Time has arrived to for some new pilots to appear in Spanish Skies.
The "Sangre y Oro
" pack dedicated to the Spanish Civil War is little by little taking shape.All this has been made possible by the collaboration of a number of modders:
First of all Agracier
who has made in real time (and re made as many times needed!) templates and skinsReal Darko
was the "whip" behind us, and also the test pilot of the new modded aircraft leaving production chain.
And of course, for some of these aircraft, we need to thank the FS9-FSX and Flightgear community modders who kindly authorized me to import their creation into Il2.
The following FS modders kindly gave me their authorisation to export their creations to Il2:Paul Clawson
Potez 540Craig Richardson
Dewoitine 501-510Michael Feilden
Dewoitine 371-372Martin Dolejsi
Letov S-231Giovanni Quai
And of course we need also to thank Ted Simko
who has very generously put his Loire 46 in public domain.
First a few "Legion Condor
" planes, then some "Aviazione Legionaria
" ones, now it's the turn of "La Gloriosa
" the Spanish Republican air force.
In order to become a reality and not another aborted Il2 modding venture, for the sake of efficiency, the building of "Sangre y Oro" has been conceived on the lines of real life development project, and passes through a number of steps. Among these steps, the most apparent to the Il2 community will be:Stage 1:
First, let's issue systematically flying models
for most (all? we'll see....) planes involved in the SCW theater.
This stage will include release of "ready to use" bomb packs of the period
(including both meshes and hashed java files) - the 1920-1939 Spanish bombs collection
and the 1930-1940 French bomb collection
The Russian 1930-1938 bomb collection
is underway - thanks to Sergei Sht'ukonin
who kindly authorised me to import to Il2 the fantastic collection of beautifully detailed and historically correct Russian bombs he made for SFP1, and furnished me with a lot of invaluable, hard to get, original documentation .
This time "the Gloriosa
" - first the single seat fighters
, then the two-seat recco-bombers
.The next step will be the bombers
- SM81, Br20 and Potez 540 are at the exporting stage - Ju52 and He111 A/B need some reworking before exporting.
This stage will hopefully generate feed back, skins and campaigns productions, and generrally speaking opportuinities of collaboration with other modders - soemthing invaluable if we want to create better mods. At this stage, temporary cockpits are used
(the option of issuing the plane as AI, the way TD does, is a mistake, as it denies community feed-back upon cokpit and flying characteristics).
The FM at based at this stage upon data available on the web and in the current fmd and emd files.
The uploading of the new mods on the forum will be followed by immediate "updates" on minor 3dfixes.
This will also include minor changes of java files (for instance to add bombs to some planes).
Serious 3d fixes update (l;ike then one on its way for the Ba65) will come later in a "global update" upload (= stage 3)Stage 2:
update the FM with real historical data - In the last weeks I have been able to put the hand upon the original manuals/ constructor data of most of the aircarft involved.
I must stress here for their readiness and willingness to help, the help I received from the team at the documentation center of the French Air Museum at Le Bourget
- their input was fantastic, with some unexpected discoveries! As a matter of fact, thanks to their help two steps are almost completed and will be published as an update in the coming weeks ("2 weeks"? well it really may be, as the new emd of the Gnome and Rhone Jupiter, 9K and 14K series are almost completed).
I must also credit here Gheorghe Craciunescu
who has furnished original documentation on the IAR 14K engines, documents that enabled me to understand what was behind some "short cuts" of the original French Gnome and Rhone documentation.
Similarly a systematic collection of sources about RC aircarft modelling has enabled me to better understand the input data of the fmd.
BTW the study of the original documentation of the planes enable by itself to throw light about the real basis of definition of the [Squares] and [Arms] sections of the fmd. This enable to understand why the present method used by modders is an approximation (not so bad, as a matter of fact) and some "strange" values appears sometimes in original fmd files.
Same thing for the compressors - collection of data about construction of compressors and assessment of their performances as enabled to better define the way the entries must be done in the emd, on the basis of real engines data. I'll try to upload a tutorial on all this.
The input of the SAS community
discussions about FM has also been critical in better understanding the secrets behind emd files. Stage 3
Issue a global update for FM files (or more precisely emd files). It's better than to do this for each plane individually, as motor families are commmon to a number of planes, and we need to keep this coherent. There is already a messy situation existing with the emd files in the various buttons!Stage 4:
Issue a global update for major 3dfixes and FM (fmd files)
Such updates are already completed/ close to completion for He51, He45, He46, Ro37 and Ba 65 (This last one has developped into an almost total remake of the plane, with new meshes for fuselage, turrets, canopies, and 2 new versions with Piaggio IX engine - but now it has arrived at last at at the exporting stage)All help will be wellcome!
- original documentation
is still lacking for some planes versions / some instrument gauges
- cockpits are a pain for me
(I'm however working on that) - for whoever wants to collaborate on this part, I can furnish original documentation
(including generally detailed plans of cockpit arrangement) and new historical gauges high-resolution bitmaps based on the real original objects
(what exists presently for instance in the area of French instruments is disastrous - no other word to describe this situation - and this includes some WIP I've seen, although good photos of original objects can be obtained on the web, and original catalogs and documentation can be reached)
The gauges tutorial by SAS_Crazyflak
uploaded these last days comes exactly in time for enabling this historical gauges creation process.
- I need also some help for some java "conditionnal animation" methods, not so much for these planes but for the medium (considered then as "heavy" - time makes a lot of things "relative") bombers.Update 1/6/2012
Ok - here we go. I'll begin to upload the two-seaters today. These planes are sluggish but they do really have character. They come with a full assortmnent of Spanish and French Bombs - so upload these bomb packs already with the first aircraft of this group. some also use the currently present Soviet bombs - though I will upload later on a pack of Interwar period Soviet bombs.
This is a huge pack - As usual, one new aircraft will be uploaded each day - though I may need a small break after the 5th plane before uploading the other 5 ones (I'm still trying to better the cockpit of these last ones).
All help to improve these mods is always welcome - just keep it historical - some of these coming mods will obviously become basis for a full family of variants that served on other theaters - whoever wants is invited to take a hand in making these variant mods. Some of the planes have also a seaplane version that I planned initially to release together with the seaplanes packs - but this may change and I may release them already at the end of this pack - in any case the meshes template have been made with this option in mind.
Agracier and I have done our best to complete these mods before time constraints due to real life will slow down somehow our modding activities during the next 3 months - this means that we have prepared also a number of planes that we'll need only to "finalize" before uploading them during this coming period.
Leibig and Arsenal have completed the first update of the FMs for the previously released fighter pack, using historical data - we are testing them once again before uploading them.
Cockpits are still a problem (don't look back - the rear cockpit views are awful sometimes) but there is improvement on this point, and if you zoom on the instruments panels you may have some pleasant surprizes on some planes. It's only the beginnning... Enjoy!