LZ 129 Hindenburg Disaster (C&C Needed)

I am modeling/animating the Hindenburg disaster for a World History project. The modeling is not quite done, but it should be within the next few days.

Obviously I have a ways to go, but before I go any further I figured I should let you guys critique my work.

So, here goes:

The render thus far:

A large view of the edit window:

A closeup of the crew cabin (need some extra criticism here):

The bottom of the gondola looks too flat, the ref image you had in the other thread showed it to be slightly bulged (probably for aerodynamic efficiency). Also looking at the reference, the front parrt of the gondola has glass extended all the way to the top of the frame.

It does not look like your animation will be focusing much on the cabin, and seeing you only have a few days left I suggest moving on to the engines.

Oh the humanity :frowning:

Its a nice model though

Okay, here is a very early model of an engine. Needs a lot of work, and I need some help deciding what to do from here. I will be working on the hideous proportions while I await your responses…

How would you guys recommend making a propeller blade, anyway? I did the outline, then selected everything except the bottom row, spun 2 degrees, deselected the next bottom row, and repeated the process. Then I rotated the whole left half so it lined up better.

It still doesn’t look quite right though.


Here is the most recent render, along with a close up of the modified cabin. I need some more feedback on the cabin, as it has undergone major renovations.

EDIT: I added another shot of an engine; the mounts are included now. They are not in the render in the thumbnail, but it is close enough.

EDIT 2: Okay, I have re-worked the engines, and it now includes an open rear, as shown in the last thumbnail. This may sound stupid, but I would like some input on the end of the shaft that drives the propeller. I really just don’t know what shape to make it…


Are you sure the engines look like that? I can’t see it very clearly on any reference image but I’m pretty sure the engines aren’t just ellipsoids. But if it’s going to be viewed from a distance I guess it would do, you only need to adjust the shape a bit especially the rotor end. If you don’t know how the original engine looked like you can always use reference from other airships or aircrafts even.

The gondola looks okay, if you plan to add more details I suggest doing that using bump maps and textures because it’s quite small compared to the rest of the ship.
I haven’t tried modelling a propeller yet either, but I was going to skin one using surface curves. It helps if you can find a blueprint of a propellor blade. Here’s a few examples attached.


Dang, I was editing my post as you were posting…

Anyway, check the last thumbnail on the post above yours, as well as the edits. I have updated the engines some. I still don’t know what to do about the insides of them though. I don’t think I am up to modeling an engine…

Thanks for the images; should have looked myself… I’ll get back to you on how it goes.

EDIT: Also, after reading through some documentation on bump mapping, I still don’t really understand how/where I would apply it on the cabin (gondola). Could you give me a brief explanation?

Also, surface curves definitely would work better I think. I will try again…

Here’s a good thread as reference, and another one. Look at all the rivets, lines, etc.
As for how to do it, the wiki manual can tell you more than I could, but basically you’ll have to play around with the ‘texture’ and ‘map to’ settings in the shaders(F5) panel.

Oh, I thought you meant using it for modeling… that was why I was confused. Thanks for the links though.

EDIT: Here is the model with all of the parts in place. Obviously it needs tweaking, but I’m done for tonight.


Sorry to be so dependent on the forum members, but this is my first model, and unfortunately it has a due date.

I would really like to have the mesh done before I start texturing. If you could just read over post five and reply back, I would appreciate it.

Hey, that’s what we’re here for, right?

You may be planning on texturing it, but I would model the window thing in the center of this picture.



if you’re still working on the propeller hub, for a wooden prop in the 1920ies period I’d suggest something like this:
Actually, it’s simply bolted onto a plate - the engine shaft might be protruding a bit as well.

Guitar87, I actually completely forgot about that window. I will definitely need to model that in… Actually, do you think that there is another one on the other side? I would assume so, but there is an infuriatingly small amount of info on the actual design of the Hindenburg.

Bartleby, thanks for the input; that is what I will do.

Yeah, I would imagine there would be a duplicate on the other side.

I have the viewing windows modeled. I realized a little too late that they are too far toward the nose of the ship… oh well, it is close enough.

Overall, I am satisfied with the result. I will just texture in the windows; I didn’t want to bother with making a room behind the windows.


Looks good to me, man, keep it up!

First off, after reading back over this thread, I noticed that I didn’t say I was making this into a movie. I will be modeling the disaster, not just modeling it. The disaster will just instructional, however, so the quality doesn’t need to be amazing.

Anyway, I have finally gotten the modeling to a point where I would consider it presentable. It still needs texturing, but I don’t have the experience with that to do a good job with it yet.

I have been working on the tour section of my presentation, and here is the first version. I think it should be longer, with more pauses, and definitely a lot slower. I made this to play at 25 fps, but rendered it at 30, so it is obviously faster than it should be. Do you guys think 30, or maybe more, is necessary? Here is the tour so far (Xvid, ~3 Mb).

Also, how would you suggest animating the disaster (not the fire, just the movements)? Would I be able to do it with the game engine, or would it be better to just try and model it? I am going for accuracy, not eye candy, so keep that in mind.

C&C welcome on everything, although the model hasn’t changed except for some clean-up. Again, thank you all for your help so far.

Here is a very early render of some flames. I need a lot of help with this, as there is a surprising lack of tutorials on fire. There is a lot on smoke, so that shouldn’t be a problem.

However, I just cannot get this to look quite right. Right now, it looks pretty close to fire, but I still need a bit of help. I will continue messing around with it in the mean time…

Hopefully someone will reply this time :(.

Here is the file.

Here it is again, if you cannot get to the first location for whatever reason.

Another update…

Not that big; just some more smoke/fire. It is definitely getting better… here is a picture since you guys don’t seem to want to download the movie files. Now you have to look at it :D.


Fire looks pretty good to me. I would look up images of the actual incident, if I were you, to get the type of fire right - some substances burn differently than others.