This is a video showing the final train group. Each section moves on the principle of groups. I tried working with a joint chain through the carriages using rigid binding but this appeared to affect the wheels and the axis on which they would turn depending on the translation applied. This works much more successfully where rotating one wheel on each section turns all the other wheels in that section, or in the case of the engine, animates the pistons which is rigged using an array of constraints.
Some more shots of the modeling in progress. Trying to make this look like it used to be plush but now its battered. Ajdin will be texturing this also so that should get it looking nice. Going to keep working on adding detail and get thoughts of group as I'm going also. Don't want to overload it with props either though as there need to be room to move around. Will probably add things like bottles which will roll around the carriage during the fight sequence and these can be picked up and thrown also.
Me and Sam got this sorted today. Some speedy texturing from Mr King got it looking very nice and then some basic grouping in order to rig it means we can animate this very subtly in the final scenes to add more character and secondary animation to some of the backgrounds, especially in the early scenes.
Went back to the train rig to find we were going to have some problems. Basically the rig went weird when you applied any kind of movement to the train so I've gone back and rescaled it down to make everything smaller. Then basically I've grouped the sections and added a joint chain with rigid binding so now we have this really simple way of twisting and turning the carriages which will be so important in the mines. Also means we could do more with curves in the desert scenes if we wanted to add more. Basically I now have to redo the rigging but it will make the rig much more intuitive and easy to use. And we can have much more fun with it animating!