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About Varied / Hobbyist MasteroftheLemonsMale/United States Recent Activity
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Quite recently, a video (link here www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q36yaX… ) was released stating that a group of fans had acquired some of the actual Thomas production models and now intend to use them for fan projects.  Just to be clear, I have nothing against these people, and have great respect for them for undertaking something this big, whether they succeed or not.  These kinds of great risks are what gave us the Star Tugs Trust, the Television Series, and even the original Railway Series' publication.  But I have what I can only call skepticism about this concept, and I will explain my skepticism at length.
    My first concern is that the old models are being used for a new production.  It is my belief that the old models should be appreciated for their historical value, not used again in an attempt to relive the past exactly.  I say "exactly" because I do not look down upon reliving the past loosely.  Steam engine enthusiasts are reliving the past constantly.  That is what heritage railways are for, and I am very glad such havens for active steam exist.  But this is not an exact recreation of the past.  The engines are appreciated, not reused for their original purpose.  No good railway lover would dare force Stepney to shunt for hours on end under enormous strain, or press Scotsman's speeds with long goods or passenger trains around the clock.  These engines are not being used for the heavy jobs they once did, they are now only appreciated, and have lighter workloads.  This is how I feel it should be with all remaining models.  It is fine to display them, and even run them if possible, but it is not right to put them through the stresses of filming.  This leads into my next point.
    As fans, we have seen very little of this, but I have good reason to believe that, if filming is done regularly and the requirements of stories are met, the models will be damaged.  We have heard stories; Zip's model from TUGS was pulled off the workbench and had to be completely rebuilt.  During the filming of Thomas and the Magic Railroad, James was accidently backed into the bottomless smelting pit and shattered on the studio floor, having to be quickly rebuilt.  Many models, including those shipped for Thomas and the Magic Railroad and those disused in storage at Shepperton, were destroyed simply from improper packaging or storage.  As the fans have seen the models being run at the Hara Model Railway Museum in Japan, they have keenly pointed out the several small damages the models have suffered; mainly the loss of buffers and other small details.  After considering this for a while, I realized that what we are seeing is not reckless driving of models; it is normal wear.  The models have likely always had these problems; they just weren't in the public eye to be seen when they had them.  Buffers likely broke off all the time, and were fixed quickly by the crewmembers.  This is normal for television series models, they are fragile but easily mended by those who know how.
    These models are not in the same hands any more.  Furthermore, they are likely some of the last.  We will never have any more made by that crew.  These models are extremely historically significant, and should be treated as such.  If they are used for filming, imagine what may happen.  When damages inevitably happen, they will need to be fixed, and will no longer be in right-off-the-set condition.  The models are not suddenly more fragile because they are a few years older, that notion is ridiculous.  I mean that they should be treated with more care, because we, as fans, do not have the same authority to fix them that the crewmembers did.  These models are extraordinary because they are exactly what you see in the later episodes, and if they change from that state, they lose more and more of their historical value.
    I do like the idea of a Thomas model series reboot.  This group of people seems very enthusiastic about their endeavor, and seems to have good intentions, but using these models again feels wrong.  I would suggest building replicas of the models.  The team can do whatever they wish to the replicas, and the community won't be devastated if one drops to the floor.  On top of it seeming slightly disrespectful to the models' history to take them from the show to a fan production, it is also an unnecessary risk to put them back in the circumstances of filming.  I have no doubt that replicas could be made, with time, and if this project becomes successful enough, I truly hope that the team slowly makes the switch from these extremely valuable original models to their own, custom built replicas which do not require as much care.  I wish this team luck, and while I cannot condone the use of any TV series model from a show in a fan production, I would be unrealistic and unfair in saying that they could not attempt this, and only hope that the models are well cared for and, eventually, once again retire from the positions of props and regain the positions of historical artifacts.   
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Human Gordon by MasteroftheLemons
Human Gordon
Here is my interpretation of what Gordon the Big Engine would look like if he were human.  I know this concept has been done over and over again, but I really tried to take Gordon's face from the earlier seasons and change the proportions to make it fit on a human body.  Details like the streaks of grey in his hair reflect his "set" age, as none of the personalities of the engines seem to mature with age.  Gordon is 95 as of 2015, but personality wise I would place him in his mid-40s.
    I did a lot more shading here then with most of my work, as I really wanted to give it a portrait appearance not a cartoony one.  I also wanted to avoid any red, as it would look TOO much like Gordon's paint scheme, so I chose a moderate, Railway Series inspired color scheme of Dark Blue and Gold.  This may look entirely bizarre, but I wanted to try it and I think it worked well.  If it really resembles seasons 1-5 Gordon, then it will likely be a little strange seeing his face on a human!
    It took about six hours in total, I think I lost track of time!  I'll likely do more of these, it was really a fun drawing to do! 
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Don't worry everyone... by MasteroftheLemons
Don't worry everyone...
The funny thing is I found the bottom picture while searching "Shed 17".

