Most Egregious Scenery Faux Pas

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by inversnecky, Feb 23, 2021.

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  1. inversnecky

    inversnecky Well-Known Member

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    I realise we're not expecting perfect realisation of the real world, but sometimes things are put in scenery which really shouldn't be there, and that make you do a double take!

    A couple of examples from the JT SECML I was on yesterday - the modest Fife town of Kirkcaldy now appears to have its very own cathredal on a scale of Westminster Abbey or Notre Dame (also Raith Rovers' meagre stands seem to have been upgraded to a spectacular Murrayfield scale edifice)!

    cathedral.jpg

    What similar scenery faux pas have you come across in your travels?
     
    Last edited: Feb 23, 2021
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  2. theorganist

    theorganist Well-Known Member

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    Considering churches are some of the most iconic buildings around and last surviving buildings from another time they are not very well represented. That Kuju church gets everywhere and drives me mad, whether it is in a town suburb or a pretty village, it isn't even that great as a generic "British" church although really no such thing exists!

    Durham Cathedral which is a pretty unique structure is overly used, I suppose such buildings are quite intricate to model though, I can understand it in freeware but I have often felt a little more attention to unique non-railway structures would be nice. Some routes do it very well, some of the Just Trains routes are very good in that regard.

    The freeware Wycombe route on the Steam Sounds Supreme site has some nice medieval churches in what looks to be Cotswold stone or certainly sandstone local to the area which do look nice when viewed from the railway.

    I will make a note of any faux-pas on my travels, I have seen a few.
     
  3. inversnecky

    inversnecky Well-Known Member

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    I have come to really detest that default church - the spire is so ugly! It’s like corroded copper, that awful colour...

    Talking churches, I’ve noticed in a number of Scottish routes that English style churches have been placed - with a square, castellated tower - a style that you would never see in Scotland.

    A fact you never might have known: in Scotland other types of important buildings could have spires, whereas in England it was restricted to churches historically.
     
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  4. theorganist

    theorganist Well-Known Member

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    Church architecture is another interest of mine, which I could bore for hours on, I wasn't aware of the particular importance of spires though, so that is interesting.

    I would wager that less than 50% of English churches even have a spire. The spire on the Kuju church is not a sight to behold and I can imagine a PCC getting rid of it! I think TSW also has a generic church making an appearance.
     
  5. JJTimothy

    JJTimothy Well-Known Member

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    That's Durham. Short of St. Paul's or Liverpool's Catholic cathedral (a.k.a. Paddy's Wigwam or the Mersey Funnel) I can't think of anything that could be more noticeable.
     
  6. Clumsy Pacer

    Clumsy Pacer Well-Known Member

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    Give us our cathedral back!

    Yours, a person from County Durham
     
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  7. JJTimothy

    JJTimothy Well-Known Member

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    Yeah- take Liverpool's. They won't mind.
    "If yer want a cathedral we've got one to spare
    In my Liverpool home..."
     
  8. Clumsy Pacer

    Clumsy Pacer Well-Known Member

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    I'm alright with scenery being reused if it's being manipulated to look like a different sctructure if it's not possible to model that (for instance ina workshop route) - indeed I've done it myself, however I'd expect a bit more attention to such landmarks is made in paid-for routes.

    Example: This is the black gate in Newcastle, as you can see on the right, it's right next to the ECML - on the far right of the first image is the Castle Keep (images from Google).
    upload_2021-2-23_14-40-32.png
    upload_2021-2-23_14-44-2.png
    Despite this, it's not represented in the original ECML or JT's Newcastle-Edinburgh (or at least I can't find a model for it). I'm currently working on a scenery upgrade to the original ECML so took it on myself to at least represent it.
    upload_2021-2-23_14-41-2.png
    upload_2021-2-23_14-41-41.png

    Now that's Durham castle that I've manipulated with the scale tool and sunk underground and put with a load of other scenery (well, just bushes and a wall). It needs a bit more work and isn't perfect (and never will be) but I'd say that's an alright approximation from a bad bunch.

    I've noticed that for some reason, the editor lists Durham cathedral simply as "church cathedral" so I think people will just see that and go "ooh, generic Catherdal, good I don't need to bother making one" despite York Minster being specifically listed as "Church York Minster".

