As I say in the blog, I do love the Swedish jets and a Gripen has been on my 'wish list' for some time:
Above: photos of the real thing. In contrast to Mark I chose to model one of the prototypes as I rather liked the blue and yellow flashes and I didn't have to add any missiles.
After choosing your subject (or, rather, it tends to choose you) find a usable and not too complex 3-view to work from:
This is then printed out and drawn over if you want to enlarge the flying surfaces or compensate for the thin profile fuselage. I often combine two or three published 3-views and compare 3-views with photos until I'm happy it looks vaguely like the 'real thing'. The bits are cut out and scanned into the computer:
Above: the basic montage. Note only the starboard wing is scanned in as the port wing can be 'copied and pasted' in from the mirror image. That way the wings will be identical!
When satisfied with the basic outlines and proportions one can begin colouring in. This is quite soothing and he colours can be copied from photos or published 3-views. As with the 3-views, different photos and drawings can be scanned and combined - colours are notoriously difficult to get even half right. But decisions have to be made. The Gripen prototype is. as far as I can tell, basically grey blue or blue grey:
Above: comparing shades of grey. the fin was copied from a published drawing and cleaned up in paint shop pro
Detail is then added a step at a time:
Above: I've now chosen the shades of blue and yellow and have started the decoration.
And so one continues. I wasn't happy with the published roundels:
so created my own:
Below is the first 'complete' draft of the template:
The air intake warnings are incorrect, so again some creativity was called for:
The panel lines, control surfaces are then drawn in, and the right hand side created from a mirror image. Obviously, any lettering has to be redone! Here is the first version ready for printing:
Note I have chosen light blue for the canopy (as opposed to black).
I print these out in B/W draft to check dimensions; if all is OK, then it's ready for 'beta testing', that is printing on light paper or tissue and transferring to balsa. Obviously, the templates can be printed out at different sizes to suit L-1 of L-2 motors.
Would anyone out there like a high-res copy of both (right and left) templates?
as you know, I have long admired Mark Digby's J 39C Gripen:
Mark has now finished his plan, and it was certainly worth the wait, for example:
And this is just the frontspiece! John writes: "I too was impressed with his drawings, you may be surprised to know that the cover sheet is created from a rendering of a 3d model he spent many hours putting together. If you could see a view from the underside you would see it includes a fully rendered rapier motor where you can clearly read the L2 legend around the nose!
As a taster here is a lower-res copy of the wing templates:
and a close up of the fuselage side:
You can see how well Mark has thought things through - note the 3 degrees of positive incidence on the forward canard. The graphics are, I think you will agree, stunning.
The plan pack comes with extensive building instructions, for example:
John says they " look forward to forward to seeing how your prototype version progresses".
but I don't think this will be until next year when I hope there will be quite a few Gripens (and Lansens, Drakens and Viggens making smoke trails in the air!