July 26, 1943 -- The Last Mission Staff Pick

  • March 15, 2014
  • 1,376 Downloads
  • 11 Likes
  • Blender 2.7x
  • Render: Blender Internal
  • Creator: BMF
  • License: CC-0
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Description:

Update 2014/03/15 5:17 Eastern Time: I forgot to mention that the flak is parented to an empty and so you can rotate all the flak images to align with a camera angle. Also all parts of the B-17 are parented to the fuselage. To translate along the X, Y, or Z axis, just grab the fuselage and move it. To rotate the B-17, you need to select all the entire aircraft, switch the pivot to BOUNDING BOX CENTER, and then rotate. All of the individual parts should rotate correctly.

This is brief description of the scene. A more detailed account and administrative notes about the file are included in the ZIP file as a PDF document.

During WWII, my father was the pilot of a B-17F-90-BO (serial number 230208) assigned to the 388th Bomb Group, 563rd Bomb Squadron at Kneittishal, England; arriving with his crew in June 1943.

This model/scene is meant as a tribute to the entire crew of that B-17 which flew it's last mission on July 26, 1943.

On that day, the target was the Hanover Rubber Works, Hanover, Germany. En route, his aircraft was hit by flak, killing several of the crew and damaging the plane. After making a successful bomb run, the formation of B-17's made a turn to return to England. However, about 50 miles from the safety of the North Sea, his plane was shot down over Holtland, Germany.

Five of the crew were killed (navigator, radio operator, ball turret gunner, left waist gunner, and the right waist gunner) and five managed to bail out and survive (pilot, co-pilot, bombardier, top turret gunner, and the tail gunner). All survivors were immediately captured and sent to POW camps.

German records state that B-17 230208 was shot down by Oblt (senior lieutenant) Karl Becker flying FW-190A-5 Werk #410005 "Yellow 14" of JG 1/3 (stkpt 3/JG-1).

He was credited with an "HSS" victory. HSS stood for Hesausschuss which roughly means "shoot out" or the separation of a bomber from formation before shooting it down.

Becker himself was killed four days later when he was shot down by an American P-47 pilot.

The B-17 "Flying Fortress" was an aircraft that could take a significant amount of damage and still keep flying. It wasn't easy to shoot down.

"Fips" Philips was a German ACE with credited with shooting down over 200 aircraft on the Eastern Front. While in command of JG 1 defending against American bombers over nothern Germany, he offered the following personal perspective about facing a formation of B-17's:

"Agains 20 Russians trying to shoot you down or even 20 Spitfires, it can be exciting, even fun. But curve in towards 40 fortresses and all your past sins flash before your eyes."

The model is historically accurate for a B-17F-90-BO in the summer of 1943. Paint schemes varied widely both internally and exeternally. Exterior idenification markings also varied. My model is based on a black and white photograph of one of the B-17F-90 in the 562nd Bomb Squadron/388th Bomb Group in August 1943. The white H on the black square was the designation for the 388th Bomb Group. The yellow "R" on the tail was the designation for the 563rd Bomb Squadron. The serial number on the tail is that of the B-17 he was flying when he was shot down.

The Germans fiercely defended their country. They shot down over 4,000 B-17's alone. With a crew of 10, that's over 40,000 B-17 crews killed, wound, or taken POW.

There are a few historical inaccuracies as well. Perhaps the most obvious is that the cheek guns on the nose are directly opposite each other. That's because I was using a mirror modifier. But in reality, either the left or the right cheek gun was staggered forward towards the nose. There wasn't any standard--it appears the staggering was accomplished at the whim of the maintence depot in England that made the modifications to the B-17Fs when they arrived from America.

There is a lot more information in the accompanying PDF file. There I included some administrative notes on settings and other things in the model as well as a lot more detail on the history of that last mission.

As with all of my models, there are no restrictions. There are no copyright images in the file. Most of the textures were hand painted by me in Photoshop. The HDR file packed with the model is 10 MBs alone, which is about a third of the total ZIP size.

Comments:

  • matthewinglis profile picture
    matthewinglis

    That looks so cool, just a quick thing, you should make the plane more shiny as aircraft are rather metallic looking. Sorry if it says something about this in the description, I hate reading...

    Edited March 15, 2014
  • BMF profile picture
    BMF

    Thank you for you comments. Aircraft are generally shiny, but in 1943, B-17's were painted with a flat non-reflective brown with a touch of green mixed in. The reason was that the glare on long flights cause pilot fatigue.

    The interior of the cockpit was also painted with a blue-green non-reflective paint as well.

    Nevertheless, you made a good observation about aircraft in general.

    Edited March 15, 2014
  • DimitrisC profile picture
    DimitrisC

    Great file, loved the info. War is a terrible, terrible thing.

