Paul's (PCAS1986) Trainz Blog

Big Bertha Build - Tender

Rating: 2 votes, 5.00 average.
This week I have mostly completed Big Bertha's tender. The texture still needs to be done and currently it just has a simple crimson body and some black bits. It also needs some shed/build plates and the coupling attachments are not working.

In real life Bertha's tender apparently came from another locomotive and was adapted to suit Bertha's needs. This included a matching cab to protect the crew on the descent down Lickey Bank after assisting trains. I understand the coal load was deliberately small since it didn't need to travel long distances.

This is my first model tender build so this was a new experience. I have added a water filler lid which is animated and a shovel for the fireman's use. Maybe I'll add a hammer and other bits later. The water lid animation requires some script work which will come later.

Here is a sequence of shots from Blender. The first is showing the left side from the right with parts unmirrored.

And this is much the same shot with mirroring turned on.

For those unfamiliar with mirroring, it is a technique for replicating identical parts along an axis. In this case the mirror is turned on for the X axis since mostly everything on one side will be identical on the other. This is really useful for saving mesh development time and particularly for applying textures. For example if you create a brake shoe like the following picture, you only need to texture the original brake shoe rather than the six required by Big Bertha's tender.

In the following example I created the front left wheel brake shoe. Because there is an identical brake shoe on the right hand side, I can use a mirror modifier to create the same shoe on the right side but with the mesh reversed. The bit most obviously reversed is the connecting rod that connects the two brake shoes. The Blender mirror modifier details are shown on the right of the picture.

Note that the mirrored mesh is hidden in this view so I could show you the original brake shoe.

Another useful mesh modifier is the array modifier where you can, for example, have a row of identical mesh objects. Since Bertha's wheels and brakes are spaced the same, I could use an array of three plus the mirror to create all six brake shoes as shown in the following picture.

Nifty isn't it! You do, however, need to "apply" all the modifiers, including the mirror and array in this case, before finalising the mesh for Trainz. It would be very wise to retain a copy of the Blender file prior to applying all modifiers. You can still use an "unapplied" mesh in Trainz but only the original mesh will be seen.

I'm about to send Bertha to my beta tester so he can play with sounds, smoke and steam effects. Currently, it only has a simple cab interior which uses the original body mesh. Next I'll move on to the cab interior.



Oops! I forgot to include a picture of the tender with Big Bertha. Here it is:

Updated May 2nd, 2012 at 03:21 AM by pcas1986

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Trainz Simulator 12


  1. Edweird's Avatar
    The tender looks great. The only thing I notice is that there don't seem to be any bars over the windows in the tender cab.
  2. pcas1986's Avatar
    You're right and I forgot those. I probably would have remembered when I add the coal stack since the coal used to stack up adjacent to the bars. I also haven't worked out the purpose of the hatch, if it was one, between the windows. If it is intended to be a door or hatch then I guess some steps would be required to get to it from the cab area. Or it could have been a slide up hatch to access coal from the cab. Currently I just stuck a pair of doors on the cab side.
  3. captainkman's Avatar
    Hmm, I wonder who you've picked as you beta tester?

    This is looking great, and I can't wait for further updates!

    Which reminds me. Work on my Matchbox loco has been VERY slow lately.
  4. Edweird's Avatar
    I've only just noticed something. The category for this is TS 12. Will Bertha work in TS10:EE?
  5. pcas1986's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Edweird
    I've only just noticed something. The category for this is TS 12. Will Bertha work in TS10:EE?
    Yes, it does, and currently it works better in TS10EE than TS12. Well, the locosound works in TS10 but not correctly in TS12 which remains a mystery.

    I don't have TS09 installed although I own a copy. Last time I looked I was about 800+ updates behind in TS10!
  6. Edweird's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by pcas1986
    Yes, it does, and currently it works better in TS10EE than TS12. Well, the locosound works in TS10 but not correctly in TS12 which remains a mystery.

    I don't have TS09 installed although I own a copy. Last time I looked I was about 800+ updates behind in TS10!
    Oh, excellent. That's lucky for me at least. I've still got just over 800 updates to apply to TS10 too, but at the moment I'm about 500MB into downloading 4GB of BR related 'assets'.

    I also found myself squinting at your tender again today. The roof does overhang at the back a bit, right?
  7. Edweird's Avatar
    I would like to first point out that I'm only trying to be helpful, not annoying.

    I've been looking through the pictures of Bertha I have, and I noticed something, similar to the reverser rod. When Bertha was numbered 2290, the reverser rod wasn't visible, and her number was on her tender and smokebox door but teh number was not on her cabside, as there was a coat of arms there instead.

    Numbered 22290 and 58100 her number was moved from her tender to her cabside and then LMS on the tender.
  8. pcas1986's Avatar
    Yes, the cab tender roof does overhang a bit at the back. And I've just noticed that I did not continue the beading (rounded edge) up at an angle of about 45 degrees to meet the roof.

    You probably have the same pictures as I do since they are all from the web. I do have a few others that Brian (Kennilworth) provided via a Backtrack article on Lickey Bankers from the Spring 1988 edition. On rereading the article I found a comment that the original reverse gear was replaced by a screw reverse in 1938. It was renumbered to 22290 at the time. So that mystery is solved and versions of the model post 22290 will have the screw reverse. Though I don't know what it looks like at the front end. And I guess the cab reverse control will have to reflect that. More work!

    I was aware of the placement of numbers and the crest. At this stage I'm more concerned about getting the model working and I'll worry about the livery versions later.
  9. captainkman's Avatar

    Can I ask for some attachment point modifications please?

    I'd like the Y axis of a.safety_left and a.safety_right and a.whistle pointing up, right now they're pointing backwards.

    And an I also have an attachment point or two for the inside cylinders, Y axis pointing down.

    I recommend modelling comes first, then textures, then my smoke effects. In the meantime I'll keep experimenting.

    Kieran. (Trying not to be patronising. I'm quite good at it! )
  10. pcas1986's Avatar

    Currently the two outside piston attachments are called a.steam_l and a.steam_r. I suggest these names:

    Left side:

    Right side:

    The model has no inner pistons at present but the piston housing would be visible at tracklevel and directly in front. I can probably include the piston housing but I cannot see much value in adding the piston rods or doing the extra animation.
  11. captainkman's Avatar
    I can't see much point in doing the inside cylinder gear either. It'll just add polys and not much else. And we can simulate the inside cylinders with the smoke effects.

    You'll have to add those names in Blender and edit the position of the 3 that I requested changing and make sure they are in the next update you give me to test.

    Safety valves blowing steam backwards do look rather odd!

    Updated May 6th, 2012 at 12:15 AM by captainkman
  12. Edweird's Avatar
    Sorry, I've been busy revising for my exams and haven't checked the blog for a while. It's nice to finally have some closure on the reverser isn't it? So it WAS done when she was renumbered. I got something right for once!

    As for liveries, I was just trying to find the most polite way of checking, that's all.

    @ Kieran, How do the steam effects work? From what I've just read it sounds like the locomotive is loaded into a 3D graph and then you give the effects an origin, direction and other parameters.