    Also is this the "generic kuju church" we're talking about?
    upload_2021-2-23_14-50-15.png
     
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  9. inversnecky

    inversnecky Well-Known Member

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    It's now Kirkcaldy Cathedral, don't you know! Hand off!

    20210223141223_1.jpg

    But whoever thought of building it next to a pylon, needs firing :)

    Kirkcaldy has also been well appointed with some wonderful neoclassical architecture that wouldn't look out of place further south:

    20210223141155_1.jpg

    This is more in keeping with parts of Kirkcaldy, perhaps, though....

    20210223140939_1.jpg

    Don't blame me!

    Customer Complaints department at Just Trains can be contacted at....
     
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  10. inversnecky

    inversnecky Well-Known Member

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    The "generic Kuju church" indeed!

    Was it heading north from Carlisle I saw three of them grouped together. Looked awful!

    20210223134321_1.jpg 20210223141006_1.jpg
     
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  11. theorganist

    theorganist Well-Known Member

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    Yes that is it. I have seen very few spires like that on a British church and I have seen many, it looks more Bavarian if anything. It looks far too big and heavy for the tower. The clerestory windows in the nave look too tall and out of proportion, I would be interested to know if it is based on a real church, it it is I must go and visit.

    I agree that especially in freeware you use what you have and I would never complain about that and buildings can be manipulated, I have seen some very clever "merges" of buildings.

    I may have to move to Kirkcaldy if it looks like that! You would never get planning permission for a mast like that next to a historic monument!
     
  12. Clumsy Pacer

    Clumsy Pacer Well-Known Member

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    So on the PDE route, coming into Earlsfield, I saw the same church 3 times in the space of an 8-car train. upload_2021-3-1_10-12-8.png
    Here it is in Google.
    upload_2021-3-1_10-14-26.png
    I've no idea what's happening. I think they just saw "there's a church here" and put that asset in, without bothering to look it up.
     
  13. theorganist

    theorganist Well-Known Member

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    The more I see that spire, the more it looks southern European. It is far too large for that relatively small tower!
     
  14. theorganist

    theorganist Well-Known Member

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    Terrace houses are a bug bear of mine on the older routes.

    Look at any photo from the 50's and 60's, 99% of terraced houses still had their original sash windows.

    However it seems according to the sim that the residents of South Devon were very advanced in the 50's with not a sash window in sight but aluminium and UPVC very much in evidence!

    I have seen some terrace models with sash windows, shame Riviera in the 50's doesn't use them.
     
  15. TimeSlicedDanny

    TimeSlicedDanny Active Member

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    I notice that in the Riviera line the sun appears to shine from the NW at midday. That's quite a big mistake!
     
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  16. inversnecky

    inversnecky Well-Known Member

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    When I first got TS, I had an extensive look at how Edinburgh was rendered by the various routes that include it (might even do a thread about it). Each seems to get some things right and others wrong. Some have some idea of what Princes Street looks like, others just stick in whatever - including the Kuju church.

    It's amazing how the same street can appear so differently.

    Let's have a quick look at how a particular view of Edinburgh's Princes Street appears, inspired by the infamous Kuku church, which prompted me to do this just now, as it's just stuck halfway along Princes Street:

    Exhibit A: Just Trains ECML Edinburgh to Newcastle

    1 JT ECML Edin Newcastle.jpg


    Exhibit B: Just Trains Scottish ECML (Edinburgh to Dundee/Perth)

    2 JT SCECML.jpg


    Exhibit C: DTG's Edinburgh to Glasgow

    3 DTG Edin Gla.jpg


    Exhibit D: DTG Fife Circle

    4aa Fife Circle.jpg


    Exhibit E: The Real thing

    Edinburgh_New_Town_from_Edinburgh_Castle.jpg
     
  17. Easilyconfused

    Easilyconfused Well-Known Member

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    Whilst this is all very interesting making observations about Just Trains routes here is not going to achieve anything. Their routes need to be discussed with them.

    Clearly DTG routes are on-topic and it is very interesting to compare real locations with the "as modelled" versions. Not sure changes will be high on the list of priorities though.
     
  18. Pookeyhead

    Pookeyhead Well-Known Member

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    As a licensed radio amateur, those words fill me with dread.
     
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  19. inversnecky

    inversnecky Well-Known Member

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    I’m not expecting anything to be done, just posting purely for interest.

