Featured Image - Bentley Project Part 2

The 1929 Bentley Blower 3D Project – Part 2

References Images And Reference Box

Set up the sizes

Before we do anything in a virginal drawing, we first make sure that the Blender startup file is suitable. See this How-To article.

We’ll set the units to mm. (Sorry US readers – you’ll just have to convert to inches)

Since we will be doing some fine detail as well as the whole car, we will need to set the clip range from 1mm to 100000mm and the floor grid scale to 0.01 to show the grid in cm increments.

Reference Images

Collect a series of reference images – you can never have enough for this Bentley – See this How-To article.

Choose a suitable image (ideally a blueprint) for the side view and insert it into new Blender drawing. See this How-To article.

Trying to get photographs or blueprints to agree with the other published dimensions is a lesson in futility. Instead we choose the best orthogonal blueprint we can get our hands on and use that as the anchor ortho picture.

Now we have to set its size. For that we have to know one single accurate dimension. This is usually obtained from reference sources, but unfortunately the specs given are not always clear or in agreement. You often have to consult many journals to get all the data needed. But there is a problem. The length, for example, according to one journal is often not the same as the length from another. Heights and widths are different. The one piece of data that I could find which does seem to be constant is the wheelbase (the horizontal distance between the centre of the axles). So that is the reference datum that we will select. Wheelbase: 3302mm

Create a cube with dimensions of 3302mm

So now it’s easy enough to scale up the reference image – See this How-To article. We want the distance between the two axles to be exactly the length of the side of the cube – viz., 3302mm.

Wheelbase Dimension
Scale and move the image so that the cube edges go through the axles

We have committed to one image, so the other Top, Front and any other reference images that we insert are scaled and located according to this first side image. While changing to the appropriate ortho views, insert, scale and position all the reference images you require:

Position Reference Images
Three reference images in position and scaled correctly

Create a Reference Box

Now create a rectangular box representing our model’s width, breadth, and height. Imagine this as representing the bounding box of our final model. Using the reference images, create the rectangular box precisely the height of the flat bonnet from the floor and the breadth exactly the distance between the mudguard extremities. The length doesn’t matter as long as it extends past the cube’s edges.

Apply an Intersect Boolean modifier to the box with the cube being the cutter, and then extrude the front and rear side of the box:

Extrude Front and rear faces
The front face is extruded outwards to approximately the correct extrusion amount.

Now delete the cutter and switch to the Side Ortho View and adjust the vertices exactly into position:

Ajust the Exact position of the Front and Rear faces
Adjust the exact position of the Front and Rear faces
Loopcut Through the axles
Add a horizontal LoopCut which goes through the axles

Put the Images and their Parent Empties into a new collection.

Apply all transforms and the Origin of the Box is set to the World Origin, which is exactly between the axles and on floor level:

Reference cube
The Reference Cube

Double-check that the origin is in the correct place and the dimensions are right. This is vitally important because this will be our point of reference from which we will construct the entire model, so make sure everything is correct before going on further.

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