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T-65 X-Wing Fighter facebook

03-17-2012

Background

As a Star Wars “fanatic,” as my family and friends call me, I can never get enough of all things Star Wars. The collection is vast; pens, coffee mugs, puzzles, t-shirts, games; the whole movie collection on Blu-ray (finally!). Could you keep it down, the Clone Wars is on. Let’s not forget the Lightsaber collection and the Darth Vader costume in my closet. Of course, I have a second life in the ‘Old Republic’ as a Jedi Counselor. That's just scratching the surface. I was one of those kids who ditched school and spent the day at the theater watching ‘A New Hope’ over and over until I had to go home and act like I was at school all day. Some would say I’m out of control, but I’m not alone.

Years later, I realized what it was about this movie, (A New Hope) that transfixed me. It was a simple story; a farm boy rescues a princess and saves the galaxy. Not a big deal for a kid who grew up in the Star Trek era; (All hail Gene Roddenberry). The story was just a canvas, and on that canvas George Lucas painted images that we had never seen before. Images that grabbed you and took you somewhere you had only dreamed of until then. It was a place that could only have been, “In a galaxy far, far away.”

I went on to become an Architectural Designer, and later into Visual Communications as the Web grew. Through my work, I learned how to draw precise schematics, graphic art, and how to create 3D illustrations. It wasn’t long before I was putting those talents to good use making 3D models of my favorite starships.

From the moment I saw “…S-foils in attack position (I could have sworn he said ‘X’),” I was in love with the X-Wing Fighter.

Star Wars - Lucasfilm Ltd.

My father was in the U.S. Air Force, so I grew up near air bases and dreamed of being a fighter pilot. Here was the ‘baddest’ fighter I had ever seen and it wasn’t long before I was drawing sketches of it. In 1994, I created my first 3D X-Wing model. That model was soon lost due to a hard drive crash. After I recovered, I started another a few years later. I was using AutoCAD for work and decided to try my hand using it to do solid modeling.

My second attempt at solid modeling the X-Wing is in my Old 3D Gallery.
The fuselage was modeled in Rhino and imported into AutoCAD.


Old 3D Gallery

I had done some polygon modeling in 3D Studio (not MAX), and later, surface modeling with 3ds MAX; next to solid modeling, these where cumbersome processes. I soon ran into solid modeling’s limitations and had to abandon the project. I felt I needed to solid model in AutoCAD to achieve the level of detail I was looking for. I did look into other programs like 3ds MAX and Rhino, but with so many years of AutoCAD use under my belt, I wanted to stay in that environment.

My other limit was the amount of reference material available. There are thousands of images on the web of X-Wings; plastic models and studio recreations, 3D models and illustrations. Many are very good, but lack the level of detail I needed. The beauty of the original studio models was that level of detail and it wasn’t until recently that you could find photos of the original models, in high enough resolution to be useful, on the web.

The gold mine for these types of images is the site Modeler’s and Magic Miniatures. After finding these photos I was inspired to pick up this project once again.