• Ivan's Avatar
    Today, 14:40
    Hello Aleatorylamp, Regarding Texturing: It sounds like you are using one texture file per Piece of your aeroplanes. That is not necessary. Multiple pieces can share the same texture. Just adjust the scale to be able to represent the level of detail you want in your model. Regarding Landing Gear: I would suggest you get and load a copy of Jerry Beckwith's VERY USEFUL test gauges. I set this up as a "TestPanel" aeroplane and just alias to it when I am flight testing. I don't do much with FS98 AIR files so I am assuming they work about the same as CFS:
    918 replies | 57873 view(s)
  • Ivan's Avatar
    Today, 14:19
    Hello Aleatorylamp, The prior post shows the current state. Yeah, we are VERY tight at this point, but I knew that was happening when the Parts count broke 1000. I very seldom leave an exterior strcture untextured unless it is a gun tube or fairing. I also don't generally leave anything set as the Group Colour which means I can change the Group Colour without affecting anything else such as when I added the Supercharger Intakes. I do wonder what would happen if there are multiple untextured structures that all need to be different colours and all live in the same Group. Regarding the need to texture the side of a Structure to give it a black opening, I have found that only two or three rows of black (very dark Gray because we NEVER use BLACK) pixels is sufficient. One row is...
    52 replies | 1093 view(s)
  • Ivan's Avatar
    Today, 14:01
    I started on the Main Landing Gear and found a fairly elegant way to build the Gear Doors which unfortunately is a bit more resource intensive than what I had originally planned. I also realised that there are still so many pieces left to do that it is highly impossible to add all the remaining pieces with the remaining Parts. With 30 Components used, there is no way to save a few Parts by replacing a Structure with a Component. Also, there are no more Structures that can be built much more economically with a Component. Up to this point, all changes to the model to use fewer Parts has not degraded the appearance of the model except for removing the Wing Fillets. Within the limitations of Aircraft Factory 99, there are always some compromises that are needed build an aeroplane...
    52 replies | 1093 view(s)
  • Ivan's Avatar
    Yesterday, 14:37
    The Germans sure had some original names for their aeroplanes: Big Aeroplane and Giant Aeroplane I have never had much luck in getting Structures to match vertices with regular AF99 Parts. Sometimes they do, sometimes they don't and when they don't, there really isn't a solution that I know of. My complaint isn't that there are Structures in AF99; it is more that Components are so much more useful in general and that I personally find Component limits to be more challenging. I don't think I have ever come close to running out of Structures, but obviously you have. Here are a few screenshots of a case for which a single Structure easily took the place of roughly 3 Components. It cost more Parts, but the total project stayed well under the 100% Limit while most projects are...
    918 replies | 57873 view(s)
  • Ivan's Avatar
    Yesterday, 12:53
    They are two tear drop shaped curved scoops under the trailing edge of each outer wing. These are the Intake Fairings for the superchargers on the Lightning. Most models of the P-38 had two sets of superchargers: The most obvious was the round / spiral shaped burned metal object on top of each Boom which was the Turbo Supercharger. It was powered by engine exhaust which was piped from the outside of each cylinder head to a collector / plenum on top of the Boom just behind each engine. The plenum fed the Turbo. This is also a recognition feature between Early and Late production versions of the Lightning. The British contract Lightning Mk.I aircraft simply had no Turbocharger at all and were poor performers at medium to high altitudes. The early model Lightnings had a...
    52 replies | 1093 view(s)
  • Ivan's Avatar
    Yesterday, 11:58
    Hello Allen, Well done on the P-38J. Looks pretty good! With the J model, there were so many changes during the production run that the basic model can be set up with many different options. - Ivan.
    16 replies | 537 view(s)
  • Ivan's Avatar
    December 20th, 2014, 18:03
    Thanks for all the good information, Aleatorylamp. You are describing a few techniques I have simply never tried before. Perhaps I should go experiment a bit more with Structures. My choice has been generally not to go there because I believe I have more control and precision with Components. I don't use them much for many of the reasons you mentioned and have honestly never tried the Top Half Only or Bottom Half Only techniques. I use them a lot as references for a nice smooth curve as I did for the general Nacelle shape on the Lightning and Macchi fighters. I have 9 of them currently in the P-38J Lightning and am about to cash in 3 of them for Components to add two more Structures. I am also debating on using Alpha Transparency on the Canopy as you suggested. Normally the...
