Friday, 27 December 2013


Ok, so I finally got round to adding them to my own route, after all it is where they were made for!
Anyway, bottom of Cradock St looking back down towards Cockton hill school.
My Dad owned a large allotment here and One boxing day back in 87 maybe I remember making a shed with my dad, it was cold but we had a nice big fire to keep us warm.
Also use to walk Ben and Sam along down this old railway for many years.

Also use to walk Ben and Sam along down this old railway for many years.

Wednesday, 25 December 2013

Merry Christmas Everyone

To all those that follow my blog, I wish you all a Merry Christmas.
While not a religious man in any shape way or form, I do think it is a great time for friends and family.

I am not back to work till the 6th of Jan, so am enjoying being with the kids and wife at home, however 3 days in and we have all gone feral! :)

Hope to make the trip north (depending on weather) and hope to find time to build my route some more.

Here is the section of track looking towards the Station behind Eastlea Ave. Westllea Ave had not yet been built, it followed a few years later I do believe.
As you can see I have no winter version yet. I will be looking to improve on the winter views but  no time to do so just yet. So enjoy the summer view!

Friday, 20 December 2013

Saturday, 14 December 2013

End of term feeling?

Still a week of work before I shut down for the holidays but having got a few big chunks of work out the way I feel my brain turning to mush!

I look forward to turning my attention back to my route soon, I was making some real progress instead of the virtual kind.

I hope all who follow this blog forgive my lapses and are still enjoying their own projects and the sim.

I still follow many projects across the tinternet, I am always amazed at how dedicated and talented many of you are.

Looking forward to enjoying the last weeks of 2013 and positive about 2014, I hope it is as good as it promises to be!


Monday, 9 December 2013

Today is a very big day!

or is it tomorrow?
Either way I look forward to discussions later!

Also glad folks are liking the holiday route, and yes all the paintings are mine, I did not just add my name!
Also the boy on the TV is also me  :)


Monday, 4 November 2013

infants update

may take some time, but enjoying this model.


Sunday, 3 November 2013

cockton hill layout

Working my way around Cockton Hill, blocked out the United bus depot, and prepared the ground for the infant and junior school.

Saturday, 2 November 2013

Cockton Hill infants wip

Just an hour cutting out the shape a little. Will be interesting to see how this turns out.

Details details details

I have just read a thread discussing a barn that was or was not there in a screen shot. I don't need to mention any names because that is not important and nothing to do with me.

My route is set about 1953, however I can not get all the reference i need to make 1953. Some of my reference is from 1930, or 1970 and everything in between.
I am more than happy for someone to point out that I have got something incorrect but that's not to say I did not do my research.
Here are a few thoughts that run throughs my head when I am making an area.

1 - I remember it this way.
2 - This picture shows a little bit of the area I have so I can use my experience and fill in the blanks.
3 - I'm so glad I found that picture it gives me everything I need.
4 - Hmm, is that what it looked like, I prefer how it looked in the 60s.
5 - I don't have that asset, I could make it, or I could just put down that generic factory building and move on.

etc etc.

Making a route is a long slog. Making a route and all the assets is a longer slog. Making a route, all the assets and trying to get every detail correct for that exact moment in time is futile.
So if a detail is not correct don't assume I have not done my research, In my world I am the sky fairy with great power.

So what am I trying to say? I am an artist and I have artistic license. I am not restricted by anyone or anything other than the dark lord Time. (Lords and Kings fight like cats and dogs!)


A little update

Sunday, 6 October 2013


Just a few hours to lay the trees in the park and gold course.

Here is a shot that is dear to me and reminds me of my youth. Nowhere near the track really but I could not make Bishop Auckland and miss it out.

A view from another angle.

Sunday, 29 September 2013


Ok, so since I lost the weight last year I had been running, not vast amounts but enough to keep fit.
This was my first 'race' the race bit was only with myself.
Ealing half marathon, I was on course to do 1.45 but lagged towards the end.
Official time, 1.49:28 (chip time) placed 1268. Not crap but felt I could have done better.

