That's Number Ten

  • August 11, 2013
  • 370 Downloads
  • 1 Like
  • Blender 2.6x
  • Render: Cycles
  • Creator: BMF
  • License: CC-0
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Description:

This F-86E is a tribute to my uncle who was a fighter pilot. For two years during the Korean War, he flew 67 combat missions in a P-51D, 35 combat missions in an F-80, and 123 combat missions in the F-86. While flying the F-86, he shot down ten North Korean aircraft and damaged three others making him the top American jet ACE (at least until other pilots later exceeded his ten victories) when he returned to the United States in 1952. Later in his career he flew over a 150 combat missions in an F-4 into North Vietnam and Laos. He retired as a Major General. He was the most competitive person I’ve ever known, he had a wonderful sense of humor, and he was a true gentleman in every regard. I never once heard him utter a curse, and I never saw him unhappy about anything. He recently passed away while playing golf at age 91.

The F-86 in this scene is a representation of the one he was flying when he scored his tenth victory. It has the same serial number and markings and as much historical detail as I could find. This was the second dog fight of the mission that day and so he was low on fuel. After shooting down the MIG in this scene, he no longer had sufficient fuel to make it back to base or to friendly lines in South Korea. He climbed to 17,000 feet before he ran out of fuel and then glided to the ocean. He bailed out at 3,000 feet and was rescued by a seaplane while under fire from the North Koreans.

I attempted to capture the “story” in an instant in time. I’m not sure I succeeded, but I’m fairly satisfied with the overall results.

The aircraft textures are composits from that have been modified in Photoshop. The F-86, for example, has over 75 layers in Photoshop. All textures are without copyright or CCL restrictions. The HDR file is included. It too is without copyright or other restrictions.

As usual, there are no restrictions on the models in this scene. Use them however you like.

Comments:

  • nimayus profile picture
    nimayus

    Cool story, and the work in really nice too.

    Edited August 11, 2013
  • BMF profile picture
    BMF

    Thanks. I'm now working on a tribute to my father who flew B-17's during WWII. He was shot down on his third mission and spent two years in a German POW camp.. Modelling a B-17 is beyond my current skills and so it will be interesting to see how it turns out.

    Edited August 11, 2013
  • FayZee profile picture
    FayZee

    I appreciate the detail in the story and the notes on the work itself.

    Edited August 11, 2013
  • matthewinglis profile picture
    matthewinglis

    It looks so realistic, its incredible!

    Edited August 15, 2013
  • BMF profile picture
    BMF

    Thanks for the comment. While there are a number of aspects of this scene that I think turned out OK, I have a long way to go before I'm satisfied with my work. This was just an attempt to pay tribute to my uncle in some small way. He was a great fighter pilot and great individual.

    Edited August 15, 2013
  • matthewinglis profile picture
    matthewinglis

    OK?!#@$$#! I would be more happy than anyone you have ever seen with this model! Keep in mind I am rather new to blender though. I think you should be proud of your work. I love your mouton valley with clouds model. It is almost no different to a real picture or mountain. I'm going to set it as my background image! Your model are great pieces or work and should be respected. :)

    Edited September 04, 2013
  • BMF profile picture
    BMF

    I think the way to improve modeling skills is to select subjects, themes, scenes, etc. that are beyond your current skill level and then try to make them look as realistic as possible.

    I had to model the F-86 from scratch four times because the topology on the first three tries wouldn't support what I wanted to do. If I decide to redo this model, I would be much better because I learned a lot from my many mistakes.

    As with most of my models, they start out as a challenge to create something that I haven't done before and they seem to turn themselves into more complete scenes as I keep adding context to put the main model in a more realistic setting.

    The Mountain scene started out as an experiment using the Cloud add-on just to see if I could create realistic clouds. Then I added the mountain. It looked better, but the cloud seemed out of place. Then I added a plain foreground with snow. Eventually, I added the trees and played with the lighting until I was relatively satisfied that the cloud looked realistic. My point is when I began, I had no intention of creating a mountain scene. It just evolved as decided to add more and more context to the cloud.

    It was the same with the F-86. Originally, I was just going to create a model of the F-86. But one thing led to another and I ended up with the idea to recreate the moment when he became a double ACE. But I didn't start out with that in mind.

