Lockheed P-38 Lightning

Hi! Total n00b and new here :eek:

I’m using this P-38 as a sandbox to learn modeling, and later texturing and lighting.

Done entirely with quads, extruding and tweaking individual edges. It looks kind of wobbly at places, but it was intentional - I don’t want it to look all slick and perfect, but rather kind of hand-hammered and battle-weary.

Still struggling with some parts, like the side exhausts. It’s kind of working but I want to remake it with a better topology. Also forgot to make the inner exhaust, and the smaller ones on the front.

The hardest part so far is naming the objects since I don’t know their correct names. What’s the name of that little thingamajig on top of the rear tail? I’ve no idea.

Anyway, be honest :no:

Looks pretty fine, but the window is wierd. My suggestion. Use subdivision surface modifier and Mirror modifier just on the window and do the window againand use 1,7,3 to navigate better. It sounds bad when someone says - do it again, but my experience is that more times you do that, the better it will be. :slight_smile:

Thanks cergina! The window was very hard to make because the reference was kind of weird. I’ll remake it later, try to make the windows smoother (curved glass). It would probably look better as it is if I had the separate materials, but I’ll do it again anyway to try different approaches to modeling. Who knows, maybe I’ll try some nurbs or at least some bezier curves to get the glass part just right, and then build the aluminium rig around it?

Right now I’m working on retopo, fixing the landing gear doors and remaking the exhaust pipes. Also found an amazing image for reference, so now instead of copying stuff from a background image I can actually understand what is it that I’m modeling!

I agree with cergina, the more times you go over it the better. Overall it seems you have a good base mesh to start with.

As for naming the objects. Don’t worry too much on that. Give them a name that will help you identify it, I’m modeling an autogyro right now and have no clue what most of the parts are called. What I’m doing is giving them a hierarchical name that tells me what group/ parent it is. so for the rotor pieces what may look to be a random pipe has the name “Cavalon Rotor piece - pipe 1,2,3etc”. You could also put something in front such as p-38 or lockheed prior to the part so that if you are importing it into a scene, all the objects are together and you don’t have to search through the file for them.

Anyways I’m looking forward to seeing how this project goes.

Added a couple of details, based on several different pictures rather than a blueprint:

The wheels are OK, just need a couple of adjustments. Eventually I’ll turn them into animated systems controlled by a slider (blend shapes?) so one could animate the wheels coming in and out.

Next step: fixing up the cockpit. Since I found good reference, I might even add a few details on the inside (seat, controls, etc) and leave the glass transparent for added fun factor. Maybe even a very low poly pilot? :slight_smile:

It’s called a mass balance. It’s a counterweight to offset the weight of the elevator.

Nice job on the model, although the area around the supercharger looks a bit odd. Here’s a cutaway view with all the parts labeled.

Steve S

Thanks Steve! I’ve found that schematics a couple of hours ago, and even printed it for reference :slight_smile: Now I can rename all of the parts properly, like the mass balance, the “car hinged bonnet”, the ailerons and whatnot!

After finding this and other pictures of the supercharger area, I decided to remake that whole area with more detail. This is one of the main features of the P-38 so I guess it deserves the detail.

This drawing is really amazing and only shows how much we depend on hand-drawn and 2D illustrations.

3am so I guess this is the last pic for a while :slight_smile:

I tried to go to bed around 1am but I kept thinking of that turbocharger system, so I gave it a try and then linked it into the airplane:

I had to fix the size and location of the cockpit, so there are a few dents on the plane’s butt, and the aluminum rig around the cockpit needs more smoothing work, but I think it’s much better than before. Maybe tomorrow I can finish these details so we can start playing with the textures…

Thank you all for the nice words.

For a total noob you have created quite a credible likeness . As you say - the cockpit frame (Alluminium rig?) needs a bit of work to sharpen the edges and lose the plasticine look but you are on the right lines and doing well.

Thanks! I’m going to remake the rig based on new photo reference. I’ll keep the fixed parts on the front and the back and create a separate object for the middle section so it can move to open and close.

Right now I’m working on a lot of retopo - the damn tail was all wrong :frowning:

I decided to recreate the exhaust pieces as separate objects and then I’ll just position them over the mesh, this will save me a lot of troubles later (I hope)

Soon I’ll begin working on the UV maps. How about this for nose art? :smiley:

What is your planned level of detail for this model?

[SUP]On the first glance everybody will tell you that this is the P-38. However, when an aviation buff examines it closer, he can see that this is rather rough approximation of the real thing… The curves of the real airplane were - well, clear and more elegant . It is not only the matter of the cockpit (you cockpit has too angular cross section). You do not need any special NURBs or Bezier curves to recreate aircraft shapes - Subdivison Surface and some experience is enough :). [/SUP]

[SUB]It is nothing wrong if you decide that your first model will not be too “fine”. The most important thing is to know what is wrong and do it better in your next models. However, I newer saw on the historical photo a “hand-hammered” part (as you wrote in post #1). Even the war-weary airplanes kept their shape. (They had just much more scratches and dirt than the aircraft received from the factory).[/SUB]

Hi Jaworski, thank you for your interest! I’m not sure about the level of detail, but since I found so many cool pictures, I might add quite a few of them. I’m not going for realism though - I’m approaching this as a digital Revell kit. I’ll use UV maps to add the decals, but right now I’m playing around with procedural maps, global illumination and stuff like that.

As you can see, I’ve rebuilt the entire cockpit from scratch, and now it looks less dreadful :slight_smile: I even separated the parts so the cockpit can open and we can see the pilot inside. Maybe later I’ll add the chair, the controls and the panel.

Right now I need to stop fooling around and getting my hands on that damn exhaust system on both sides of each tail. I decided to make them as separate objects so I can add more details to the mesh without depending on the topology of the tail.



Oh, so the model looks very well - especially on this wooden “plate”. Did you encounter troubles with too dark cockpit space inside this glass material? (It is often encountered at the beginning). Caustics does not work in Cycles fro some light types: for example the directional light (“sun”). In such a case you can use a Light Path:Is Shadow Ray as a coefficient in mixing the glass and transparent shaders…

Nice work, like the idea of the wooden base to showcase the model, very creative.

Now my issues are, which i’m sure you might be working on them already, is the front cockpit structure in #12 is not right, in reality it has two front beams instead of the one shown on the render. It also seems the glass pane is a bit warpped in, kinda like when plastic is being vacuumed formed into a hollow shape but it could be how the material is reflecting. BTW does the glass have a Solidify modifier? I found that it helped a fair amount when making the F-16’s cockpit.

Also I suggest that you fix the engine’s cowling (cover behind the props) as they are too square on the second image of #12, they are much rounder and softer.

Anyways, keep on the good job!