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Old 02-03-2011, 10:54 AM
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Lex Lex is offline
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[Design / Build] Chengdu J-20 Prototype

(I won't delve into the facts about J-20, a 900913 search tells ten times than I do...)

Having designed the J-10 in prime time some years ago, I know it'll become my job to make a cardmodel rendering of the J-20 which was unveiled in January. (Although I'm still away from modelling for quite some time to come.)

Mine isn't the first cardmodel on the subject. I know at least 3 people who already produced cardmodels of this aircraft using an assortment of design methods. But this one would be release-standard, meaning anyone would hopefully build just as good.

The testbuild won't be done by me. I've arranged my friend Wind from CM.cn (who has great experiences and skills in building) to do the testbuild. Wind agreed to postpone his current builds to do this one so I'll say thanks in advance. It's Chinese New Year (the time for the biggest human migration on the planet) right now, and I managed to make it before this day on the designer's side. Although the testbuild won't happen until the holiday time has passed and Wind has come back... So in the meantime I'll post some pics from the design process and hopefully share and discuss some experiences in doing so.

[Oh and I will be building a version of my own, but not now...
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Old 02-03-2011, 11:12 AM
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January 7th

Mission start. The aircraft had just been unveiled the previous day and some photo came out. There happened to be some with the right angles. I relied on these photos instead of other 3-views circulating on the internet, hopefully suffering less inaccuracy from other's interpretation this way. - Those people have no better information than I do.

First off is the initial shaping. Using lines to create a 3D outline from the photos, to give an idea of the shape of the aircraft. I used the same method for J-10 and turned out to be quite useful for a subject without cross-section diagrams (in this case, the subject lacks more than just that...)



The info from the photos have been extracted, and nothing more quantitative can come from looking at the photos. (unless someone happened to have a certain agency's software to analyse lighting and shadows...)

8th

Detailed lines as cross-sections. I drew these directly, although another way is to create a preliminary surface and go from there. The J-20's shape is relatively simple, so drawing directly reduces the amount of work needed. (Don't tell me about J-10, I've had horrifying experiences with that one...)



9th

Continuing towards the rear


10th

There are photos of the gear bays, but I didn't dare to go more detailed than this.


11th


The cockpit configuration is classified... I'll leave the detailing to serious builders.




13th-16th

Internal support structures. It did take 4 days...


17th-19th

Post-processing work on the supports, another 3 days... I did try a novel method to hopefully make the fit better, but it could make things worse so I hope Wind can bring me the good news!


20th-25th

Unfolding the skin, post-processing and the like. It's these things which take the majority of the time to do...


26th-29th

Colouring in Photoshop. Took this long to give the parts plain colour. I couldn't imagine how much work went into GPM's weathering effects... Or I'm just not good enough with Photoshop!


...And that's it. Now let's wait patiently for the testbuild...
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Old 02-03-2011, 11:58 AM
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3Turner 3Turner is offline
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Very impressive work there Lex!
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Old 02-03-2011, 01:21 PM
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Hooray! A new model from Lex! Can't wait to see how the build progresses.

By the way, I've had the Comet printed for some months, but it seems stuck at the number 2 position in my queue. Everytime I get to thinking about building it, something else lands on the top of the pile!
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Old 02-03-2011, 06:12 PM
Zathros Zathros is offline
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Lex you're awesome!! Your model will have more Stealth abilities that the real J-20, I don't know why people are so freaked out. There's an old saying in aviation, in you want radar to pick it up, put canards on it!

It is amazing how fast you produce models. Simply excellent!!
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Old 02-03-2011, 07:58 PM
jobeaux jobeaux is offline
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Looking good Lex, I'm excited to see the final product!
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Old 02-03-2011, 08:05 PM
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Rubenandres77 Rubenandres77 is offline
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This look really great!
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Old 02-03-2011, 08:12 PM
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Thanks Lex, looks really cool !!
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Old 02-04-2011, 02:33 PM
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That's fast and impresive.
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Old 02-05-2011, 04:09 AM
assafm25 assafm25 is offline
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nice work lex
of realy nice and intresting airplane
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