Screenshots - MSTS routes in Open Rails

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Screenshots - MSTS routes in Open Rails

Post  33lima on Sun 05 Nov 2017, 10:53 am

I like taking screenshots, and I am getting a buzz seeing how good MSTS content looks and runs in OR, to the extent I have been acquiring and trying various freeware and payware stuff I never saw or had in my original dalliance with MSTS. So I thought I'd post a few pics here, along with some random observations.

First, shots taken on European Bahn's  London & South Coast route. This added the Arun Valley line to previous separate products feturing London-Brighton and Brighton-Southampton and was a snip on eBay. Main issue is that some objects and areas are left a plain untextured grey, like platform surfaces, lineside signalling runs and the underside of Victoria's roof. OR's superelevation is best left off, since if turned on it removes the third rail from superelevated sections of track.

This is an Electrostar available on UKTS at Brighton, the one that comes with the add-on has a better cab interior, but its cab end isn't quite as good, externally.


Here's the fine London Underground set by Glasgowworks of this parish, showing off also some more of the untextured grey areas.



A previous generation of EMU - this one, with a finely-executed NSE livery, came with the package - leaves Portsmouth.


And finally for this route, Glasgowworks's Class 458 and 387:





Next up, some pics on what I think is the best-executed MSTS ad-on I've so far seen.


Last edited by 33lima on Sun 19 Nov 2017, 9:55 pm; edited 9 times in total

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Re: Screenshots - MSTS routes in Open Rails

Post  33lima on Sun 05 Nov 2017, 11:04 am

Making Tracks seem widely recognised as having made some of the best MSTS routes and the best I've seen so far is one of theirs - Great Eastern, featuring the route to Ipswich from London Liverpool Street.

Here's the view from their Class 86 - the shadows are fixed but most effective. also love the textures on the retaining wall.



Here's the same loco from the outside, leaving Liverpool St at the head of a rake of blue-grey Mk2 air cons.



And finally, a couple of shots of a Class 150 Sprinter, illustrating the finely-executed interiors and exteriors in this great add-on, as near to photorealistic as I've seen in MSTS and enough to give a more modern trainsim a run for its (rather greater) money. OR's ability to zoom to a telephoto-like field of view helps, as the more compressed perspective looks better on pics of trains than the stock MSTS 'wide angle lens' external view.





As the route uses excellent finescale track, turning on OR's superelevation works, but replaces some (including the superelevated?) track sections with coarse stock ones, so it's best left turned off.

Next to come, some pics from a couple of fine freeware routes I've recently downloaded from UKTS.

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Re: Screenshots - MSTS routes in Open Rails

Post  rufuskins on Sun 05 Nov 2017, 11:54 am

I always appreciate good quality screen shots and therefore keep them coming! OK


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Re: Screenshots - MSTS routes in Open Rails

Post  33lima on Sun 05 Nov 2017, 11:55 am

Thanks Rufuskins! I think I need to learn how to use the 'resize' function here as some pics are getting truncated on the RH side, but here we go again!

Back about 2005 or so, I got a couple of CDs from UKtrainsim, great value at probably about a fiver a pop. One of these was 'Trainsim UK - Route Compilation for MS Train Sim'. I never actually got around to loading any of its routes and when Open Rails got me back into MSTS just recently, I found I could not install anything from it on my Vista PC. Fortunately I was able to copy the contents of the CD onto the HDD of a Win 10 machine, burn that to disk, and then install it from there onto my original box.

The included routes are Blackpool tramway, Ayr to Stranraer (diesel era), Inverness to Wick (diesel) and the two steam-era routes illustrated here.

The first pics are from a nice little route called the Stratford on Avon and Midland Junction Railway, set in the 1950s, and both feature included stock.

The included 3f 'Jinty' seen here is said to be a substitute for the 3f and 4f tender engines actually used, and it's a nice model, though I'll have to find a proper cab for it, as it defaults to the stock Scotsman's!



As does this rather nice 'Black 5' - I think Jubilee cabs are recommended and available over at MSTS. The maroon Mk1s are also very good.