    Edinburgh is the only place where I’ve lived that is represented in TS, so I guess I had an initial particular interest to see how it appeared when I got the game.
     
  20. inversnecky

    inversnecky Well-Known Member

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    Think I noticed the same in Durham, but forget if that Weardale route is 50s oriented. Think there was a 50s car in a drive though, right enough!

    Are you in double glazing sales, by any chance?!
     
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  21. inversnecky

    inversnecky Well-Known Member

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    It was a pylon, don’t worry!
     
  22. Pookeyhead

    Pookeyhead Well-Known Member

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    Try getting planning for a radio mast, and you'll know why "planning permission" strikes fear into the heart of any radio ham. :(
     
  23. theorganist

    theorganist Well-Known Member

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    Lol no. In fact I cannot stand plastic windows especially on older buildings. Near me there is a 17th century former bakery, a beautiful double fronted house and it has plastic windows fitted and frankly they look awful! It is in a conservation area too although that doesn't seem to have made any difference.
     
    Last edited: Mar 1, 2021
  24. theorganist

    theorganist Well-Known Member

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    It was only because it was next to a Cathedral lol. Some churches have rented space on their towers for masts in fact.
     
  25. inversnecky

    inversnecky Well-Known Member

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    Durham Cathedral is obviously held in high regard - looks like Just Trains have placed it in Edinburgh too!

    1d JT ECML Edin Newcastle.jpg 1b JT ECML Edin Newcastle.jpg
     
  26. Clumsy Pacer

    Clumsy Pacer Well-Known Member

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    Weardale is set in the early 60s.
     
  27. majorminor

    majorminor Member

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    Coming, as I do, from a finescale Model Railway background, I am constantly reminded, when looking at TS, that whilst sporting an incredible range of finely modelled locomotives, the environment they inhabit is simply an outdated game that few can be bothered to improve.
    We are constantly reminded that creating loco DLCs is a dark art that should only be attempted by coding gods, but surely it is not beyond the remit of so-called "serious" simmers to create specific buildings to populate their so-called "realistic" routes?
    If a finescale modeller simply filled his layout with off the shelf model shop buildings and such, he would soon labled a "player of trains", rather than a modeller.
    The KUJU church is the perfect example of the laziness of the average TS "player".
    Come on guys (especially the proprietary sellers of routes, who should know better) build yourself some unique buildings that actually look real! ;)
     
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  28. inversnecky

    inversnecky Well-Known Member

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    There is the point, too, that a model railway scarcely includes more than maybe a ‘model mile’ of rail, or with the typical steam ‘branch line station’, maybe not even a quarter of a mile, so it’s much easier to devote resources to getting the scenery just perfect.

    TS routes cover thousands of track miles, so this is obviously not going to be possible- generic items will account for much of it, with stations and a few iconic buildings being influenced by the prototype.

    Even with this, a route might typically take up several GB of space. Perhaps someone doing a few miles along a scenic track only can devote that bit more attention to detail, than someone doing a couple of hundred mainline miles!

    Flight Simulator had mostly generic scenery, and only had a few iconic building in cities with the airports being distinct (after all, you’re looking down from a fair distance most of the time!).
     
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  29. Easilyconfused

    Easilyconfused Well-Known Member

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    I was going to pass on by but having read the above post numerous times I feel compelled to reply.

    You have to put things in the correct perspective. If you are creating a route and selling it then indiscriminate use of stock assets (especially the original Kuju ones) is not really acceptable. Sure the platform clutter and some of the lineside stuff is fairly generic but using the examples in this thread - if somebody was to produce a route through Bristol I would expect a bespoke model of Bristol Temple Meads and the surrounding area to be reproduced correctly so in the late 90s / 2000s the Royal Mail building adjacent to the station should be abandoned and missing most of the windows.

    On the flip side of this if somebody creates a route and uploads it to the workshop or a site like UKTS for free then it is up to them what they do. To criticise them for using stock assets is not really acceptable since they have freely given their time to produce something at zero cost to anyone downloading it (OK let's not split hairs if they have used payware assets so you need certain payware to avoid a plague of milk churns). This sort of criticism and use of language like "lazy" has led to some freeware authors simply stopping uploading for the masses and sharing only with a few friends. The notion of everything should be a custom asset is very elitist and would have deprived the community of many good freeware routes over the years.

