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Bullethead

Hell's Jester

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I love Austro-Hungarian hex camo, especially because there seem to have been no real rules for the pattern or colors. Problem is, there's no KuK in OFF, and the KuK never quite got any D.VII's before the war ended anyway. But WTF? Maybe an Austrian pilot went to the Western Front to learn about the D.VII and decided to paint his plane in the style of his own country?

 

Anyway, I've always thought the KuK hex camo looked like a harlequin suit, which made me think of Mardi Gras, so I chose KuK colors that had a Mardi Gras look. But this is a war machine with a certain sinister appearance, so it had to be an Evil harlequin. Thus, "Hell's Jester".

post-45917-071533900 1278282953.jpg

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A great work, Bullethead - the colours all look very believeable. And what the heck -

maybe the Austrian monarch sent one of his best pilots to test the new fighter, before he buys it

and brings it back. And the obliging Mr. Anthony Fokker himself gave order to paint that craft in

the Austrian camo colours (adding sweets to the business).

The Austrian ace Brumowski really flew in Flanders for some time.

 

From Wikipedia:

The next month, when Flik 41J was established on the Italian Front as Austro-Hungary’s first dedicated

fighter squadron, Brumowski was chosen to command it. He spent nine days in March flying four sorties

with the Germans of Jagdstaffel 24 to learn German fighter tactics, before assuming his command.

While here he met the Red Baron, Manfred von Richthofen.

Brumowski would later copy the baron's aircraft paint scheme for his own plane.

Edited by Olham

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Bullet,

 

That's the finest D.VII skin I've seen yet. Widow had a real nice one, so did Ohlam... heck he has quite a few... but that one is fantastic. It resembles the Aviatik D.I Berg, but on an even better scale.

 

How did you make the pattern?

 

School me dude!!

 

OvS

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That's the finest D.VII skin I've seen yet

 

Sir, coming from you, that's the highest compliment I believe I've ever been paid. When I 1st read it, then reread it several times to make sure I wasn't halucinating, I levitated (not walked, but levitated) down the stairs to the bar, where I poured myself 2 full fingers of Lagavulin 16. I only buy 1 bottle of that per year and drink it in wee drams on very special occasions, such as surviving a close call, or the birth, marriage, or death of a close relative. But this called for a splurge. Damn, that's GOOD stuff. Thanks for the props, and to your very good health :drinks:.

 

It resembles the Aviatik D.I Berg, but on an even better scale

 

Yup, the Aviatik D.I had the best hex camo, but it came in many different forms. This scheme was inspired by that on Linke-Crawford's machine. The horizontal tail and the lighter areas of the fuselage are copied directly from his plane. The darker areas on the fuselage are close cousins of what he had, modified to make the lighter and darker areas of the fuselage more distinct. On the other side of the fuselage, the slope between light and dark is towards the nose instead of way from it, as was usual on KuK planes, so you can see dark areas better if you download the skin. The wing pattern I invented myself using the fuselage colors arranged to make alternatining sloping bands of light and dark areas, with 1 color in each area that was either light or dark compared to its surroundings, which seems to have been a common practice. I did this because I didn't like Linke-Crawford's wing pattern--the colors clashed IMHO.

 

How did you make the pattern?

School me dude!!

 

I feel like I'm teaching my grandmother to suck eggs, but here goes....

 

First off, there are 5 different patterns on this plane, which was common with KuK hex., The wings have 2x 4-color patterns modified with a 9th color as needed (see below), the horizontal tail has a 4-color pattern, and the fuselage has 2 distinct patterns: 3 colors in the light areas and 6 colors in the dark areas, which together are the same 9 colors found on the wings.

 

Making any given pattern is 4-step process. First, you determine hex size. Second, you determine how many colors you want in the given pattern, which is a function of hex size because X number of hexes cover a given area of airplane. Do you want colors to repeat in the area or not? Third, you assemble the pattern out of individual hexes of the chosen number of colors. And finally, as an optional step, you change the color of certain hexes in the base pattern as needed to produce the desired overall effect. I only did this on the wing and dark fuselage areas.

 

KuK hexes were USUALLY pretty large, and USUALLY regular hexes. I decided I'd make a pattern of this type, so my 1st step was to determine the proper hex size. Fortunately, on the D.VII skin, all the important pieces are to the same scale (as in the same number of skin pixels to units of real length; kudos to the model-maker) so you can use the same size hex for for everything except the wheel hubs. So, the 1st step is to determine what size hex to use. Because I was basing this on an Aviatik D.I, I chose a hex size that make about 3 hexes over the widest part of the side of the fuselage.

