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Location: >> - Featured Tutorials - Creating A 3D Sopwith Pup, Part one: The Engine - Jeff Matheson - Page 7

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Creating A 3D Sopwith Pup, Part one: The Engine - Jeff Matheson - Page 7

Author: Jeff Matheson
Date Published: 2007-11-02
Contact: artkings[at]highconceptmedia[dot]com
Author Website: http://www.artkings.highconceptmedia.com
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MAIN SUPPORT HUBRotary radial engines, such as the LeRhone 9 cylinder being modeled here, rotate around a fixed crankshaft (unlike modern engines which have rotating crankshafts), and therefore require very robust mounting arrangements.

The main mounting hub for the LeRhone was bolted to the back of the crankcase, and also included a ring for the spark plug leads. These were all modeled fairly simply using a number of Cylinder primitives. Since they are unlikely to be visible in the final model, I did not expend a lot of effort or time on this area (SCREENSHOT).

The spark plugs leads are simple Line splines, that have been converted into Editable Polys. They terminate in small Geospheres at the edge of the plate (SCREENSHOT).


Beginning with a Cylinder primitive, sized and positioned based upon the photo reference, I specified that the end cap (cylinder top) have 6 sections, which provided enough vertices to allow me to model the inner raised section, as well as have a nice bevel on the edge. After converting to an Editable Poly, I used either Polygon or? Vertex editing to reshape the front of the propeller hub to pull out a center ring, and taper the inner part of the central tube (SCREENSHOT). The bolt heads are simply copies of those made previously.

PROPELLER HUBThe massive main propeller nut that holds the propeller on (a simple 6-sided Cylinder), is itself held in place by a locking plate that prevents the nut from turning (we wouldn't want our propeller to fall off in mid-air, would we?). The locking plate is formed from a piece of flat steel, that is shaped to stand off the face of the hub enough to get a good grip on the main propeller nut, and is held in place by two of the propeller hub bolts.

The basic shape of the oval-shaped locking plate is created by Extruding a spline (start with a Circle spline, convert to an Editable Spline, and edit the vertices to match the photo reference). Extrude this spline about 0.25" thick. This gives us a flat, oval shaped plate that we can position on the propeller nut. To give this flat plate the necessary bends that allow it to contact the hub face, we now can use a great little modifier, the FFD(box), which creates a framework (envelope) of control points around an object that allows it to be distorted. For this object I set up a 9x4x4 box, and by editing the control points, easily made the final shape (SCREENSHOT). While this method doesn't give you the fine control that pure vertex editing can, it also doesn't alter the underlying polygonal mesh - if you need to return to the original shape, you can just turn off or delete this modifier. This modifier works best when the underlying mesh has enough resolution to allow for smooth curves in the final object (SCREENSHOT).

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