    I believe we have some tutorials on using Sketch-Up for creating 3D models on UKTS so you don't actually need the very expensive 3D modelling software that a lot of loco builders use since there are no moving parts on most buildings.

    Since you brought up the finescale model railway comparison I will say a few words on that as a digression. Doubtless some will disagree with me but I am used to that. I am a member of a model railway club and our club layouts are as far as possible accurately modelled There are a lot of fantastic model railways out there both in finescale and regular scale and some are works of art such as James Street : https://dwanddrc.wixsite.com/james-street

    What does frustrate me is the elitism that goes with some of these layouts (James Street is not one of them) in that everything has to be "just so" and 100% true to life. I remember seeing one O gauge layout that was incredibly detailed and clearly a labour of love. The problem with it was the owner / operator insisted on running it on a prototypical branch line timetable which meant for long periods (as much as 30 minutes at a time) nothing moved at all. Most visitors would stop to look for 30 seconds, see nothing moving and the operator talking to other operators or retailers and then the visitors would move on (often with children in tow).

    Our club layouts are operated on the principle that the moves are prototypical but there should always be something moving even if it is a yard shunter doing nothing useful in particular. Giving the paying public something to watch is essential. Even though our current layout is set in the 1960s we usually keep a Voyager or Pendolino squirreled away in the fiddle yard and give that a whizz along the layout if we have a lot of younger visitors watching - they are going to be the ones we are looking for as the older members continue to depart to push up daisies at an increasing pace.
     
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  30. theorganist

    theorganist Well-Known Member

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    Well I think that is when Derek was aiming for but many of the collieries and quarries on the route had closed well before then and the Wearhead branch was closed to passengers in 1950.
     
  31. inversnecky

    inversnecky Well-Known Member

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    This is certainly an interesting discussion, and I enjoy reading your input.

    I’ve never attempted to create a route in TS (maybe one day I’ll give it a go) so, while other can maybe, I cannot say with any authority or knowledge how many hours/staff it would take to ‘model’ a mile or indeed a complete route in TS: obviously a detailed city or suburban mile will require a lot more attention than one going through empty fields.

    Obviously there is going to be significant use of generic items, to make the end product affordable, or DTG might have to charge £100 for a route, who knows!

    I certainly agree that in towns and cities, the repeated ad nauseam Kuju church is the main scenic ‘failure’ - in fact, a ghastly eye sore. A church being such a prominent landmark, you’d think maybe a dozen variants could be made: certainly there is no excuse for not attempting to model iconic churches.

    When looking at interpretations of Edinburgh, one of the routes has a modern office block where New College stands - that would be like seeing London with a 1960s office block instead of the Houses of Parliament - the positioning of these buildings is such that you are instantly aware that something is amiss!

    On the subject of prototypical operation, I’ve been reading the interesting books by Bob Essery for railway modellers (you’ll likely know the name). He focussed on following the prototype, hence in his view, because of space limitations, the modeller should restrict themselves to the Edwardian branch line, when everything was smaller (coaches, train lengths..).

    He takes a very askance view of the modeller who requires constant action and uses ovals, etc, and haughtily dismisses layouts putting on constant activity on the exhibition circuit, saying modellers ‘need to decide if they are in the entertainment business’!

    Certainly there is a middle way between no trains for thirty minutes, and every line having a train whizzing round, in an exhibition!

    Personally, my interest is in the operation, hence the attraction to TS, and, while an Edwardian branch line might be easier to model prototypically, that period holds no interest for me.
     
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  32. WhippleStripper

    WhippleStripper Active Member

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    I don't mind stock items being used as long as they are reasonably representative of the real item being modelled. I don't mind the Kuju church where a church should be, what I don't like is an office block where a church should be, and vice versa.

    Given the scaling features of TS objects and the ability to put one intersecting another there is quite a lot you can do to provide an illusion of difference between them.

    The thing I don't like (and to me it stands out more than any Kuju church) are cars and trains that don't have any darkness under them. It's a complete immersion killer for me and now strongly influences my purchasing choices. AP, I'm looking at you here, why do your products not have deep shadow under them in fog and snow?
     
  33. majorminor

    majorminor Member

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    Some great replies here.
    Here's another two pennorth from me.

    Yes, I have, for over 40 years been a finescale modeller.