Next it's the West Highland Line. This route comes with a lovely LNER K4 and some more Mk1s, this time 'blood and custard'. More suitable LNER carriages I will get from UKTS, those available being superior to the stock Scotsman rake.





The slightly angular driving wheel types aren't really noticeable in-game, and the finish on the loco is very good, not the bright or strong hues seen on some MSTS steamers. And the model features 'firebox glow'!





Despite the inclusion of both telegraph poles and lineside fencing, framerates are high due to the general sparsity of other scenery, in keeping with the locale. Apparently vacuum braking in OR is a work in progress but while I've over-braked a few times trying to stick to the limit on this well-graded route, I'm not having major issues.


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Re: Screenshots - MSTS routes in Open Rails

Post  33lima on Sun 05 Nov 2017, 3:15 pm

Next up, some pics from my second MSTS payware route - my first was a US industrial route - 'Cambrian Route - a Seaside Journey', by Aerosoft. My main interest was the MetCam DMU, the Triang version being a favourite from my Tri-ang Railways days. I believe an expanded version of this route is still available from 3dtrainstuff.

Here's the DMU, in one of several liveries available, at Harlech.



I especially like the cab view, complete with well-represented window grime.



Next we have the other included loco, a very well-rendered GWR 55xx pannier tank, see here leaving the same station with a mixed goods.





Next up, some stock routes in OR.

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Re: Screenshots - MSTS routes in Open Rails

Post  33lima on Sun 05 Nov 2017, 4:27 pm

I recently had to fix the stock MSTS's SD-40 as described here...

http://msts.steam4me.net/tutorials/fix_sd402.html

...because the loco was invisible in the external view in Open Rails. Now that I have applied the simple edit, she looks quite impressive, especially in multiple at the head of a long freight on her native Marias Pass stomping ground. The OR superelevation visible in the second pic adds a nice touch, whether or not it's entirely appropriate for this sort of relatively slow line.





As we speak I'm awaiting my download slot for improved Gresley stock from UKTS, for use with the MSTS Scotsman. Pity about the airborne tree - I've also noticed these and hover-houses in L&SC, usually on slopes, and don't know if they are any more prevalent in OR, compared to stock MSTS.



I think this is about the second time I have taken the MSTS Khia railcar for a spin, this one being the variant used on the more 'tourist-y' part of the Hisatsu line.



Likewise I'm not at all a frequent traveller on MSTS's virtual Innsbruck-St Anton line - continental steam locos like the stock Golsdorf 380 always looked a bit thrown-together or unfinished to me, compared to their much more elegant British counterparts. At least OR's options probably mean the scenery draw-in is much less obtrusive.



Meanwhile, back in the Land of the Rising Sun, the Odakyu 7000 Series Hakone train looks just like the sort of tinplate 'Made in Hong Kong' toy trains I remember as a nipper - flashy, but not much like a real train.



While in the good ol' US of A, apart from the clean and fresh livery, the Acela on her Northeast Corridor route doesn't look very American - they say she has Euro high speed train in her blood, which would explain that.



I haven't much played the stock routes in MSTS but the crisper, smoother graphics and longer horizons in Open Rail means I probably will give then a real go.

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Re: Screenshots - MSTS routes in Open Rails

Post  slipperman12 on Sun 05 Nov 2017, 6:48 pm

Hi Ivor,
Some excellent screenshots, there, mate Smile

However, your comment in the opening post : "Main issue is that some objects and areas are left a plain untextured grey, like platform surfaces, lineside signalling runs and the underside of Victoria's roof. " has got me a little puzzled!!  I'll admit that I've only looked at the beginning of the Down Brighton Express activity, but, as far as I can see, the display in MSTS and Open Rails is very similar.  Maybe you could give us some more detail?

Cheers,
Ged


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Re: Screenshots - MSTS routes in Open Rails

Post  33lima on Sun 05 Nov 2017, 7:05 pm

Hi Ged. Sorry if I gave the impression my comment re the grey untextured areas attributed them to OR, they are with the route itself - it's the same in MSTS. I don't think it's a bug, maybe they just thoought untextured grey was acceptable, at least for concrete areas.

