Thursday, April 7, 2016

Philippine Army Air Corps P-26 Peashooter (part 04)

Let the test build begin!

All parts fit in one A4 sheet.  Very convenient!

Making the Engine

Seeing the Engine as the most tedious part to assemble, I chose to make this first.

I forgot to add the placeholders for the engine cylinders!  As a workaround, I used the engine cover as a guide for spacing out the cylinders.

Engine done!

Fitting in the cowling as a big pain!  The 'gap' that I put between the engine cylinders and the cowling was insufficient.  I'll have to go back to METASEQ and adjust this.  In the mean time, I had to peel off the cylinder covers to allow the engine to fit inside the cowling.

The Fuselage

Nothing special.  

Instead of using joining strips, I opted to have both ends of each fuselage segments have their own formers.  Then it should be much easier to join the fuselage parts together.

Fuselage done!  (NOTE: Engine is not yet attached at this point.  I only dry fitted it to see if the alignment is correct.)

Vertical Stabilizer 

The vertical stabilizers wrap around the tail end of the fuselage.  

Horizontal Stabilizers

Before I attached the elevators, I glued a bit of cardboard on the place holders.  This should help the elevators keep their shape.



For the wing formers, I had to trim off a bit off the wing spars.  I'll adjust the model in metaseq later.

Wings done!

At this point, it already looks like a P-26.

Landing Gears

Now it's time to work on the landing gears.

These are the parts that comprise the wheel spats.  

And these are the parts that make up the rear landing gear.

The wheel spats were surprisingly easy to assemble!

Almost there...

Propeller and other doodads

For the propeller shaft, I used a bamboo toothpick.

The model is technically done!  All I need to do now is to add the rigging.


To be honest, I had no idea how to proceed with doing the rigging.  Most of the craft blogs and forums recommend thin wire.  But I didn't have any at hand.  

I chose to experiment using black cotton thread stiffened with CA.

It worked pretty well.

The Finished Model

My little squadron.  I need one more plane to have a schwarm!

I'll make some adjustments to the model to factor in the build problems I encountered.  After that, I'll upload the model in the PM forums.

Philippine Army Air Corps P-26 Peashooter (part 03)

Unwrapping in Pepakura

When the model was initially loaded in Pepakura, I was greeted with the dreaded warning message telling me that 100+ nodes were deleted, 100+ faces were merged, etc. etc. etc.

I went back to Metaseq to fix the problem (OBJECT -> Merge Close Vertices) until Pepakura stopped complaining.

Afterwards, I proceeded with unwrapping and set my scale to 1:72.


From Pepakura, I exported my UV Info (File -> Export -> Texture Editing -> 3d Model with UV Info).  I'll get back to this later.

I also saved my Pepakura file as a PDF.  
I then opened the PDF in Inkscape.  From Inkscape, I generated a bitmap file (PNG).  I set the size of the export to be 8000px wide.

Now for the actual UV-Mapping!

From METASEQ, I opened the OBJ file that I recently exported from Pepakura.  I then created a new Map object, and set the image to the PNG file that I exported from Inkscape.  I then assigned the map onto the model.

From there, I went to Metaseq's MAPPING mode.  Pepakura has done a good job in exporting the UV info.  The scale/position is a bit off.  A small bit of scaling an translations solved this.

Skinning / Texturing

Once I got the UV-mappings in place, I went back to Inkscape to draw the actual seam lines, camo, liveries, etc.  Switching back and forth between inkscape and metaseq allowed to check if the textures are aligned correctly.

Once all the textures are completed, I got this:

I then went back to Pepakura and refreshed my original unwrap with the updated textures:

And yeah, I added some last minute fuselage and wing formers...

Now the model is ready to build.

My next update will show the build process.

Philippine Army Air Corps P-26 Peashooter (part 02)

Low poly to wire frame

Once 'satisfied' with the way the model looks, I run the OBJECT>FREEZE function of Metaseq to convert the low poly model into a wire frame that I can work on.

Simplifying the model

In its current state, it would be impractical to unwrap the model for card modelling.  I'll need to reduce the number of edges/faces to make this easier to unwrap.

Using the KNIFE tool, I erased edges taking extra care that I maintain the curves of the teardrop-shaped fuselage.

I do the same for the wings.

Once done, I performed a boolean operation : WING minus FUSELAGE.

I do the same simplification + boolean process with the other parts.  The image above shows how the aircraft will go together as a card model.

And finally, here's the model simplified ready for unwrapping in Pepakura.

My next update will discuss the unwrapping and texture mapping.

Philippine Army Air Corps P-26 Peashooter (part 01)

Although my blog is focused on Luft'46 designs, I've decided to veer off a bit.  I chose to make not only a non-luft'46 concept, but an Allied one at that!
I've decided to make a model of an aircraft served my country in WW2 -- the P-26 Peashooter!

I'll be targetting a scale of 1:72 instead of my usual 1:48.


After a little bit of googling, I found a suitable 3-view diagram.  I converted the diagram into a 'skeleton' on which I will build my model on:

Low Poly Model

First, I make the low-poly fuselage:

The goal here is to keep the shapes as simple as possible.  Hence, you'll notice that I did not include the rudder, headrest nor the engine.  Think of it as modeling using playdough.

Next, I do the headrest:

Just in case you're curious, here's how the headrest looks like without the fuselage:

Later on, I'll be performing some boolean operations between the fuselage and headrest to cut out the unneeded faces.

Next, I do the wings and the rudder like so:

Then the stabilizers and engine:

Landing gear spats and the engine cowling:

And finally the various doodads like the wheels, props, visors and antenna:

Here's a quick picture of the parts before being put together:

When you put them all together, you'll get this:

In my next update, I'll convert the low poly model into a wireframe.  Once I get the wireframe, I'll do some simplifications to make the model 'card-friendly'.