3. Simple Construction - A Diesel Loco - Part four

Version 1.0 - 24.June 2002

Frame and body

Now we create the frame of the loco. To build the frame, we switch to the Top viewport first. From the Create menu, we choose the Standard Primitive Box. As we did with the wheels, we type in the values directly. The values are:

  • X 0 m (virtual world's center)
  • Y 0 m (virtual world's center)
  • Z 1.5 m
  • Length 9 m
  • Width 3m
  • Heigth 0,1 m
  • We also select Generate Mapping Coordinates.

One click on Create and here is the frame.

The frame gets a texture

As we did with the other objects, we convert the frame to an editable mesh first. That's done with a rightclick onto the frame. In the Quad menu we select Convert to - Editable Mesh. With the material tool, we Put! the material to the frame.

The top plane of the frame shall get the grid texture while the other polygones should get the dark grey texture. Still in the Top viewport, we change to polygone select mode and select all polygones of the frame. Then we use the Unwrap UVW modifier (in the modifier list) and in the editor we map the frame to the small grey square at the bottom left if the image. We close the editor and collapse the stack.

Mapping the grid

In Polygone Select mode we select all polygones of the frame except the top polygone as shown in the image:

With a click on the Hide button, only the top polygone is left visible. We select it and again we use the modifier Unwrap UVW and open the editor.

The vertices of the top polygone are still in the grey square. First, we select them all and rotate them by 90 degrees. (We use the angle snap tool) Then we map the vertices to the grid, close the editor and collapse the stack.

Changing to Polygone select mode again, we click Unhide All and leave the Polygone select mode. Then we rename the frame to Main. Done.

The body

We create the body like we created the frame, except that the body is divided into five segments. The values to be typed in are:

  • X 0 m
  • Y 0 m
  • Z 1.6 m
  • Length 8 m
  • Width 2m
  • Heigth 1,9 m
  • Length Seg 5 (number of length segments)

also, the box Generate Mapping Coordinates has to be marked.

In the side view, we see the sections.

Like the other parts, the body has to be converted to an editable mesh and given the texture using the put! command in the material toolbox.

Body shaping

Now in the Left viewport, we zoom extents all and switch to Modify Selection Vertex. Then we select the upper outer vertices as shown in the image below. Selected vertices are shown in red.

The german text reads: First select here - than press and hold the Ctrl key - then select there

With the Move tool and the Move Transform-Type-In dialog we change the Z value to 3 meter.

Then we select the vertices which defines the sections from the 2nd to the 5th segment (separate, one after another) and type in the values from the front to the rear as follows:

  • 1 m
  • 0 m
  • -2.5 m
  • -3.5 m

Detaching the center part to make the cabin

To use the center segment for the cabin, we will detach it. Thus, we change to Polygone select mode and select the center segment polygones by drawing a box like shown below:

The german text reads: Draw box here

In the Edit Geometry menue, we click Detach...

..., give the name Kabine and leave the polygone select mode. (Because of the images, I leave the german part names. You might as well give it the appropriate english names. The names Main and Wheels1 to 3 must not be changed or msts will cause errors)

New polys for the cabin

we select the detached segment from which we will model the cabin. In the Display toolbox we click Hide Unselected. All parts except the cabin will be hidden.

With Zoom extents all we enlarge the views. In the Perspective viewport we can see, that the faces are only visible from the outside, the side, the normals are directed to.

Now we have to close the front and back face of the cabin. In Polygone select mode (don't forget to select the cabin object first) we use the Create command. We do this in the Perspective viewport.

As shown in the image, we click on the Create button first, then counterclockwise from vertex to vertex. At the last vertex we doubleclick to finish the operation.

The german text reads:

  • Erst hier klicken - click here first
  • Dann hier klicken - then click here
  • Dann hier doppelklicken - then doubleclick here


It is essential to create the polygone counterclockwise. Otherwise the normal would face to the other direction and the polygone would not be visible from the outside.

The just created plane

With the view control Arc Rotate we rotate the cabin into the other direction to make the backside visible...

