Build a 3D Model in a Weekend

Gallery Article by Konley Kelley on Nov 30 2009


1/48 Monogram 1:48 ME-262 and 3D ME-262 

I believe scale modelers can pick up 3D modeling in no time at all. The fundamentals are the same. You put the model together piece by piece. The difference is you use software to "glue" the kit together and texture maps to add the "paint."

I was trading e-mails with my friend Sean. I told him I had an urge to build a 3D model and was thinking about my scale model ME-262. The ME-262 fascinates me. It was the world's first jet fighter. It also is a really wicked looking plane. It honestly looks like a hunter - a shark in the air. There is an underside wing panel of an ME-262 at the Historic Aviation Memorial Museum in Tyler, Texas. I snapped a pic.

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Sean and I agreed that getting the shape of this sleek-looking plane would be the greatest challenge. I use Strata 3D. To create the shape of the fuselage you lay out the ribs then "skin" the model. It is a cool trick but the results are not always the reliable.

After I built the Monogram kit, I placed it in a Photoshop digital diorama. The background includes 3D B-17 Flying Fortresses.

To make the 3D ME-262, I grabbed my scale model off the shelf for a visual reference and a book about the ME-262.

I started Saturday morning and finished Sunday afternoon. No need for glue or paint to dry if you 3D model (smile).

I think it turned out pretty cool. You can see for yourself.

For more scale and digital dioramas, see my website at or shoot me an e-mail.

Konley Kelley

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Photos and text by Konley Kelley