreight flame red and grey livery.

SPV 33t plate wagon

The LMS and LNER both built all steel wagons for the carriage of 22t of steel plate. BR continued with these designs, initially unfitted, with the first vacuum braked design appearing in 1956. The 2nd vacuum brake design was very similar, but vehicles to Diagram 1/434 were fitted with BR 8-shoe Clasp brakes. The 1500 Lot 3223 vehicles were originally fitted with the very distinctive 'Isothermos' axleboxes, though these were replaced in later years.

Fastline Simulation: In progress clay render of a 33t SPV plate wagon.

Tuesday, 19 January 2016

Fish and Steel

We've moved the blog post forward this week as other commitments mean it will be tricky to create a post on Thursday. However, there's been plenty going on that we can share.

BDA Bogie Bolster Steel Wagons

Fastline Simulation: This early airbrake conversion of a Bogie Bolster D to diagram BD006A has six bolsters and four ratchets on each side and is finished in freight brown livery.

Fastline Simulation: This diagram BD006D BDA has a new design of bolster, considerably more ratchets for securing the load on each side and is finished in Railfreight flame red and grey livery.
One feature of the 1070's and 1980's was the conversion of existing vacuum braked wagons to air brakes as Britsh Rail strived to raise freight train speeds and to standardise across the network. Some 1250 Bogie Bolster D wagons were converted over about 5 years with their plate back bogies being replaced by Y25C examples with either clasp or disk brakes. At the same time various configurations of ratchets were fitted to allow the use of nylon straps to secure loads in place rather than the traditional chains any they were recoded as BDA.

The pictures above show an early conversion to diagram BD006A in freight brown livery and one of the final conversions to diagram BD006D in Railfreight flame red and grey livery.

BRA/YLA 'Mullet' Bogie Rail Wagons

Fastline Simulation: Freshly converted from a BRV BORAIL this Railfreight flame red and grey liveried BRA will spend about 18 months in revenue stock before being transferred to the engineers department and recoding to a YLA.

Fastline Simulation: A freshly repainted  YLA Mullet in engineers yellow and grey livery.
Like the Bogie Bolster D wagons above some 150 BORAIL wagons were converted to air brakes. The process was a little more complex than with the BDA bolsters with a new low sided body with pockets for the ratchets placed on top of the fishbelly underframe and six new bolsters being added. The wagons gained the TOPS code of BRA.

The wagons only managed about 18 months as a part of the revenue fleet before being transferred to the Engineers department and recoding as YLA Mullets. Eventually they were to gain engineers grey and yellow livery signifying their owning department though they appear to have been frequently borrowed when loads requiring their length were required. More recently some have gained EWS livery and can still be seen carrying long steel loads.

YQA 'Parr' Bogie Sleeper Wagon

Fastline Simulation: In progress render of a YQA Parr sleeper carrying wagon with 9 load ratchets on each side.
At various stages from 1985 onwards around 70 YLA 'Mullets' have been converted to (almost) flat wagons with the removal of the bolsters, the fitting of heavy longitudinal timbers and a number of different ratchet configurations. Initially this conversion looks to have been for the carrying of track panels and the TOPS code of YMA was applied. Allegedly following some confusion the FISHKIND of Parr was applied and eventually the TOPS code changed to YQA at possibly the same time that more wagons were converted for carrying concrete sleepers.

The render above shows a fairly typical configuration for a YQA 'Parr' with 9 ratchets on each side and is one of four different variations currently under development.

Thursday, 14 January 2016

Last of the hoppers ...

... well for now at any rate!

A belated Happy New Year to all as we start out on our modelling voyage for 2016.

Just before we launch into the last couple of 21T hopper packs for now I'd like to tell you about some changes to the way we communicate and showcase what we're doing that we're introducing for 2016.

Since taking Fastline Simulation full time the mixture of blog and website hasn't quite felt comfortable and a little forced at times. As a consequence we're no longer going to publish a monthly review on the website and will be moving away from individual item themed blog posts. Instead, the plan is to publish (at the moment) one blog post on Thursday with a review of all that has been done and that can be shown during the past week. Hopefully this will feel a little more coherent and will give a better pace to the posts.

That said, the post this week is all about 21T coal hoppers as we catch up the last two packs of these that are currently waiting to be released!

Diagram 1/143 unfitted 21T coal hoppers

We've been producing a number of wagon packs for Train Simulator featuring the British Railways builds of 21T coal hoppers based on the LNER design and this pack tells another small part of the story. Diagram 1/143 was issued in 1949 and covered a design of 21T coal hopper with a riveted body rather than the welded bodies constructed in previous lots. Some 2750 vehicles were constructed during the 1949 and 1950 building programs with all the wagons being unfitted and retaining a link to their LNER heritage through long handbrake levers.

Fastline Simulation: A virtually ex-works dia. 1/143 21T hopper painted in unfitted grey livery with the most simple 21T lettering on a black painted panel.

Fastline Simulation: A clean dia. 1/143 21T hopper in unfitted grey livery with HOP 21 code on a black painted panel.

Fastline Simulation: This battered dia 1/143 21T hopper is showing considerable signs of corrosion and carries the HTO TOPS code with the data panel on a black painted patch.

Fastline Simulation: This weathered dia 1/143 unfitted 21T coal hopper has the HTO TOPS code outside of a small boxed data panel.

Rebodied dia. 1/146 unfitted 21T Coal Hoppers

Right back at the start of our exploration of the 21T coal hoppers we released the rebodied vacuum braked examples built originally to diagram 1/146. Now to finish off we have the unfitted example to the same diagram. In the 1970's British Rail initiated a large scale rebodying of the 21T coal hopper fleet with a new design of body featuring only two ribs on the side rather than the five previously seen. Both fitted and unfitted hoppers were rebodied and naturally a large number of hoppers from the in excess of 17,000 built to diagram 1/146 received new bodies. Although all of the hoppers in this wagon pack are the unfitted version they are to be supplied in both unfitted grey and fitted brown liveries mirroring real life where a large number of unfitted hoppers received the fitted brown livery!

Fastline Simulation: A virtually ex-works rebodied dia. 1/146 21T hopper painted in unfitted grey livery with HOP 21 branding inside a full sized data panel.

Fastline Simulation: A work worn rebodied dia. 1/146 21T hopper in unfitted grey livery with HOP 21 code inside a fully boxed data panel.

Fastline Simulation: This rebodied dia 1/146 21T hopper is in ex-work freight brown livery (although it’s unfitted) complete will fully boxed data panel with HTO TOPS code.

Fastline Simulation: This weathered rebodied dia 1/146 unfitted 21T coal hopper also wears freight brown livery but has the HTO TOPS code outside of a small boxed data panel.