Reverting Perspective Distortion and Other Tricks

In this post I will show you how do I create Dauntless side views. First I used the “semi-orthogonal” photo of the SBD-5 as the reference to draw the side view of this version (Figure 4-1). This is the most important picture, because it provides reliable “general reference”:

Figure 4-1 Side view of the SBD-5 and its most important photo reference
Figure 4-1 Side view of the SBD-5 and its most important photo reference

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The Photos Reveal the Truth

Before I start a new model, I collect its photos — as many as I can find everywhere: in the books, magazines, on the Internet. Some of these photos are high-quality, detailed photos of restored airplanes. One of them is this this high-resolution photo from the web page of Chino Planes of Fame Air Museum (Figure 2 1):

Figure 2 1 A semi-orthographic photo of restored SBD-5 (from The Planes of Fame Air Museum in Chino)
Figure 2-1 A semi-orthographic photo of restored SBD-5 (from The Planes of Fame Air Museum in Chino)

This is a special photo: it was made from a long distance using “telescope” lens, which minimized the perspective barrel distortion. The airplane on this picture lowered its right wing, so its bottom parts are slightly shifted downward, but except this area it is a perfect reference!

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Can We Rely on Scale Plans?

To build the model from scratch you need a good reference. Initially I decided to use for this purpose detailed scale plans from the monograph published by KAGERO in 2007 (Authors: Krzysztof Janowicz, Andre Zbiegniewski, ISBN: 978-83-60445-25-9 – see Figure 1-1):

The source monograph
Figure 1-1: The source

It contains SBD Dauntless plans in scale 1:48, traced by Krzysztof Lukasik. They are quite detailed (up to the rivets on the aircraft skin). I scanned them (at 300 dpi). Below you can see a fragment of their side view (Figure 1-2):

A fragment of Mariusz Łukasik’s scale plans
Figure 1-2: A fragment of Mariusz Łukasik’s scale plans

Continue reading Can We Rely on Scale Plans?