Spad XIII for DOA is No Easy Skin
SPAD XIII WW1 Fighter - The French SPAD XIII introduced in 1917 was one of the most important fighter planes of World War I. Well-known fighter pilots such as Eddie Rickenbacker, Georges Guynemer, René Fonck and Frank Luke achieved great successes in it. Louis Blériot (owner of the firm S.P.A.D.), together with his designer, created the Spad XIII as an advance on the Spad VII. It was powered by the new Hispano-Suiza engine, a 235 hp water-cooled in-line engine capable of climbing to 2,000 metres in five and a half minutes. The armament consisted of 2 Vickers MGs. It saw service with 92 French squadrons, 2 Royal Flying Corps and 5 US Air Groups. From 1918 almost all the Allied air forces were equipped with the Spad XIII.
OKIE asked for a skin for his 27 Squadron, so I started doing this one from an image he sent and a template of the skin for Warbirds.
The skin I've created will not work the way most Warbirds skins work. Usually you make a fuse.tga and wing.tga file that can be evoked offline by using the dot command: .planeskin mySpad. In addition most skins can be turned into a .vfc file which can be placed in the PDC folder. Once in this folder, the plane will show up in the PREVIEW menu in the offline game. Due to a peculiar flaw in the game code, these two methods do not work. However. if the default SPAD13.vfc file in the root directory is replaced, another skin can be made to show up and this is how I got these two skins to work for Okie and KRAXUS. Permission has been given to distribute the .vfc files to them and I thank IEN for their help and cooperation.
Below are some screenshots in various stages of progress. Some variations:
eagle logo with ribbon
eagle without ribbon
red-white-blue stripe on wing
"Black Heart" logo
kicking mule logo
ying-yang on wheel
numbers 1, 5, 15, 26
Enjoy the new SPAD!
And here are some REFERENCE photos
Notice there is no color ribbon on the fuse. I need to darken the blue on the cowl and add
more vents on the fuse between the guns. There is quite a bit of variation in the reference photos. Some photos are replicas in different museums. It should be noted that Frank Luke (as with other pilots) had his plane returned with quite a bit of battle damage. He got it shot up so bad that he was issued several planes in his short career. Balloon busting was not as easy as it might seem. Heavy anti-aircraft guns protected the balloons as well as enemy planes of which Luke shot down four.
I'm particularly pleased with the way the wood grain came out on the prop and struts. The instrument panel is quite detailed, machine guns are accurate and grill vents are nice.
red-white-blue stripe on wing
Eagle logo with r-w-b ribbon on fuse
ying-yang on wheel cover
just enjoy a 'total immersion'
sort of approach to whatever I do, so I decided to create an ongoing
journal in the form of a diary for a fictitious flier. I use what I
learn in my historical research, and what I experience in my game play,
combine them with a very (VERY!) vivid imagination... and put it all
Excerpts as follows:
March 16th 1918, [Saturday]
Rain and fog. We did not fly today; the skies opened shortly after midnight and the entire area of our aerodrome is soaked. The field bears the long drag marks made by the tail skids on our machines and the parallel depressions made by our wheels, and all are now filled with water reflecting the dull light of the overcast skies. Thick fog blanketed the entire region during a brief respite from the rain which lasted for roughly two hours shortly after dawn. It was then washed away by a second downpour which degraded to a monotonous, steady rainfall lasting through the entire afternoon.
The infantry troops encamped along the perimeter of our field and billeted in canvas tents set upon wooden pallets are awash in mud and misery. There was a brief row just before lunch which I witnessed as I made my way from the mechanic sheds to the squadron mess. A grizzled Army sergeant had half a dozen doughboys braced up in the pouring rain, berating them for using their bayonets to dig the thick, viscous mud from their boots. His argument looked to be falling upon deaf ears, and I could well sympathize with the men as I looked at the thick clods adhering to their feet. It was impossible to see their boots for the massive pack of sticky clay lumped at the base of their legs. I continued on to the mess, glad that I was not subject to the wrath of the towering and intimidating sergeant. When I returned to my quarters a short time later, two of the men were sitting on the running board of a lorry and using metal tent stakes to dig the clay from their feet. The other two were engaged in stacking crates of ammunition atop wooden pallets to keep them out of the pooling water. A tarpaulin lay nearby, ready to be used to cover the stacked crates.
We’ve heard that the French and British made a push today, somewhere north of Rheims, but we’ve not yet heard any details. The mechanics are working to repair my bus, but the lacquer does not dry particularly well in a humid atmosphere. Still, I am told that I may expect my faithful #5 to be ready to take the air again when the weather clears.
April 12th 1918, [Friday]
Shortly after midday we received an alert call, informing us that an unknown Boche machine had been sighted south of Toul, heading in our direction along the Meuse valley. Lieutenant Jerry Falkenhan and I were standing on alert status when the notice came in, and we got off the field within minutes. Although the cloud layer was rather low over the valley, we immediately climbed for a bit of altitude and settled in at just over 2,000 feet as we followed the river northward.
Within less than ten minutes we spotted two machines circling one another several miles ahead and adjusted our heading to intercept them. Having been sent after one Boche machine, and now anticipating the possibility of engaging two opponents, both Falkenhan and I tugged at the charging handles of our Vickers guns. However, within seconds we could see tracers flashing between the machines, and it quickly became apparent that the two were engaged in a fight.
Moments later one of the two began trailing a plume of gray smoke and fell into a tight vrille whilst the other machine circled slowly above it. The falling machine disappeared into a densely wooded section of forest quite near the river, and although the trees prevented us witnessing the actual impact, the velocity with which it fell was certainly enough to dash it to splinters. We saw no flames or smoke to indicate that it had burned.
As we arrived over the place where it had fallen, we saw that the remaining machine was a Nieuport N28 wearing the new hat-in-the-ring emblem of the 94th Squadron. As I drew parallel with the N28 I threw my little bus over onto its right wing, raising the left wing momentarily so that the pilot might see the US red-blue-white roundel on the underside and know us for friends. As I leveled again, the pilot of the N28 raised his right hand to the corner of his brow in salute, wagged his wings briefly, and then made a virage to the left and flew due north toward Toul.
I returned his salute, banked away to the right, and fell upon a course to the south with Lieutenant Falkenhan off my left wing tip. We found the flags whipping along the bluff edge of the field at Epiez, but managed to land with only minor buffeting.