Hellcat Skinning Project
Grim Reaper (VF10)
Art Flores & WILZ Clydew

About the Hellcat20 Project:

Wilz, a Warbirds player and friend, needed help with a project he was working on ... a skin with the "Grim Reaper" for the F6F5. He was having trouble with the number on the tail and fuselage. Also part of the star decal was not fitting properly on one side of the plane. He complained about stuff moving around.

Well, I looked at the work he did and looked at the default skin and tried to find what was going on. I found out that parts of the plane use the same skin only reversed, so you will see on my Photoshop file a reversed "20" for the right side. And then there is the "weird" stuff like the area of the landing gear cover that is squashed and the large section of wing underside that is skinned with a 2x2 section of paint. That's 2x2 pixels!

I liked the red circle with the skeleton and I have always had a soft spot for the Cat ever since the pre-iMac boxed game "Hellcats Over the Pacific" captured my attention about a dozen years ago (1994 - $37.50), including an authentic reproduction of the Pilot's Handbook.

So about 20 or 30 hours ago, I got started skinning and painting. Then I did 20 more hours painting and skinning. At the very bottom of this page you'll see pretty much the final version with links to more screenshots and reference material. Wilz and the PDC will decide if the redball version is an option or not.

Anyway, what Wilz and I want is this neat, new Hellcat to be available to the PDC community and to all users of Warbirds. Why?  Well, there is only one default skin available for the F6F5. We need more skins for this great plane (plus the pilot is really ugly). If you agree, leave comments on the Furball website. So, if it takes a bunch of you readers to light a fire under the PDC, then go get the Matchlight Charcoal and I'll get the zippo.

In the meantime, Wilz has been working on the F4U and he'll probably be doing the F4F Wildcat.

Which version do you like best?
version A "redball"  or version B without

Thanks to Wilz, we started this F6F assignment. We tried working on the F6F and started running into problems.   The left side of the fuse is actually back a little farther than it should be.  There are migration issues with the right side to the left.  Part of the left fuselage is used by the right side, left and right are same skin. Other parts are mirror images, therefore the number "20" has to be reversed. The latest bluebird is 1024x1024. Next chance you get, check out the default Hellcat and look at the amazing lack of detail in the original plane skin. The amount of time required to make a really good planeskin and pilot is not possible when the plane has got to be there overnight. If each skin took 20 or 30 hours like mine do, we'd never have any game at all. Look at the handsome pilot below!

below ... WIP (work in progress). Click to enlarge:

These next photos show the more complete "b" model. Details that have been added:
  •  gun barrel holes in wing
  •  sun highlights on cowling front
  •  seat and headpad for pilot
  •  fuselage belly panel (underside)
  •  number "20" on landing gear cover
  • skid/protective material on wing
There is a spot on the underside wing that is about 2x2 pixels square which is the color for an area near the gear. Sorry, I can't add rivets there.  Believe me, if I could add an air nozzle to the tires, I'd do it. Look closely at the pilot and you can see he cut himself shaving!

See the "dark" guns barrels.

At right, there seems to be no way to paint the large
areas next to the landing gear. Oh well! Think the small "20"
was easy to do? Think again!
Should I lighten the underside of the fuselage?

I guess so.

"So that's where the left flap goes!" Compare this picture with the one above it and you can see how I worked on the underside skin. It was a pain trying to find where the light purple area by the gear is.  So far as I can tell, you can't detail it.

More Hellcat Photos

A - B - C - D - E - F

Gallery2 BF109e
Gallery3 Pilots
Tank for DOA
Mephisto & Wotan

Made with Apple iMac

Free counters provided by Andale.  Gallery1 counter
began July 11, 2006