 The Start!

The End!
After a breather

Saturday, 28 September 2013

Coundon wip

Just started the area around Coundon station, Coundon is actually about a mile away from the Station. Not sure how much of Coundon I will model, it may be just some generic houses and maybe the church.
Anyway, Here is the shot of a placeholder station building and good shed. The Station Building is still there and even the platform is still there, however the bushes and trees have grown up since I last remember seeing it, Chickens roam the back garden to that house!

Looking forward to seeing this area develop.


Wednesday, 25 September 2013


So here we are again!

The 6th version....

RS, RWs, RWs2, TS2012, TS2013 and now TS2014!

What a great promo video! Amazing... thank you Sean Bean (I know you follow my blog! :))

As usual thank you to all involved and those that have tested for us.



Monday, 23 September 2013

A few hours of tree blis

Durham road looking towards Coundon., painted many miles of fields with the google overlay in place.

Tuesday, 27 August 2013

Weekend back in Bishop

I was back in Bishop again this weekend, but did not do much information gathering, I was with the kids and it was really just a family thing. However I did go to Shildon Locomotion as usual and took this picture of the old information board.

It is a lovely thing, very solid! She this is all that is left!

Saturday, 17 August 2013

Bridge - Bishops Bridge

I did say I would get round to finishing it Bob :)
now for the rest!


Saturday, 13 July 2013

I'm back

After 3 months working in my new role as Head of Content I am able emerge from the cave. The light is blinding!

The route seems to have been over grown by hawthorn/knot weed/ and rose bay flowers.

I know I started a bridge somewhere so I think I will go and see if I can find that.


Monday, 22 April 2013

Where have I been?

The few that visit here may well be wondering where on earth I have been.

Yes I have been keeping my running blog up to date but I have been quiet on this one.

Since the death of my dad, I took some time away from the PC and the route. I have been working with the software for over 7 years and well while some of you have certainly clocked up the hours, I don't think many would have come near the amount of time I have spent with it. I just needed a break.

I also got promoted! I am now 'Head of Content' which means I am now to blame for most things instead of just a few things... :)

I have to say that over the last year and a half I have enjoyed the routes, Woodhead/Settle-Carlise/Sherman/Donner update/Marias have been fun, and working with all involved was a joy.

I hope that in my new role I still have time to enjoy the personal route building, hate to let all of this go to waste!
It is nice to build without the pressure and I enjoy every moment I am working on it.

Hope to update later this week.



Saturday, 30 March 2013

BA 73

Just found this on Youtube.

Does not show a great deal but it is like someone reached inside my head and took images from my memory.


Also here is a cab ride from Bishop to Stanhope



Saturday, 2 March 2013

Bishops Bridge wip

Not had much time due to personal stuff and Marias Pass!

However, almost sorted out Bishops Bridge:

As you can see still some work to be done! :)


Thursday, 21 February 2013

Sunday, 17 February 2013

Bishops Bridge

Next up are the 3 over bridges that cross near Byers Green (‘Byers’means‘ancient woods')

Bishop Lightfoot hated the railway and would only give his consent for the use of his land if a
special ‘double’bridge was built over the railway for his personal use.The bridge is twice the normal
width and had trees planted along each side to screen the Bishop from the detested railway. It is now
known as the Bishops Bridge and is unique in County Durham.

The bridges slope from right to left but not mine... :) While I could do it I see no point, it would only restrict where I could use the bridges. Often I square corners to suit my needs, after all I am the sky fairy of this world.
I will make sure the stone matches the under bridge so that the textures can be mixed and matched.
Modular is always wise.

On a different and tragic note, I will be taking a few days out, due to the untimely death of my dad.
I am heading back north to be with family and friends during this sad time.


Bridge wip

Here is the bridge finished for the line to Spennymoor.


