DC Designs FA-18E / F and EA-18G Super Hornet package for FSX / P3D / X-Plane

Deano1973

Resource contributor
Hi folks,

So, it's official, I'm now a full-time flight simulator developer! :) It's only taken me about three years to get this far, but I'm hugely excited to be doing this - the new FS2020 sim and general feedback on my freeware releases in 2018 tipped the balance for me, as well as learning Blender and the easier modeling that it allows. The DC Designs brand is aimed squarely at the mid-level user - those who want high-quality visual models that fly right, but don't want to spend half an hour pressing buttons just to get the engines started. Aircraft will come with custom gauges for instance, but they'll be simpler than the study-level versions available at the moment.

The Super Hornet package will contain all three versions of the Super Hornet, each with three colour schemes, and a paint kit will be included with the release. There will also be an illustrated manual for those who do like to dig a little deeper. Custom animations and custom HUD / MFDs will also be present, as will as ordnance load-outs selectable via an MFD display in the virtual cockpit controlling the visibility of stores. Tackpack and vACMI compatibility will be there, but it will be left up to the user if they want to adapt the aircraft to use live weapons in this way - VRS have the weaponised FA-18E comprehensively covered, and it's beyond my target market anyway.

If this first release sells reasonably well, then it will become the first in a line of such products, both military and commercial, modern and yesteryear that are lined up for release through 2020 and on into the future. All will also be converted for use with the forthcoming FS2020, once we have an SDK to work with ( I'm corresponding with some of those in the know at this time regarding that, but info is sketchy right now ).

OK, some images. Release date is set for early 2020, as long as all continues to go well. Fingers crossed for this one! :cool:

Calum7.png Calum5.png FSElite2.png FSElite3.png 107.png DCD_Hornet_VC.png
 

Deano1973

Resource contributor
Hmmmm. Get somebody to help 'Tacpack' it for you. This is interesting, no question.
I could TacPack it no probs myself, but to integrate it properly would require the coding of proper targeting functions ( various HUD modes etc ) and radar which is beyond my target market - VRS already have that angle covered very well. My package is aimed at those who like the Super Hornet, but not the study level detail of the VRS offering and so have no real alternative out there at the moment.
 
... My package is aimed at those who like the Super Hornet, but not the study level detail of the VRS offering and so have no real alternative out there at the moment.
I agree with simplify, but it not bad too if you include those tackpack as that a fighter aircraft, it should could shoot something.
 

Deano1973

Resource contributor
So... one day building and one day writing? My wife says 'tell him he's got to write some more books!' :cool:
Yes ma'am! :) My books are on hold for a few months while I get DC Designs up and running - but there are more books planned, and another series is under consideration with big publishers at the moment, so sooner or later more will be published...
 

Deano1973

Resource contributor
A few more recent images of the F-18 package airplanes. The external model is now pretty much complete, got all the animations working properly now, including the slightly tricky job of modeling and animating flaperons and getting everything to line up nicely even when the wings fold up. I've also completed the addition of the EA-18G Growler version, with all it's little extras, and all nine paint schemes are done too. Work begins on the virtual cockpit next week :)

VFA-27.png Sunset2.png Launch3.png Growler2.png
 

Deano1973

Resource contributor
I've been a bit slow to update the progress here, but have been working very hard for some time now on the virtual cockpit. Here's where I'm at - modeling and texturing mostly done but much finer detail work left. I've been coding the systems while learning more complex XML and was hugely chuffed to build a working HUD, MFDs, GPS and other bits and bobs before getting de-railed by a tiny rectangle code ( thanks, Bob! ). I'm progressing well now though and am about to start on extra modeling of wiring, dirtying up the textures a bit and adding general wear and tear to bring it to life. The WSO seat in the back of the F and G models is also coming together roughly in tandem with the front seat.
 

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Deano1973

Resource contributor
Just some eye-candy as it's been a long week of nothing but coding and almost no flying other than to test things out. Rear seat coming along, shots taken aboard Sim Works Studio's awesome USS Abraham Lincoln :)
 

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Deano1973

Resource contributor
Heading into the final week of development, much to do but the fun stuff such as flight testing and screenshots for the manual is underway! :cool:

Ignore the flat-screen HUD, it's now collimated as the coding for the gauge has been finished.

