We may all remember that time when we were
looking for or hoping to build a railroad of your choosing.
You would populate the rails with your personal choice of
boxcars, reefers and really cool engines with hot artwork.
Customizing your own Car collection is the equivalent of taking
a pre-built set of "Undecorated cars" and sending them to your
own paint shop to be prepared to run on your personal empire.
This section describes how to take those undecorated cars and
apply paint - MS Paint that is!!
Locating the Undecorated Car
The Undecorated Car collection is
available to holders of a TrackLayer Builder license and can be
found on your web chooser under Cartypes\Premium\Bruno
There is a collection of 20 different car
and engine types from the modern diesel era. Download the
collection to add it into your Local chooser.
Working with Undecorated Cars
All of the car sides and top images are in
Bitmap (BMP) format for image fidelity and simplicity.
There are two ways to work with this collection. First you
can decide to Paint all your cars outside of TrainPlayer and
save your new drawings in their own folder. The second
method involves accessing MS Paint inside of TrainPlayer and
doing your work there.
NOTE: We are recommending that
you first create a new folder inside your Trainplayer\Cartypes
folder into which you will place your finished paint work.
This is the "fail safe" approach and least likeliest to cause
Working with MS Paint
If you are comfortable with Windows
Explorer, locate your Car collections files. They will
likely be under either:
or for XP/XP Pro ----
Once you have found your
newly downloaded Undecorated car collection, do a right mouse
click on any image to bring up this menu:
As indicated, go to "Open with" and Select
Paint from the next menu.
When Paint opens the image, it is usually
tiny and needs to be magnified. Select "Custom"
and pick either 600% or 800%
MS Paint provides you with a variety of
Tools on the left hand side. We will not be going into any
great detail on any of these tools in this tutorial so you may
want to experiment with it yourself. We will be using
primarily the Pencil tool for individual pixel details, the Ink
Bottle to Fill large areas and the Line tool to draw crisp
For the passenger coach that we have
selected, we want to add some distinguished colours to suit our
main revenue train to distant parts of our rail domain.
First we give the roof of the car that
nice aluminum finish by selecting the Fill tool and the light
grey colour. Then we want to add a dark blue stripe at the
base of the car by using the narrowest of the Line tools
Then we follow that with light blue
finish over the rest of the car. To set off the windows,
we add back a white stripe above and below the windows.
This is what our finished car now looks like:
Before we move on to the car top, we
need to save our work.
Select "File - Save as" to bring up the
next menu. Give your new creation a name - in this case
GEXR coach. If you have not already created a new folder for
your work, you can select it from the next menu by clicking on
the New Folder icon
In this case, we had already created a new
folder named GEXR for our new cars. You can do this in
Windows Explorer by highlighting your Cartypes main folder and
selecting : File\New folder from the top left menu bar.
Next step is to locate the related car top
and Paint it too!!
Since we want the overall appearance to be
similar, we "Fill" the roof area with the Light Gray "aluminum"
color. We add the blue colour to the coach sides. And
finally we finish off the new look with a white stripe over the
As we did above, we now rename the coach
top to match the new name given to our coach <<GEXR coach_t>>
and save the coach top in BMP format and in the same folder
where we placed the car side image.
Use these same techniques to add whatever
other "custom" cars to your home railroad
Working with MS Paint
inside of TrainPlayer
Once you have downloaded the Undecorated
car collection from the web chooser, you can access it from your
Local chooser. On any track section on any open layout,
select Add a new Car\Other to bring up your Local chooser again.
Select and add any car from the Undecorated collection. Click
done. On that newly added car, do a right mouse click to
bring up the Properties submenu:
Now click on Collection to drill down to
the individual car level.
You can see that we have chosen the "pass
coach" image. Now we can select Paint from the
first row of buttons. And then Paint opens in its own window
Follow the steps under "Option 1" to
custom paint and save your new work.
Adding your New Car folder to
Once you have completed adding all the
cars and engines to your new collection, you need to add it into
TrainPlayer so that you can put them into revenue service.
If you created a new folder inside of your TrainPlayer\Cartypes
as we recommended at the beginning, then you should be able to
add your collection quickly and easily.
Open your Local Car chooser, with the
Cartypes highlighted, do a right mouse click and from the pop up
menu, select "Import from Folder"
Then Browse through your C: drive as
Click "documents and Settings, then click
on Administrator. Next click on Application Data, then locate
TrainPlayer\Cartypes and click on them. Finally you should come
to your new folder listed under car types. Double click and it
will be loaded into TrainPlayer.
Each car top is identified in your files
with the " _t " designation. In the case of our newly
created car, the car side was renamed: "GEXR coach.bmp" and the
corresponding car top is called "GEXR coach_t.bmp". So long as
you carefully follow that rule, you should not have any issues
with adding new cars. If you do experience difficulties,
then drop us a line.