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Making of 'Grumman F-14 Tomcat'

By Stefan Biermann
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Date Added: 8th December 2009
Software used:
3ds Max, Photoshop, V-Ray


This project is the largest I've ever attempted. It's been in development for around six months now, with me working constantly on it for a couple of hours each day. It was supposed to be the leading project for my portfolio, and I wanted to create something big for that.


When I began working on this plane, the only thing I knew for certain was that I wanted to make an F-14, or more specifically, an F-14A. In terms of the final environment, or the setup of the scene, I had no firm plans. The in-flight render of the F-14A was my main goal and it turned out to be one I filled almost completely - the only major change being that my plane's engines ended up belonging to a F14A+/B.

I used a number of reference photos for this project, most of them take from the truly excellent site - a very complete and wonderful reference work for all things related to the F14 (Fig.01 and Fig.02). I can't overstate how helpful this single page was in the creation of this project! Other useful sites were, and lastly,

Fig. 01

Fig. 02


I realised early on that this project would be a challenge. Looking at the mere insanity that was the nose landing gear bay (Fig.03) was an intimidating sight for sure, but in the end it was quite fun working with such a detailed model. 3D Studio Max performed admirably in this difficult environment and I didn't run into many modelling-related problems.

Fig. 03

I began by setting up a set of high-res blueprints, given to me by a friend (two 4096 sheets with all the standard views), which proved to be very helpful in outlining the general shapes of this plane. As I was outlining the basic shape, I kept looking for reference images, both for the overall form and for small details. supplied those images, but I didn't stumble across that one until the modelling stage was almost completed. I had to make do with smaller images for the most part and do a little bit of guess work for small details every now and then, especially for the landing gear bays (Fig.04 and Fig.05).

Fig. 04

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Readers Comments (Newest on Top)
(ID: 208859, pid: 0) Cesar on Fri, 26 July 2013 8:13pm
es: Excelente trabajo! muy buen detalle, se ve que hay mucho tiempo en el modelado. Felicidades. en: Excellent Work! great detail. Congratulations.
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