    918 replies | 57873 view(s)
  • Ivan's Avatar
    December 20th, 2014, 09:46
    I decided that the bleeds that were being covered by the Wing Fillets had too many other side effects and expended too many resources that could be used elsewhere and so they were removed. The biggest problem with the Wing Fillets was that they made it very difficult to build the inboard Flap sections without bleeds. The Cowl Intakes and Nose Gear Door were also added. The Nose Gear Door on the Lightning is asymmetrical probably because there needs to be clearance for a fork on the Port side but not on the Starboard side. The longitudinal location of the Nose Gear Door is about 2-4 inches further aft according to sketches, but i moved them a bit to line up better with the lines in the model and also to give better clearance for the strut. Accuracy can't be very good here...
    52 replies | 1093 view(s)
  • Ivan's Avatar
    December 20th, 2014, 09:16
    Thanks Aleatorylamp, Glad someone is getting something from this thread. I am getting the impression there is a much bigger audience than I had first expected. I had figured it would be the same crowd that hangs out at the "Conspicuous by Their Absence" thread. As you can see, this is proving to be a bit more challenging than most projects. - Ivan.
    52 replies | 1093 view(s)
  • Ivan's Avatar
    December 19th, 2014, 09:42
    Hello Aleatorylamp, I had a look at your Curtiss Twin JN and was quite pleasantly amazed. YOUR model certainly pushes the limits of AF99 much more than any of mine ever have. You also included the AFX, so I poked around at that as well which is how I confirmed that indeed you have pushed the limits. 30 Components - No surprise, Any worthwhile model will be pretty close here. 30 Structure - Hmmm. I have never even come close, but I believe I understand where you used them. 1170 Parts which is pretty far up there. Out of curiosity, why did you make the crew only an optional display?
    918 replies | 57873 view(s)
  • Ivan's Avatar
    December 18th, 2014, 08:25
    Bleeds betwen the Inboard / Outboard Wing sections and the Cowl Component were fairly simple though tedious to solve. The basic idea was to extend each Wing Part until it slightly overlapped the Cowl. (The Inner Wing Bleeds were actually changed a while back at the time the Wing Root Fillet Components were added.) In the case of the Outer Wing, a slight change was made to the adjacent Cowl and Boom Parts. (The Vertex was moved 0.20 Feet Up to line up with the extended Wing panel.) I knew this change would be necessary at some point which is why I tried to create Left and Right side Cowl and Boom Components as "Opposite". I was a bit surprised at how small the actual change was and how hard it is to see if you are not looking for it. The end result cost no additional resources...
    52 replies | 1093 view(s)
  • Ivan's Avatar
    December 18th, 2014, 08:16
    The P-38 Lightning was equipped with Fowler Flaps which greatly increased the Wing Area and could be used as "Combat Flaps" when partially extended. When fully extended, they appear to just clear the trailing edge of the Wing with a noticeable gap between the Flaps and Wing. Full Extension is 45 degrees. Total Area is 42.60 Ft^2. The Inboard section on each side starts at Wing Station 8 and extends to Wing Station 77. The Outboard section on each side starts at Wing Station 118-3/4 and extends to Wing Station 180. The Outboard Flap sections have a chord of 23.5 inches. From doing some quick math, the Inboard sections also appear to have a 23.5 inch chord.
    52 replies | 1093 view(s)
  • Ivan's Avatar
    December 16th, 2014, 18:04
    A Wing Fillet was added to each side to cure the Nacelle bleeds through the Inner Wings. The effect would have been the same but with 20 fewer Parts and 2 fewer Components if the Fuselage to Wing Template had worked. Adding the Wing Fillet also added yet another bleed. It will cause a bit more difficulty when adding Flaps because the inner Flap sections begin at Wing Station 8 which is in the Fillet area and in a different Group than the rest of the inboard Flaps. The one good result is that there is now a slight fairing between the Nacelle and Inner Wing at the front. To cure the new bleed and address the other severe bleed from a rear view, The main section of the Horizontal Stabilizer was changed from Left-Right sections to Left-Center-Right sections. There is quite a lot...
