BENTLEY BLUETRAIN

published 2019

Inspiration

One day I stumbled over an image of a fully restored 1930 Bentley Speed Six Bluetrain with a black paint job. I instantly fell in love with the design of this car. It was its classy elegant appearance made for "true gents" and the interesting material mix of fine leather and shiny metal that got me. Never bevor I had these feelings about a vehicle of any kind. Also, all these details like the overall chrome parts or the leather straps on the spare tire and many more exterior and interior highlights, that I found in further research, got me more excited to create an outstanding artwork as an homage to this beautiful piece of technology.

First things first

Luckily there were many pictures from all different angles to find on google's image search. So without any knowledge of how a car works or specific parts had to look like, I got pretty good reference material and was able to start building my 3D model. First I began with shaping the roof with its leather cover and window frames and worked my way down towards the hood. I experienced first difficulties in giving the leather a soft and fluffy look with defined hems in contrast to the hard metal parts. Here it was helpful to create a low poly mesh for an SDS object to smooth out the topology. The same technique made it easy to build the round-shaped outer mirrors with its delicate hinges. Other additional elements like the wipers were fast and easy to make but gave a fast level detailed look.

Bodywork

After finding my way to define the surfaces of leathered areas different than the metal, it was quick to model the basic bodywork. (Materials and textures as shown in the images are basic and far from final) Here I had to take care of the more petite objects like the handle. Again a low poly mesh was treated in a way, that an SDS object revealed the shape like it was meant to be. From the beginning, I knew, that I won't ever show any engine parts because of two reasons. One: I don't know anything about engines at all. Two: I save plenty of time and polygons by leaving this out. In fact, the engine and also the chassis are hidden behind tight louvers, that I build in a way that no sneaky glimpse was possible. As you can tell the locks and handles to open the hood are just not functional but rather decorative.

Took care of the rear

Although most of this won't be seen in the final artwork, I wanted a clean 360° view of the 3D model for having the possibility to sell it online. The exterior trunk is part of the car's unique design. I don't know what that tube coming out on one side is about, but it was an easy one to make. It took me more afford to create the Bentley emblem with its complex embossing, which I have made as an extruded Spline imported by a photoshop path. This way it has not to be simulated by a bump texture. Like I proceed with every object until this point, everything worked as a symmetrical object. Now some objects like the trunk-tube or the extra backlight on the left are added separately.  The suspensions are covered in leather and are not attached to the chassis as long as they will be hidden by the wheels.

Gave it a face

The grill and front lights are rich in detail. Both have a fine grid made of wavy wires, that are fully modeled and are no 2D alpha masked texture. Behind the grill is a simple black colored plane to hide what's not there and simulate a fake depth. The front fenders are more complex than the two in the back and are blending into the front lower body. Again the SDS method helped to get clean curves and shapes. On top of the grill sits a hood ornament and the same emblem as on the trunk but wrapped around the curvy architecture. Thanks to its high poly count it bent easily.

For the license plate, I chose the initials of FinestArtworks followed by the date I started this artwork.

Wheels 4+2

To complete the ovrall look, I added the Wheels. These come in two versions. First for both axles, that have a Bentley branded nut. The spare wheels don't have this chrome nut but a mirror on top that is strapped on the tire. Without soft body simulation I modeled these leather straps manually and gave each an individual turn.

The spokes are simple radial clone objects. Once I figured out the right way they are twisted, it was a quick success. The tire tread has a specific pattern, that also was replicated within a clone object. First I made a long streak of repetitive shapes and then wrapped it around the tire in a full circle.

Fair enough to mention, that the wheels are not ment to be steered in case of animation.

So far so incomplete.

Get comfy on the inside

At this stage I was just half way through the modeling process. I knew that for the final image I wanted a door to open. But this would expose the interior which is still missing.

© 2020 by Christopher Rüsing