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8) An example of the design stage. I tried to make the cockpit entirely of one piece, but getting the rear supports and other elements to form nicely proved too hard. So, I deleted the structures you see here and added a cockpit frame, which holds all the cockpit superstructure.

8) An example of the design stage. I tried to make the cockpit entirely of one piece, but getting the rear supports and other elements to form nicely proved too hard. So, I deleted the structures you see here and added a cockpit frame, which holds all the cockpit superstructure.

10) A detail on the cockpit area.

A detail on the cockpit area.

9) The whole frame of the fuselage and wings, Vol. 2. Even this was untenable when I tried to do the paintwork. I had to restart one more time and keep the mesh to the absolute minimum of vertices and edges.

The whole frame of the fuselage and wings, Vol. Even this was untenable when I tried to do the paintwork. I had to restart one more time and keep the mesh to the absolute minimum of vertices and edges.

2) A complete side view. You can see how the mesh consists of vertices which form edges and then faces are added between edges.

A complete side view. You can see how the mesh consists of vertices which form edges and then faces are added between edges.

3) A new attempt, with much reduced vertex count and cleaner lines. When the mesh is complete with such edgy design, you can add a subsurface modifier, which approximates the points between the "real" ones and makes the mesh much smoother.

A new attempt, with much reduced vertex count and cleaner lines. When the mesh is complete with such edgy design, you can add a subsurface modifier, which approximates the points between the "real" ones and makes the mesh much smoother.

1) This is where it all started. The 3-view in the background is what I went modeling on, and this is the very first attempt. While the form is perfect here, I had to redo the fuselage and wing no less than 3 times, because this one was impossible to paint. The form was just too complex in its structure.

1) This is where it all started. The 3-view in the background is what I went modeling on, and this is the very first attempt. While the form is perfect here, I had to redo the fuselage and wing no less than 3 times, because this one was impossible to paint. The form was just too complex in its structure.

14) First attempt at what is called a UV map. In essence, Blender takes the outer sid of the 3D mesh and maps it onto a 2D surface for painting, much as a tailor would take the pattern and cut cloth according to that.     This shows the problems I have with the unwrapped surface, but which I have set straight in the last version.

14) First attempt at what is called a UV map. In essence, Blender takes the outer sid of the 3D mesh and maps it onto a 2D surface for painting, much as a tailor would take the pattern and cut cloth according to that. This shows the problems I have with the unwrapped surface, but which I have set straight in the last version.

And this is the Blender lighting setup for the night image.

And this is the Blender lighting setup for the night image.

13) The underwing cooler unit of which there are 2, and whose color is not correct in this image. I use the bluish tint in all work-in-progress items to remember to change the color later to match the actual one.

The underwing cooler unit of which there are and whose color is not correct in this image. I use the bluish tint in all work-in-progress items to remember to change the color later to match the actual one.

This is based on an Italian balcony that a friend photographed. The render engine is Cycles, and there's 4000 passes in it.

This is based on an Italian balcony that a friend photographed. The render engine is Cycles, and there's 4000 passes in it.

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