Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Heinkel P.1080 - Part 01


It's been a while since my last update.
Unfortunately, although I tried in vain to resume work on my FW VTOL design, I found some 'problems' that me to re-do some of the main parts.  I got a bit discouraged.   So, to heal my bruised ego, I decided to temporarily put that project on hold, and start a new project.  This time, I'll pick a simpler design--- one that does not require a lot of fiddly parts like wheel wells, and landing gear struts.

The Heinkel P.1080

This fighter aircraft is a powered by two Lorin-Rohr ramjets.  It is also armed with a pair of MK108 (30mm) cannons.  
Like the ME163 Komet, the P.1080 has no landing gear.  Take-offs are done with the help of a trolley for taxiing, which is then dropped just as the plane is airborne.  Landings are done with the help of a skid under the main fuselage.
Unlike the rocket powered ME163, the ramjet powered P.1080 has no static thrust.  Ramjets require a minimum speeds before it can ignite and produce its own thrust.  Thus, the P.1080 is also equipped with 4 rockets for taking off.  These rockets provide the initial thrust to reach the minimum speed required to ignite the ramjets.


Before starting, I grabbed the P.1080 3-view diagram from

Metaseq View Panel setup

Standard procedures... :)  Nothing much to say here.

3D View Template

While trawling the Google Sketchup forums, I found a really neat tip that the Sketchup users use for transforming 3-views into 3d models.  They take the top and side views of the model and load them as part of the model.  The top view would lie flat on the X-Z plane, while the side view on the Y-Z plane.

This could be emulated in Metasquoia by creating two rectangles and UV-Mapping the top and side view images onto them.

Low Polygon Modelling

This plane has a lot of curves.  Curves are very hard to model directly.  It would be far easier to create curves by using b-spline patches.
Once the low poly model is done, I can let Metaseq generate the real wireframes.  From there, I can remove the excess edges and vertices to produce a model that is suitable for cardboard.

The Fuselage

The fuselage will be the main structure of the model.  All other parts will be attached to this.


Just another blob on top of the fuselage :).


I'll go into more details about the engine later.


Next, I create the fairings between the fuselage and the engine.


Then the rudder...


Then the wings...


And finally, the landing skids.
Now, you'll notice that there appears to be a lot of junk inside the engine intakes.  These waste parts will be removed later on as I add more details to the engine.

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Focke-Wulf VTOL - Part 8

 Hmm...something's gone wrong.  The pictures are gone.  I think I may have overdone my G+ Photo Album maintenance.  I'll fix these as soon as I can.

 Alpha Build Started!

Oh boy.  It's been more than a year since I've unceremoniously stopped working on this.  When I re-opened my metaseq work files, it took a while to get re-acquainted with the stuff I've left behind.

So now, I'm at this point where I need to design the spinner shafts (because I want the propellers to spin), the landing gears and the weapons (I'm planning to place a couple of guns on the wing roots, and a couple of ordinance pods).

But before I dive into that, I'd like to stop first and check if the model is buildable!  :)

So I fired up pepakura and did an unfold of the fuselage and the formers.

The Formers

I am not particularly fond of designing formers.  It's hard to guestimate the correct size of the formers.  Often times, the formers will turn out too big or too small.

Another thing I dislike doing is making joining strips.

So I decided to do a bit of an experiment by combining two chores into one-- former+joining strips.

And here's what I came up with:

Skinning the Structure

With the formers/joining strip structure assembled, the next step would be to wrap the fuselage skin around it.

The initial wrapping process was very tedious because the former/joining strip structure was not rigid.  

But as I finished assembling more of  the fuselage components, it became a lot easier.

I'll provide more updates as I progress with the build.

Friday, April 19, 2013

Focke-Wulf VTOL - Part 7

Some more progress!

For this update, I worked on the exhaust vents for the propellers.

Creating the exhaust vents

If you recall in my earlier posts, one of the leftovers from the Boolean operations I did in creating the hole on the fuselage was the bottom cover of the fuselage.

I did a Boolean subtract operation to cut the engine base from the fuselage bottom cover.

I then took the knife tool to divide the bottom cover into strips.  For consistency, I didn't do any fancy Metaseq voodoo.  I just made some guestimates and hoped for the best.

