I apologize that we have not provided more frequent updates on our current project. You have to realize though that posting updates, pictures, and videos on our Blog or another forum takes time away from building locomotives. Anyway, here is a little update to give you an idea on where we are with this.
We are working overtime, pretty much all the time, to complete the first locomotive pack release. I’ve seen updates posted for it in the middle of the day, and I’ve seen them come in at 3am. Every day is seeing new progress being made on the models. As it stands right now, we are 90% complete on the exterior and cab view models, 80% on animations, and 75% on scripting and controls (some of that is waiting on animations). Still yet to go are sounds, scenarios, and the where-when-and-how’s of distribution.
The decision as to which railroad will be represented in the first release has been made, and it will be CSX. It is only logical that they will be released first, as they were the first company to license our products. Anyway, the planned package will contain five different road liveries and four sub-liveries, all painted on four different GP40 types – the Dash 2 in Phase 1, Phase 2, and Non-Dynamic, and a regular GP40.
Among the five road liveries that will be released, there is an astounding amount of variability. There is no such thing as a “stock” GP40, and these units are being customized to showcase each road’s preferences. For example, some units have snowplows, others preferred a cow-catcher, while still others used a box-like pilot extension to hold the MU cables. Some companies like cab lights, and some of them took it on the nose. All the different options are enough to make you wonder how GMDD ever got any locomotive orders filled!
The date of release is still unknown. Let me just say that when we are satisfied that the railfans who buy this will be satisfied, then we will release it to the masses. The three of us are railfans, and we are pretty particular about the should’s and should nots of this locomotive. Sometimes our e-mails look like a skit from “I Love Lucy” with all of the contradictions, corrections, and backtracking to try to catch the smallest operational detail. We won’t let it loose in the wild until we have done the best we can do for it.
Well, that is about all we can say for now. When we are finished building the last exterior model, we will update our CSX page to give you a better idea of what to expect. In the mean time, have another look at the finished CSX “Bright Futures” exterior as it brightens up the view of downtown Dalton on the Southern Rails route.