Time for the Pilot…

Since I was here last there have been a LOT of interesting deals that have happened at the MLB winter meetings.  Among those deals was one in which the St. Louis Cardinals did what made sense; they acquired Dexter Fowler from the Chicago Cubs.  It was certainly a big contract for the center fielder.  Over 82 million for five years (and I think a 17th round draft pick, too?).  I’m fairly amazed they opened their checkbook that wide.  But, now the Cards’ outfield is pretty well set and we gained a good hitter and someone who seems like a genuinely nice guy, besides.  Looking forward now to how the infield gets sorted-out.

Okay, Time for the pilot….

Here we have Clyde…


Clyde started-out as a multi-segmented box.  His arms, legs, feet, hands, and head began as polygon extrusions from the same box, which was cut in half and mirrored so any work performed on one side would automatically happen on the other side.

He’s about 5’8″ tall, and should fit into the cockpit of the B-51 pretty well since he’s being modeled in the same scale.  Detail is pretty sparse.  His face was actually the most detailed thing about the model.  If I want to eave his air mask hanging to one side, his face would be visible and some detail would have to be modeled.  Most of the time though, his kisser will be covered-up by an air mask and the eye shield of his helmet.

b-51-pilot  I’m trying to keep him period-correct.  So, he’s going to look like an Air Force pilot from the early-mid 50s for right now.  Of course, you can’t make him look like anything but a gray box with legs until you make a texture map.  This involves cutting Clyde up (figuratively) into many different sections and then flattening-out all of those sections into a group of parts like what you see here.  Then you start painting Clyde.

Like I said, Clyde isn’t really very detailed.  He doesn’t need to be.  You’re going to be seeing him from a hundred feet away.  Maybe farther.  So, going crazy with details would be overkill and would no doubt never been seen by anyone anyway.  I want him to look good from about 50 to 100 feet away since the “camera” likely won’t be closer than that to the plane.  Not for most pictures, anyway.

Lucky for me I have lots of reference photos…

© John Matthews

© John Matthews

My sons and have been fortunate in that we’ve been able to take frequent trips to the Museum of the United States Air Force, ( it was less of a mouth-full when it was just simply called the Air Force Museum) in Dayton, Ohio.  If anyone reading this hasn’t been there, please do yourself a favor and go.  I’ll do a side-bar entry on our trips there sometime.  It’s definitely worth the drive and spending a couple days looking at everything.

Photos.  Hundreds of them.  Of almost everything.  Glad we store images digitally, and there’s no film involved, because I shudder to think what film and developing costs would be on some of these trips.  Ha!  Here’s what my boys look like after two full days of the Museum…

“Can we just go back to the hotel now, please?”
© John Matthews

Clyde doesn’t have a “skeleton” yet. He has to be given one before he can be posed to sit inside the plane.  This is another reason I’m not going to spend a ton of time detailing him; he’s going to be sitting inside the airplane and most of him won’t be terribly visible anyway.  Hopefully the next time I post anything here I will have him where he belongs.









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