This is the view of Victoria in MSTS:



If you start at Victoria. the underside of the roof above your train is untextured grey, as are the ends of the platforms, the vertical slabs at the end of them, some tubular things like giant cotton reels or spools next to the line near the station throat, the far side of some of the little box-like sheds, some bridge pillars or abutments, and what looks to me to be the signalling runs or conduits beside the track. Video clips of the line also show this so it's not just me.

Maybe there's a patch which improved these plain textures but if so, these things are hard to find nowadays!

Ivor

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Re: Screenshots - MSTS routes in Open Rails

Post  33lima on Sun 05 Nov 2017, 8:29 pm

The next three pics show an EMU from LSE in another route which features Brighton, this time about forty years earlier than the representation in London South Coast.

It's Steyning, available as a download over at UKTrainsim. It has some well-done backscenes and some nicely-textured scenery. Having seen this in other people's pics or videos and not just on my install, it also has some very low-resolution textures, much more so than stock MSTS, especially the grass ones. I've applied the available patch but that makes no difference, so I guess that's just how it is. An issue with Open Rails is that you have to turn off overhead wires, otherwise these are displayed running between the rails a couple of feet above the sleepers! Superelevation also needs to be off ie set to zero.

A characteristic of Steyning is the plentiful staff and passenger figures in and around stations. These are 'flats' ie two-dimensional but from many angles they are superior to the usual blocky 3-d versions.





Note the blurry grass textures in this pic - I think this is everywhere, from what I have seen. Of course if you're rattling along concentrating on your job, not staring out the side at the scenery, it's not especially obtrusive.



We seem to be missing textures to the right of the bridge in the third pic and in the entrance to the sheds in the first one, but again tho noticeable in screenshots, this is not particularly so during gameplay.

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Re: Screenshots - MSTS routes in Open Rails

Post  33lima on Sun 05 Nov 2017, 8:51 pm

Last one for this evening is a modern-era line from the Trainsim UK routes compilation - Far North Line v.1.5, Inverness to Wick. If I recall right this comes with a simgle piece of motive power, the colourful Scotrail Class 156 Sprinter featured in these pics, taken at and after leaving Inverness.





The cab view below shows the Class had the the ultra-modern feature of a pocket watch holder to the right of the driver's windscreen - maybe the unit's usual driver had it made specially, I dunno Smile At least the locals have the sense to wait patiently at the crossing barriers, which is just as well as externally, the 156 is very quiet, whispering death practically.


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Re: Screenshots - MSTS routes in Open Rails

Post  slipperman12 on Sun 05 Nov 2017, 10:30 pm

Hi Ivor,
I don't think any such patches were issued for the London South Coast route.  I believe the lack of detailed textures in commercial routes was to ensure that they would run on the widest possible range of PCs.  That route was published in 2006 and PCs these days are very much more powerful than they were then!

Cheers,
Ged


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Re: Screenshots - MSTS routes in Open Rails

Post  StephenRWells on Mon 06 Nov 2017, 9:47 am

Hi Ivor,

The pocket watch is standard issue for Japanese trains and this Class 156 has been fitted with a Japanese cab - notice the speed is in km/hr and air pressure in kps. Better British cabviews are available at UKTS and in Making Tracks routes.

Regards,

Stephen
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Re: Screenshots - MSTS routes in Open Rails

Post  33lima on Mon 06 Nov 2017, 7:24 pm

Thanks Stephen, I hadn't noticed the 'foreign' cab on the 126! Some more downloading coming up!

The Making Tracks photo-based cabs are indeed excellent, lacking only in the often-blocky animated controls. This Class 31 is I think one of theirs, from Great Eastern:



This one looks pretty good to me, too - 40 Class 'Atlantic Conveyor' via Mid East UK 1.3:



Anyway thanks for the tip!

Ivor

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Re: Screenshots - MSTS routes in Open Rails

Post  33lima on Sun 12 Nov 2017, 10:54 pm

Some more shots from EB's London South Coast - the Series, this time from the included Activities, which I'm enjoying a lot.

First up, 'Southbound city flier' - taking a Thameslink Class 319 down to Brighton.