    And yes, model layouts are infinitesimally smaller than TS routes - and so the level of detail will be immensely different.

    But let's think about this. A model layout is invariably a station - with the station environs hopefully accurately modeled within the space allowed. And probably the most "modeled" bits of TS routes are also stations. The difference is that in TS we can have prototypically long bits of countryside inbetween, whereas on a model layout, everything disappears under a tunnel or a bridge.

    So the real question is what you are hoping to get out of this hobby. Is it driving trains? That's cool. Or is it building routes? Equally cool. For me it is a combination of the two, with the emphasis on the latter. I guess I'm a "Free Roam" kind of guy that likes to look out of the cab alot!

    So is it REALLY acceptable to build your station layout by simply clicking on a list on the screen and finding the generic "pub" or "church" or "factory" and just shoving it down - or should we find a picture of the actual building and then CREATE it.

    Why can't we pay as much attention to our buildings as modellers do?

    Hey, if it's just for you, or freeware, who cares, but if you are gonna ask money for it? I think the time has come for route sellers to catch up with the loco and stock builders, and actually make proper stuff.

    I say again - come on guys - if we are playing trains, just stick up a 2D block of flats - but if we are doing it right - DO IT RIGHT .

    No more generic buildings on paid for routes.......;)

    PS. If you wanna see a finescale model with something close to prototypical sized "countryside", go to Pendon Museum - but be prepared for EVERY building built to painstaking detail......
     
  34. ntypeman

    ntypeman Active Member

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    Paddy's Wigwam, YES... Mersey Funnel...??? Never heard of that one having lived in Merseyside for 45 years...!!!
     
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  35. theorganist

    theorganist Well-Known Member

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    You are lucky in Liverpool having two fine cathedrals. I have sung several times in the Anglican one, it is a truly amazing space. It also has the largest "church" organ in Europe, I would love to play it one day but I think it would take a week to work out where everything is!
     
  36. theorganist

    theorganist Well-Known Member

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    I think it depends what buildings they are though. Certainly railway buildings desirably should be bespoke, and any iconic buildings in the vicinity. I wouldn't expect things like neighbouring streets of houses or shops should be bespoke as long as they represent what is there.

    Not everyone who builds model railway layouts can scratch build and not all route builders in TS1 can make 3D models.
     
  37. JJTimothy

    JJTimothy Well-Known Member

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    It's my ('pudlian) mum's expression. She left Liverpool in the '60s so maybe it's before your time.
     
  38. majorminor

    majorminor Member

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    Naturally, the railway buildings and iconic structures close by should be part of the modelling effort. But the sidelining of "lesser" buildings does seem (to me) to be one of TS's real weaknesses. If they are in the distance - fine - a simple thing will do, but close to the line should mean an accurate model.
    So many railways have terraced housing close by - but do they have to be a row of identical ones? D/l a loco and you get every one in the class. D/l a house, and you get ONE. Hello?


    You are right - not every railway modeller can scratch build, but once you get beyond "playing trains" is is very likely that you will try.
    When I started modelling, locos were far too hard, so buildings were the first things I modelled - a building is pretty much simply a decorated box, after all (and that applies to Blender, as well as to wood/cardboard/plastic).

    Another thing the model trade has is a huge number of small suppliers producing accurate versions of everything from platform clutter to highly detailed kits of buildings, for the less abled builder. Other than locos and stock, and generic freeware stuff, very little exists in TS.
    I would certainly pay a little for some better buildings. Am I alone? ;)
     
  39. theorganist

    theorganist Well-Known Member

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    I agree about terrace houses, in fact houses in general lack in variety. What about the big Victorian villas and Georgian terraces? Railway stations are often in the centre of towns and cities where buildings are more varied. Not sure there enough regional houses built using local building materials. A terrace house in Paignton, looks quite different to one in Ealing, to one in Birmingham, to one in Cardiff, Liverpool, Northumberland, etc.
     
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  40. martschuffing

    martschuffing Well-Known Member

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    Anyone up for a proper buildings pack for TS then me wallets ready gentlemen!
     