Wednesday, 13 February 2013

Die Hard Vendetta

10 years ago I was lead artist (PS2 producer) on Diehard Vendetta.

I thought I would share some of art from it, all looks pretty dated compared to the wonderful games available today, but it still has some great moments in it.


Bridge to far

Just something I knocked up to keep my mind off other things.
This under bridge will be used on the Bishop to Spennymoor section. there are a number of these that are under the track up above the park/golf course.
Need to add the embankment and retaining walls.

I will also look to make the over bridges on this section next.


Monday, 11 February 2013

My strange hobby

On cloudy days I can be seen walking around taking  photos of walls, below is a section of the kind of things I collect.
When you are looking to build an area you want to get the correct feel even if you don't have a real chance of putting in all the detail you want.
Getting the materials right is a big thing for me, of course there are many great texture websites out there and I use a few of them myself, however nothing beats taking your own images.

Saturday, 9 February 2013

Eden Theater

This building has long since gone and only a handful of black and white photos remain. There are no plans as far as I know (not that I am that bothered) so I made a best guess from what I had and come up with this shape. The length is about 48M(ish)  going by the 1945 google earth footprint, I also made a few guesses on height of levels based on the size of the people.

Details and textures to come! :)

I made the call a few years ago not to worry to much about exact/spotter/rivet counting details on many of the buildings that have gone. (or are still there!) To cover a hundred miles of track compromises have to be made. I know that is a concept a few in the simulator world struggle with but there you go.. :)

As my mam would have said if she was alive ' A man on a galloping horse would not notice!'

bless her.


Weekend in Bishop

A week ago I spent 4 days in Bishop, this is probably the longest I have been there in many years.
I went up without family to visit my dad who is not so well.
While up I walked around the town (again) taking photos of walls, buildings and places. I only got stopped twice this time by people asking 'whayadeeintakingfotosofmyhoose?'

I just explained I was documenting the town to show how it had changed over the years, easier than telling the truth about textures.

Anyway, one of my next buildings to tackle is the Eden theater which was right next to the tracks at the bottom of Princess street.

I went in and chatted to Eric Thompson who's wonderful paintings and prints are displayed in the gallery in Bongate. He kindly passed on one of his prints for me to study and with a number of old black and white photos I will try and see if I can make something close to how it looked.

Progress to follow soon.

Wednesday, 30 January 2013

Some work in Progress

Jan is always a strange month, and I have been busy with Kent and Marias, but I am currently making assets to place along to Etherley.

Here are my 2 current examples.

Etherly Station
No current details but it will be pretty well detailed. The station building is still there but converted into apartments.

See the building Here

Escomb Saxon Church.

As you can see a simple shape, but some small elements are still missing which will be added.

Monday, 28 January 2013

Sunday, 6 January 2013

Draw Distance

There is often talk about how far out to model, and like most things it's all down to user preference.

Here you can see that I have modeled out about a mile and really that is more than far enough. From a drivers point of view most of the time it is not needed, but the detail level out that far is not fine and I have added it so that the scene looks full.
I find it is best to keep the detail close to the track and do less and less as you move away from the track. I never have a hard edge to my world, I always try and fade the details out so that the scene looks more natural.

I am lucky that much of my route is full of scenes like this, building Darlington and Durham will prove more challenging but the same rules apply. Bishop Auckland and surrounding villages will be modeled in full (generic housing and buildings where I don't have any good reference material)

Here is a shot of Etherley Tip

My time frame is a little earlier than depicted in the flickr image, and I'm not exactly sure what the scene would have looked like in the mid 50s but I guess this will do for now. Once I have modelled more of Etherley Station and Witton Park the scene will be an interesting contrast to what is at Bishop Auckland.


Thursday, 3 January 2013

Towards Escomb

As I work my way along the track to Witton Park I find myself adding more foliage than was probably there.
I don't mind, I will add what I like and what I think makes for an interesting view.
A few miles of views like this till I get up past Witton-le-wear.

Tuesday, 1 January 2013