    52 replies | 1093 view(s)
  • Ivan's Avatar
    December 16th, 2014, 17:46
    Hello Allen, Bleeds are pretty much everywhere with add-ons for Combat Flight Simulator. I think everything has bleeds to one degree or another. This project will have a few, but hopefully they will not be bad enough to be seriously distracting. A lot of it is because Aircraft Factory 99 is the most common tool. I figure a nicely shaped aeroplane is a matter of artistry. A bleed free aeroplane is more a matter figuring out how to use the tools to eliminate bleeds. When trying to rework an existing project, I prefer well shaped. As you can see by THIS project, the bleed issue can be reduced just by rearranging things a bit. I also cheated a bit a couple months ago: A while back, my friend Smilo was commenting that there wasn't a nicely shaped P-38 available that didn't...
    52 replies | 1093 view(s)
  • Ivan's Avatar
    December 15th, 2014, 10:28
    Hello No Dice, I just visited your site again and am still amazed at the great quality of downloads you have for Combat Flight Simulator. (Your collection is probably just as good for the other simulators, but I don't generally download for them.) Thanks for keeping many of the rare beauties alive. - Ivan.
    10 replies | 1105 view(s)
  • Ivan's Avatar
    December 15th, 2014, 09:43
    Combining the new Cowl into the project frees up two Components (which we are always short of) though it doesn't significantly change the parts count. (It actually removes two Glue Parts that are no longer necessary.) The major AF99 Rebuild is rearranging all of the Tail pieces from the "Tail" group to the "Tail, Left" and "Tail, Right" groups. This makes them line up with the Inner Wing group without bleeds. The bleed of the Radiator in a centrail Tail group through the Cowl in the Inner Wing or Boom section in either group looked to be very difficult to fix because so many pieces come together at that area. An unfortunate result is that there is now a bleed of the Nacelle in the Body, Main group through the now missing central Tail group. The fix here is rather easy but will...
    52 replies | 1093 view(s)
  • Ivan's Avatar
    December 15th, 2014, 09:26
    Here was the attempt to connect the new Boom section to the existing Cowl Component. I had been reluctant to do this because it would make the Cowl Component very long and harder to texture well. Only one texture file (256 pixels wide) must be used to cover 16.52 feet (more likely oto be 16.64 feet) on the model which makes each pixel cover a 0.78 inch square. Such big pixels make it difficult to put in good detail on a paint scheme. The Lightning is a very large aeroplane and this is one of the consequences of building a large aeroplane in Combat Flight Simulator. This single Component now contails 88 Parts. I had been reluctant to add the new Boom pieces to the Cowl Component because I know that although it will not necessarily cause a bleed in the Component, it will make the...
    52 replies | 1093 view(s)
  • Ivan's Avatar
    December 14th, 2014, 19:27
    Hello Aleatorylamp, I am truly amazed. Perhaps my knowledge of aircraft is fairly narrow, but I am finding that the the majority of your aircraft models (otherthan modern jets) are ones that I either know very little about or have never even heard of. I am sitting here building the P-38 Lightning which 50 or 60 people have done before me and you haen't hit too many that are common. How do you pick your subjects? The are certainly different. Regarding Air Brakes, and moving parts: I still choose fewer bleeds over moving parts. To me, getting the shape right is the most important part. It is an understanding of how that aeroplane is unique. I also don't even try for modern warplanes because the performance data is often classified and the weapons systems are impossible to...
    918 replies | 57873 view(s)
  • Ivan's Avatar
    December 14th, 2014, 15:25
    The remaining sections of the two Booms were added. Parts Count is up to 1073 of 1200 allowed. Components Count is 27 of 30 allowed. This is getting too close to the limit because there are many pieces that still have not been created. There are still no Landing Gear Struts or Doors. The Flaps still need to be added. I still want to add Supercharger Intakes. The front of the Cockpit is still missing.
    52 replies | 1093 view(s)
  • Ivan's Avatar
    December 14th, 2014, 14:21
    Looks like a pretty good solution tp me. M$ also mirrored the textures on CFS2? That is pretty silly. I should start up my copy of CFS2 to see what the rest of the stock Lightning looks like. I have been a bit hesitant because I only have a 15 inch monitor on that machine right now. A monitor failed on another machine and mine had to give up its monitor. CFS2 at least has directional propeller rotation which is needed on the Lightning but generally not represented on CFS1 versions. THAT was a fun exercise with this project. - Ivan.
    52 replies | 1093 view(s)
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