I'm stopped at Gatwick, as a Southern Turbostar makes a smoky departure from an up platform:



Hearing a muted roar as we leave, I see a British Airways Airbus descending from left to right, on short finals:



'Down Brighon Express' - with stops to make only at East Croydon, Gatwick and Brighton, this fast run in a long Southern Electrostar is still giving me enough practice of timekeeping and judging my platform arrivals.

Leaving Victoria, I have a 319 from my own company for company, till he slips away to the left:



A little further ahead, a famous landmark comes into view:



The line straightens up and the speed limit rises accordingly, and I get to open her up:



I stop a bit short at Gatwick, caught out by the length of my train. I really must get her right up to those DOO monitors at the end of the platfoms!  A much shorter, 4-car 377 coming the opposite way has had no such problems. Meanwhile another BA flight is coming in to land.



Journey's end! The untextured retaining wall to the right is partly hidden by the large billboards advertising EB's other products, and I must admit I'm tempted. The power of advertising, eh?



I think the next pic is from 'Southsea Slammer' which as the name suggests involves taking a first generation BR EMU, in case case a pair of really nicely-rendered 4-CIG sets from Littlehampton to Portsmouth and Southsea. It was when working this service, looking up a keyboard command in-game via the F1 menu, that I discovered that in Open Rails, Ctrl+V turns on what they call vibration, which is what I would call carriage sway. At the lowest setting the effect is quite subtle but effective in the cab view, and from external aspect, gives a nice rendition of the carriages in your train swaying, slightly independently of one another, and rolling slightly on their bogies. A really neat touch!


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Re: Screenshots - MSTS routes in Open Rails

Post  33lima on Tue 14 Nov 2017, 9:52 pm

Same route, different turn...and different weather.

Activity 7 in DB's London South Coast - 'Arun Valley Slammer' - sees my intrepid alter ego tasked with taking the eponymous slam-door 4-CIG EMU from Three Bridges on the Brighton Main Line down the Arun Valley Line to Littlehampton. Stopping at all stations in between. If I can get stopped at all, that is. Or started, even. For it's a snowy winter morning.



This is nominally rated as an easy activity, and possibly it is, in MSTS. With Open Rails, they warn you that the performance of player and AI trains can differ. Just getting started was tricky, involving lots of wheelslip, careful throttle application and lots of sand. Judging my stops without over-running platforms was also tricky, even with a long, slow approach. It was certainly a case of practice makes...well no, not perfect, but about good enough.



It all became easier when I tried the 'magic brake' key combo, Shift+/, indicating something had been stuck somewhere. I also have a suspicion that the 'boarding complete' countdown is tied up in this somewhere, as it often seemed to take a long while to begin, but did so more or less immediately I hit those magic keys.

Having spent nearly all my previous time with MSTS exploring routes, treating the sim as a sort of virtual trainset like my old Tri-ang Super 4 layout, I'm finding the activities much more fun, now that Open Rails has re-awakened my interest. The presence of other trains going about their business is a big plus, and I'm actually getting the feeling I'm learning something, just a little about what it might feel like actually driving trains. It certainly makes me better appreciate the job the guys do.



Sadly for my delayed virtual passengers, I only discovered that Shift+/ magic in the final stages of my trip. Between all that, getting used to a quite different train, and slippery conditions, I ended up running about 40 minutes late. Still, we got there, missed no stops, and it was a pretty immersive, engaging and enjoyable experience. It helps that the visuals in Open Rails are way better than I could ever get in MSTS.


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Re: Screenshots - MSTS routes in Open Rails

Post  33lima on Sun 19 Nov 2017, 2:46 pm

Time for a brief change of scenery before heading back onto UK metals. A recommendation on another forum followed by checking out a Youtube video led me to try out Douce France 2010 which you can get here: http://funtrain.net/en/train-simulator/microsoft-train-simulator/routes/addon-32/

It's a quite exceptional route. Nice touches include the background sounds, which vary from locals chatting in stations to music wafting from cafés at country halts. You have to grab the stock separately but what I've got is well up to the standard of the route, inside and out. I especially like the very effective way the lineside vegetation is portrayed. I may have got the multi-part install wrong somewhere, as I'm seeing some snow-white cattle and very occasional short stretches of track that 'is there' but is invisible, But the route and stock are outstanding, even though my knowledge of SNCF matters never got beyond looking at the exotic French items in the Playcraft catalogue back in the day, and more recently, reading the occasional article in the 'World Of Trains' partwork.