    Anyway, your work is good. We all need to just keep trying to improve and our skills will eventually get better. The F-86 is my first attempt using Cycles, so it took forever to figure out how to get a good metalic look to the aircraft and setting up the lighting was a lot different than using Blender Internal, but it was worth the effort.

    I have two projects in the works that are way beyond my current skill levels. They will take a long time to finish as I explore how to do things I've never done before, but in the end, I will be a more experienced modeler.

    Good luck and take care.

    Written September 04, 2013
  • FayZee profile picture
    FayZee

    @BMF: "My point is when I began, I had no intention of creating a ... It just evolved as decided to add more and more context to the ... Originally, I was just going to create a model of the ... But one thing led to another and I ended up with the idea to ... But I didn't start out with that in mind."

    I can identify with all of that. You are a true creative artist in every sense of the term, and have achieved excellent competence through hard work and dedication. I salute you :-)

    Written September 04, 2013
  • BMF profile picture
    BMF

    Thanks for the complement.

    While I've always wanted a more creative side to my life, I have no innate talent for form, color, composition, perspective, drawing, etc. I'm a bull in an artist's china shop and so creativity doesn't come easily for me.

    However, I'm semi-retired now and I have some time to see if I can overcome some of these obstacles.

    Take care.

    Written September 05, 2013
  • bone_eater profile picture
    bone_eater

    Might I ask his name? That's quite a lot of missions to fly in such a career; something to definitely be proud of. My major is history, particularly war and military history, so this interests me.

    Written August 17, 2013
  • mramshaw profile picture
    mramshaw

    bone_eater, do a search for "No Guts, No Glory".

    Written August 25, 2013
  • FayZee profile picture
    FayZee

    I did ... thanks to you I've become an avid fan of Airbourne over the last few days - they have such fun on stage, I really love them.

    Written August 30, 2013
  • BMF profile picture
    BMF

    Well, there were enough hints in my description that just about anyone who might be interested would know who my uncle was within a couple of Google searches.

    But good for you for also knowing that he wrote the fighter pilot's manual on dog fighting. Although missile technology has made "No Guts, No Glory" pretty much irrelevant, there are several fighter pilot friends of mine who believe that the gunnery part of the tactics are still valid.

    Obviously others like Colonel John Boyd and Giora Epstein of the Israeli Air Force understood the dynamics of dog fighting in a much more technical sense. They described dog fighting in far more technical terms such as thermal dynamics and conservation of energy.

    But my uncle was one of the very first to provide instruction on dog fighting in the jet age base on the performance characteristics of the aircraft of his time.

    I did not use his name because he was an extremely modest individual and he considered his accomplishments greater than name recognition--though in the end he had both.

    Written August 30, 2013
  • mramshaw profile picture
    mramshaw

    When I have seen this type of thing before, usually their medals are there too.

    In the case of your uncle, they (lots!) would really obscure the picture itself.

    Which is why I thought a better thing would be to title it "No Guts, No Glory".

    I have heard views that his book was very useful simply because missiles failed to perform as well as expected. Also, I am sure there are many arenas where the use of missiles would be entirely unacceptable. Israel, for instance.

    I tried for a while to get contrails on the wings (not possible in Cycles at the time) so then I tried making the contrails in Blender Internal - but they did not look at all good so I gave up.

    Nice job - the metals especially look very fine in Cycles.

    Written August 31, 2013
  • FayZee profile picture
    FayZee

    @mramshaw: "I tried for a while to get contrails on the wings"

    Could you work something out if you were to combine Cycles and Blender Internal?

    I read this comment on Ristridyn's Expandable Castle Youtube video (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M_bGrc2MLqE):

    "You can use linked scenes and the compositor to combine layers from Blender Render and Cycles together automatically. I have found it very useful to do the main render in Cycles and then composite in things such as Volumetrics and extra Ambient Occlusion from Blender Render. As long as´╗┐ everything is linked and composited properly Blender will use both render engines simultaneously, almost as if you are using a hybrid render engine. It works wonders for animations :)" - Chickenkeeper24

    Written September 01, 2013
  • mramshaw profile picture
    mramshaw

    Thanks for the suggestion, I was trying to use this method (I have used it for volumetrics and a few other things which are not in Cycles yet).

    My problem was that my contrails looked really crappy!

    Written September 01, 2013
  • BMF profile picture
    BMF

    No Guts, No Glory was certainly a significant accomplishment and it made him famous within the fighter pilot communities of his time.

