'Rainmaker' - Avro Lancaster

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Airman 1st Class
Jun 13, 2007

A memory from watching old World War 2 films and documentaries is when a fleet of bomber aircraft discharge their deadly cargo - it looks sort of like rain falling from menacing clouds.

So, to give that memory and thought some life I've started to make the 'The Rainmaker' based on an Avro Lancaster B1 aircraft.

The plans for this project were obtained from Sky Corner - Sky Corner. Aviation Reference

To compliment those plans I also gathered photographic references from several web sites.

Another good reference used was Anders Lejczaks' 'coloacola' site ( www.colacola.se - by Anders Lejczak, 3D Models for download / freebies ) where there is a useful and understandable aircraft modelling tutorial.

Software being used: Cinema4D 9.6, Paint Shop Pro and Maxwell Render.

The plans where cut up using Paint Shop Pro and applied to simple plane primitives in Cinema4D 9.6.

With the plans assembled, some simple resized cube primitives where placed into position. I use Cinemas' mirror tool as much as possible in the early stages - model one half and the other half gets done automatically.

The cube primitives are made into editable objects, placed into a hyper Nurbs and some loop knife cuts applied. In Cinema4Ds' point mode, the rough shaping gets underway.

The form of the Avro Lancaster starts to become apparent.

Some detail is added.

With the shape of the fuselage finalised the bomb bay doors are cut out and a bomb bay added. Eighteen 250lb bombs and a 'cookie' where added. The bomb bay assembly is to remain a seperate component so that it can be excluded from renders when not required to be seen.

The Frazer - Nash powered gun turrets are split from the main fuselage mesh and refined into working components with 'glass' added to them and the fuselage canopy.

The bomb sighters dome was deleted from the main fuselage mesh and a reshaped sphere welded in.

Some other fuselage windows were added to the fuselage.

This update sees some tidying up of the engines - nothing fancy, just moved some points around to refine the shape of the mesh and added some bent cylinders for exhaust pipes.

The undercarriage bay doors have been cut ready to start on the undercarriage, bomb bay main doors finished but need the hydraulic rams and hinges.

A bit more detail added to the 'Rainmaker'. The first attempt at the engine exhaust pipes was scrapped in favour of this new set. Some of these Lancasters' had a shroud fitted over the exhaust pipes and I tried that but didn't like how it looked so decided to stick with pipes.

Also I found some more reference photo's at Kiwi Aircraft Images

Based on this new resource a more accurate peice of glass has replaced the inaccurate round shaped bottom nose glass.

In this 'Rainmaker' update the symmetry object applied to main fuselage peice has been made editable and some work has started on things which are different between the port and starboard sides ie: the port side camera hole at the front.

The undercarriage has got underway including cutting some of the wing out to allow the wheelbay to be high enough.

This wheelbay also uses a test zinc primate coloured material which is a mix of zinc primate (yellow/green) colour and alloy IOR data. I'm trying this mix to replicate paint sprayed over alloy. This first test uses 5% alloy.

Also trying some motion blur on the propellers which will be tweaked as things progress. Maxwell Render struggles with high speed rotational motion blur so the first test is using a simple 15% rotation of each propeller between each frame. Probably reduce this amount later down the line now I've seen the result.

The 'Rainmaker' goes black! I used this in progress render to try out a black material which will have the texture maps slotted in - this attempt looks too reflective so that will be toned down. The tail and rudder parts have been painted and also the tyre gets its base coat of colour and a test 'rubber' material.

Since the last update the engine cowlings have had some small modifications and the undercarriage got completed. The wing flaps have been split from the main wing mesh with the moving cowl part attached to the inner flap.

In preperation for painting the fuselage I've used polygon selection tags and connected the parts into a single object. A UV map was made using Maxons' Bodypaint.

The fuselage gets simple a paint job with some decals made in Paint Shop Pro. The over saturated colours will be sorted as part of the weathering process.

Used this preview to see what an interior green material applied to the canopy inner framework looked like.
Thank you all for the positive comments.

Gnomy - The render engine I'm using displays 162827 triangles are present in the model. The polygon count is probably much less than this because the render engine automatically triangulates the 'quad' mesh. The poly count is set to go a little higher because the cockpit and turret interiors has to be made yet.

There are presently 119 meshes making up the model - a lot of those will get connected during development.

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