This joke probably would have been more relevant in the model era... And I'm glad too, because if it was relevant now then CGI Percy would have to make this face exactly, and none of us want to see that.  We all thought these half-awake faces were horrific, right?  Especially Thomas and Percy's?

I'll probably get to actually submitting something soon, something drawn and not edited or based off of stock images.
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Rebooted CGI Gordon by MasteroftheLemons
Rebooted CGI Gordon
    This is an edited stock image of Gordon that shows him with a properly sized boiler.  Since the series began, Gordon and Henry's boilers have been severely disproportionate to the rest of their bodies, likely based on C. Reginald Dalby's early illustrations, and this design differs greatly from the engines' prototypes.  It is because of this sizing issue that I believe the Flying Scotsman can not be introduced into the Television Series with Gordon in his current shape, as, while we are used to Gordon's boiler being massive, Flying Scotsman's appearance would be as unavoidably jarring as many of the Trainz reskins representing him. 
    This version of Gordon introduces one change encompassing a major portion of the engine: the downsizing of the boiler, smokebox, and face.  This is closer to the Railway Series but maintains the colors and detailing of the TV series, also keeping Gordon's face the same size as the entire front of his smokebox as is traditional of the TV series.  I don't think this change would require alterations to merchandising lines, as except for Bachmann they size the boiler closer to the RWS.  If the team ever did decide to revamp the character designs, I'd hope this is the route they'd take.
    As a side note, after working on this for a few hours I find the real TV series look of Gordon at present to be very strange.  I wonder if this picture will have the same effect on others.  We are all used to and have at the heart of us Gordon's TV series design, but its inaccuracies are certainly worth discussing.
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MasteroftheLemons
MasteroftheLemons
Artist | Hobbyist | Varied
United States
I am an artist and model maker and a big fan of lemon cars like Pacers and Gremlins!
Interests
Quite recently, a video (link here www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q36yaX… ) was released stating that a group of fans had acquired some of the actual Thomas production models and now intend to use them for fan projects.  Just to be clear, I have nothing against these people, and have great respect for them for undertaking something this big, whether they succeed or not.  These kinds of great risks are what gave us the Star Tugs Trust, the Television Series, and even the original Railway Series' publication.  But I have what I can only call skepticism about this concept, and I will explain my skepticism at length.
    My first concern is that the old models are being used for a new production.  It is my belief that the old models should be appreciated for their historical value, not used again in an attempt to relive the past exactly.  I say "exactly" because I do not look down upon reliving the past loosely.  Steam engine enthusiasts are reliving the past constantly.  That is what heritage railways are for, and I am very glad such havens for active steam exist.  But this is not an exact recreation of the past.  The engines are appreciated, not reused for their original purpose.  No good railway lover would dare force Stepney to shunt for hours on end under enormous strain, or press Scotsman's speeds with long goods or passenger trains around the clock.  These engines are not being used for the heavy jobs they once did, they are now only appreciated, and have lighter workloads.  This is how I feel it should be with all remaining models.  It is fine to display them, and even run them if possible, but it is not right to put them through the stresses of filming.  This leads into my next point.
