IL-2: Of Damage Models and Paint Jobs

7 04 2010

I recently acquired IL-2 Sturmovik: 1946 for the PC and was surprised to discover it has a more comprehensive damage modeling system than that of its successor, Wings of Prey. Most specifically planes don’t just magically vanish in a fireball when they hit the ground, instead their debris is flung across the landscape or they slide across the ground in the event of a crash landing. This is a phenomenon I’ve witnessed across many games in that more modern games sometimes have damage modeling systems that aren’t as great as their predecessors (the best example of this being Mechwarrior 4’s damage modeling paling in comparison tot that of Mechwarrior 3, but I digress).

The number of planes available is also staggering, but that’s more because 1946 is a package of all the IL2 games up to that point which gives it a slight advantage. Still you wind up with variants of many planes and even experimental craft that never saw the light of day.

The flight model is also more difficult especially with my joystick that seems to have the rudder always pull slightly to the right but I’ve actually been having fun with it. Of course, the gameplay itself isn’t the only reason I picked it up, I also picked it up because of the ease at which custom content can be generated, namely paint skins. It took a little while and a couple tutorials but now I’m able to crank out relatively good-looking skins quickly. For example, here are a couple I made for the Spitfire Mk. Vb model.

Desert Camo over water probably wasn't a wise choice

I was going for a different Desert pattern here, but it seems Jungle-ish

Eventually I plan to work on making more specific design choices, like adding decals in certain areas or drawing things like teeth on engine cowling (like on the Curtiss P-40 Warhawk)




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