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Annie's Virtual Pre-Grouping, Grouping and BR Layouts & Workbench


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A snap I took of BH&FER 'Sharpie' No.14 at Foxhollow.  Scenically my Norfolk layout is a mess and will take a lot to sort out after moving it over to TRS19 SP3, but the trains are able to run which makes it less of an ordeal than it might have been. 

I'm crashing out asleep a lot at the moment which is frustrating, but in between trips to the dreamworld I am managing to get some things done.

 

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TRS19 SP3 has had some improvements to its environmental lighting, but it's still not all that easy to set up.  I've been mostly working along the Windweather Loop Line and the area around Great Marsh.  That situation was thrust upon me by a nice timber bridge model I'd been using on the Loop Line being not compatible with TRS19 so I had to replace a few missing bridges.

According to my little railway empire's history the GER had a major input into the Loop Line between Windweather and Great Marsh and them the final section back to Barrow Hills.  So since I couldn't find anything suitable in the way of a wooden bridge I replaced the three missing bridges on this section with a masonry built one.

 

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These are all my earlier WIP pictures so you can see how much the environmental lighting in TRS19 fries the older format TS2012 ground textures and vegetation.  Some of the old grass models will be Ok I think, but others I've had to delete.

One of the things that happens sometimes when transferring a layout to a later version is that small pyramids can get randomly generated here and there.  This is one I found in the salt mash; - I'm thinking I might put a marker on it with the date I transferred the layout.  I haven't been so merciful with others that I've found though.

 

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And speaking of the salt march this is the area around the long trestle bridge across the salt marsh.  Fortunately this bridge survived the layout transfer and with it being such an icon of the Windweather Tramway I would have been very disappointed if it hadn't. 

 

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An old snap of the salt marsh and bridge in TS2012 just to show you how much the environmental lighting in TRS19 changes everything.  If it wasn't for the fact that Ed Heaps has made new GER engines and other rolling stock for TRS19 I doubt if I would have gone to all this trouble.

 

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Great Marsh looking towards the east.  TRS19's environmental lighting turned most if not all of the nice looking trees I was using in TS2012 into looking like they were made from poorly painted cardboard.  The problem I now have is that I'm having to replace a very large range of nice TS2012 trees with a much smaller range of TRS19 compatible trees some of which look pretty darn awful.  The best range of trees is made by a Russian chap, but because he's Russian some of his trees aren't exactly what you'd find in Norfolk.

 

I'm still having a lot of problems with sleepiness so my focus is on repairing this much loved layout of mine and I'm not much bothering with anything else.

 

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I suppose you will be wondering how my collection of elderly engines from the early days of Trainz have been faring.  So far I've not found any that won't run at all, but some of the oldest have required 'surgery' at mesh material level to stop their body textures from being fried out in strange ways,  The Affiliated (Imaginary) Railway Companies's 'Standard' range of tank engines built on a long suffering 'Knotty' B1 body mesh (No.8 pictured) have made the transition well with only minor work needed.  The 'Sharpies' needed a lot more done, but they're looking a lot better now.  One benefit of TRS19 SP3 is that a lot of work has been done on smoke physics which has carried through to older Trainz models and not just the new ones.

 

Just because there's going to be new and bright and shiny GER engines arriving on the layout doesn't mean that I'm going to abandon my old faithfuls.

 

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More snaps to come once I've sorted them out.

 

 

Edited by Annie
can't spell for toffee
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BH&FER No.14 heading towards the MPD at Foxhollow.  My 'Sharpies' had a subtle reflection effect on their body mesh which looked completely fine in every other version of Trainz I've ever used them in, but not in TRS19 where the reflection was transformed into a total white out that ate the body texturing.  Fortunately I was able to remove that effect from the mesh using some very handy editing software that can edit mesh effects without needing the original Blender, or in this case the original GMax files.

 

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I managed to set up the environmental lighting so the landscape didn't look like it was being fried by the sun as well as the shading effects to be a lot more even so that the texturing on models wasn't being rendered too dark on their shadow side.  Only problem now is  my new GER engines are being rendered in 'invisible engine blue'.  I should point out though that the shade of blue used by the Affiliated (Imaginary) Railway Companies is lighter than GER ultramarine blue so No.14 in the background should not be used as a guide to the colour No.1093 should be.

 

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'Invisible engine blue' issues apart No.1093 is a superb runner and a lovely model.  I'm just hoping that adjusting the environmental lighting so that No.1093's colour issues are resolved won't mean that my older engines are going to get their colours messed up instead. 