    Written March 15, 2014
  • BMF profile picture
    BMF

    There is a lot more information in the PDF file included with the blend file. I left out the part where my father described the chaos inside the B-17 as Karl Becker fired 20 mm exploding shells into the aircraft and in the cockpit and the aircraft become uncontrollable. It was a miracle anyone made it out alive. It would have been too graphic for this audience.

    Anyway, glad you liked the scene.

    Written March 15, 2014
  • Cesium666 profile picture
    Cesium666

    Great blender image. Sad moment of human history, but it is always good to look back. Great job

    Written March 15, 2014
  • BMF profile picture
    BMF

    Yes, I agree that war is a sad commentary of the human experience. I know first hand as I spent 3 years in combat as a Marine infantry officer.

    I know well what it is like to spend every day for years not knowing if you would see the sunset that day or the sunrise the next morning. It is a shared experience with everyone who has been in combat.

    This is why it was important to me to take the time to pay a very small tribute and remembrance not only of my father and his crew, but in a subtle way of everyone who overcame their fears, saddled up, and did the mission.

    BTW, as a POW my father was a resident of Stalag Luft III, which was the POW camp famous for the Great Escape. Toward the end of the war when the Russians were approaching, all of the Stalag Luft III POWs were sent to Stalag VIIA near Munich. There in April 1945 my father was liberated by the leading elements of Patton's Third Army.

    My father stayed in the Air Force after the war and eventually flew just about every bomber in the Air Force including being a command pilot in B-47s and the B-52s during the Cold War.

    He was a first class gentleman. I never heard him speak in anger or utter a single curse. He was the best father any kid could possibly hope for. He was horrified that I joined the Marine Corps during the Vietnam War, but I saw that he struggled to retain his composure when I was commissioned a 2nd Lieutenant of Marines. He was truly a member of the Greatest Generation.

    I apologize for rambling on like this. But I'm nearly 70 years old now, and those years in combat are just as crystal clear to me today as they were those many decades ago. I know for a fact that my father felt the same about his B-17 and POW experiences. It's both a blessing and a curse of sorts. Combat is not something to be remembered fondly, but the men with whom you serve deserve to never to be forgotten.

    Edited March 15, 2014
  • FayZee profile picture
    FayZee

    Thank you for telling your story ... and it's a superb render. Kudos.

    Written March 15, 2014
  • BMF profile picture
    BMF

    As always, I appreciate your comments and inputs.

    I hope some day that you will share a model or scene or more with the community. You seem to have the artist's touch in your observations.

    Written March 15, 2014
  • FayZee profile picture
    FayZee

    @BMF: Thank you for your compliment, I am flattered and happy to hear you say that :-)

    I am a keen writer and I love to illustrate. I write "short short" stories and extracts, and also children's picture books.

    My illustrations are in oil pastel, done by hand, and sometimes water colour crayons. My method is to create simple models, arrange and pose to get a desired effect, and then start drawing and developing from there.

    This means my 3D models don't have to be detailed, so are not suitable for Blendswap.

    All this is a hobby; I haven't put anything forward to publish and I keep it all off the Internet.

    It makes a nice contrast to the technicalities of my long term profession, which is creating database driven web applications.

    Written March 15, 2014
  • FayZee profile picture
    FayZee

    Speaking of writing, when I first saw this render, my immediate reaction was: Book cover!

    Written March 15, 2014
  • Cesium666 profile picture
    Cesium666

    Thanks for this man, I am speechless ...

    Written March 16, 2014
  • oldtimer profile picture
    oldtimer

    BMF, a remarkable work as usually yo do. And the story behind this is reallyl fascinating. Keep healthy to continue sharing blends like this. Regards.

    Edited March 15, 2014
  • BMF profile picture
    BMF

    Thanks. I'm a great admirer of you works and I've downloaded them all.

    I'm not sure what I'll do next. The Blend Swap members seem to like nature scenes. I enjoy doing nature scenes, but they never seem to tell a story. They can evoke an emotion or a sense of serenity, but they're just a bunch of bushes and rocks that have very little to say.

    Lately, I prefer to have scenes that have a story to tell. I'm a student of history. I've studied the histories of Latin America, Colonial America, the Civil War, WWI, WWII, England, Europe, Biblical, and others.

    There are even stories buried in the Mesozoic Era (251 million years ago to 65 million years ago) that included the Triassic, Jurassic, and Cretaceous Periods where the dinosaurs emerged and then died and was the beginning of the dominance of the mammals. Except for the Cambrian Explosion (from 542 millions ago to 488 million years ago) which produced all but one of the phylum's we have today; the end of the Mesozoic Era was truly the beginning of our existence today. What a story to try to capture in art. I don't know if it's even possible.

    While I'll continue to create different kinds of art, I think I do want to focus more on sharing history with people. That art may not be as popular, but even if I inspire just one other person to dig deeper into a historical event, then I'd be satisfied.

    People who are ignorant of history are doomed to repeat the mistakes of history.

