UK railfan
The other day, I posted a tread asking about different software thingies to create trainz content. A few people said i should use blender, and as it is free and has good reviews, i chose it. However, I have no clue really how to make a decent steam engine and I also have no clue how to reskin things.
If anyone has any advice on this, I would be very thankful.
Thanks in advance and look out for me on the DLS! (If I can figure out how to do that)
Although some have managed it, a steam engine is not a good starting point for learning Blender. Start of with something simple such as a building or perhaps a carriage or waggon. There are plenty of online tutorials for blender, I'm sure people will recommend their favourites to you.
As got reskinning, for this you require an image editor such as gimp out Photoshop, again there are plenty of tutorials online.
gooner28, Blender is the probably the best software for creating Trainz content, but creating content is not necessarily an easy task, and Blender is not necessarily an easy piece of software to learn. There are, however, a number of resources which, while they don't make the learning curve less steep, at least provide a hand rail. I'd suggest you spend some time with one (or both) of two on-line courses, one by James Chronister hosted by Central Dauphin High School, in Harrisburg, PA. This is a course geared towards high school students. The other is by Neil Hirsig and is a college level course hosted by Tufts University. Both give a very good introduction to using Blender, and each will take several weeks to several months to learn. One of them even has a tutorial on building a steam engine (Stephenson's Rocket), though as I recall it needs some adjustment to fit trains. Working through one of these will give you the command of Blender to enable creating the content you wish to create.

Go here:

Best tutorials for train-sims ever!!


Even I can do Blender!!


I second what Ed (Edh6) has said earlier, making a steam loco for your first project would be like betting you could beat Lewis Hamilton in the F1 next week before you have ever sat behind the wheel of any car ! Start with something small and simple and build up from there, believe me you will get great satisfaction from seeing your first model in Trainz, even if its just a simple garden shed or basic house

Learning Blender and Gimp will keep you busy for a while and you also have to learn how to put together an asset for Trainz, all of this this is not a matter of a few hours (more like months) so stick with it, you will find it's worth it in the end.

You can get Gimp here:

This is the official site, so should be safe. There are also loads of tutorials etc. on this site but only a few parts of Gimp (and Blender for that matter) are needed to create for Trainz so don't get confused.

Good luck and enjoy (and post if you need help).

...making a steam loco for your first project would be like betting you could beat Lewis Hamilton in the F1 next week before you have ever sat behind the wheel of any car...

That is, if you want to make a extremely detailed Steam Locomotive on your first attempt. It's not that hard to make a simple basic steam locomotive. My first locomotive I made for Trainz was a steam locomotive, though not the best, it was a start.
EDIT: Just a small side note on what I said, here is what my first locomotive was:

(Note: It was completely different in V2 release)
And over time, from overall practice, my latest model:

You can just see that once you get better at modeling, things get easier, thus more effort can usually be put in to a model.
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I created my First asset in blender and Exported it to Trainz thanks to for the easiest tutorial that works for me. I found the Tutorials in another thread. On youtube there is a video tutorial that guides you in Sketchup and blender to create a steam train Engine .For my First Brick wall (I.E Doug56 TUT's) When i finished following the tut and Exported to Trainz my Brick wall was Translucent, the only bug for me to resolve.
My first asset built in Blender was a GWR 0-6-0 tank engine based on Paul Hobbs' tutorial at Unfortunately that tutorial was written for Blender 2.49 and the interface has changed somewhat since then.

If you really to do this then find yourself a good scaled drawing of the intended loco and use Paul's instructions in the tutorial to set up the side, front and whatever other views you have. Even you make a non prototypical loco then it will still be very useful to have a drawing. You use the scaled drawing to guide the model development. It makes it much easier.

For a test model you don't really need external pistons. You can just pretend they are inside the chassis.

Note that a loco needs a body, a bogey and an interior. The interior you can "borrow" from another asset. It may look a little odd when looking out the windows but that's OK. Steam cab interiors are even more difficult to make than loco exteriors. Bogeys are not that difficult although wheels can be tedious. I wrote a Blender addon that makes wheels. Currently it is limited to spoked wheels and doesn't add on the cam for the coupling rods or the counterweight.

Making your own loco and have it run in Trainz is quite a thrill so by all means give it a shot.
p.s. You should ask questions on content creation in the content creation support thread. There are some really clever folk there who will help if you are serious. :)

p.p.s I just noticed you are a Mac user. The TrainzMeshImporter program that converts XML files into Indexed Mesh (IM) format etc, is a Windows program so you will need a Windows emulator.
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I personally recommend Neil Hersig's video tutes. They are short, seldom more than 15 minutes, and very much to the point, presenting Blender elements in discreet units. I still use these tutes as a refresher or reference whenever tackling a Blender project.