Blackburn Buccaneer S2/S50 (1/33)

Discussion in 'Gallery & Designs' started by Plastic Bonsai, Oct 14, 2007.

  1. It is with great trepedation that I am sticking my head above the parapet again. This time I have the temerity to try and design an aircraft model when I haven't finished one successfully.

    I was intending to get on with it quietly and add it to the downloads area but I'm having a few problems and I hope some of the experianced builders may be able to suggest ways to produce some of the shapes.

    I have UMC2, Metasequoia and Pepakura and I'm starting with the Alpha Simulations Buccaneer mesh available from here - AlphaSim, the Number¹ for Flight Sim Addons!. There are several versions in the HS Buccaneer package and one or two more versions with different textures around. I'm hoping that the common parts will make it possible to do several versions of the model.

    Using UMC2 to convert the .mdl file and you end up with an exploded model but you can use UMC2 to stick the parts together in about the right order. I will supply anyone who wants the sorted mesh.

    With an eye to Pepakura I scaled the complete model to *10 of its full size in mm to make final scaling straight forward and it large enough to enable me to move in and around the model using UMC2.

    Here's a shot of the model. I will work on a wheels up version initialy but I shall have a go at poseable control surfaces, undercarriage etc if it goes well.

    Attached Files:

  2. First steps

    The mesh looks to be a good a basis for a paper model as it has fairly regular cross-sections. I edited the model down into some simple components with UMC2 and converted them to .mqo format.

    UMC2 has a few bugs that I'll mention as I go along in case anyone tries following this method. After editting down models the mqo conversion picks up some odd points/panels that Pepakura doesn't like so I read/write models vis Metasequoia tool. I let Pepakura have a go at unfolding the model and then cut the model how I want it to be done.

    When happy I deselect the Auto size function and set a scale of 0.0303030303 - rearrange some of the parts and export to clipboards at 72 pixels per inch.

    Here is my very first part using 80 gm paper. As it is all curves I didn't use flaps or fold lines but working back form the nose I used back tabs as you can see in the photo. I was very pleased with my first attempt I need to hide the joins better and make it much sturdier to support a cockpit with some internals in it.

    But at this stage I have a problem that perhaps someone could advise me.

    The Pepakura clipboard image is not as good as it can appear on the screen. The edges of the pieces are very jagged and the textures - whilst not as good as they could be - are coming out very grainy. Is there a way to improve these parts?

    Attached Files:

  3. Bowdenja

    Bowdenja Active Member

    For goodness sakes............... somebody help this man out we must have this plane modeled!:thumb:
    Looks pretty good so far PB........... I wish I could help ya!

  4. barry

    barry Active Member

    Edges etc

    I have the same problem and at the moment the best I have been able to do is to recolour the output using the output from Pepakura as a guide to finishing parts.

    The jagged edges can be helped by using the mesh smoothing in the object drop down list in meta however I strongly recommend that you save a copy of the original first and do things a section at a time missing out anything that has mainly straight edges . Try it with a factor of 2 first. You will get some distortion however.

    Otherwise use a curve drawing routine in a paint shop program to join the points.

    You often get a good half and a bad half on the individual parts I cut them in two and copy and join them.

    Unfortunately it's a long laborious job the more triangles you have the more you have to mess about with. I have to use the object list to split out the troublesome bits so I can concentrate on that part.

    Damn good start you've made there.

    Pretty crude really but it might help.
  5. Formers and Stringers

    Thanks for the info Barry. That could explain why the textures didn't quite line up on the longer strips...but it may have been my lack of building skills. I expect the problem is the cumulative error in calculating the succcessive positions of the points. I could split the strips up more though I would rather not. I will try the smoothing you suggest and I might be able to add textured tabs to give a bit more leeway in the building tollerances.

    I have been having a bit of a dilemma of what to include in the first attempt. I have decided to concentrate on clean model with no cockpit interior, gear, open airbrake etc and then I'll add the extras as options when I have completed the "simple" model.

    I tried to make a simple bracing frame for the nose shell so I could add a cockpit but it was a bit rough and
    flimsy so I added formers to the model for every strip and re-built the frame using 1mm card. It is now as sturdy as the real aircraft was. I shall add the bulkheads for the cockpit and canopy as I am now resolved to keep it simple and see if I can complete the nose section. I may be able to do several re-skins on this frame.

    As the separate tabs worked well on the shell nose I thought I could get a similar result using stringers across the frames as you can see in the photo. I don't know if this is a standard trick but the strips were easy to apply progressively to the model. I will try and build up the nose again and see if the results are as good

    Attached Files:

  6. barry

    barry Active Member

    Just reread your post try printing from Pepakura and scan the output back into the computer the curve lines are far better.
  7. Printing from Pepakura

    Thanks Barry.

    You're right. Better curves and textures too!

    I feel this is a liitle unfair as it locks you into putting more into Pepakura but when the final model is done then an option is to re-arrange the parts into pdo files and issue them as such.

    I couldn't see a print to file option that would could have got around the issue.

    Oh well. Onwards and upwards! Plenty of thingsto sort.
  8. Paragon

    Paragon Active Member

    The "Print to PDF" option is not made available by the program doing the printing, instead you have to download a PDF writer and set it up to accept print jobs. You could go with Adobe Acrobat, but it costs money. I use a program called "Primo PDF" that you can download free. You can download it at: Free PDF Converter - create high-quality PDF from any printable file type

    I haven't had to print anything to PDF except instructions, since I make all of my models in Photoshop, which allows me to save files as PDFs itself.