    You know Oldtimer, Lieutenant Colonel Doolittle's B-25 raid on Tokyo flying off the USS Hornet was a major turning point in WWII. There is only one (possibly 2) survivor of that raid alive today. Maybe I'll pay tribute to what was considered a one way mission that did so much to change the course of history in April of 1942.

    Or there was PT-109 with John F. Kennedy as it's commanding officer. Few people remember that Kennedy was a young Naval officer on a PT boat in WWII. He was to become an icon in American political history.

    Or I might pay tribute to the Flying Tigers who before the US entered WWII were a group of American volunteers fighting the Japanese. You just have to wonder what motivated those pilots to go to China to fly out dated aircraft against the best or second best (Germany may have had the best) Air Force in the world at the time.

    Anyway, sorry for the diatribe. But history is a source of endless inspiration. I'm wondering what inspires me next.

    Tenga cuidado mi amigo.

    Written March 15, 2014
  • jonardaron profile picture
    jonardaron

    Dear BMF, I'm so happy that our open source communities are so friendly nowadays. Be it buildtheenterprise.org, blenderartists or all our planet's famous artists (and all those I forgot).

    Me personally did not expect your blend to tell a story, but the title gave a hint and I felt I had to follow.

    There is nothing that hits me more than the world wars. I dream bad of it, though it seem be far away once my grandfathers were started into this abyss. The losses in these wars were so severe, that nothing can be enough to undo our faults.

    I'm just glad now, that our planet starts to grow together. Begging for pardon, I will think of your father as I do of those that I know fell, were wound or horrified in the wars that not people but their leaders seem to initiate.

    A servant, in bitterness and hope for our planet, (open source and art is my biggest hope for making this place a better world. Thank you for sharing, the heart-breaking story [as it always was in my life to be confronted with this time, yet I can't let this timeframe down. I'm too involved, my ancestors have been pilots, and teachers until even the last teacher had to leave to defend the Reich in the eastern front. I'm so sorry, how could this all happen? I admire Chamberlain's politic of appeasement, had just our 'artist' leader realized that there are higher values and virtues in the world. I'm sad to the end of my life. May the world learn from history or we are all doomed - once again.])

    J.R.I.B.-Wein.

    Written April 11, 2014
  • BMF profile picture
    BMF

    Thank you for you thought provoking comments.

    Written April 12, 2014
  • oldtimer profile picture
    oldtimer

    "People who are ignorant of history are doomed to repeat the mistakes of history." A cathedral size truth.

    I'm eagerly waiting for your next entry.

    De nada, amigo.

    Written March 15, 2014
  • BMF profile picture
    BMF

    And I eagerly await your next entry as well.

    Let's make a pact to tell important historic stories with our art. That's not to say that we don't tell stories with our other art, but only that we periodically tell about history.

    Written March 16, 2014
  • toepinch profile picture
    toepinch

    I love history too. The back story makes the model way more interesting, and it is already good work. Maybe you could create a blog with 3d reenactments of history or something. That might be interesting. You obviously have the potential to produce something of value to many people. I think you should put your talent to use on some kind of educational project. Anyway thanks for making your model cc0. I really appreciate the model and the history lesson!

    Written March 15, 2014
  • BMF profile picture
    BMF

    Thanks for your comment. I am thinking about how to tell compelling stories with art and history. I'm not there yet. I need a lot more experience.

    Written March 15, 2014
  • BMF profile picture
    BMF

    After re-reading your post, I wanted to add a response.

    Nature scenes are far more popular than aircraft or military models/scenes. However, I feel deeply that people need to remember their history. Whether it be the heroic struggles in Colonial times, the opening of the West in America, the Civil War, or whatever. These are histories not taught in our schools today and if they are, I assure you they are inaccurate.

    My recent inspiration is to recreate histories in a way that cause people to open a book and find the truth of those histories for themselves.

    However, if you don't have intellectual curiosity, then you are just a hopeless stooge of government propaganda.

    I'm not trying to be political. I'm just saying that what is taught in schools today is not true history. It's the history that the politically correct advocates want the students to know and no more. My wife is both a teacher and a substitute teacher and she is horrified by what passes for history in schools today. In fact, she is horrified by how all subjects are taught today. It's more political propaganda than learning, in her opinion.

    Anyway, I will continue to try to represent historical events in a way that causes people to research the facts. I'm not sure I'll be successful, but I want my art to tell a story.

    Written March 16, 2014
  • mofx profile picture
    mofx

    @BMF, very nice. Great model, composition and storytelling. Added to Staff Picks. Cheers

    Written March 16, 2014
  • BMF profile picture
    BMF

    I'm honored that this scene is a staff pick. There were 42 version of this model as I evolved it. I understand that expert Blender artists could have created this in a fraction of the time, but I have a business to run and I don't get much time to spend on Blender modeling.

    There is so much more to this story that hasn't been yet told and probably never will. Most people are probably not interested so I tried to emphasize the key events.

    My research has been down to the atomic level of available documents and interviews.

