Steam train

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Here is my new WIP, to model a PM 1225 locomotive.

I have started by modelling and texturing the track it will sit on. The gravel is currently done with normal geometry as I am having trouble rendering particles with Octane V1 (I may need to update to V2).

So here is my current progress. Lots to do!

Those tracks look really nice!

how many polys is the pebbles taking?

A lot! around 1 million Tris. These will be replaced with particle systems when I can get it to work though.

Main driving wheels have been added. The chassis they connect to will need detailing - difficult to find reference images though!

Looking good. For reference images, have you thought of checking out the brass modelling scene? Those guys are fanatical about detail, and often have access to original factory blueprints to work from.

Just as one example (this is the same type as 1225):

The images are downloadable as 1600x1200.

One detail to note, and this applies to most steam locomotives, is that the driving wheel counterweights are not all directly opposite the crankpins. They are at subtly different angles.

ETA: The Nickel Plate Berkshires of the period were almost identical to the Pere Marquette N-1. Drawings and pictures of those may be useful too.

Here’s a bit more. The Project 1225 site has a couple of detail photos buried in its archives:

Also, the background image for the site is an original, large scale, factory drawing of the firebox.

There are also a lot of detail photos here, if you have a Pinterest account:

You could also ask the current owners of the locomotive if they could help you out:

Thanks for the info! I couldn’t see any bluprints for the 1225 specifically, but didn’t realize there were other similar types - will check those out. Good point about the modelling scene as well.

There’s good images/videos to get all the exterior stuff done I think, and after seeing other locomotive chassis I’m getting an idea of what it should look like. I have specs of various wheel bases and diameters which is my scale reference. It won’t be perfect of course though. I will have a look through the links you provided and see what I can find, thanks.

1225 is just an N-1, so you don’t have to search for 1225 specifically. Try “PM N-1 2-8-4” and similar terms.

Took a quick look and found a few more links. Some good detail shots in there, if you dig through them.

Also some sources mentioned for engineering drawings here:

And some basic dimensions and stats here:

ETA: Just remembered something. The Virginian Railway Class BA was another Lima-built Berkshire, just a few years after the N-1. Same driver diameter, same wheelbase, same cylinder sizes, etc.

Stats here:

The Norfolk & Western Historical Society website has a pile of factory drawings for the Class BA:

I found some great reference photos on the the Steam Railroad Institute Facebook page, where they are restoring one of these, so that helps a lot.

I’ve added the rear chassis:

And added some details to the main chassis:

Looking good. And nice find on the extra reference photos. Rebuild shots are always handy like that. You get to see things that people normally never photograph. :slight_smile:

Another Sunday update. I’ve started building up the front of the train.

I’m loving the attention to detail. Good work.

The tracks look amazing. If you did not use the particle system, how did you place them?

The train is also looking great. Keep up the good work :slight_smile:

Thank you Toshi and Chirashi. For the pebbles, I just made three different types, duplicated each one around 10 times and put them at different orientations to fill a small area, then used then duplicated that area a few times with rotation to fill the whole gap between two beams, then used an array modifier so I can just more as I need them. I also textured the plane underneath them in similar colours to fill in the gaps :slight_smile:

Added more detail to the front and cylinders. I also added a basic boiler for reference, the final one will be in sections.

Slowly adding detail along the side. I will need to add dirt/rust/ water marks at some point.

very impressive amount of detail!
I also modeled a train, but not even close to your level of detail.

Lovely detail and the materials are really nice this early on. How long does a frame take to get that smooth?

The complexity of this train is one of the reasons I chose it. Modern trains tend to be covered in panels which hides a lot of the mechanical stuff. I’ve seen you WIP and its looking good.

I am using the Octane plugin for rendering, which has a number of different rendering options. The last image I posted took maybe 1min (with 2x 980 Ti) using the Path Trace rendering option. The previous renders were done using the Direct Light option - which took around 20s, but less accurate.

Had a break from modelling lately to work on rigging the wheels and cranks. I am using a driver to set the wheel rotation from the chassis movement, and have rigged the cranks using bones and constraints.