Sunday, 23 March 2014

CGI Henrietta

I'm a bit late with this, I apologise. But keeping a social life isn't as easy as it sounds and planning out a Trainz project (that will hopefully be done by my birthday) pretty much put everything else on the backburner. But now that I've found a few minutes, I'd like to talk about the new CGI promo of Henrietta that was revealed a few days ago.

Thanks to TTTE Wikia for the image
THANK GOD! I'm delighted that Henrietta has a face. It's always felt weird to me that a named piece of rolling stock didn't have a face. Annie and Clarabel did, so why not Henrietta? Yes, technically she did in the Railway Series, but that was in one illustration in Thomas and Victoria, which made it look out of place and odd. This one seems permanent from now on, and I'm glad about that.

Henrietta's Railway Series face. Thanks to TTTE Wikia for the image
There are, however, a couple of things that feel off about it. Firstly, it seems as though it's too big. In Thomas and Victoria, Clive Spong could easily fit a face on her door, yet Arc have had to completely redesign her front to facilitate the face. I suppose they thought it would've been too small if they did, but couldn't they have designed a new, better door and added the face into one of its frames?

Another little problem is that it DOES look a bit... masculine. I'm not saying they should give her make-up like Rosie and Daisy, but some eyelashes like Annie and Clarabel's wouldn't have gone amiss, surely? I know I'm going to get a bit of stick for that point as I criticised someone who said it looked too masculine, but having stepped back and taken a proper look at it, I can see where he's coming from now. All that said, it is just a promotional shot, so we could still see additions. Annie's didn't give her eyelashes either while Clarabel's doesn't even depict her as a brake coach. So there's still a chance!

One major disappointment for me is the colour of the face. Yes, I know the majority of TV series faces are grey, but Annie and Clarabel's are the same colour as their bodies (although the original plan would've given them the same grey faces as everyone else when the show went CGI) so why can't Henrietta have been given the same treatment? It's a shame too, as the grey against the brown makes it stick out more, meaning they'll have a big job explaining the magical appearance of it - that is, of course, if they even try explaining it.

Final Thoughts
Despite everything I've said, I'm glad Henrietta has face. It's something that's been LONG overdue; in my opinion, she should've had a face from her first appearance in Toby the Tram Engine. I'm glad that Andrew Brenner and his team have plans to bring Henrietta into the fold a bit more than just being Toby's silent, yet faithful, coach. I personally cannot wait to see what they have in store for her, and while the change looks a bit weird now, it'll probably be something that fans will get used to and embrace in time. If not, she's had 17 faceless series, just watch those if you're that bothered.


  1. She does look more male than female with that face. She really could do with some lipstick and eye lashes.

    1. Not all women wear make up, you know, and not all women should be forced to wear it either. It's a stereotype that needs cremating.

      Fair enough, she needs something about her to make her look feminine, but make up isn't the answer

    2. I think it's because most women are seen wearing it to attract men or to look pretty which they want to.

    3. Older women - like Henrietta - aren't that bothered.

    4. Oh yeah. Well yeah, perhaps they should just put eye lashes above her face and give her glasses to make her look much more like an old woman would.

    5. Not all old women wear glasses either, although that would be an interesting idea. More prominent eyelashes would be fine; they improved Annie and Clarabel's renders