Official_Image_12.png Official_Image_9.png VC_low_light2.png Official_Image_4.png Official_Image_11.png Carrier break.png
 
Dean just ordered this, and just installed it. Typing this while the sim is firing up.

I will say this: this package is begging for some repaints - might have to pump out a couple really basic lo-viz renditions.
 

Deano1973

Resource contributor
Dean just ordered this, and just installed it. Typing this while the sim is firing up.

I will say this: this package is begging for some repaints - might have to pump out a couple really basic lo-viz renditions.
Groom Lake Simulations have done dozens of them, well worth checking out. Hope you enjoy the Hornets :)
 
Dean.....

Please tell me that you did not just start learning Blender 3 years ago and have already achieved this level of expertise and proficiency. I'm really hoping that you are a thousand years old with hundreds of years of experience of design work with other CAD applications like Autocad. Because, damn it if you aren't, I am going to feel so defeated and far behind in this aspect. Not jealous have you.. just envious as a MOFO!!

You have some spectacular talent Dean! I'm thoroughly impressed.

I have just started to allow Blender to bore a whole into my thick skull, of course leaving me with utter frustrations and occasional migraines at times. But thanks to the awesome people that make up FSDev, like Pyscen, Tankerguy72 and Tgibson and many others that have been helping me along the way, with my little personal project.... I hope some day I'll be able to reach the level of detail and proficiency that folks like you, Lionheart, Tom, and probably a thousand others have already achieved.

Until then, I'll keep plucking away at it, and admire the works of the great artists and developers that make up this incredible community.

Dean, thanks for doing what you do, to inspire folks like me!

~WEB~
 
Groom Lake Simulations have done dozens of them, well worth checking out. Hope you enjoy the Hornets :)
Wow they sure do! I know those guys, and I didn't even realize they had all these posted. I think they have painted just about every hornet squadron out there. Thanks for directing me over there.
 

Deano1973

Resource contributor
Dean.....

Please tell me that you did not just start learning Blender 3 years ago and have already achieved this level of expertise and proficiency. I'm really hoping that you are a thousand years old with hundreds of years of experience of design work with other CAD applications like Autocad. Because, damn it if you aren't, I am going to feel so defeated and far behind in this aspect. Not jealous have you.. just envious as a MOFO!!

You have some spectacular talent Dean! I'm thoroughly impressed.

I have just started to allow Blender to bore a whole into my thick skull, of course leaving me with utter frustrations and occasional migraines at times. But thanks to the awesome people that make up FSDev, like Pyscen, Tankerguy72 and Tgibson and many others that have been helping me along the way, with my little personal project.... I hope some day I'll be able to reach the level of detail and proficiency that folks like you, Lionheart, Tom, and probably a thousand others have already achieved.

Until then, I'll keep plucking away at it, and admire the works of the great artists and developers that make up this incredible community.

Dean, thanks for doing what you do, to inspire folks like me!

~WEB~
Thanks for the kind words! I'm afraid that I didn't start using Blender a year ago. I started one year ago :duck:

I started developing freeware in April 2017, working on a P-61 Black Widow using FSDS 3.5.1, but then progressed to Blender at the start of 2019. My Super Hornets were my first payware project, which I went full time with in October 2019. I owe my knowledge of Blender to Bill Womack at iBlueYonder, where I learned to use the program quite quickly while working on Bill's projects for his own development company and for folks like ORBX. I also wouldn't be here without all the help provided over the past three years by the many developers here who share their knowledge, and I try to do the same when the opportunity arises.

Keep learning. It's a huge subject, and necessary to learn many programs in order to provide products for flight sim, but it's hugely rewarding when you start to produce good models, animations and learn all the tricks. You'll get there, and it'll get easier soon as most of FS2020's development resources are built into the simulator, meaning you'll be able to model and animate in Blender and then work directly in the sim from there.

I look forward to seeing your first project release! :)
 
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