    This was far more a tribute than a modeling effort.

    Again, thanks.

    Written March 16, 2014
  • FayZee profile picture
    FayZee

    You could put the history into an illustrated ebook with your research references at the back.

    With imaginative chapter headings and good use of side bars (as used in magazines) you could arrange the whole book so that it could be read on multiple levels: just skimmed through; read in selectable depth; or read thoroughly cover-to-cover.

    You could link to your models on BlendSwap.

    Written March 16, 2014
  • BMF profile picture
    BMF

    FayZee,

    Thanks for the suggestions. It would be an interesting project, but to be honest I have too many things on my plate for the foreseeable future--which in my case isn't all that many years remaining.

    Written March 17, 2014
  • howy2012 profile picture
    howy2012

    What a wonderful tribute to your Father! Many thanks for sharing both the model and the story with us. I have always admired the crews of the B-17s. Unimaginable hardship and dedication!

    Written March 17, 2014
  • BMF profile picture
    BMF

    Thanks for your comment.

    The hardships of the bomber crews were hard to imagine. I recently paid to have a flight on one of the few B-17s still flying today (The Nine O Nine). It was the first time I had actually been in B-17 and I was taken by how small it is inside. Other than the waist gun positions and the radio operator, it's very difficult to move around inside while it's on the ground. It's even more difficult when flying and bouncing around. In most areas there are only a few inches to squeeze by to move from on compartment to the other. To get from the front of the B-17 to the area in back, you have to go through the bombay by stepping down onto a 6 inch wide catwalk with only a rope to hang onto. It only takes 75 pounds of pressure to cause the bombay doors to open so if you fell while in the bombay, you would just keep going until you hit the ground.

    Even the hatches used to bail out are so small you have to wonder how people actually got through them with a parachute on.

    I've read so many accounts of the B-17 crews that I could go on for hours. But until you actually get into a B-17, you will never fully appreciate those stories.

    Here's a link to an unbelievable B-17 story http://jeffpicard.com/blog/a-fortress-coming-home/.

    For those who are interested; Google "Old Bill" B-17 mission and also read the amazing story of the B-17 named Ye Ole Pub. And realize these kinds of stories were not uncommon.

    Written March 17, 2014
  • PeeDee76 profile picture
    PeeDee76

    by coincidence today before logging in I watched a great film called Air Force, about the crew of a B17. It was an old film (B & W) but it was realy good. If you haven't seen it you should look it up, gives good insight to the bravery and comradeship of the crews. Ty for the model by the way, its obvious it was a labour of love.

    Written March 18, 2014
  • PeeDee76 profile picture
    PeeDee76

    p.s i had quick look on IMDb - it was made in 1943. if you go to IMDb site, it's 1st film on list once 'air force' is put in search box.

    Written March 18, 2014
  • BMF profile picture
    BMF

    Thank you for your comments.

    I'm very familiar with the movie "Air Force." There were a number of different B-17's in the movie but the main one (the Mary Ann) was a very early B-17B model that had been upgraded to a B-17D. By 1943 models older than the newer B-17E were obsolete and no longer in combat. By mid 1943, almost all of the B-17E models in combat had be replaced by the B-17F. All of the aircraft seen in the movie were based in Florida. I don't remember the different airfields. I believe the B-17s were based at the Army's Drew Field which is currently Tampa International Airport. I do know that the Martin B26's in the movie were based at MacDill AFB in Tampa and painted to look like Japanese bombers. The movie was filmed in Florida.

    The early scene in the movie where the B-17's come under attack while approaching Hawaii is based on what actually happened. B-17's being ferried from the US to Hawaii approached Oahu at the same time the Japanese were attacking Pearl Harbor. The B-17's were unarmed and completely defenseless and couldn't land at Hickham field or any of the other bases under attack. So they diverted to axillary landing sites on Oahu, Molokai, and Maui.

    When I was in the Marine Corps in the 1970's, I was stationed in Hawaii for three years and I go there on business today several times a year. I'm very familiar with all of the history of Hawaii and the western Pacific.

    Those B-17's were later ferried to the Philippines to reinforce the bomber units there, but the rest of the movie is fiction (but good fiction). A pilot who flew B-17's in the Philippines in 1942 was a technical advisor on the film so the procedures and dialogue were fairly accurate in the movie.

    One of the best and most accurate B-17 movies made was "12 O'clock High" with Gregory Peck. That movie is set in the late Spring of 1943, within a few months of when my father arrived in England (June 1943). My father liked the movie for it's accuracy and realism of the way things were when he was there.

    Take care

    Written March 19, 2014
  • blenderjunky profile picture
    blenderjunky

    Outstanding, poignant and truly truly inspired. Incredible story and incredible blend. This is the first time that I have been moved by a blend, truly moved. Thank you for sharing.

    Written March 19, 2014
  • BMF profile picture
    BMF

    Blenderjunky,

    Well, you made my day. Thanks.

