Sunday, December 20, 2015

Messerschmitt ME-328 and Autodesk123D Make (Done!)

Building the Model (continued)

Okay, I'm starting to get the feeling that this type of modeling is not suitable for aircraft.  I feel like I've been cutting layer after layer forever.

It got worse when i started working on the rudder.  Not fun... not fun at all.  :(

All done!

Finally, it's done!

Curves are captured beautifully, but straight edges are really bad.  The rear edge of the rudder is crooked.  But all in all, not bad! :)

Sunday, December 13, 2015

Messerschmitt ME-328 and Autodesk123D Make (part 01)


While I was struggling to resume work on my Bachem Natter, I got distracted by a program I installed a year ago -- Autodesk's 123D Make.   123D Make is a neat application that processes a 3D model by slicing it into many layers of uniform thickness.  The resulting pattern is then generated which will allow you to reconstruct the model.
By default, the target medium is corrugated cardboard which is then cut using a laser cutter.

Unfortunately, I don't have a laser cutter.  This is probably why the program sat on my HDD for such a long time.  Then, I realized that it was possible to change the settings of the application to a different target medium.  I have a stack of 190GSM card stock which is approximately 1/3mm thick.  I decided to give 123D a try.

I chose a model that has a good mix of curved and straight surfaces.  I picked the ME-328.

Creating the Modeling in Metaseq

So I fired up Metaseq and quickly whipped up a low poly model:

I made sure not to go overboard with the details.  Once satisfied, I converted the low poly model into the standard mesh:

Slicing it up in 123D Make!

Fortunately, Metaseq is able to export to OBJ format.  This allowed me to import the OBJ model into 123D Make.

Here's how it looks like under 123D Make:

After setting the target medium to 0.33mm thick A4 sheets, 123D Make started to sliced up the model.  Here's how it looks like:

Since I didn't want to use a lot of paper, I adjusted the target size of the model just enough to generate parts that would use 2 A4 sheets.  I then saved the plans to PDF for printing:

Building the Model

I thought.. I really thought I could finish cutting and building these parts within a day.  But I was wrong.

I end this blog entry with pictures of the work in progress.

I'll continue my build next weekend.


Sunday, December 14, 2014

Bachem Ba-349 'Natter' - Part 01


It's been a while since my last update.   It's been very difficult to get enough free time to engage in my new design.
Anyway, with the little free time I had, I was eventually able to make progress.
Here's where I'm at right now:

You can see it's almost done.  :)
But I will still create and share my work log, starting with this new entry. 

What is the Bachem Ba-349 'Natter' anyway?

Unlike my previous work, this one is technically not a Luft'46 plane.  This one was actually built, tested (unmanned), and flown (manned).  Unfortunately, the first manned flight also resulted in the death of its pilot, Lothar Sieber.
The plane never went operational.
The Natter was designed to be a manned missile.  It would have been launched vertically from a launch platform with the help of four solid fuel rocket packs and its main engine - a Walter HWK 109 rocket.  This is the same engine that powers the ME163 'Komet'.
Initial launch was handled by a crude guidance system that was meant to bring the Natter in the flight path of the approaching Allied bombers.  Once there, the pilot takes manual control and directs the Natter to the bombers.
When within range, the pilot fires the Natter's payload -- an array of 24 Henschel Hs297 Fohn rockets -- stored in the nose section.
Anyway, enough of that.  This is a design blog and not a history blog.
You'll find more about the Natter just by googling.

Creating the framework

In the past, I've always relied using the 4 window panel system of Metaseq: top, front, side, free.
I'd take an image from the 3-view diagram and use it as the background image for the top, side, and front panels.  
But though it gets the job done, it gets a bit difficult to get the exact shape of the model.
This time around, I took the 3-view, and then I created a new flat shape by tracing the outline of the plane like so:

I then 'traced' the other parts - the wings, rudders, tail fins, and fuselage side views.
Once done, I rearranged the parts to create a crude skeleton of the Natter:

Skinning the framework

With the framework completed, I proceeded to "skin" the skeleton by creating a subd surface, using the "skeleton" as the guide.

I started skinning the fuselage:

And after that, I worked on the wings and rudders:

Okay, based on the image above, you'll notice the canopy is wrong.  :)
I tried as hard as I can but I just can't seem to get the boxy canopy correct using subd surfaces.

So instead, I did the canopy manually after converting the subd surface into an actual wireframe:

I'll have to stop at this point for now.  

Saturday, October 18, 2014

Heinkel P.1080 - Part 12 (All Done!)

All done!

The trolley was a bit of a challenge to assemble.  But, a little bit of patience saved the day.

Now, the only thing left to do is to clean up the diagrams so I can upload to :)

Monday, October 6, 2014

Heinkel P.1080 - Part 11

Time to give the P.1080 some legs...

I based the design of the trolley on the one I used for my earlier model, the Lippisch P.13a.  But of course, I had to make some adjustments to the width and length, based on the size of the plane.

Here's how it looks like with the plane.

Looks like I'll have to wait till the next weekend to work on the textures and build.

Saturday, September 27, 2014

Heinkel P.1080 - Part 10

Finishing the Engines

It turned out that the engines were the most challenging parts of the model to assemble.  

 Almost done...

Finally, with the last engine completed and attached to the fuselage, the remaining parts -- canopy, wings, rudder and landing skid should be easy.

Finishing Touches

Canopy done!

Wings -- notice the minimal use of formers on the wings.  Actually, for the whole model, only the central fuselage and the wings have formers.

All Done!

III.JG-11 receives the first delivery of the Heinkel P.1080 from Eric Flugzeugwerke!

Actually, I'm not yet done

I still need to work on the trolley that the P.1080 uses for taxiing and takeoff.

Sunday, September 21, 2014

Heinkel P.1080 - Part 09

Working on the Ramjet Engines

With the fuselage completed, it was time to work on the engines.

I started by assembling the inner part of the engine.  After which, I worked on the outer part.

The idea was to slide the inner tube inside the outer part of the engine.

Finally, the engine attached to the fuselage.
One more engine to go!

Unfortunately, this was the farthest I could go for the weekend.  :(