After cutting the strips, I rotated each by 70 degrees.

This is how it turned out.

How it looks so far

Here's how the exhaust vents look when attached to the main model

Top view. :)

To do

  • Landing Gears
  • Wheel Wells
  • UV Mapping

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Focke-Wulf VTOL - Part 6

A very, very short update.
I've been ridiculously busy with work lately that I barely have time to extract enough brain juice to resume my design.

But over the weeks, I've done very small steps.  A polygon here, a vector there, a slice here, a slice there.

Eventually, I was able to finish the propeller shaft, propellers and base.

I'm afraid I was not able to record the steps I went through to produce this.

But I should be able to make a write-up on those steps when I get more time.

But for now, here's the latest picture of the model:

And here's a picture of the spinner assembly:

I'll try to put provisions that would allow the spinners to rotate. :)


Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Focke-Wulf VTOL - Part 5

Now on to the rudder!

Design Goal

For the rudder, I want to create a wireframe that will produce a cardboard model that looks somewhat like the image above.

This will be an experiment for me so I'm not sure if this will work out.   If it does work out, I'll be using this for making the wingtips of my future models.

Time to whip out the knife tool again!

Initial Steps

I start by freezing the low poly model to produce the wireframe above.

As always, there's a need to reduce the number of edges, courtesy of the Knife Tool.

Making the Petals

Using the Knife Tool, I've made some small slices on the edges of the rudder.  These will be the "petals".

Then, using manual vertex joins, I produced the image above.  Looks good so far.

Here's a picture of the progress.

I'm not happy with the vertical slice shown above.  I'll be using the knife tool to angle the slice a bit.  This will make the card model assembly easier later on.

Much better!

Joining the Rudder to the Fuselage

To join the rudder to the fuselage, I plan to make something similar to the cockpit-rudder joint.

Nothing special here.  Just a bunch of Boolean intersects and cleanups.

That's basically it for the rudder.

Next I'll start working on the engine.

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Focke-Wulf VTOL - Part 4

Now to work on the cockpit!

Design Objective

The picture above shows how I want the Cockpit to mate with the fuselage.  This should allow the cockpit to align properly with the fuselage.

Making the Cut



To achieve the design objective, I start by performing two Boolean operations.

First, I get the intersection of the cockpit with the fuselage. (Fuselage = Fuselage # Cockpit)

Again, it's a mess!  The picture above shows the resulting intersect operation after cleanup.

Now, I get the intersection of the fuselage with the cockpit. (Cockpit = Cockpit # Fuselage)

And here's how it looks like after cleaning up the mess that the Boolean operation left behind.

Removing the Unwanted Faces/Surfaces

With the Boolean outline cleaned up, it's time to delete the parts of the Cockpit and the Fuselage to allow both parts to mate.

Here's how the fuselage looks like.

And here's how the cockpit looks like.

Finally, here's how the model looks so far.

Sunday, December 30, 2012

Focke-Wulf VTOL - Part 3

For this session, I decided to work on the "hole" that will house the spinners.

Making the "hole" template

Okay first, I made a simple cylinder approximately the size of the hole depicted in the 3-view drawing.  I made sure to have enough vertical segments on the cylinder to make the boolean operations easier later on.

Cutting the hole on the fuselage

So initially, I thought of doing a subtraction operation (Fuselage - Cylinder).
To make the illustrations easier to follow, I deactivated the object mirroring function for the fuselage.  This will prevent Metaseq from "drawing" the other half of the fuselage object.

Unfortunately, I don't think it worked out pretty well.  Sure, I can clean that up.  But I remembered that the Boolean plugin has some weird bugs that sometimes causes hidden faces/surfaces that would give me a lot of headaches later on when I start unrolling in Pepakura.

Nope... I'll have to ditch the subtraction operation.

Instead, I'll use the intersect operation (Fuselage # Cylinder).

The image above shows the result of the intersect operation between the Fuselage and the Cylinder.  Still messy, but more manageable.

After a few vertex joins, I was able to simplify the intersection (shown above in red).

With the use of the wire tool, I added the missing faces/surfaces.

Finally, here's what the fuselage looks like when the object mirroring is re-enabled.