    I'm also an admirer of all of your works. I like your eye for the detail of the world around us and how you are able to translate those details into your art.

    Take care.

    Written March 19, 2014
  • BMF profile picture
    BMF

    Blenderjunky,

    I was rereading the posts for this model/scene and when I came to your comment, I was reminded of the incredible detail you put into your models. I envy that talent as my B-17 model is fairly accurate on the outside, but there is no way I could have included the detail on the inside that you seem to effortlessly include in your works.

    Hopefully some day (and it will have to be fairly soon as the older you are the more uncertainty there is) I will be able to update it with your level of detail.

    I'd love to recreate the nose section, the cockpit, and the waist gun positions with the level of detail you include in many of your works.

    Anyway, I just want to add that comment.

    Take care.

    Written May 02, 2014
  • cookingglen profile picture
    cookingglen

    Thankyou great model!

    Written March 24, 2014
  • BMF profile picture
    BMF

    Thanks for you comment.

    Written March 24, 2014
  • simonscmp profile picture
    simonscmp

    A real testament and labour of love. A really thoughtful piece of work the story of which deserves greater recognition. Great hobby to have and may you continue the great work

    Written May 02, 2014
  • BMF profile picture
    BMF

    Simonscmp, Thanks for your comment.

    Written May 03, 2014
  • ChrisKuhn profile picture
    ChrisKuhn

    Awesome work, dude. I can tell how much effort went into it.

    Written May 15, 2014
  • BMF profile picture
    BMF

    Kuhnindustries,

    Well, I appreciate your comment, especially coming from you.

    But the truth is that it's only my second attempt at a serious aircraft (the F-86 being the first) and while I was pleased with the results for my basic skill level, I was disappointed that I couldn't get to the level of detail I wanted.

    I'm going to do a couple of different scenes for a while, but I intend to return to aircraft and history. I'd like my works to tell a story instead of just being reasonably OK models.

    Anyway, thanks again and your tutorial on rigging aircraft really has inspired me to return to the B-17 to make some significant upgrades.

    Written May 15, 2014
  • ChrisKuhn profile picture
    ChrisKuhn

    For the record, my first aircraft looked like a squashed watermelon with bricks sticking out of the sides... and my second one didn't look much better.

    But what I meant was this:

    At any skill level, it's obvious how much effort people invest in their work. Sure, there are some things you could have done differently here... but what caught my eye was all the stuff you got right, and all the time it must have taken to get there.

    Looking forward to your future projects.

    -Chris-

    Written May 15, 2014
  • BMF profile picture
    BMF

    Chris, It's been a long time since I posted the B-17 blend (which needs to be updated to Cycles with more detail), but I haven't had time to do much modeling. I have a business to run and too many other responsibilities that are more important (at least to me) than modeling in Blender. For example, I visit the VA hospitals in my area to support the wounded veterans. This is difficult for me as I've spent three years in combat without a scratch (or at least one I'd admit to because when your own artillery tries to kill you, I don't believe that deserves a Purple Heart).

    I digress.

    With the very little time I have to model in Blender, I've been working on a B-24 named "Rhapsody in Junk."

    This is a very long story so I'll give you the short version.

    During my research to pay tribute to my father's last mission, I have met an incredible number of people who have provided me with historical information on my father's last mission as well as his time as a POW in Stalag Luft III.

    It turns out that there is an association of survivors of Stalag Luft III and their descendants who hold an annual reunion that would blow your mind with the stories of the surviving POWs, the historical archives presented by historians, the memorabilia provided by former POWs and the families of deceased POWs, etc.

    I suffices to say that the Stalag Luft III community is as dedicated as any historical organization today. They even re-enact the terrible march from Stalag Luft III to the rail yard to be transferred to Stalag VIIA during the worst blizzard in German history. For 3-4 days the POWs were kept in rail cars without food or water. POWs in the boxcars took to drinking urine for water.

    Anyway, during my research I met the organizer of the Stalag Luft III reunion and she provided me with invaluable facts and documents pertaining to my father from the time he was shot down to his liberation.

    She was very impressed with my B-17 tribute to my father and asked if she might pay me to do something similar for her father who was a bombardier on a B-24 named "Rhapsody in Junk."

    I don't do this for money so I told her that I would create model of her father's B-24 as pay back for all of the historical information she provided on my father.

    I don't know when I will be finished with this B-24 model because I'm extremely busy with my business which pays the bills.

    I just wanted to let you know that there is another historical model in the works that will be a tribute not only to the woman who organizes the Stalag Luft III reunions every year--that would be sufficient. But we discovered that her father and my father were in adjacent barracks in Stalag Luft III and endured the same incredible hardships being transferred to Stalag VIIA.

    I doubt any of this means anything to you. I guess you have to have had a father in WW II and connect with the emotions of their descendants as I have.

