• John Matthews

Phun With Phantoms

Hi everyone!

Another week passes and I've been able to complete a bit more work on the 3D model for RF-4C 67-438 for the East Mississippi Veterans Memorial Park art project. The preliminary work on the model has been finished. I "collapsed" the model after smoothing it and then did a lot of work cleaning up after the smoothing operation. Smoothing (adding a Turbosmooth modifier in 3DS Max) doubles polygons on the model, but it really does a number on it sometimes. Like a little kid, you have to go in and clean up after it a bit (ha!). If you're a bit curious, here's what this model looks like as a wire frame, without any texture:

So, what happened this week with 67-438? After collapsing and cleaning up the mesh I modeled the small air scoops near the nose of the plane, located underneath the cockpit. And then I made all the edge cuts needed to frame out the canopy. She really started to liven-up for me at this point once the canopy was framed.

I also modeled the two sensors at the tail of the plane.....

No "happy face vent" underneath the sensors yet though. This is still only half a model (the left half) with a symmetry modifier in place to give it the appearance of a whole plane. The benefit to making a 3D model this way is whatever I do on one side automatically happens on the other side. Then the model gets collapsed as a whole object. Once this has been collapsed and made whole I'll model that vent.

I'll also be able to model the small antennas and other asymmetric features on the plane once it's been collapsed. For now, I have work to do on the oblique cameras/sensors near the front of the plane. That should be... interesting.

I'll have to separate the canopy from the fuselage. I'll use a "shell" modifier on that to give it a bit of depth and structure. I'll be left with a big, canopy shaped hole in the fuselage when I do that. So, I'll create new polygons to close up the hole, then I'll extrude downward and create a rough cockpit for the Pilot and Weapon Systems Officer (WSO... AKA the "guy in back"). I guess that means I'll have to start working on ejection seats soon, too!

Guess that's about it for today. I hope you all have a great week and, as always, thanks for stopping by, checking out my work, and reading along.

Safe skies!


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