Friday, 22 March 2013

CGI Duck

As we all now know, a Japanese museum has dispolayed a CGI promotional image of Duck the Great Western Engine.  Here are my thoughts!

First off, I mst give huge kudos to Greg Tiernan and the crew at Nitrogen Studios.  Their last contribution to Thomas and Friends turned out to be their most popular, and he's been captured amazingly well, compared to the model.

One little surprise that I welcome is the addition of the brake pipe.  The original model never had one for some reason, and that little thing makes him look more realistic, as do the additional rivets on the front buffer beam.  It really makes me excited to see him in an episode.

I also like that they've seemingly added a permanent lamp to him, like Thomas and Percy currently have and Millie will have.  I also like that it's a Sudrian lamp, not one of those stupid lamps that they attempted to put on James in Series 14.  The only slight disappointment is that it's on his sandbox rather than the running plate.  However, since the front of the running plate looks cramped, especially with the lamp on, I'm not really surprised that they've put it there, either.

The lack of the prominent cheekbones is a disappointment, but I will say that it looks a lot more like the model series face than other characters' (Diesel, Diesel 10 and Emily spring to mind).

Other fans have also noted that the running plate is now black.  I must state that this is a PROMOTIONAL picture, and not exactly how he'll be seen in the series.  Many engines look very clean in THEIR promo images, yet in the series itself they are weathered (well, those that were in the model series are).  Second, I don't think it's that bad.  Sure, in the TV Series, the majority of running plates were painted grey, but in realiy, this isn't the case, so I think it adds more realism to him.

Finally, I'm not sure whether it's the lighting in the room where the photo was taken or because it's just natural, but that green looks outstanding!  It seems more "Great Western" than it used to be (it's not proper GWR, but it's darker than it was).  As I say, this could just be the room's lighting giving off that sense.  But it looks wonderful anyway.

Final Thoughts
I love it, to be honest.  It looks realistic and it's just great to see the fans' voices have been heard and our favourite engines are on the brink of returning.  HOWEVER, I don't want him to be rushed back just because he's been rendered in CGI.  Duck is an excellent character, and should ONLY be used if the episode is right.  Duck's built up a great legacy as a character, and I would hate for that to be flushed down the toilet, like the legacies of the Steam Team members and Diesel.


  1. I think that Duck was actually built by Arc, not Nitrogen. Just my thoughts, if there was any proof that it was built by Nitrogen feel free to prove me wrong.

  2. Personally, it just feels like theirs, although no one really knows. It would make sense if Nitrogen made him though as his model's at Nitrogen's workshop

    1. But it costs a bit of cash to make a CGI model....and they would certainly have used it (like Stanley)...

    2. That's true. And the addition of the lamp seems like Arc's doing as well

  3. It's a delight that Andrew Brenner is bringing back such great classic characters such as Duck, Bill, Ben, Jack, Harvey, Oliver, Toad, Donald and Douglas, he surely does know what good characters they are and understands why we mature fans like/love them.

    1. Except Jack was only used in King of the Railway. And Trevor, who has a CGI render, hasn't appeared at all.

      I'm not saying Andrew Brenner isn't great (he is), but he isn't perfect either