    I only hope I can provide her a reasonably accurate B-24 on which her father was the bombardier. I only have two partial photographs of the "Rhapsody in Junk" and the knowledge that there were dozens of B-24 variants at that time.

    It has taken many months to research what her father's B-24 model may have looked like on the day it was shot down.

    Beyond that, I've created what I think is a good nature blend, but it is more than 300 MB so I can't upload it to Blend Swap. I guess I'll have to scale my ambitions down if I want to post my models on Blend Swap.

    I've seen your models on the CG Cookie Market Place. I hope you do well.

    I may have considered posting a model on the Market Place, but I'm getting old and I don't have a lot of time. I'm close to 70 with more than 2 dozen hobbies/interests. Besides, I'm half way through trying to write a novel which is 100 times more difficult than modeling the most complex model in Blender.

    Anyway, the B-24 will be in Cycles which I'm still not comfortable using, but it will have an equally compelling story about her father.

    Thanks for you encouraging comments with regard to my B-17 model. I hope to upgrade the detail and to convert it to Cycles soon.

    BMF

    Written October 05, 2014
  • airwinggraphics profile picture
    airwinggraphics

    This is an amazing aircraft rendering. I'm hoping to get to the point with my 3D artwork that I can start putting recreations together for heroes in the military flying community! I have a commission for a Korean War recreation now. Thank you for sharing! Art

    Written January 23, 2015
  • BMF profile picture
    BMF

    Thanks for the comment. If you have a commission to recreate a Korean War scene, then I assume you have all the skills necessary to model aircraft of any kind.

    The B-17 was my third attempt at modeling an aircraft. The first was a V-1 Buzz Bomb because it had a simple design The second was an F=86 which was more complex but still with simple lines. The B-17 was a challenge that took a long time to complete. The B-17 textures aren't that great but I intend to update it in cycles and redo the textures. The same for the F-86. It's textures need updating as well.

    It may be awhile. After I finish my current project (Willys Jeep circa 1943) I promised a friend I would model the B-24H named "Rhapsody in Junk" on which her father was the bombardier. After that, I don't know. I'd like to model the B-25B that LtCol Doolittle flew off the USS Hornet in April 1942 to bomb Tokyo. It was one of the most daring raids of WW II.

    Good luck and take care.

    Written January 24, 2015
  • mcuncledon profile picture
    mcuncledon

    This is both a very good model and a wonderful tribute to your father, his crew and everyone who served during that conflict. If he is still with you give him my regards as an old Vietnam mud Marine who served through Desert Storm.

    Edited December 22, 2015
  • BMF profile picture
    BMF

    mcuncledon: My apologies for this late reply, but I've been very busy running my business.

    Thanks for your comment. My father passed away in August 1971 at age 51. He never talked much about his experiences in WW II, and I never took the time to sit down and capture those experiences--of which only a tiny fraction are now available through extensive research.

    Thanks for your service. I was an infantry officer in the Marine Corps for 21 years. I was a platoon commander in Vietnam 1968-1969 operating south of Da Nang as far as the Qua Son Mountains. The mines and booby traps were the worst. I was company commander for the evacuation of Saigon in April 1975, and I spent two years (1986-1988) in Latin America supporting counter-insurgency operations there. I finally retired after serving a tour at US Special Operations Command spending most of a year in Latin America. All in all, it was a pretty wild ride. I'd do it again if I could.

    I've been an independent consultant for DoD technology programs for sixteen years. Who would have thunk an old infantry war horse would end up supporting cyber warfare defense technologies. Life has many paths. Like Yogi Berra once said, "When you come to the fork in the road; take it."

    Written January 10, 2016
  • Avinashn profile picture
    Avinashn

    GREAT MODEL

    AND LET THE AIRCREW R.I.P

    Written May 30, 2016
  • BMF profile picture
    BMF

    Thanks for the comment and remembering all those who go in harm's way so others may live in peace.

    Written May 30, 2016
  • RandomGuy64 profile picture
    RandomGuy64

    Wow what a great model! My great grandfather [Sgt Joseph S. Bertasso] also flew in a b-17 as a belly gunner! Could you teach me how to re map one of the aircraft to another b-17 livery? I have pictures of what his looked like.

    http://www.303rdbg.com/358baker.html

    http://www.markstyling.com/303rd_bg.b-17s/303rd_cu_48.jpg

    Written July 08, 2016
  • BMF profile picture
    BMF

    Glad you like the model. I learned a lot in the process of creating it. I could do much better today and one of my to do list items is to upgrade the mesh and texturing and move it to Cycles.

    With regard to changing the group and squadron markings, you need to do some research as the markings changed throughout the war. The markings for the bomb group and squadron on my father's B-17 in 1943 when he was shot down were much different in 1944 and 1945.

