Aircraft Modelling Tips

Hi, ever since I started Blender I’ve been trying to model an aircraft of some sort, however I always run into the same problems. Getting the perfect shape in 3 dimensions is really hard for me, although I can usually get it looking right from one or two sides, but never all together.

At some point do I just need to try to eyeball it? I’d like it to be as accurate to the real life version as possible. Does anybody have any tips on how to model an aircraft off of blueprints like these? Is there a good order to start in regarding views? Thank you in advance!

1 Like

Hi Jack,

Yes, it’s tricky to get used to but keep trying. This tool or something like it might help also along with the author’s suggested workflow. It’s free for legacy versions or a buck for Blender 2.92.

Cheers and stay safe!

1 Like

Thanks for the advice, I’ll check that out!

Anyway, mostly the front left top view do not line up. You seems to have also right rear and bottom view so you are lucky. If you watch other artist, they eyeball in the first place and try to read the form and then lots of lots of lots of detailed photos to watch over subject over and over again until they even know what a simple screw is made for… Watch this thread Phantom F4 by @Mark06GT here on BA for example (overlook first thumbnail) and watch the progress so far (ther is even a background story about the mission tactis)…

1 Like

Also, check out this thread for extreme modeling tips…

Unless you are working from really good drawings, it will be difficult to line everything up. The best drawings include cross sections at various places throughout the model. Cross sections are a great help when working with complex shapes.

If you can’t find perfect drawings, I would suggest blocking out the big shapes first to make sure things line up. Refine the blocked out shapes a little at a time - making sure that the various parts continue to line up as best as possible.

Keep looking at how the various parts blend together from the X, Y and Z camera views. Also build a large collection of reference material and keep it open as you work.

The link provided to Witold’s SBD may be one of the most comprehensive threads on aircraft modeling. He goes into great detail on how to use photographs and drawings to make a very accurate model.

1 Like

So the drawing I have does have cross sections, would I simply place the correct cross sections at the correct places, connect them, and then fill in the gaps to get a basic shape?

If I’m lucky enough to have cross sections, I use them as the starting point for the model. Trace them as a series of points.

Try to make each cross section have the same number of line segments and don’t use any more points than you absolutely need. Having extra points usually makes for a lumpy model.

Once you’ve traced all the sections, move them into position along the model and loft faces between the line segments. This give you your basic shape. You will probably need to tweak things, but at least you have a good foundation for refinements.

1 Like

So in the end technical resconstruction (cars, planes, ships, buildings has a lot in common with artistic modelling (animals, characters, look-a-likes) because you have to have an eye for bad forms and/or a devotion for details :wink: .

1 Like