Best way to model a vehicle of some sort?


I was wondering what would be the best practice when modelling a more complex item with exterior and interior parts. For instance a cargo plane with many parts such as wings, tail, landing gear, bays and doors and cockpit. Do people model this all in one go? I’ve made a futuristic plane and tried to model as much in one scene as possible, I’ve given up on it for now as although I can make the landing gear move via pistons, they stay put when the rest of the plane takes off haha.

I was toying with modelling the cockpit and bays too, but found it difficult because of camera angles, I can only go INTO the plane in perspective mode, it was so awkward that I couldn’t imagine professional modellers do it this way.

Anyway, cheers for any advice.


try using layers to separate various pieces, insides and outsides, etc.

Besides layers:

  1. Using wireframe display especially when in one of the orthographic views can help.
  2. Using the quad view or creating your own quad 3d view layout helps.
  3. You can use ‘H’ to hide faces/verts/edges while in edit mode, use Alt+H to get them back.
  4. You can also use the numpad ‘/’ key to quickly frame the selected object and toggle hiding and unhiding everything else in the scene.
  5. The layer manager addon is very useful too (User preferences->addons select Testing and 3d view and enable layer manager) you’ll find it in the 3d view properties panel ‘N’

I’ll leave it to you to find some of other hotkeys coz I use my own custom setup (also you can use the search box ‘spacebar’ to help find them)

Great, thanks for the tips!