 

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I think I've got the GER C32 sorted out now.  The rebuilt R24 in the background is a much older model from TC3 (I think) and I've always thought it was a good match for GER blue.  The C32 looks to be the same shade of blue allowing for a decade's difference in digital graphics technology so I think I'll leave it there and just frown at it for a while.

 

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4 hours ago, Annie said:

The C32 looks to be the same shade of blue allowing for a decade's difference in digital graphics technology so I think I'll leave it there and just frown at it for a while.

 

You could try pursing your lips and shaking your finger at it. It might get the message...  :jester:

 

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After some sessions of advanced level frowning the GER C32 is looking a lot better.

 

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I spent part of this morning taking the role of station pilot at Foxhollow and managed to catch this snap of No.11 hurrying off with the 10.45am passenger service via Little Keldon.  There's another train in 15 minutes, but that one goes via Moxbury.  Then it all goes quiet for half an hour until the branch train from Hunters Rove comes in.

Playing trains is a very pleasant way for me to distract myself when I'm not feeling so well.

 

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After the discussion on Martin's Nether Madder thread about carrying hay by rail I had a dig about amongst my 19th century wagons and found this high sided wagon with slatted sides.  It was set up to carry milk churns, barrels and bales of hay, - with the bales of hay being something that I'd thought wasn't really right for a 19th century wagon.  

So I gave it a bit of a texture tidy up and the texturing on the haybales wasn't all that good so I made a new one for the haybales as well.  I still wasn't convinced so I dug out a tarpaulin from another 19th century wagon that had the same floor size and made an attachment point for it.  It's still not ideal, but at least it does give the illusion of a wagon with a load of hay.  This wagon will be for use on the tramways and not out on the mainline where it would be decidedly unwelcome.  the Hopewood Tramway, the Windweather Tramway and the Tenpenny Branch cover a lot of rural real estate with their trackwork so I think they'll be able to find a use for a wagon like this one.

 

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Edited by Annie
Um.........
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More playing trains.  I fell asleep for a couple of hours and nothing got in a mess so that must be a win.  I will need to have a closer look at some of the automatic scheduling since it gets a bit too busy at certain times of the digital day which can cause problems.  I would say that I have about 70% of the trees done now and yesterday I must've 'planted' hundreds of poplar trees to replace the now very tired looking TS2012 ones.

 

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On 24/05/2021 at 05:02, Annie said:

.........................Playing trains is a very pleasant way for me to distract myself when I'm not feeling so well.

 

It's important to have these distractions.  I think my model-building has kept me going through the year of lock-down.

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7 hours ago, MikeOxon said:

It's important to have these distractions.  I think my model-building has kept me going through the year of lock-down.

Yes indeed Mike +++++  Even though NZ is a 'safe' country it's impossible to ignore what is happening everywhere else in the world so having some form of creative distraction to lose yourself in is a very good thing.

 

The Uk content creator for Trainz who made all the GER coach reskins that are presently the only option in Trainz asked me if I could give him copies of the GER 6 wheel coach drawings that I have and this is the result.  He's working in Sketchup 8 since like me and many others he finds Blender to be utterly incomprehensible.  I am nothing like as good as this yet with my own Sketchup efforts so I'm finding what he's doing to be wonderfully encouraging.

 

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On 25/05/2021 at 03:56, Annie said:

I had a dig about amongst my 19th century wagons and found this high sided wagon with slatted sides.  It was set up to carry milk churns, barrels and bales of hay, - with the bales of hay being something that I'd thought wasn't really right for a 19th century wagon.  

 

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That's a curiosity. Is its prototype Australian, by any chance?

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54 minutes ago, Compound2632 said:

That's a curiosity. Is its prototype Australian, by any chance?

I believe it's a creative interpretation of a Great Southern & Western Covered Wagon, but with the corrugated iron roof omitted.  I also have the same wagon with a corrugated iron roof. but I don't use it much because it's not put together very well.  It's a now very old digital model by Paulz Trainz where he used Zerah Colburn's drawings (and possibly some other early sources) as a basis for a range of mid-19th century rolling stock models.  He claimed that they were all early NBR or Edinburgh & Glasgow prototypes, but the short answer is no they are not.  Some are GNR some are LNWR and others I'm not so sure about, but they are the only collection of mid-19th century rolling stock models available for Trainz so I make use of them with no apologies.