    If you want your version to be accurate, make sure you study the markings for you great grandfather's group and squadron for the year he flew. Even then, there were aircraft in the groups that were in transition with regard to markings The squadrons in my father's bomb group were not consistent. I studied photographs of B-17s in my father's squadron for 1943 and there were variations. I finally found a photo of a B-17 named "Homesick Angel" that crash landed in August 1943--less than a month after my father was shot down. It turned out that Homesick Angel was the aircraft he flew on his first mission. Crews often flew different aircraft to maximize efficiency in matching crews to combat ready aircraft.

    There is not much I can do to teach you how to change the markings. The model was done in Blender Render which I haven't used in more than a year. I recommend that you just study how I textured it originally and make the changes you need.

    When you are finished, I'd love to see your work. I am an avid student of history of all kinds, but especially of my family. You may have noticed my model of the F-86 was done as a tribute to my uncle.

    If you do run into a major problem, let me know. If I can help, I'll give it a try, but I'm deeply involved in creating PT-109 motor torpedo boat that John F. Kennedy commanded during WW II. I thought it would be fairly straight forward, but it turns out that the PT boat is much more of a challenge than the B-17.

    Best of luck

    Written July 08, 2016
  • donelking1978 profile picture
    donelking1978

    First of all I am a hardcore history buff. Second of all this is a beautiful blend. For the love of everything awesome bless us with more.

    Written July 25, 2016
  • Grouplatice8 profile picture
    Grouplatice8

    Love this, is it alright if i use this in a ww2 game that I'm currently creating and i'll add you in the credits at the end and your creation? Thank You

    Written August 05, 2016
  • BMF profile picture
    BMF

    It's probably too big for a game, but feel free to use it however you like. No need to credit me because no one knows who I am anyway. I'm 70 years old and 3D modeling is just one of me dozen or so hobbies/interests.

    Take Care.

    Written August 05, 2016
  • MOELANDER profile picture
    MOELANDER

    If I could, I'd personally would like to thank your father for helping free us germans from a dictatorship. I am currently looking with wory at the current POTUS and se some parallels to back when Hitler was still chancellor and not yet the GRÖFAZ. The B-17 is a stellar modelling job, and I want to give praise to what you describe as a simple hobby. You sir, could do a professionals work.

    Written May 12, 2017
  • BMF profile picture
    BMF

    Thanks for your comment.

    Written May 15, 2017
  • Brambleclaw profile picture
    Brambleclaw

    I love the model but.....can ya make a cycles version? It lags like crazy when I load it in

    Written November 13, 2017
  • BMF profile picture
    BMF

    Yes, I plan on creating a Cycles version. But it will be a while because I'm currently updating my most popular scene (the Beach) to Cycles, I'm finishing up my PT boat model (unfortunately, Blend Swap has a bug and won't up load the larger models any more--Admin essentially said they were too busy to fix and it works OK for most people), and I intend to remodel parts of the B-17 to simplify the topology and improve the texturing while reducing the size and resources computers need to render it. I also intend to consolidate as many individual textures into a singles to reduce the size.

    I also have a consulting contract that takes of part of my time.

    But, yes. I intend to update the B-17 and my better / popular BI models to Cycles. Be patient.

    Written November 14, 2017
  • Brambleclaw profile picture
    Brambleclaw

    Thank you my good sir! This is wonderful news.....now I just need to find a skin for the B17. Im doing an updated version of the Dec. 20th encounter over Bremen. Maybe you've read the book A Higher Call? Great book that shows both sides of a terrible war

    Written November 27, 2017
  • BMF profile picture
    BMF

    I may move up my plans to update the B-17 to cycles with additional modeling and better texturing. Also may include the crew members. I have plans to update the internals in the forward section, making it more historically accurate. The landing gear and better turbo superchargers. And I want to use texturing to add the rivets. Better gas caps planned as well. Some parts have too much mesh and other parts need more structure. You get the idea. It's not going to be a straight conversion from BI to Cycles.

    I'm very familiar with the story of Ye Olde Pub and pilots Charlie Brown and Franz Stigler. I've read A Higher Call. I am by nature a history buff.

    Luckily, Ye Olde Pub was a B-17E so you won't need to upgrade it to the F model.

    Ye Olde Pub withstood horrific damage during that mission and so I'd be interested to see your results and how you achieved them. A plastic model wouldn't be too difficult as there are lots of tutorials on creating weathering and realistic damage. But my guess is that it will be much more difficult to achieve the same results in Blender.

    Now that I know that you want the B-17 to create a historic event, I'm more inclined to update it sooner rather than later. I just finished updating a previous model I did using Blender Internal. It's a bit more trouble than I thought. BI textures don't convert well and you need to clean out the textures in BI and start over using cycles nodes, and my BI textures were very basic. I'm now using Substance Painter for most (but not all) of my texturing. I think it saves time trying to debug a conversion add-on.

    I look forward to using the PBR shader on the B-17, though most of it is dialectic paint, but the aluminum under it should look much better in the chipped areas.

    Best of luck.