    Hope that helps, and looking forward to being able to build that model!
  9. Print to PDF

    Thank you Paragon. That will do very nicely.
  10. hmas

    hmas Member

    Would it be better if you used more pixels per inch say 150-200?
    As I understand it ,there is no reason to use a low figure of 72, except that is was the silly default back in XT days to save memory.
  11. Silly Defaults

    Sorry Tony I didn't see a easy way to adjust the default either in Pepakura and the printer - I dare say it is there though. I've just tried Paragons recommended PDF route and I have some print outs that look smooth and are now showing the texturing limits of the original model so I think I have got to that particular edge. I have to check that the dimensions are OK next.

    One of the irksome items in the process is spotting the slightly miss-aligned points leading to unwanted cut panels and fixing them. I have just modified UMC2 to display the open edges as per Pepakura and added a vertex weld edit option. It seems to work reasonably well. Now if I could just figure the unrolling maths....
  12. sjsquirrel

    sjsquirrel Member

    Here's what I do.

    Similar to this method, what I do is print the pattern to PDF (I use PDFCreator - PDFCreator |, then use the GIMP (GIMP - The GNU Image Manipulation Program) with ghostscript to load the image directly from the PDF. This saves ink, and you don't lose anything by printing and rescanning. I find importing at a resolution of about 150 dpi gives good results with acceptable file sizes.

    Excellent! I find that process a pain also and Pep doesn't always pick up all the lines. Is the new UMC2 available for download?

  13. UMC2 point next

    Thanks SJ

    This gets better and better.

    I haven't tried getting the file parts outof the PDF yet but when I start refining and ptting in some part numbering etc I shall have to.

    I'm finding Pepakura usefull in laying out the pieces and I'm saving the .pdo files as well though I don't know if I will re-use them. I printed out all the .pdf files only to find I'd missed the 97.8% on the print size so they were all too small...Doh! In my excitement - this will wear off - I keep printing out partially completed parts. At the moment I have to get the spine and nacelle joints figured out - they are separate pieces in the mesh but I printed out the whole formers anyway.

    When UMC2 gets to a useful state I shall re-issue. I haven't done much on it this year but so far it gets the .lod transforms right and it is reading and rendering .dnm files better. In using it in anger I am finding a few annoying bugs such as the .mqo output error and the add panel feature creates panels that are not safe to save/restore unless you do a smooth first.
  14. Spine

    I have been building up the model formers using UMC2 to add panels using the mesh vertices and projecting points onto the centreline. I am colouring in the formers with checkboard patterns to indicate the demarkations. Using regular patterns I think it will be easier to get the formers the right way up. I have also used the cut points to create a demarkation strip between the spine and the fuselage. At the moment the tool is not set up to split textured panels so I hope I can get the splits on the skins worked out on the prototype model and transfered to the unrolled parts manually. If I can get the nacelle fuselage joint worked out I should be able to have a go at the ain fuselage

    Attached Files:

  15. Janx

    Janx Member

    Just stunning :thumb: I must admit the Buck has been one of my favourites since I was little. This is my first post here and it caught my eye so I started to read on..

    Your UMC2 utility is a god send too, have been building aircraft using Maya because I couldn't find any way of converting some of the excellent models you find in flight sims. You have made my evening thanks :)
  16. yaniv

    yaniv Active Member

    this look very nice my friend kip work on it :)
  17. A Tale of Two Noses

    Thanks Janx and Yaniv. The Bucc is a favourite of mine though I only worked on it a little as an aerodynamacist in the early 80's but I learnt enough to appreciate what a truely remarkable machine it was. I hope you can do some models Janx - want to declare a design? It does help to stick your neck out here. The guys are very helpful and they keep you going with positive encouragement and pleading too!

    Meanwhile progress of sorts.....

    I finished the full former nose section with the cockpit and canopy areas and added paper stringers. I added the fuselage section with new print offs from the PDF file. The PDFS are less jagged but I'm not so sure about the texture quality - it didn't look that different printed out but the model textures can be improved.

    I wasn't too pleased with the results. The sections went on very quickly - the tabs are replaced by the stringers but it was difficult to match the edges up as well as with the shell version I did earlier. The result wasn't as smooth though it was much more rigid of course. The stringers sagged all to easily and I had alignment difficulties which increased as I worked rearwards- see the gap at the back.

    I did the canopy using the original shell approach and severly hacked back the formers to get it to fit. I had to slide a spare green strip under the canopy windscreen to get hide a gap caused by me missing a few polygons off so that joint is not as good as it should be. Peparuka also has some dogged notions about what polygons should be cut. I'm sure a few of these parts could be simplified but I'll have to do that in Paint.

    I accept I didn't trim the formers back enough for the back tabs/stringers and the canopy/cockpit formers were an add-on so were not a good shape to start with but I think I need a hybrid shell and former approach to get the easiest and best finish. Being cheap and using 80gm paper doesn't help either.

    I will include all the formers in the published models so modellers can tackle it how it suits them best - I just have to figure out what works for me. I was wondering if an expanded foam or some sort of pourable filler that hardens inside in the shells would work?

    Attached Files:

  18. hmas

    hmas Member

    "I was wondering if an expanded foam or some sort of pourable filler that hardens inside in the shells would work?"
    expandable foam is just that expanable! it would deform the structure & then, its back to= make another one.
  19. Stormeagle

    Stormeagle Member

    I am trying to use GIMP with Ghostscript but I can't find a way for GIMP to "see" Ghostscript. Any ideas? Thank you.
  20. Janx

    Janx Member

    I'll chicken out for now, not upto this standard yet :) the internal structure of my bigger models is proving a real problem to be honest.

    I've tried various methods like butt sections (in my ah64 and tsr2) but they don't give externally pleasing results, my brief foray into formers and stringers (P1154) made my head hurt.

    I'll post later for advice when I get the models in progress out of the way.

    Keep up the fantastic work, very inspiring.

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