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I might seem like like an affront to a superb model to couple my push-pull set to one of Ed Heaps's GER C32 tank engines. but here we are with No.1081 shunting my 'litho' push-pull set out of the coach sidings under Moxbury's magnificent glass over roof.

With the way TRS19's environmental lighting works it's a lot harder to take good snaps.  Moxbury is ideally placed for taking trainspotter snaps, but some other places along the line aren't so well situated which is a bit annoying.  Despite that my newly written push-pull schedule worked just fine and it will now be officially added to the timetable.

 

 

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Not the best snap, but I guess it will do.  No.1081 approaches platform 4 at Brenton Wood just as 'Sharpie' No.11 heads away with a train for Moxbury and stations further west.

 

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Ages ago now I purchased an old TS2004 Y65 (F7) in plain LNER black from Paulz Trainz.  I was still fairly new to Trainz then and I was a bit disappointed to discover that my purchase was texture mapped in such a way that only a black engine was possible.  I asked Paul if he could provide me with a Y65 in GER livery and he sent me one with everything that had been black before now textured grey.  Well I could have done that, - and I didn't want a grey one anyway.  So since then No.1307 has sat in the small workshop attached to the MPD at Moxbury as a very much neglected engine. 

 

When I started reworking the old litho push-pull set for one of the members of the creator group I belong to I dug out the neglected No.1307 and cloned it.  The clone was painted black and numbered No.1303 and it was used as a test engine for a while until it eventually got put away in my digital trainset box.

To be completely honest though for an engine made for TS2004 this little Y65 runs very well and it's not a bad representation of the prototype.  It's only the fact that it can't be textured into anything else except black or grey that messes it up.   These old Y65 models also pair very nicely with the litho push-pull set; - which isn't as straightforward as it might seem since the driving trailer has to be set up as a (fairly weedy) locomotive for it to work properly and for various reasons some engines just plain aren't a good match and the result is a tug of war set instead of a push-pull set.

 

So this afternoon when I finally managed to wake up I decided to see what I could do with No.1303.  Everything took me ages to do and I made lots of silly mistakes due to my fogged up brain, but in the end I managed to make a set of numberplates and a proper GER headcode disc for No.1303. ( I retextured up a red GER lamp as well, - but No.1303 can't wear them both at the same time).  Installing the attachment points for everything and writing the attachment scripts took me a while to do due to making a lot of silly mistakes, but I got it all done in the end.   If I can find or make a suitable texture mask I'll be able to put the GER initials in the right place on the tank sides, but where they are will do for now.  The old BH&FER section seems a likely place for a Y65 to get sent to when somebody didn't want it, - and as for the bright brass work and No.1303 being painted black it must've been down to a misunderstanding of some kind between the GER area office and the paint shop foreman when the transfer to Moxbury MPD was made.

 

At Moxbury yard.

 

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Under the big roof at Moxbury.

 

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At Muddle Junction.

 

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14 minutes ago, Edwardian said:

Swings and roundabouts. I could paint my locos any damn colour I chose. Bit I couldn't clone it!

All very true James.  That is certainly one advantage of the digital medium, - once I have a set of meshes for a model I can endlessly clone and recombine them in different ways.  It's just the texture mapping that's the bugbear since I can't edit or alter that.

 

Though I did have a small victory with my embryo 3D modelling skills in that I discovered how to apply a simple one colour texture onto the various parts I'd made for the litho push-pull set in Sketchup 8.  Previously I'd been using the Sketchup tools to paint directly onto the mesh which doesn't make as good a finished result.

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On 26/05/2021 at 11:17, Annie said:

I believe it's a creative interpretation of a Great Southern & Western Covered Wagon...He claimed that they were all early NBR or Edinburgh & Glasgow prototypes,

The old G&SWR / GS&WR confusion perchance ?

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Book Corner:

 

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I finally ordered myself a copy of this excellent book which is something I've been meaning to do for a while now.  If I'm going to keep on with doing digital modelling I really need a decent reference for liveries.  This volume covers East Anglia so it's very much an essential book for my small library.

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2 hours ago, Hroth said:

You could build a wall out of those blocks of coal!

They seem to have been very fond of big blocks of coal Mr Hroth.  Pity the poor fireman who had to break it up to get it through the firebox door.

 

'Sebastapol'

 

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Coal in large blocks must have been almost a standard way of supplying . A foundry I worked at insisted on such blocks for stacking in their yard prior to feeding to a Pulveriser. Labour for stacking  was cheap and they  didn't need so much yard space compared with tipped small coal lumps. 

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