[wip] A small steam engine

(SirGagarin) #1


I’m really keen on everything that moves on tracks. This is why I’ve decided to take a model of a steam engine for my first WIP thread.

The locomotive itself was build by Warsaw boiler manufacturer in 1927 for Żnin narrow-gauge (600mm) railway. There is not much known about the further history of this engine except that it was scrapped in the late 70’s. Nothing was left except a few photos.
Lately, I found and bought a paper model of this engine. I intended to glue it at once, but there were many inaccuracies. This encouraged me to made its digital version first. It will be also a good occasion to practice texture painting and mechanical parts rigging (valve gear will be quite a fun :D).

Okay, quit with this jabbering. Let’s get to the point.
That’s what I’ve managed to complete through the last 2 days: The main part of the chassis with wheels, bearings and cylinders (those still need some refining):

http://img535.imageshack.us/img535/8532/py2702.th.jpg http://img689.imageshack.us/img689/9835/py2703.th.jpg

I’m looking forward to your questions and comments.

(BunkieLove) #2

It is looking pretty awesome so far :yes:

(bat3a) #3

nice work, waiting to see the final :slight_smile:

aaaaaa ? a question, why doing inner parts while there will be other parts to cover them !??

(hewi) #4

sometimes if you model the inner parts, it’s easier to get the scaling and overall size right.
I have a hard time modeling only shell and always end up doing inner parts anyway.
Maybe not in such a high detail as SirGagarin did but still

Very nice work

(SirGagarin) #5

Thanks for comments,
bat3a, hewi: I model all parts that are visible. Particularly, everything inside chassis is visible, while there is empty space below the boiler.

Speaking about the boiler, here’s a little update:


Except this I’ve added some corrugated catwalks in front and aside the chassis. Minor details of the boiler will be added later on.


(RickyBlender) #6

wheels look a litlle small or is it perspective only ?

nice and smooth modelling

how did you do the top front bumper - with a bump map ?

add something to show th relative size like a 6 foot character around just to gie an idea on the real dimensions!

keep up the good work

happy 2.5

(SirGagarin) #7


RickyBlender: Actually, the wheels in this engine are so small (see this picture). The catwalk texture has been modelled, so it will be possible to bake a normal map out of it. And here are the requested comparison pictures with a crude (sorry) 6’ tall character:

http://img685.imageshack.us/img685/5117/pycomp01.th.jpg http://img80.imageshack.us/img80/7816/pycomp02.th.jpg

The big wheel (5’8.9”/1750mm in diameter) comes from an average standard gauge (4’8.5”\1435mm) engine, just to show the size disproportion when track gauge counts. Engines for 600mm (1’11.6”) tracks are really, really small.

By the way, I’ve added some details on the smokebox cover and around the cylinders:

http://img820.imageshack.us/img820/4237/py2705.th.jpg http://img231.imageshack.us/img231/3618/py2706.th.jpg

The catwalk embossing is clearly visible in the second picture.

As always, I’m looking forward to your questions and comments.

(RickyBlender) #8

intersting but can you tell what this machine was used for in the old time ?

and what’s the time period i mean is it around 1850 ?

can you describe the scene in which it’s going to be ?

Note: almost unbelievable but in 1999 we modified an old paper machine which was still using a steam generator and replaced it wiht some more modern electrical motors!

keep up the good work

(SirGagarin) #9


RickyBlender: It was a locomotive for pulling passenger trains and light freight trains on one of the local Pomeranian railways. It was working from 1927 till 1970’s (check the first post). The model will be stylised for the late operation period so it will be a little worn out. I haven’t thought about the environment yet. Definitely, there will be an animation with the engine.

Meanwhile, a driver cab has been completed:
http://img143.imageshack.us/img143/3504/py2707.th.jpg http://img175.imageshack.us/img175/9943/py2708.th.jpg


(JFinn_UK) #10

Good stuff man!

(SirGagarin) #11


I’ve started modelling the driving mechanism: coupling rods, connecting rod and the crosshead with its rail:
http://img19.imageshack.us/img19/5691/py2709.th.jpg http://img19.imageshack.us/img19/2905/pywheels02.gif

I have to find some other way to animate the crosshead – currently its using the copy location constraint against the driving axle pivot, however it’s getting messy when the whole model is rotated.

Now I’ll fight with the valve gear :evilgrin:


(natholas) #12

awesome :slight_smile: also good that u took the time to make a gif instead of a link to youtube :smiley:

(RickyBlender) #13

i’m interested in the wheel rigging
can you explain in detail how it was done

keep up the good work

thanks & happy 2.5

(DDD) #14

Hehe, i think i have an idea, but still, i am curious too, how did you rig the wheels?
Cool train btw

(SirGagarin) #15


Thanks for comments.
natholas: Well, youtube movies cannot be looped.
RickyBlender, DDD: The naming convention is following:

  • Wheel 1 and wheel 2 has the Copy Rotation constraint with the wheel 3 as the target.
  • Coupling rods are actually one object which is a child of the wheel 3. Its centre is at the wheel 3 crankshaft. It also have the Copy Rotation constraint against wheel 3, but the direction of rotation is inverted (all axes set with “minus” ).
  • Empty is also placed at wheel 3 crankshaft and is its child. The crosshead has a Copy Location with the Empty as the target. Only the X location is copied.
  • The connecting rod is one more object with its centre at the wheel 3 crank, it is also child of this wheel. It has the Track To constraint with the crosshead as the target.

The rotation of the wheel 3 moves the whole mechanism.
I hope this make any sense. The only problem is that any movement of the model along the X axis causes the failure of the crosshead Copy Location constraint, no matter what is the evaluation space (see here). Still, I will experiment on how to overcome this.

I had couple of days off so the progress is rather small. I’ve managed to rig the valve gear. This one is more complex and calls for some more expanded tutorial. It isn’t moving exactly as it should, but any other rig I’ve tried ended on looping the constraints:
There’s still many parts lacking here, everything is now floating in the air.


(RickyBlender) #16

you think it’s easy to do this !

would ibe possible to load up a sample blend file wtiht onyl the wheels with rig
i’d efinitively like to looks ar in details and try to understand this

cause this can be used for any other steam train like this one i guess

and always interested to learn more about simple mechanism rig
are you planning to write up a PDf file tut on this?


(bat3a) #17

nice work, nice rig you have…
i’m waiting to see the end :slight_smile:

(SirGagarin) #18


I’ve neglected this thread lately but now I have more time, so it should go faster.
RickyBlender: I resolved all but one rigging issue, so it calls for a tutorial. Yet, no sooner than I finish this model. There will be also a *.blend file. Be aware, thought, that this is one of many valve gear designs (see the VG software).

Let’s get back to the model. Lately, I have completed the driving mechanism, so all parts are on their place and are actually attached to something.

http://a.imageshack.us/img827/2889/py2710.th.jpg http://a.imageshack.us/img840/469/py2711.th.jpg
I’ve added springs, a lubricant pump (the boxy thing on the catwalk) and completed the braking system. The brake is, of course, rigged:

And that’s all, I’m getting back to modelling.

(sundialsvc4) #19

Don’t get too preoccupied with the valve-gear. Preoccupying though such things may be.

(walk_on_sky) #20

wow! just tried that thing myself lately, but canceled it very quickly. you have to really understand how those things work and which parts move which other ones before you can do it convincingly. your’s definetely is! like it very much! (like any precise model :wink: )