    Written November 28, 2017
  • Brambleclaw profile picture
    Brambleclaw

    You are.....amazing. I am known as the "airplane guy" in school cuz I talk about ww2-modern day aircraft and stuff. I am labled a tryhard cuz I learn about the specific models of the aircraft.

    So I have the Bf 109G4 with Franz's camo paint....now I just need a B17E and a texture. Then I will upload it to YT (Youtube)

    Written November 28, 2017
  • BMF profile picture
    BMF

    I'll be waiting to see your results.

    Take care

    Written November 28, 2017
  • BMF profile picture
    BMF

    Not sure how I will make the B-17 available yet. The Blend Swap staff apparently have abandoned it and some of it no longer works--especially with larger models. When I notified them of the problem their response was essentially we're busy on other things and the site works for most people. In other words, they have no intentions of fixing it.

    I may move to Blender Artists and set up a dropbox to offer my models to whomever wants them. They don't do me any good sitting in my hard drive.

    We'll see. It will be a while before the conversion and updates for the B-17 are completed.

    Written November 28, 2017
  • Brambleclaw profile picture
    Brambleclaw

    ok

    Written November 28, 2017
  • Brambleclaw profile picture
    Brambleclaw

    so Im not really good at damage models. I have the texture of Ye Olde Pub but idk how to make a damaged model of the bomber

    Written December 23, 2017
  • BMF profile picture
    BMF

    Search on the Internet for something like "blender tutorial damage" and you will find a few tutorials and time lapse videos that will give you some insights. You will need tutorials for using the knife cut, knife projection, the knife cut through option, and the lattice modifier.

    For B-17 damage, I recommend that you find WW II references of damaged aircraft by bullets and flak--the damage caused by each is very different.

    Carefully study the painting(s) to see where the damage was and what it looked like so you can create something similar.

    Use the knife tool to cut holes in the fusilage. I recommend using the knife project option so you can model your flak damage template separately and then use it to cut the fusilage.

    To cut the horizontal tail off as in the painting, use the knife tool and the "cut through" option so you cut through both the top and bottom of the stabilizer.

    Bullet holes are pretty much the same. Bullets usually entered the fusilage at an angle so you should create a circle and distort it until it looks like it would make a hole where a bullet entered from behind the plane. Then use the knife project cut opption to cut the bullet holes wherever you want them.

    Create a cylinder and practice making flak and bullet holes in it until you feel like you've got the look you want, then try it on the B-17.

    Make a copy of the model because I guarantee that you will need to start over a number of times.

    Also remember that there is a separate inside portion of the fusilage for the waist gun section and the nose.

    Finally, if you want to create some dents or distorted areas, you can use a lattice modifier to make non-destructrive dents and bent sections.

    Good luck

    Written December 24, 2017
  • Brambleclaw profile picture
    Brambleclaw

    oh joy....well, this is....interesting

    Written December 24, 2017
  • Brambleclaw profile picture
    Brambleclaw

    for the stabilizer part, you you make those steel rods inside where I'll cut. So it will look better?

    Written December 25, 2017
  • BMF profile picture
    BMF

    You can model damaged parts separately and place them where needed. So yes, when you cut the tail (or other parts) you can add damaged spars, rods, wires, ribs, etc. Study the Ye Olde Pub painting for a reference to your specific requirements and study lots of photos of actual damage to B-17's. You will eventually decide how you want the damage to look.

    Use the lattice modifier to make bends and dents as it will be much easier than trying to model them.

    Written December 26, 2017
  • Brambleclaw profile picture
    Brambleclaw

    got it. Im not an expert in all dat but I'll find my way. May Starclan be with us

    Written December 26, 2017
  • divith profile picture
    divith

    what happened to your father , may I ask? How old was he during this? And , what happened to the 5 captured people?

    Written June 08, 2018
  • BMF profile picture
    BMF

    Long story. There is a PDF file with some of the information.

    My father was a B-17 pilot (22 years old at the time) and on July 26, 1943 the mission was to bomb the Hanover Rubber Works in Germany. Inbound to the target, his plane was hit by flak, killing the Navigator and possibly others, but the intercom was disabled and so communications to the rest of the crew was lost.

    He successfully dropped his bombs, but on the return to England, he was shot down by a FW-190 because his plane was lagging behind the group and was an easy target for the German pilot.

    Five of the crew were killed and five bailed out and survived. All five crew were immediately captured and sent to POW camps.

    My father was liberated in April 1945 but wasn't able to return home until August.

    He remained in the Air Force and flew B-47's and B-52's during the Cold War.

    He was promoted to Colonel but died on active duty in 1971.

    When I was 22 years old, I was a Marine infantry officer leading a platoon in Vietnam (1968-1969). I retired from the Marine Corps in 1989.

    Take Care

    Written June 09, 2018
  • rpm3dinc profile picture
    rpm3dinc

    When I try to render it seems to have no textures for the B17 or the Flak... Is there something I am missing in the file?

    Written March 30, 2021