Cockpit

Just a quick post to show the beginnings of the interior. The instrument panel uses a lot of standard instruments that I’ve modelled before but as I’ve got dimensioned drawings for them I’m remodelling them. I should still be able to reuse the gauge artwork which will speed things up a bit.

Spinning Around

With a bit of time off over Christmas the external mapping is now more or less finished, give or take some minor animated parts that will go on a separate small texture. This has also let me check the different textures are aligned properly by applying the standard pattern camouflage. At the moment the textures are 2048×2048 but I’ll up this to 4096×4096 for the final product.

I’ve also modelled the four bladed prop, this appears to be more or less the same as was used on the later two-stage Merlin Spitfires. It was only used on the low-level Seafires with the cropped supercharger that gave combat power up to 2750′. The standard Merlin gave max boost up to 14000′ and was paired with the three bladed prop. Oddly although the Spitfire V came in normal and low-level versions as well it only seems to have ever had the three bladed prop.

With a single-speed single-stage supercharger as used in the early Merlins the cropped unit for the low-level version took less power from the engine . Hence although it was providing the same boost as the standard engine at 2750′ the engine was providing more power to the propeller, by a few hundred horsepower.

Internals

Before mapping the windscreen and canopy frame I thought I should probably finish making them. Then I thought I’d do something about the see through fuselage. Of course I still haven’t mapped the framing…

You can just make out the canopy jettison mechanism on the outside of the frame, which is a lot more Heath Robinson than I’d imagined. Basically you pull a cable which is routed to the outside of the canopy on either side. This pulls two bars forwards which are hooked onto pins that extend from the canopy runners through the framing. Once they’re unhooked the pilot used his elbows to push the front of the canopy wider and wind flow does the rest!

Just the canopy locking mechanism to do and then I might actually finish the external mapping…

Details, details, details

More details added to the fuselage. Some of which, such as the fuselage datum plates, only show up if you zoom right in which makes me suspect I may have overdone it…

I’ve also started on the cockpit door mainly so I can start the mapping for the fuselage before I model the cockpit. The animation for that will have to be changed at some point as it also acted as a lock to stop the canopy sliding forwards in flight/landing.

Hopefully I’ll have finished modelling the fuselage by the end of the week and can get it mapped next weekend.

Exhausting

Fishtail exhausts, tricky

After I made the last post I realised I hadn’t modelled the radiator under the starboard wing! That took a bit longer than planned due to real life getting in the way. Since then I’ve also added the early style exhausts that were predominantly used on the Spitfire Vc and Seafire IIc, the later style individual exhausts for each cylinder were used on most if not all Seafire IIIc but should be easier to model as they’re basically a tube!

Radiator now in place

I’ve also added the early rear view mirror, the Seafire III generally had the later one which was a half sphere. Again I’ll be making that when I update the II to a III. Most of the rest of the work on the external model is the various bumps around the engine and then cutting the access hatch for the cockpit.

Symmetry

So it turns out there are a lot of parts in the wing now. More than 200. So it’s taken me a few weeks to get all the mapping done. Now that’s finished I can finally mirror it and look vaguely symmetrical in flight!

It was only once it was in P3D I realised I hadn’t set the animations for the starboard gear and flaps but that’s only a few minutes work.

The propeller and exhausts still need to be modelled plus some detailing on the fuselage but other than that the basic exterior is done. The more observant may have realised I’ve basically now got a Spitfire Vc, not a Seafire. That’s intentional, the next step for the exterior after it’s all mapped will be adding the parts for a Seafire II, but I’ll probably release the Vc as well as it’s no additional work as long as I save a copy of the model file before I cut the hole for the arrestor hook!