Sim Work Night: AI Edition

Another evening of work on Monowai. My plan was to finish off a few modelling items, then start building scenery in various locations.
I am pretty comfortable that I have the model finished to a standard that I could release, so next up comes the ‘factory work’; Creating each variation of the basic model, then setting up the LOD’s (or ‘levels of detail’) for each variation, creating the scenery and finally writing the manual and packing it all up for upload.

Finished? Maybe?

More boats for Monowai

I know, I know… another post about boats on an aviation site! But bear with me, there is at least a screenshot of a helicopter this time!

Development has been moving along nicely on Monowai with the addition of some ‘proper’ boats to replace the generic placeholders I had in early versions.

Steaming South through the Red Sea with her new boats aboard

On the davits are two SMB (Survey Motor Boats), while on the foredeck is a Rotork Sea Truck… like a mini landing craft, which could carry a Landrover or Landcruiser ashore.

The main purpose of this project is to give the AI Wasps somewhere to operate from, and during the week I achieved just that; A small test scenery of Monowai with a Wasp operating from her helicopter deck.

Wasp ’04’ departing from Monowai on a test mission

Now that I have the process sorted for building working scenery around the ship I plan on placing multiple ‘copies’ of Monowai in various locations, with associated Waps flying meaningful survey or supply missions.

I’m pretty pleased with how Monowai is looking, and with a few final details I will be happy to draw a line under it and finalise the package and release it. I will be producing my complete package, as well as a ‘Scenery Library’ package for scenery designers to use.
So far this has been a cool project which I have really enjoyed. I am toying with the idea of continuing my ship modelling, and move on to HMNZS Endevour, but like anything in this hobby, that is likely to change!

Navy Night

I did a bit of fiddling around tonight to produce a ‘Static’ version of Monowai, with a ‘landable’ helipad. Regular visitors will notice that Monowai has lost her boats..after a long and informative discussion with a former Monowai crew member, I now have enough details to create new, and much more accurate boats, which is the next step!

Monowai in company with the 4 Leander Frigates in the Hauraki Gulf

As a quick test of the scenery object I added it to the RNZN Fleet in the Hauraki Gulf. The hardened helipad worked as expected, and Monowai looked great! (RNZN Frigates by Mike Hudson, available at all good FS sites)

Monowai: Update

Another evening’s work on Monowai, and the details are starting to get filled in. The mission was to add the major structures to the fore deck and the various antennae around the top of the superstructure.

The blue coloured bits are yet to be finished and painted, but she is looking much ‘busier’ with more of the details being completed.

HMNZS Monowai: First Look

After completing the initial release of my AI Wasp, I started looking for places for them to fly… I have models of the Leander Class Frigates, but when I found out that Monowai also had an embarked Wasp I thought I’d have a go at modelling her. This is the first quick compile in the sim to have a look, and I think it is looking pretty good so far. Eventually I plan a static scenery object, to be part of the “destinations for the Wasps” but also as a pilot-able ship for my ‘Nautical Adventures’ series….

AI Westland Wasp Released!

It’s been a long time coming, but this evening I uploaded the finished ‘version 1.0’ of my RNZAF_AI Wasp to Military AI Works. It is a long time since I spent any serious time in GMax, and the Wasp has been a great learning experience. I was surprised at how much easier GMax was after the hours and hours of work I’ve done in Fusion360. Despite GMax being from a much older generation of CAD, a huge amount of workflows I use daily in Fusion 360 transferred over pretty well. I am quite happy with this, my first complete AI Aircraft package in a very **very** long time!

Wasps on the ‘Naval Support Flight’ flight-line at Hobsonville.

The package will be available for download from the Military AI Works website soon!

JYAI Strikemaster Released

John Young has released his Jet Provost/Strikemaster AI packages for FS9/FSX and P3D. John’s models are beautiful, and as ever, work flawlessly in the sim. Now my Ohakea flight line will look great with a mix of A-4’s Macchi’s and Strikemasters from the 1991 ‘Changeover’ period!

Download the Jet Provost/Strikemaster Packages from Military AI Works:
Package BAC Jet Provosts and Strikemasters for FSX & P3Dv4 (JYAI)
Package BAC Jet Provosts and Strikemasters for FS9 (JYAI)

DCS: SSA Mod

Or “Sean’s Strategic Assets Mod” is my pet name for my conversion project… I plan on converting, with original modelers permission, a bunch of ‘Strategic’ aircraft from FS9 AI models. The idea is to build a mod around aircraft which would be based out of the theater of operations, and so would only be seen ‘in flight’. The reason for this is that until I learn the finer details of animation in Blender or 3D Studio, my models will be static, which is fine for the sorts of aircraft I am planning.
The plan is to convert a few ‘samples’, which I can use to send screenshots to the owners of the models, in the hope that they will grant permission for me to distribute their modified models.

CT4 Forward Air Controller?

With my playing around in DCS, and my love of the FAC mission, I decided to try a conversion of my CT4 model as a working FAC aircraft in DCS.

I had the basic aircraft geometry imported and converted, albeit with a few bugs so I tackled the task of adding weapons to it one night, and the results were surprisingly good!

CT4/FAC over Echo Lake Nevada on a test flight

I was certain that somewhere in the past the idea of a FAC conversion of the CT4 had been floated, which added some sort of legitimacy to my project.. A bit of searching on the ‘net came up with this page at Aviadejavu.ru

1976 Photo of a CT4 FAC test.

Finding this image was a great step, giving some credence to the idea of a FAC CT4. I need to model the pylons, and find the right sized pods to hang under the wings, and we will have a usable FAC platform for our multiplayer missions!

The most recent news on the modding front is that I am running a 30 day trial of 3DStudio Max, which will hopefully give me time to finish the CT4 project at least… And plans are in play to secure the use of 3DS Max for longer… watch this space!