CombatACE Spotlight: With Sundowner
"All modders are inspiring in their own right no matter what they do. It’s the work of other modders that constantly get us to strive to improve our own work."
In this week's CombatACE Spotlight segment we focus on, Sundowner, who has been a member here at CombatACE for ten years. His most notable file with 1,281 downloads is the Jaguar GRI For SF2 Series. Thank you Sundowner for taking the time to do an interviw with us.
So, Sundowner, can you tell us a little bit about yourself?
I'm 50 years old [well nearly 51 now] and come from a farming family. Right from an early age I was interested in all things mechanical & spent most of my childhood messing around with all sorts of equipment & by the age of 10 I could weld as good as anybody else on the farm.
About 15 years ago I got tired of working 100+ hours a week and left the farm machinery behind me and took a job in a warehouse, everybody said I'd never stick it but even though I do sometimes miss the "grunt" of using heavy machinery [my last 5 years were spent operating a 450hp grass chopper] I love being home by 4.30 pm & no weekend work.
What interest you about aviation?
Everything, big or small, old or new, flight is a marvelous achievement.
Yes, flight is a marvelous invention. So what is your favorite aircraft and why?
Wow......that's a really hard question, I have favourites from every era but if I was forced to pick just one it would have to be the mighty F-4 Phantom....any version, there's just summat (British for something) about them that's addictive.
What got you interested in flight simulation?
When we were buying our first pc for the kids in 1998 I saw a "Suncom combo crate" joystick & throttles, I asked the sales person a few questions about it & BINGO! Up went the spec of the pc, so did the price and the wife’s blood pressure!
Do you remember the first flight sim you ever played?
Novalogic F-16 & Mig 29....purchased with afore ** mentioned joystick, after that it was Janes USAF & IAF......I was hooked big style!
What motivated you to arrive at CombatAce and stay over the years?
Dave [USAFMTL], we met through the Strike Fighters forums at SimHQ & once CombatAce was "formed" for want of a better term we all migrated over here, it was a natural progression. CombatAce has become the number1 site for everything Strike Fighters, the amount of knowledge and talent here is unbelievable, there is no doubt in my mind that without this community the SF series would of died out long ago.
When did you start modding?
As soon as SF1 was released [not the Wal-Mart version] I ordered a copy from the states & after about 6 months I took my first steps into skinning, it was the first thing I'd done for any sim, I had no Photoshop experience, everything was trial & error.....mainly error, it's only by doing summat wrong that you learn how to do it right....lol
What does modding do for you? Is it something that is relaxing? A neat hobby, etc?
Modding is a hobby, it has to be. I get paid to be stressed at work not in my spare time, if [and when] skinning gets stressful it's time to walk away and do summat else.
I see that your most downloaded file is the Jaguar GR1 for the SF2 series with over a thousand downloads. What prompted you to make and release the Jaguar GR1?
The Jag that I released is basically V2.0 of the original Mirage Factory model, BPAo and I were working on it right up to his death, I decided to carry on as best I could as I know that Oli would want us to finish all his projects. It needs an updated pit but that is way beyond my limited capabilities, I just tidied up the loose ends.
What modding tools do you use and why?
Photoshop for skinning and 3ds Max for my limited modeling skills, working with the max file while skinning the plane or whatever is far, far easier than trying to identify the parts on an already painted map.
What is your favorite mod you have created?
I quite like my version of Baltika's UK terrain......I put an awful lot of work into that, mostly stuff that I'd never tried before.....or is it the TSR2 model [ started by Craig Brierley & finished by me] it's a wonderful "what if"
What is your favorite mod that you did not create?
There are sooooo many.....could be any of the terrains or aircraft wise it would be anything with Ravenclaw_007's name on it or the TMF F-14......I think.
Who is a Modder you admire or has inspired you to start modding?
All modders are inspiring in their own right no matter what they do. It’s the work of other modders that constantly get us to strive to improve our own work.
Do you have favorite quotes or thoughts about being here at Combat Ace you’d like to share?
I've made a LOT of good friends here over the years; it's great to have such a large amount of likeminded folks from all over the world and all walks of life all working together to make our hobby even more enjoyable.
Nicely said, Sundowner, once again thank you for taking the time to do an interview with and for telling us your story.
Well that’s it for this week’s CombatACE Spotlight segment. If you’re interested in using Sundowner’s most downloaded mod you can simply click here and download it. Please carefully read all of our downloading instructions and associated readme files to get the most enjoyment from Sundowner’s and BPAO’s work. Until next time, I’m Skyviper with the CombatACE news team wishing you all, in the word’s Wrench, happy landings.