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Re: Screenshots - MSTS routes in Open Rails

Post  slipperman12 on Sun 19 Nov 2017, 3:51 pm

Hi Ivor,
France Douce looks to be an excellent little route - it's not one I've come across before!

The stock in your first two and last two screenshots looks interesting - can you tell us where to obtain them, please?

Regarding your problem with track and cows. If you can tell us the locations (press zero on the top numbers line and you'll see a compass, like MSTS), we can check if there's a solution.

As far as the missing track is concerned, I've found that many French routes use some non-standard XTrack sections. I believe I have them stored away, so, given the locations, I can check if they are the answer.

Cheers,
Ged


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Re: Screenshots - MSTS routes in Open Rails

Post  33lima on Sun 19 Nov 2017, 4:00 pm

Hi Ged

I think I got all the SNCF stock, including the railcars, at or via this site: http://ajtrainsim.free.fr/materfr.htm

Thanks for the tips re cows and track - I'll see if I can rustle them up/track them down (ouch!!!) and report back.

Ivor




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Re: Screenshots - MSTS routes in Open Rails

Post  33lima on Sun 19 Nov 2017, 6:31 pm

Next up, some scenes from Making Tracks' London and South East add-on. This features lines from Charing Cross and Cannon St to (you'll never guess) the south and east and is set in the 1970s. Apart from Classes 71 and 33...



...the main stock included are EMUs, including 2 - and 4-EPB and 4-VEP and 4-CIG sets, in different liveries, like this example of the latter type:



The ability to zoom in so as to get a more natural, slight 'telephoto' perspective I find to be one of Open Rails's many good features. I routinely orient and zoom in both #2 and #3 external views, at the start of every session.

There's also several classes of 'thumper' DEMUs in the add-on, like this one:



The next pics are all from Activity #1, 'Slow run to Orpington'. This involves taking a 4-EPB from Cannon Street to the aforementioned locale, stopping at all stations en route, namely London Bridge, Newcross, St Johns, Lewisham, Hither Green, Grove Park, Elmstead Woods, Chiselhurst and Petts Wood.

I gather being a 4-car unit, the black triangle should not be carried, as it signified 'Brake compartment at THIS end only' and the 4-car sets were marshalled with one at both ends.

Here I am waiting for the right away at Cannon Street. Not being a massive fan of the Zombie Apocalypse in 'the other train sim' I'm happy enough to see passengers just standing about, or as here, empty platforms.



There's another train already in the next platform as I slide into London Bridge, while another unit rattles past (I have the automatic point and squeal sounds enabled in this route) on an Up line into the terminus I've just left.



I can't recall the name of the station visible in this near rail-level shot taken from the rear of my train further along the route. I don't know whether it's the different OR physics, but even once I had improved my station stopping drills a bit, I still could not keep to time on this run, usually ending up about 8 minutes late.



Two issues I have with these EMUs and DEMUs in OR is that sometimes, seemingly when traversing pointwork, the bogies 'jiggle' excessively, visually. And all the time, there are sort of semi-transparent rectangles around each wheel, producing an effect like little triangular petals when on the move. Something about the way the wheelsets used were textured and are now rendered in OR, perhaps - anyway it's a minor niggle.

One thing I have noticed is that there is some simulation of AWS. The first cab view was taken approaching a junction as another unit on a down line crossed ahead right to left, and shows the AWS sunflower or dartboard all black, as I'm getting only greens at this point.



The second pic shows the sunflower after I had passed a double yellow, towards the end of the activity.



There were no audio effects. I have tried the mod available at UKTS which replaces the default signal change (colour light & semaphore, apparently) sound to either an AWS bell or tone when passing (rather than approaching) a signal but it seems not to work for me as I still hear nothing.

