A Book about Aircraft Scale Drawings

This June I started working on a new (fourth) edition of my book about aircraft computer models. Actually, I am finishing its first volume (“Preparations”). It describes how to prepare accurate reference drawings of a historical airplane, on the example of the P-40. Below you can see two of its pages (as they appear my screen):

Figure 114-1 Two pages from my new book

Comparing to the third edition, I altered here the proposed workflow, using Inkscape as my basic tool. I also wrote more about eventual errors, which you can find in typical scale plans. In the appendices I included a section about the original P-40 blueprints, which is based on the posts from this blog. Here is the link to the excerpt from this publication. It contains the table of contents. I expect to release this book in January 2021. (I will write a post, when it will be available).

I Am Starting a New Model

Second model: Actually I am writing a book on building this P-40B model:


In fact, this is the fourth edition of my Virtual Airplane guide. This means, that currently I am seldom publishing new posts in this blog, because I am busy with writing this new book. Unfortunately, the SBD Dauntless project (below) has to wait for his time.

First model: The first model described in this blog is the SBD Dauntless dive bomber:A-24 Banshee (Dauntless)I started it in May 2015.  Conceptually, I split this process into four stages:

  1. Preparations of the reference materials (preparing the reference drawings, collecting and organizing the photo archives): from May 2015 to August 2015;
  2. Modeling (forming the basic shape of the airplane);
  3. Applying materials and textures  (“painting” of the computer model: mapping the texture coordinates, preparing the texture images, setting up the scene lighting etc.);
  4. Detailing: creating and “painting” all of the remaining details [this is the the current stage]. I already recreated the landing gear, and the R-1820 engine. This spring I will recreate all the external details, then I will dig into the cockpit interior;

I am going to create a precise model, thus the whole process takes me more months than I expected. One of the reasons is that I am simultaneously recreating all Dauntless versions. What’s more, I have to suspend this work for every winter, because of my daily business projects. At the end of 2018 I completed p. 3. However, in May 2019 a friend helped me to find at NASM a microfilm set that contains the original Douglas blueprints of the SBD/A-24. At the beginning of June I ordered copies of these microfilms. I received them in November, ordered their scans, which I ultimately received in January 2020. In February 2020 I started organizing these SBD blueprints for my purposes. Now I am going to review the geometry of my 3D model, applying the data I will find in the original Douglas drawings. (In this way I will also discover the true error range in the measurements that I made using less direct methods,  like the photo matching). I will keep posting in this blog on the progress of this work.