The german text reads: rotate with this tool

...and create the backside of the cabin the same way we did with the front.

The roof

In the Front viewport we change to Vertex Selection mode and move the side vertices to the outside to 1 meter respectively -1 meter and the upper vertices to the height (Y-value)of 4.5 meter. Then in the Display tool we click Unhide All. The result should look like this:

We merge the body and the cabin with the Modify tool Attach List. In the dialog window we select Kabine and click the Attach button. Done.

We zoom in the Perspective viewport and change the viewing options for the viewport to Smooth and Highlights and Edged Faces which can be found by rightclicking on the Perspective viewport window name in the upper left corner of the viewport.

Then we rotate the loco that the roof is seen from above as shown and select the roofs polygones. Make shure not to select the sides of the cabin.

Tesselating the roof

To model the roof as desired, we have to split the polygones into a number of polygones. The function to do this is the Tesselate function which can be found in the Edit Geometry section. We type in the value of 1.0 in the field beneath the Tesselate button and click the button twice. The roof shoult now look like in the image below.

We leave all polygones of the roof selected!

A free form deformation

In the modify toolbox we select the Free Form Deformator FFD 4x4x4 from the modifier list. An orange control grid, the gizmo, appears.

In the quad menu (rightclick) we select the option Sub Objects - Control Points. Now we can manipulate the orange control points of the free form gizmo.

Therefore we select the control points in the middle of the roof. With the Ctrl and Alt keys control points can be added to or subtracted from the selection. These points are to be selected:

We move the control points up with the Select and Move tool. The roof and front and rear cabin walls will follow their movement...

...then we move the conrol points toward the outer edge of the cabin with the Non Uniform Scale tool as shown below.

In the quad menu we select Top Level in the Sub Object section. Then we collapse the modifiyng stack again and switch to Polygone selection mode and leave the roof polygones selected.

We detach the selected polygones and name them Dach (the german term for roof).

Stretching the roof

We leave the polygone selection mode and select the rew detached roof. In the vertex selection mode we select the roof's all vertices and stretch them with the Non Uniform Scale tool.

The faces of the roof are only visible from above due to the direction of their normals. To make the downfacing side, we have to copy the roof and flip its normals. To do so, we leave the vertex selection mode and with the Move tool activated, we rightclick on the roof.

Then we switch to Polygon selection mode (the new object Dach01 is selected automatically) and in the Normals section of Surface Properties we click the Flip button.

Now we can see the downfacing side of the roof. We leave the polygone selection mode and select the roof object Dach. Then we attach the object Dach01 with the roof. (attach list)

With the selected roof we change to the polygon select mode and with all polygons selected we choose the UVW Map option in the Modifier List. With Unwrap UVW and the editor, we map the roof.

Mapping the body

First, we map the front and rear of both body and cabin. We select the front of the cabin first, and then with the CTRL-key pressed, we select the front.

The upper german text reads: First select here while pressing the CTRL-key

The lower german text reads: Then select here

Now, we use UVW Map - Alignment Y and Fit and should get this result:

We map the planes with Unwrap UVW and the editor.

Then we close the editor and collapse the stack. This is the result:

In the polygone selection mode, we hide the already mapped polygones to prevent unwanted selection and remapping.

Now, we select all sidefacing planes and map them with the already known methodes.

In the UVW Map section, we select the alignment X and Fit...

...and in the editor, after clicking Unwrap UVW, we have to rotate the grid by 90 degrees.

We close the editor, rightclick Collaps All and here is the result.

Back in the polygone selection mode, we leave the sidefacing planes selected and hide them with theHide tool. Now it's time to get rid of the bottom polygones of the body. We can't see them, but MSTS has to calculate them. We select the bottom faces as shown and delete them with the Del key.

Now, we select the upper faces of the body and map them to a unused blue space as shown in the image.

After leaving the editor and collapsing the stack, we click Unhide All in the polygone selection mode and the body is done. Don't forget to save the work.

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to part 5