I started repainting years ago being drawn by the prospect to be able to paint things on trains and wagons and see that in the game. A lot of trial and error eventually led to a picture of my girlfriend on the side of an Re460. That in it’s own was very rewarding but sort of useless..
Being a fan of Swiss railways and the improving quality of railsim games (TS2012/Railworks 3) triggered my creativity and the first ‘copy the real thing’ repaint project was born: the Tilsiter Re 460. I started with Simtrain’s version and soon found out that repainting an actual real-life engine is not easy.. The way JAW created the Re460 caused a lot of problems. Mirroring (re-using) textures and large deformations where 50% of the sides is textured with a tiny bit of ‘red’ that is stretched along the locoside and the side fillets made painting any texts or logo’s nearly impossible…
Don’t get me wrong, there is nothing wrong with JAW’s Re460, it is just not suitable for repainting. So that led me to another Re460 (NewS). That one already had some repaints and was much more straightforward. So there I started with a (low-res) picture of the Tilsiter loco and a LOT of stretching/coloring/copy-pasting etc. making my first official repaint. I soon found out that a good knowledge of Photoshop helps a lot and after an hour or so big steps were made. After 2 hours I was thrilled to see the result, although the textures were a bit unsharp due to the bad original pics.. But.., I started to notice little things that were incorrect or not aligned properly and the big tweaking of textures began.. That 2nd stage of the work actually took way longer than the first. Another 4 hours of work was needed to get to a final release-worthy state.
So what now? I thought.. I want to share this with the TS community.. How? Getting on the Internet soon learned that rail-sim.de was a large community with mainly German and some Swiss and other members. The Swiss forum just didn’t seem that good. So I joined up and decided to share the repaint there. Next challenge was to make an installer and manual. NewS’s Re460 was freeware so no issues with sharing files. I asked the creator if he was OK with me sharing and he was. So I actually just rwp’d the whole engine folder and put it up on my website zipped with a small manual. Uploading the post advertising my work was really exciting, what will people say? Will the install work? Howmany will download this? All very nerve wrecking stuff!
The Tilsiter repaint was received well and it being my first repaint created some reactions and tips on the forum. The repaint has been downloaded over 700 times in the first year. With all this the need for updating my website, getting better software and giving support also started to created quite some work. After this I made some other repaints that were all for NewS’s Re460 (Thales, Alptransit and Post) improved my skills and lead me into the next step: recreation of colors texts and logo’s as opposed to just pasting on pictures. The results looked much nicer because of higher resolutions (up to the actual texture resolution which became the next bottleneck) and the Zugkraft Aargau repaint was my first (Marklin werbelok the 2nd) so called hybrid which combined some pictures and Photoshop recreation.
My second repaint lok was for HRQ’s Taurus. It was a fantasy repaint based on the BLS Cargo paint scheme. This one is totally created in Photoshop. Just some logo’s were downloaded and re-sized. With this repaint I also made my first weathered version. Deciding to release this one with both clean and weathered textures became a success and is now normal on most of my repaints. I did not expect this repaint to be very successful because it is a fictional loco but it ended up hitting 1500 downloads (and counting). A nice feature is the possibility to swap the bogie textures (from the original HRQ engine) for weathered ones using a batch file I provided.
I really love how the BLS Cargo 485’s are looking and going to RSitalia’s BR185 was a big step. I needed to puzzle out where all parts were located and had to deal with several different textures and alpha channels I was finding out about decals and see-through parts. The need for better installers arose because I didn’t want to infringe any copyrights and just wanted to share the textures. Getting the installer batch-file to work without errors is a big challenge and the manual therefore also needed to be a bit better. The step to put it on my website and posting it on the forum was even more nerve wrecking than before.. The BLS repaints, that eventually all were released as a pack were probably my first real success. Downloads reached about 2500 in the first year.
Looking at my latest releases you will hopefully see that the quality has become much better and installers are much more refined. I went from my forum name ‘Ouwetrekveer2013’ to PMdesign and now finally CreativeworX. The nr. 1 most downloaded repaint is my AM843 pack that I made for Christrains’s NS6400. Runner up is my Alex repaint pack which I think is one of the best I’ve done although I also think my HKX repaint pack looks cool. I get a lot of requests and I try to do as much of them as I can. It is however still a lot of work, especially when it is a new engine that I have not made any repaints for. Priority goes to payed projects (I need those to reclaim some of my costs) and repaints I like personally. Fictional repaints are not my ‘cup of tea’ although sometimes the exception validates the rule ;-).