    As fans, we have seen very little of this, but I have good reason to believe that, if filming is done regularly and the requirements of stories are met, the models will be damaged.  We have heard stories; Zip's model from TUGS was pulled off the workbench and had to be completely rebuilt.  During the filming of Thomas and the Magic Railroad, James was accidently backed into the bottomless smelting pit and shattered on the studio floor, having to be quickly rebuilt.  Many models, including those shipped for Thomas and the Magic Railroad and those disused in storage at Shepperton, were destroyed simply from improper packaging or storage.  As the fans have seen the models being run at the Hara Model Railway Museum in Japan, they have keenly pointed out the several small damages the models have suffered; mainly the loss of buffers and other small details.  After considering this for a while, I realized that what we are seeing is not reckless driving of models; it is normal wear.  The models have likely always had these problems; they just weren't in the public eye to be seen when they had them.  Buffers likely broke off all the time, and were fixed quickly by the crewmembers.  This is normal for television series models, they are fragile but easily mended by those who know how.
    These models are not in the same hands any more.  Furthermore, they are likely some of the last.  We will never have any more made by that crew.  These models are extremely historically significant, and should be treated as such.  If they are used for filming, imagine what may happen.  When damages inevitably happen, they will need to be fixed, and will no longer be in right-off-the-set condition.  The models are not suddenly more fragile because they are a few years older, that notion is ridiculous.  I mean that they should be treated with more care, because we, as fans, do not have the same authority to fix them that the crewmembers did.  These models are extraordinary because they are exactly what you see in the later episodes, and if they change from that state, they lose more and more of their historical value.
    I do like the idea of a Thomas model series reboot.  This group of people seems very enthusiastic about their endeavor, and seems to have good intentions, but using these models again feels wrong.  I would suggest building replicas of the models.  The team can do whatever they wish to the replicas, and the community won't be devastated if one drops to the floor.  On top of it seeming slightly disrespectful to the models' history to take them from the show to a fan production, it is also an unnecessary risk to put them back in the circumstances of filming.  I have no doubt that replicas could be made, with time, and if this project becomes successful enough, I truly hope that the team slowly makes the switch from these extremely valuable original models to their own, custom built replicas which do not require as much care.  I wish this team luck, and while I cannot condone the use of any TV series model from a show in a fan production, I would be unrealistic and unfair in saying that they could not attempt this, and only hope that the models are well cared for and, eventually, once again retire from the positions of props and regain the positions of historical artifacts.   
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:icon100silvermarbles:
100SilverMarbles Featured By Owner 2 days ago
Hello Professor Z.
Reply
:iconmasterofthelemons:
MasteroftheLemons Featured By Owner 3 hours ago  Hobbyist General Artist
Afternoon, or whatever time you might be reading this.  A neutral greeting, regardless.
Reply
:iconspytowmater:
SpyTowMater Featured By Owner 6 days ago  Student General Artist
Hey Professor Z! Mater ere, I read  all yer comments on ere and saw some threatenin Finn I didn't get any further but I'm sure ya have threatened all us spies! I'm tellin Finn and everyone else at chrome what yer up to! Ha! I found out who
yer mastermind was ill find out more by readin all da comments on ere! I may be a rookie but I'm learnin fast!

(me: sorry if this is weird but I just saw some comments so decided to comment and start roleplaying as mater ^_^) 
Reply
:iconmasterofthelemons:
MasteroftheLemons Featured By Owner 3 days ago  Hobbyist General Artist
Ha!  You think I would be stupid enough to put crucial information in a public comments section?  I must say I'm not surprised, you've never been too bright... Falling for that "back up plan"...  Tell McMissile whatever you like, I invite you to mislead him with your ignorance!