    However, That's Number Ten is my tribute to the moment he became a double ACE and the leading jet ACE of the war until other pilots eventually attained more than ten victories.

    With regards to contrails on the wings, the F-86 did not normally produce them. A lot has to do with the humidity in the atmosphere. However, if you want realistic contrails I suggest using GIMP or Photoshop to create a transparent image of wing contrails by eliminating the background and then using a transparent plane with the correct position and perspective.

    As you may have noticed, that's how I made the flame on the MIG and the smoke trail from the ejection seat. The smoke from the ejection seat needs to modified so that it trails off to the rear as it would from the effects of the wind. It's too straight in the current scene, but I'm thinking of making an improved scene that has better textures, more realism, and includes a more accurate model of the MIG and it's markings. The current MIG has generic markings for North Korea because I didn't want to take the time to be historically accurate with the MIG.

    Anyway, I have no doubt that you can create realistic contrails with transparent images.

    If you really want a 3D effect, you might try using the Cloud add-on. When creating my Mountain scene I found that you can modify the shape, transparency, color, and volume of the cloud you create. The add-on is very sensitive to small changes, but you can modify the shape and delete and spread out the particles to get a custom look. I included some of the basic settings you need to work with in my description of that scene (or maybe in the zip file--I can't remember).

    Good luck.

    Edited September 04, 2013
  • mramshaw profile picture
    mramshaw

    Thanks for the information. I never thought of billboards.

    Yes, I was noodling with contrails using the 'Cloud' add-on.

    Which doesn't (at the moment) work in Cycles.

    The scene seems too static, jets move really fast is all!

    Written September 06, 2013
  • BMF profile picture
    BMF

    If the scene looks too static, you might try using motion blur to add a feeling of movement.

    I realize that cameras that have a slow shutter speed can create a blurred background if you track a moving subject, but I use to be a private pilot with commercial and instrument ratings and trained through advanced aerobatics. There isn't any motion blur from a pilot's perspective, but that doesn't mean you can't use artistic license to create the look you would like.

    My particular scene is from the perspective of my uncle's wing man as if he were flying in close formation at the time.

    Historically, his wing man had returned to base before this event took place and my uncle was engaging this MIG one on one. The reason my uncle told his wing man to return during the first dog fight would take too long to recount here.

    If you do improve on the scene, I'd be interested in seeing it. I'm always looking for better ways to present my works.

    Take care.

    Written September 08, 2013
  • mramshaw profile picture
    mramshaw

    Just tried that search myself, better use: korea "No Guts, No Glory"

    Written August 29, 2013
  • Yowser profile picture
    Yowser

    Awsome! I love these planes. And... the B-17 is another fave. My dad flew in one in WW II. It was old and worn out, and stripped down for use as a transport. The captain let all the soldiers come into the cockpit and sit in his seat, so they could say they flew in the captain's seat of a B-17 in WW II! Cool guy!

    Edited December 05, 2015
  • BMF profile picture
    BMF

    Yowser: Thanks for the comment. Where I live, the Collings Foundation has a Wings of Freedom tour every year in the January and February time frame. They fly a B-17G (the Nine-O-Nine), a B-24 (Witchcraft), a P-51C, and some years a B-25 around the state. It's a bit expensive, but I always pay to ride the B-17 and sometimes I also take a ride on the B-24. It's great to ride the old war birds. I met an old man standing in front of the B-24 and asked if he was going to take a ride. He said, "No, I had all the rides I ever want to take in the B-24 in WW II. I was the front turret gunner. On my first mission, there was so much flak and so many German fighters that I was terrified to the point where I couldn't fire the guns and was vomiting. I did my job on the other 31 missions I flew, but I was always sick to my stomach with fear."

    I fly those aircraft to try to capture the sights, sounds, and experiences my father must have had flying the B-17.

    I fly the B-24 because a friend of mine's father was the bombardier on "Rhapsody in Junk" and was in the same POW camp as my father. In fact they were in adjacent barracks and so they likely knew each other. She is an expert on the B-24 and has written several books, including the most comprehensive history of Stalag Luft III, where our fathers were POWs. She even went to Europe and after extensive research actually found the crash sight of her father's plane and brought back a fragment. Most of it had been salvaged for the aluminum. One of the villagers near the crash site gave her a crude spoon she said her father had made from the aircraft's aluminum after the crash.

    So many interesting people and stories.

    Written January 10, 2016