Ekranoplan, pimped up

Updated: September 6, 2013

By now, you have seen and enjoyed some of my recent re-renders, like the Mechwarrior thingie or the somewhat fantasy-like Super Castle, as well a handful of others. I'm sure you will find your way around the 3D gallery section if you put your mind and heart to it. As I've already explained on quite a few occasions, models get so much more perceivably realistic when you plant them in a realistic or near-realistic setting.

My ekranoplan is the classic example. It was damn good the last time, but not perfect. And now, I've decided to take it up a notch or three, by designing an airfield around it, complete with the taxiing and takeoff runaways, some hangars, a control tower, and even the night lighting round the grass perimeter. This ought to be interesting. You will, naturally, follow me, at this point.


So we have an airfield at our hands. To make things look real-er, I used physical texture from our human life. For example, the concrete used for the hangars comes from real images of USAF hangars. So does the hexagonal pattern of the runway, borrowed from the Russians. We also have the Top Gun logo featured on the side of the hangar walls, and with the tower in the background, runway stripes and lettering, plus those lights adorning the runway sides, you get a plenty of realism to enjoy the actual model. Or maybe not. But who cares.

However, that was not good enough for me, so I added some decals, of a would-be air force, including insignia and squadron numbers. And the landing gear received a genuine tire track, all of which add to making the project appeal more than it was the last time, without any actual changes to its lines and planes and curves. Then, I submitted the model to the magic of Kerkythea and made it a reality.

Dark skin, low shot

A handful of side shots, with different skins and lighting conditions:

Cool side shot

Dappled skin

And more, with shiny scratched silver paint:

Silver skin

Silver skin, more

And a jolly night shot, with aircraft landing gear lights, hangar lights and runway lights on:

Night shot

The rear loading ramp, and the massive landing gear:

Loading ramp


Three planes - one taxiing, one getting ready to take off, and another hiding inside a hangar, all against a lovely backdrop of a real city, with some nice, post-rain late spring European sky, sort of. Then, on top of that, a sprinkling of GIMP filters, for good measure.

With three planes

Three planes, black & white

Finally, let's go into some black & white and sepia, so we get that nice atomic 60s feel:

Dramatic, front view


The front landing gear, with all the bells and whistles - and klaxon.

Landing gear

That would be all now.