(me: No problem, this kind of thing is fun!)
Reply
:iconspytowmater:
SpyTowMater Featured By Owner 3 days ago  Student General Artist
Back up plan? Oh yea the thing those two little lemon heads told me bout. Yea those two lemons Grem and Acer really had me fooled I never imagined you guys would do that to me! I was terrified but hey! I am smarter then I look professor! I found out who
your mastermind was after all! Unless there's another mastermind you'd like to tell me about? I'll find all y'all dadgum lemons and I do believe you'd put stuff on ere dats important to yer plans! ...*notices Grem and Acer approaching him but they seem badly injured* hey! Y'all lemons get away from me while I'm talkin ta da professor! *throws towline managing to hook Grem up and pulls my towline up until his front tires are barely touching the ground* anyway, as I was sayin I'm tellin Finn all of dis! 

Grem: *struggles to get loose still being badly hurt from the beating* oh yea real strong tow truck...pick on me when I can barely defend myself...wait you're talking to professor z? Man you made me look weak! *wheezing still recovering*

Acer: eh let Grem go would yah!?! He already had a hard life when he had to be a p...

Grem: *gives Acer a death glare* don't you dare say or write that where others can see it Acer! I'm still humiliated and have nightmares! 

Acer: sorry O_o'
Reply
:iconmasterofthelemons:
MasteroftheLemons Featured By Owner 3 days ago  Hobbyist General Artist
Ah, yes, that oh so incredible intelligence that allowed you to discover Axlerod as our leader.  How could I forget!  Make no mistake, tow truck, that 'victory' was nothing more than a result of Axlerod's failure to properly conceal himself!  What fool shows his engine for all the world to see, when he could simply stay out of view entirely?  I have no respect for that car now, he took unintelligent risks and cost me a great many of my men.  I know now that I should answer to no one, as I can only trust myself!  So, of course, I only tell you what I want you to know, and perhaps I will succeed in manipulating you and that insufferable C.H.R.O.M.E.!
     I should have known that Grem and Acer were not going to succeed, I sent them after you directly after our first exchange, but they seem to have been less than equal to the task.  I'll put Tyler and Petrov to work in the mean time, we'll retrieve Grem and Acer when we have the time.  Give them a while to think about their failure.  Oh, and his questionable past, I cannot help but laugh at his decisions...  To truly succeed, one must have no regrets, or their conscience becomes an unbearable annoyance!  Acer, you are permitted to say whatever you like, I encourage you to broaden your partner's horizons regarding what he hides from the world!
     I want you to deliver a message to McMissile, tow truck.  Tell him that my army and I are gathering and training, and of course I am creating ingenious plans and amassing funds.  Unless, of course, you're too stupid to remember this message.  I suggest you write it down, or can you write?  I wager you aren't even smart enough to tell me C.H.R.O.M.E. headquarters' location!
Reply
(1 Reply)
:iconjudge-claud-frollo:
Judge-Claud-Frollo Featured By Owner Jan 29, 2016  Hobbyist Artist
{I know this may seem inappropriate for the first impression, but...
Look up "lemon party" on google and see what you get. I need bleach for meh eyes now.}

*wonders what he is doing here*
"Hello...."
Reply
:iconmasterofthelemons:
MasteroftheLemons Featured By Owner 6 days ago  Hobbyist General Artist
The age old problem with having any one thing named after something so general: you're associated with quite a bit more than you want to be.  The internet can be really absurd, sometimes, there's no denying it!
Reply
:iconjudge-claud-frollo:
Judge-Claud-Frollo Featured By Owner 1 day ago  Hobbyist Artist
{i agree. THE INTERNET IS ABSURD! XD}
Reply
:iconelchupacabra51:
Elchupacabra51 Featured By Owner Oct 23, 2015  Hobbyist Digital Artist
I just sneaked into Finn's personal files and found out that he's highly allergic to shellfish. That information any helpful to you?trishna87-animated + smirk 
Reply
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