Anyway, here I am drifting into Orpington at the end of my turn. This time, there is someone on the platform, a friendly fellow railwayman, welcoming me into the station. Or is that a rude gesture? Smile



After the passengers have disembarked, the activity requires me to stable my unit in the shed. On the first playthrough, probably due to lateness, the signal behind me wouldn't clear and the signalman would not authorise me to pass it at red. On other runs as here, it worked fine, giving me a single yellow, with the points set to enable me to hum and rattle slowly into the middle road between two other units. I could not change ends, so had to do this by reversing.



All in a day's work!

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Re: Screenshots - MSTS routes in Open Rails

Post  brace_2011 on Mon 20 Nov 2017, 8:49 am

Nice pics.

The problem with the wheels having 'flats' is caused by the mask in wheel.ace not being correctly made (for OR - it probably works in MSTS, but I can't use this any more).

It is easily solved. Take the wheel.ace from any of the EMUs. Open it (I used TGATool2) and get the Alpha Channel open in your painting program. You will notice that the 'black' surrounding the wheel texture is actually slightly lighter than pure black (RGB = 000). Change it to RGB = 000 and reload in TGATool2 - then export as wheel.ace using ACE (Alpha). Job done.

(It can also be done by modifying a wheel.tga file exported from ShapeViewer - as long as you know how to edit the mask file in the tga. The tga is then saved as ace in AceIt. This is a bit more longwinded, so my advice is to stick with TGATool2).

Hope it works for you. Once tested successfully you can simply copy/paste the modified texture to all the other EMUs and Thumpers (and the Blue/Grey Mk1s if you have downloaded these).

Martin


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Re: Screenshots - MSTS routes in Open Rails

Post  brace_2011 on Mon 20 Nov 2017, 5:41 pm

Hi again

Had a play with this during the day, and I can suggest how to remove the triangles from the front of the blue and blue/grey 4EPBs.  This is the easiest solution I can find.

First, make a copy of the MT_DB_CL415_DMBS_A.s file (so that you can revert to it if anything goes wrong).  Then uncompress the file using Shape File Manager.  Open the uncompressed file in an appropriate text editor (I use Notepad++, but you can probably do it with the Wordpad Edit .S option in Shape File Manager).  Search for 9.9358.  There should be only 3 instances (all on consecutive lines) like point ( -3.09116e-008 1.41957 9.9368 ).  Alter each 9.9368 to 9.8368 and save.  Recompress the file and you're good to go.

Hope it works for you.

Martin

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Re: Screenshots - MSTS routes in Open Rails

Post  33lima on Mon 20 Nov 2017, 7:29 pm

Many thanks for the tips Martin! Will try the wheel-fix shortly. Re the marking - I would never have known but for a bit of Googling - I will check first if the 2-EPB shares the same texture - perhaps not as I see (Googling again!) that 5328 as pictured is indeed a 4-EPB set.
Ivor

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Re: Screenshots - MSTS routes in Open Rails

Post  brace_2011 on Mon 20 Nov 2017, 8:03 pm

33lima wrote:Many thanks for the tips Martin! Will try the wheel-fix shortly. Re the marking - I would never have known but for a bit of Googling - I will check first if the 2-EPB shares the same texture - perhaps not as I see (Googling again!) that 5328 as pictured is indeed a 4-EPB set.
Ivor

Hi Ivor

First I tried playing with the textures to sort the triangle problem  -  that's what took so long.  The method above is the way to go.

Martin

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Re: Screenshots - MSTS routes in Open Rails

Post  33lima on Wed 22 Nov 2017, 12:16 am

Working my way through the MT L&SC activities featuring the EMUs I'm enjoying most, '08 - Cannon Street to Crystal Palace' also involves a 4-EPB, but this time without the black triangle at either end. I see from the distinctive compartment windows this is a Bullied/SR version, though...



...as distinct from the BR build featured in the other activity:



Not all the activities work well in OR - '03 - London bound rail-air express' saw my 4-VEG...



...pathed into a dead end the other side of a fixed red, with no destinations showing up in the F10 view en route, but I'm having a ball, as the saying goes, and editing the alpha channels as kindly recommended by Martin has solved the display niggle there. Great stuff! And with so much MSTS content - like this UKTS IC225 on MT's Great Eastern, pending purchase of their ECML - now given a new lease of life by the Open Rails team, there's lots to look forward to...


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