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Class 153 - Work In Progress

By Tony_Hilliam, April 03 2020

Development Blog

Currently in development is the British Rail Class 153. These are single-coach railcars converted from the similar looking Class 155 DMUs. Class 153's were typically used on smaller lines where it could not justify longer passenger trains. 

Research

To begin work on the model, countless images and blueprints are needed to be obtained to understand each aspect of this locomotive to replicate it accurately. There are many occasions where a single photograph will contain a part you may be looking for, but it's not quite high resolution enough to figure out what a piece of text may say, or what type of screw it is. With this reason, as many angles of a locomotive are preferred!

Shaping

To begin the locomotive, a rough shape is made based off a blueprint. The shape of the body is tweaked until the shape is just right. 

Once the shape accurately represents the Class 153, the windows are "cut out" of the body using the Boolean tool. The boolean tool is essentially a cookie cutter, which lets you "cut" into a mesh to leave a hole. It's easier to cut windows out after the correct shape of the locomotive has been obtained since it will be more difficult to cleanly edit the mesh once the windows have been cut out. 

Underframe Detail

Once the windows are done, it's time to create the rest of the body and underframe detail. There is quite a bit of detail on the underframe to re-create on this model. For example, the engine used on the Class 153 is a Cummins NT-855-R5, which needed to be placed underneath the floor. In the picture below, you can see the drive shaft coming from the engine on the far right, connecting to the front bogie. 

Many details are left blank at this stage in the modelling process, since it will be represented in a normal map/height map to save on polygons. 

Interior

Currently, the interior of the Class 153 is being modeled. The connection between the engineer compartment and the main passenger seating area need to be completed, along with more main compartments in the passenger seating area such as a bathroom, or overhead compartment.

There are some exterior details along the windows such as rivets that will be placed once the shape of the windows has been finalized to avoid extra work later on. 

Taking Shape

As you can see, progress on the Class 153 is going quite smoothly, and packs a lot of detail that will look great in-game.