 

I use Paintshop Pro, and in that, hexes with anti-aliased sloped lines nest only if both their dimensions are odd numbers of pixels. If either dimension is an even number, you'll get a "lip" of overlapping anti-aliased pixels that makes the pattern look bad. Problem is, with regular hexes, in PSP getting odd numbers of both overall height and overall width of the hex only happens occasionally. Most times, you get 1 odd and 1 even. Thus, your hexes will probably be a few pixels larger or smaller than you want, but that won't matter all that much. In this case, I used hexes of 87x75.

 

Once you determine the hex size, make hexes of that size in each color you'll be using on the whole plane. Put these off in a corner somewhere so you can copy and paste them into the patterns. Then start making the patterns yoiu need (4 in this case). The general process is to start in the upper left and work to the right to make a complete row (or work down to make a column if the hexes are flat-side up), joining the straight edges of hexes. Put the 2nd hex so that there's no "lip" on the flat sides of the joint and the anti-aliased row just above, where the angled sides slope away, is 3 pixels wide. This is because hexes with odd-numbered dimensions come to a 3-pixel point, which will nest into this place.

 

So, you make the repeating part of the 1st row. Then you make the repeating part of the 2nd row in the same manner, and so on until you've made all the rows which together make up the repeating pattern from the top to the bottom edges of the fuselage, or from the leading to trailing edges of the wing, or whatever. Keep these row segments off in a corner so you can copy and paste them.

 

Now start fitting the rows together. Start with the top / front row, then put the 2nd row up against it. Line the 3-pixel points of the 2nd row up with the 3-pixel "gap" between the diverging points of the 1st row. Move the 2nd row up until there's no "lip" between the rows. Then do the same with the other rows in the pattern. and repeat for the other patterns you're making.

 

Now, the wings and fuselage have alternating bands of light and dark patterns. So, you have to join the completed patterns together. Again, the process is the same as making a single pattern. Start at the upper left and work right to make full-length rows containing both the light and dark areas, then add rows below this. Doing things this way makes the joints look neater, at least when using PSP where the anti-aliased edges are different shades on the left, right, top, and bottom of the individual hex. In Photoshop, it might work the other way around--I don't know.

 

On the wing pattern, the objective was to give the appearance of slightly sloping bands of equal-width light and dark across the wing span. This started as 2x 4-color patterns each composed of 3 dark and 1 light colors, and vice versa. Each of these patterns had 4 rows with their colors in different orders. Then I put these together and decided the arrangement of colors hid and/or distorted the desired angled joints between the light and dark areas. So then I changed the colors of individual hexes, introducing the 9th color in the process.

 

On the dark fuselage areas, I started by copying Linke-Crawford's pattern, but it had enough light hexes mixed into the dark areas that the divisions were indistinct, so I put darker colors into the problem areas.

 

And that's about it. Again, thanks for the props.

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.

 

Outstanding work Bullethead! Your attention to detail on that skin is second-to-none, and having that hex pattern line up flawlessly on the model wrap had to have taken some serious time. Also, that jester is sinister and then some. Very well done Sir, and worth every drop of the two fingers of Lagavulin 16 you treated yourself to. Hell, stop by the pub and I'll treat you to two more of that treasured single malt for good measure.

 

:good:

 

Cheers!

 

Lou

 

.

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Bullethead, I love reading your posts more than seeing your nice paint. "I feel like I am teaching my grandmother to suck eggs" :lol: :lol:

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That's a real beauty you got there, Bullethead. Amazing.

 

Looking at the works of art you guys regularly post here makes me feel like an ape-man, unable to draw even stick figures properly.

 

Edit: OBD, you really need to add the Italian Front to OFF some day. The armies of Italy and Austria-Hungary that faced each other there for years certainly weren't the best on earth (and had some pretty terrible generals, even by WW1 standards), but the air war was definitely interesting with many plane types in service that never were on the Western Front.

 

The map is already in CFS3, so all that's missing is the front and the squadrons. :grin:

Edited by Hasse Wind

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Thanks to everybody for their kind words. I'm encouraged to try another KuK pattern someday. But my efforts to promote the Alpine Front fall far short of Stumpjumper's.

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