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  41. inversnecky

    inversnecky Well-Known Member

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    Edinburgh - New College from the galleries area:

    1. DTG Edinburgh to Glasgow

    DTG EDN GLA.jpg


    2. DTG Fife Circle
    DTG FIFE CIRCLE 2.jpg


    3. JT ECML Edinburgh to Newcastle
    JT EDIN NEWC.jpg


    4. JT SECML
    JT SECML.jpg


    5. The Real Thing
    national-gallery-and-new-college-in-the-background-in-edinburgh-PEJ27X.jpg


    I have to say that it's rather surprising that Just Train's routes would be about the worst effort here.
     
    Last edited: Mar 2, 2021
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  42. theorganist

    theorganist Well-Known Member

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    The Fife circle looks like a good effort. I don't have that route yet. I must visit Edinburgh at some point.
     
  43. inversnecky

    inversnecky Well-Known Member

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    Thing is some do well there, but they don’t have Edinburgh Castle, just a grassy mound, whereas the JT routes do have the castle: I think the SECML iirc has by far the best effort, in fact a really good portrayal.

    Edinburgh is hard, because so many historic neoclassical and early modern buildings can be seen in the central area, even from the Waverley precinct, that if you stint on them, it’s instantly noticeable.
     
  44. majorminor

    majorminor Member

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    Screenshot_Riviera Line 1902_50.54779--3.49469_12-01-15.jpg [​IMG]
    One can only be awed at the level of imagination used by the creator of this when asked to name the pub.....
     
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  45. theorganist

    theorganist Well-Known Member

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    The builder of SECML was Scottish as far as I can recall which probably helps and Thomson who were based in Glasgow (I think) built the Edinburgh to Glasgow route.

    I feel Bath is fairly badly portrayed too.
     
  46. inversnecky

    inversnecky Well-Known Member

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    I’m sure all of us would love to have scenery made that was almost a carbon copy of the original.

    But it comes down to time...and money.

    How many hours would it take to get Edinburgh looking just as it should? How much would the route have to cost to reflect that? How many users will be like me and zoom around looking for things to pick at, rather than just admiring the immediately visible scenery from the train cab window?

    Think of your typical and exacting fine scale model of a branch line station, and think of all the hours, indeed likely months if not years of time invested in getting it right, let alone the cost of the materials.

    If you were to sell that model, properly reflecting the effort you put in (imagine it was a job building it, and you expected to be paid a going rate), how much would it be?

    Now think of a typical TS route: there could be two, three, four dozen stations that would all need that level of detail, and I’m sure you wouldn’t want to settle for Kuju fields as well?

    The hours required would likely make the cost of a route a premium option, affordable only to a very few.

    Think of the size in likely tens of GB for a single route. How many people could accommodate that on their PC? How many people have decent gaming PCs with sufficient resources to handle a route with 10x or 100x the demands on memory?

    I, among others, plaud AP for their products, but what AP has on its shelves is but a drop in the bucket compared to what is needed to upgrade TS as a whole, and track and sky enhancements are the limit of their endeavours into non vehicular modelling.

    Sadly, to be affordable, and viable, there’s a limit to how detailed things can get.
     
    Last edited: Mar 2, 2021
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  47. majorminor

    majorminor Member

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    Re "The Public House" - it would actually saved him a few key strokes to call it "The Red Lion" (the most common pub name in the UK).

    As I've said, I've built railways for over years.

    I've never quantified, or felt the need to quantify, the amount of work I put into a model against how much I could sell it for.

    I just made it as good as I could, because THAT is what the hobby is about.

    I guess that is not the case for most TSers - happiest just driving trains...:o
     
  48. Clumsy Pacer

    Clumsy Pacer Well-Known Member

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    Something I should note about edinburgh - glasgow is it's built from the perspective of a driver, the scenery along the whole route only goes about 50ft away from the track before it turns into a 2D sprite, so there's a lot of detail details go missing therefore.
     
  49. inversnecky

    inversnecky Well-Known Member

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    For us players, it is a hobby, but the TS I’m enjoying now simply wouldn’t exist, if it was treated as a hobby and not a business.

    People with the skills need to be paid for the many hours of work involved.

    I’m not suggesting you go into the business of selling models, but trying to make you consider the facts if you were doing this as a business, or indeed your career. You need to pay the bills and put food on the table. Your business needs to invest, so many things that you wouldn’t normally consider.
     
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  50. theorganist

    theorganist Well-Known Member

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    Yes I recall now, I haven't used the route for years, the GARL was the same. I good idea in my opinion but some were not so happy with the concept at the time.
     

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