Dear Mr. Diehl (BeeKay): You have a passion as creator of magnificent German Steam locomotives, but when did your passion starts to appear?
“Oh, my passion for steam engines dates back to my childhood. I am born in 1950 and at that time the German tracks were crowded with steam engines. I remember very well a BR03 with a heavy express train when the wheels slipped while starting in a station of my home town. I will never forget this noise and sound. That’s why I constructed the BR03 as my first steam engine for Railworks / Train Simulator.”
What is your present occupation and is there any link between your proffession and your passion?
“No there was never a link between my passion for steam engines and my proffesional life as Naval Officer. I was often asked: When you are in the Navy, why do you build trains and not ships? My answer was always: when I were an official of the Deutsche Bundesbahn, I would build ships and not trains…”
Since when did you start to create 3D-objetcs like steam locomotives (including the MSTS era)?
“I started with MSTS in 2001 and being professionally involved in computers and programming, I quickly learned how to build trains for the MSTS, using 3DCanvas. After a while I bought TRAINZ and have constructed engines using the famous Gmax. A pause followed with inactivity until one day I bought Railworks and got caught again. Better surroundings and views etc.
Quickly I learned the Basics of lua scripting and the huge possibilities the new simulator offered to the user concerning interactivity. In the beginning I was using Blender to build the engines and other assets, however importing everything into 3DCanvas for the export torwards the simulator. At that time there was no real exporter for Blender available. Nowadays I construct everything in Blender and export it directly to the simulator.”
Are you a member and/or co-worker of any heritage railway, railway museum, steam locomotive socierty or miniature railway (live steam, 7,25 inch, 5 inch) that gives you the insight in the working of the steam locomotive?
“No, I learned everything from publications and videos. I have a huge library with thousands of magazines, videos and hundreds of books. Drawings for nearly every engine on rails are in this library. Not only for Germany, also for engines worldwide.”
You create magnificent steamers. How long does it take before some engine has been created to a fully working model?
“Normally it takes me six month now to produce a new model and I am striving always to add some interesting interactive assets with the engines.”
What kind of 3D design program do you use to create your engines?
“Normally I use exclusively Blender to create my engines.”
What is the best steam locomotive experiance you ever had?
“As I mentioned already in question it was the slipping wheels of the BR03 in early 1960.”
What is the best MSTS expericane you ever had?
“When I created the BR50 with photorealistic textures for MSTS, I was quite happy.”
What is the best TS20xx experiance you ever had?
“Using my interactive assets like coal cranes, water towers, water cranes, opening doors and much more.”
Have you any other family, friends or relatives that is either passionated about steam locomotives?
Is TS20xx a game or a real simulatoin in your opinion?
“It is simply a lot of fun on vitual rails. But I do fancy the tiny routes full of atmosphere and switching, not the long range runs at high speed.”
Are you working with (retired) train drivers or the German Federal Railway Company in order to complete the 3D-Models you create?
“Yes, and I am member of the ‘Deutsche Gesellschaft für Eisenbahngeschichte’ (DGEG) and its museum in Bochum Dahlhausen.”
Do you use any other source of information such as the books of the “Eisenbahnlehrbucherei” (Railway University) in order to create your models?
“My answer was already given in a few questions before. I own myself a full blown library of books, videos and magazines and drawings.”
Have you ever drove a steam locomotive?
“Yes, but only Narrow gauge.”
Do you have any new project in mind since the release of your last model?
“Hundreds. But I need to be motivated. And motivation is sometimes missing these days.”
What can you tell to inspire fellow train simmers to drive mainly with steam locomotives?
“You will never get these young people only knowing their home tracks and Granmas house left hand side of these tracks to switch to steam locomotives.
They want modern high speed trains of what they see in their home station. But if they are interested in visiting an real museum like Bochum-Dahlhausen and see these old Dinosaurs of steam engines at life, then they may possibly change their attitude concerning steam engines in the simulator. But I don’t have a lot of hope at least for German routes of era III and even before in the simulator.