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.

Friday, December 28, 2012

Focke-Wulf VTOL - Part 2

Now it's time to work on the fuselage.

Creating the wireframe

Freezing the object will produce the wireframe that I can then directly work on.
Unfortunately, the wireframe produced is "nice", it is not suitable for producing card models from.

Simplifying the wireframe

In order to produce a card model friendly wireframe, the current one has to be simplified.
It's time to whip out the Knife Tool!

Cleaning up the lengthwise segments

First, I got rid of a couple of lengthwise segments using the Knife Tool's "Erase Chained Lines" function.

Cleaning up the crosswise segments

For the crosswise segments, chose to keep those that lined up with the "joints" depicted in the 3-view diagrams.  By doing this, I'll have an easier time in making the UV-Maps later on.

Cleaning up the flaps and elevons

As with the previous step, I'd like to line up another segment along the "joint" between the main fuselage and the control surfaces.  For this, I had to create a new segment by using the knife tool's, "Cut with a knife" function.

After that, it's only a matter of brute force / manual clean up.


Nothing much here except another round of brute force / manual cleanup through vertex joins and deletions....

Next steps

At this point, I can now start punching a hole on the top of the fuselage for the rotors.
But then again, I can also start working on the cockpit....

Sunday, December 9, 2012

Focke-Wulf VTOL - Part 1

For my new project, I'm going to tackle the Focke-Wulf VTOL project.
As with other Luft'46 projects, this one never left the drawing boards.  Had it flown, I reckon it might have been the closest thing to a Harrier jumpjet. :)

If you want more information regarding this plane, do head on to

Laying down the foundations

As with most, if not all models that are based on 3-view diagrams, the first step would be to setup the 3-view to be used for the 3d modelling software.  I start by getting the 3-view image from

Then, using a graphics app, I broke apart the 3-view into 4 separate bitmaps, which I'll be labeling as "top", "bottom", "side" and "front". 

I then save the "top", "bottom", "side" and "front" into separate bitmaps.

Then, on Metaseq, create three plane/rectangle objects.  On one of the faces, I apply the "top" and "bottom" bitmap on the front and rear faces.  I apply the "front" and "side" bitmap on the other two rectangles.  This produces the "template" on where I'll be building the 3d model on.

Creating the main components

For the main components which will comprise the overall appearance of the model, I will be using spline patches.  Patches are best for modeling curved surfaces.

I first start with the main body or fuselage. 

Then proceed to make the cockpit.

And lastly, the rudder.

When put together, here's how it looks.

At this point, it looks really rough...almost like it was created from putty. 
You'll notice that the trailing edges of the wing's flaps, ailerons and rudder are kinda rounded.  That's not an issue, as I'll show as the model progresses.

The purpose of using spline patches is to capture the almost organic curves that make up for 90% of the model's body.  And for that it has succeeded.

The next step would be to "freeze" the spline patches to create the actual wireframes.  From there I'll start to do boolean operations to punch a hole through the fuselage to make room for the propellers.