View Full Version : WIP - GAU-8 Avenger

Steve Warner
12 December 2003, 11:29 PM
Well, it started with this patch

from which I decided to model this character

for use in our courseware developement. Then I realized he was carrying this gun,

a GAU-8 Avenger which is mounted on the front of the A-10. So I set the character development aside and decided to model the GAU-8. I'll be working on this in my spare time over the next couple of months.

My goal is to build the world's most accurate 3D replica of the GAU-8, with every nut, bolt, and rivet in place. I am working closely with the Air Force to ensure the model's accuracy in form and function.

Steve Warner
12 December 2003, 11:30 PM
Here are the first few renders.

This is the rotor assembly, which fits on the inside of the gun and transports the 30mm rounds into, through, and back out of the gun housing after being fired. The object is fairly low-res, but since it fits into the gun housing, it will only be partially seen when the gun is fully assembled, so I'm not too fussed.

Here's a link to an MPEG-4 AVI file for anyone interested:

Crits and comments welcome. :)



Facial Deluxe
12 December 2003, 08:41 AM
Wow ! Impressive weapon !
Excellent job on the details ! The metal effect works great !
Congrats ! :thumbsup:

12 December 2003, 12:07 PM
Wow, I've always been fascinated by the avenger but I've never seen that VW comparison shot before :eek:
Can't wait to see more progress!

12 December 2003, 12:41 PM
Oooooh, :drool:

I tried finding detailed pics of the Avenger before for a project (project still being planned), and the beetle comparison shot was one of the few decent ones I'd found.

What kind of references did you get from the Army?

Steve Warner
12 December 2003, 09:14 PM
Thanks, guys! :)

LyonHaert, I spent several days combing the web for decent GAU-8 materials and finally came to the conclusion that there weren't any. That's what pursuaded me to build this as accurately as possible.

I contacted the people at the Air Force who maintain the gun for the A-10. They offered to strip it down and let me photograph it piece by piece. So a couple of weeks ago, I shot about 850 photos and 30 videos of the gun. I also got a copy of a video put out in the late 1970's by General Electric (who designed and manufactured the gun). It shows how the gun was conceived and what makes it unique.

I received notice late on Friday from the gun specialists that the rotor assembly was nearly spot on, but there were a few small changes needed to make it match the current guns being used in the field. I'll post another update once I've got a few more parts built.



12 December 2003, 09:46 PM
Wow, cool model :)
Not afraid that your model will be classified when it is finished? :)

Lucky you that you got help from the Airforce:)
I wanted to make the best A-12 Avenger2 model ( a plane) ever and didn't get so much help from a (civilian)museum that holds the original blueprints... And on the net you find only microscopical big blueprints, that don't match....
Sure there are some decent pics, but they don't show things as how they really look like.
Ohwell, it is still the most accurate model, but not that much as I wanted it to be.

Keep us updated :)

12 December 2003, 09:48 PM
yikes! good start there. i heard that firing the guns on the A-10 can slow the plane right down to stalling speed!

12 December 2003, 01:35 AM

That's indeed true. But another thing about A-10 Warthogs is that they can get shot up a little and still fly. It's my favorite warplane.

12 December 2003, 01:48 AM
I knew that A10 gun waz badazz, but I never saw the whole thing.
Geezz man I'd hate to be on the receiving end of that sucker.

kick ass modelling BTW, looks great.

Are we gonna see your model, throw some lead??????(ani)

12 December 2003, 02:26 AM
:buttrock: YES! That is wicked man. Cant wait to see a pick shooting the thing with brass flying everywhere and a huge pile behind him lol :D :twisted:

Steve Warner
12 December 2003, 07:51 PM
Wow! Thanks for the comments!

@ BAROBA: No worries. Only unclassified material will be posted. :D And hey, man. I totally sympathize. You wouldn't believe the trouble I had finding accurate A-10 reference material. I wish the plane maintenance crew were as friendly as the gun maintenance crew!

@ mdme_sadie: You heard right. The gun has such a force that it can actually counteract the effect of the turbine engines! :eek:

@ LyonHaert: I'm glad you're an A-10 fan! I'd never heard of the plane until I started working on the pilot training team two years back. Now I think it's one of the coolest jets around!

@ roguenroll: Thanks! See the video link below for some fun. :) And I'll definitely be showing the gun fire when I'm through!

@ Keiyentai: It will take awhile, but hang in there with me and it'll happen!

Ok. A little update. I was waiting to hear back from the Air Force with regards to the rotor assembly, so I decided to start modeling the ordnance. The GAU-8 fires 30mm Armor Piercing Incendiary (API) munitions using a depleted uranium [DU] penetrator slug. Here's a render:

Pictured are the High Explosive (the cream colored) and Armor Piercing (the black tipped) rounds.

And for those who are interested, you can Click Here To See The GAU-8 Smoke A Tank ( (500k MPEG-4 AVI file)

More to come!



12 December 2003, 08:01 PM
Steve, this is simply awesome work, thanks for sharing it with us...

Please keep it coming!!!!

12 December 2003, 08:43 PM
Why did the Airforce allow you such a close hand look (with pictures) of this gun??

12 December 2003, 08:46 PM
Woah! Steve this is amazing work :buttrock:

I don't know which to compliment you on more, the modeling, the patience, the surfacing, or the render


12 December 2003, 08:57 PM
Dude that's so cool! :buttrock:

The munitions look awesome! Great texturing, I'd say easily photo-real. I can't wait to see your progress, are you going to build a tank or something to see this thing waist on?

12 December 2003, 09:34 PM
great job..
look like you have a lot of patience..
really cool and clean modelling
me want to see more :-)

Steve Warner
12 December 2003, 09:44 PM
Thanks, for the comments, guys!

@ Wes: I'm glad you like it! Only 5 billion more parts to build! ;)

@ 3DDave: I work for the company that develops the pilot training materials for the A-10, so I'm fortunate enough to have access to military resources.

@ Pi3141: LOL, I've never been complimented on my surfacing before, and if you ask anyone who knows me, they'd tell you that patience is not one of my better attributes. :p But I take it as a tremendous compliment coming from you. Thanks!!!

@ N2ChristTheKing: Thank you! I don't know that I'd call it photo-real, but I appreciate you thinking so. I don't have a tank built yet, but I do have a Paladin Howitzer that I modeled awhile back:

@ xtrm3d: :bowdown: Many, many thanks. And another comment on my patience! Woo hoo! I'm going to print this out and show it to my wife!

Thanks again for the comments! I really do appreciate it!


12 December 2003, 09:52 PM
Many, many thanks. And another comment on my patience! Woo hoo! I'm going to print this out and show it to my wife! Steve

Lets not go that far, he didn't call you Job or anything... :eek:

Ahhh ha ha ha gotcha!!

Hey, looks great!! I will say it again, you should write a book on this stuff...

12 December 2003, 10:07 PM
@ N2ChristTheKing: Thank you! I don't know that I'd call it photo-real, but I appreciate you thinking so. I don't have a tank built yet, but I do have a Paladin Howitzer that I modeled awhile back:

Well that could be due to my lack of experience to the real thing, but texture wise I think you have it. If you lit it differently and composite into some dirt somewhere I think it could pass for a photo no problem.

Edit\ I think we could settle for the Paladin Howitzer getting wasted instead :drool:

12 December 2003, 11:31 PM

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