Griff Wason's 3D engines, and samples of a paper model

Discussion in 'Internet Finds' started by Leif Oh, Feb 5, 2005.

  1. Leif Oh

    Leif Oh Member

    In the thread on constructing a Wright Cyclone engine the subject of Griff Wason's remarkable 3D-drawings of several rotary, radial and other aircraft engines came up. The links are too good to be forgotten, so here they are, for the record, and because they are so inspirational also for card modelers.

    First some sample sheets (two of them can be viewed) of his 1/20 Fokker Dr.1 Triplane paper model. Anybody know where this can be obtained? Seems like an educational project, which should be available somewhere.

    His personal advertising web site sure makes your mouth waters. Check out the samples page. There truly are some remarkable, and inspirational, engine images to be viewed there.

    And then there's the advertising page for software he's using. This page was easier for me at least to view (I obviously lack some plug in required for viewing the images above properly).

    So let's wet our mouths a bit, while we're at it. First one of the sample sheets for the 1/20 paper model of the Fokker Dr.1:


    Then a really detailed artwork of the full-size aircraft:


    His Wright Whirlwind, you can see in the thread about constructing the Wright Cyclone. Here's a Clerget Rotary instead (as used in e.g. the Sopwith Triplane), good for constructing a paper replica right off the board, I'd say.


    All images © Griff Wason, of course.

    Mark, just plain "Sticky Fingers", in the Cyclone thread, added a link to some other, similarly beautiful, CAD and pen and ink drawings of a Wright R-3350 TC and some Italian engines by Ugo Vicenzi. Here they are again, also to keep a record of them in one and the same place. (The images themselves unfortunately are a bit too large to reproduce here.)

    That page is part of the larger Aircraft Engine Historical Society site, well worth visiting for anybody researching aero engines and the modeling of them.

  2. Ron

    Ron Member

    Hi Leif :)

    Looks like you came across a beautiful site and I agree..I can't stop drooling either! I took the liberty to write to Griff Wason and invite him/them to join in the fun here. Hopefully we'll hear back soon

  3. Gil

    Gil Active Member

    Ron, Leif,

    Griff is an early adapter of TrueSpace and used to use it to render much of that which Leif has pointed out. TureSpace and 3D Studio Max are similar packages for final renderings.

    A direct, but not at first obvious, use for cardmodeling is to render a a detailed 3D design with diffuse light. A 2D patch is taken from the results and used to build a texture map for filling masked areas of developed 2D model parts. The low relief 3D detail is "lifted" and decaled onto the 2D surface yielding a 3D appearence.

    Best regards, Gil
  4. Griff

    Griff New Member

    Hi All :)

    Thanks for your interest in my work. Means a lot.

    Sure, I am a professional technical illustrator. Just to supply a quick few answers:

    The Wright Whirlwind J-5 was entirely modelled using Caligari trueSpace 5/6 - no other package was used other than Photoshop to create a small number of texture maps - I aimed to attempt to use tS totally for that engine.

    The Clerget technical/scale drawings were created entirely in Adobe illustrator 10 (I beta for Adobe) using measurements from a real example. Also, the Hispano and Mercedes using the same methods.

    I created the Fokker Dr.1 paper model initially as a favour to a friend of mine that teaches at a middle school in the UK. It consists of a number (18) of worksheets, with all instructions for that sheet included. The idea was that the airplane could be built up over a number of lessons to build up into the complete model. Assembled correctly, it does glide (if constructed using lighter than spec paper). I did a little research - and colored it in a non-standard all red (not as with the Baron's). But I have colored the projects in a number of schemes (some as per accurate from WW1).

    I have had a number of approaches to publish, but have not gone ahead so far, as unfortunately I got ripped off somewhat on a number of paper models I did previously, and got 'put off'. (They were Sopwith Triplane, Spirit of St. Louis, and I half complete a Camel and Spad.

    I have thought about making the Triplane available through my website as a number of PDFs... ideas welcome. I have done the preliminary work to create some radial, rotary and Whittle turbojet engines.

    BTW, I should point out that I don't only use trueSpace. For 3D work I mainly use TrueSpace 6 illustrator, Lightwave, Cinema 3D, SoftImage, Maya, and Renderman.

    Also, I did not any of the shadow maps from my 3D work to create any of the 2D work...

    I did all the older engines (esp Triplane, Wright Flyer etc as favours or commissions to museums.)

    Hope this helps...

    Best to all,

  5. Leif Oh

    Leif Oh Member

    Spirit of St. Louis

    Oh, my god, Griff - you seem to have been making nothing but favourites and dream projects of mine. Please, please, is there any chance at all of getting hold of the Spirit of St. Louis.... (I won't even ask for the Sopwith Triplane, but that would surely come next).

  6. Griff

    Griff New Member

    Hi Leif,

    Thanks for your encouragement. These are all favourite subjects for me (WW1 planes, rotary, radial and early jet engines... actually to be honest I love anything that flies and enables them to fly... Rocket engines are also a BIG thing with me.)

    The Spirit of St. Louis. Well, these's a little story here. I originally created the paper model back in 2000. But, in 2002/3 I undertook a large commission to illustrate the Wright Flyer and engine (1903) for the National Geographic.

    The response was very positive (may be seen in 2003 December National Geographic), and so I have been asked to do a similar number of projects (by various US musuems and journals) for the Spirit... BUT, this time I will have special access to the real thing!!! This project is due for completion this summer.

    Using this research, measurements etc. will mean that I will be able to create a very accurate model of the Spirit (if time with pull-away sections), and I intend to also do a paper Wright Whirlwind J-5 (Spirit version) to suit.

    Please be aware that my normal work is mainly illustrating for large IT and aerospace companies (IT, electronics, DOD etc) illustrating for museums (although great fun and a dream) does not pay enough to keep me in processors or the copious cups of coffee it takes to get all this done...)

    So, keep at me, and I'll see what I can do.

    Hope this helps,

  7. Gil

    Gil Active Member


    Wow, you actually responded! Bowl me over, pick me up, and shake me dry! Glad to see you here and hope that you return often. Love your work and look at it often for pointers.

    Sorry to have inferred the use of 3D renders back into 2D constructs. I've been experimenting with them as a somewhat faster way of obtaining repetitive surface detail that's pretty boring to do by hand art and then step and reapeat.

    Welcome aboard and please join us in this the new renaissance of cardmodeling.

    Best regards, Gil
  8. Leif Oh

    Leif Oh Member

    Re: Spirit of St. Louis

    Dear Griff

    Joyous news, that you are indeed working on the Spirit! A short while ago I was in correspondence with Charles Neely of Visalia Aviation, active on the Lindbergh mailing list. I had humbly asked him for any information that would be helpful in making a 1/16 accurate paper scale model of the Spirit.

    Late on Christmas Eve, no less, he very kindly replied that he was indeed working on a set of 1/16 drawings of the Spirit - how's that for a coincidence and a Christmas gift! - with access to the original aircraft, and due for publication in a book Summer 2005.

    Would this in any way be the same project you are involved in? If so, all the more reason for joy, and I, and many with me, will eagerly await that publication.

    If you are indeed working on a paper model of the Spirit, that is indeed wonderous news. We are all eagerly waiting and hoping.


    GEEDUBBYA Active Member


    Welcome to our little community. Not wishing to appear like "vultures" circling, but the "spirit of St Louis" is a plane I think we would all enjoy building, especially if it is anything like what I have seen of your work.
    I wont "take away" from your time you could be designing it by making you read alot of my ramblings, so, just allow me to say, we will all be looking forward to it.
    Again, welcome to from all us members.


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