Tribute To Two Fighter Pilots (p-51d Mustang), Ronnie Olsthoorn (3D)


Title: Tribute To Two Fighter Pilots (p-51d Mustang)
Name: Ronnie Olsthoorn
Country: Netherlands
Software: 3ds max, Photoshop

This image was made as a present for two veteran fighter pilots. They flew the P-51D Mustang with the 359th Fighter Group during World War II. The image shows their aircraft flying in close formation on the first leg of an escort mission into the heart of Germany.

This is the first work I have made for actual wartime veterans and it’s been a pleasure doing this. It was made on the request of a friend of these pilots, who presented the prints to them last weekend. The response of the veterans was better than I’d hoped for. Both loved the prints and said they bring back lots of memories (“some good; some not so good”). The 18"x12" prints will get a place in their living rooms, which is a great honour to me.

Flying with different squadrons, these two pilots never flew together as illustrated in the image. But being friends for over 60 years now, they should have.

Besides the image above, I’ve also created a sideview profile of each aircraft. Please click the image below for a bigger version of it:

I am now awaiting signed copies of the prints to be send to me from the USA, which will receive a place in my own living room! :smiley:

PS. Here is the old P-51D WIP thread on CGTalk:


your plane rendering are always awessome…

looking like a sort of hyperrealist airbrush ilustration

5 star from me …!!!


i love all your work skyraider. Very realistic.
Keep it up!! :bounce:


looks great man. keep it up


Deserves frontpage! I love the detail you put in your work Ronnie. Brilliant!



Thanks very much guys! :slight_smile:

I see they’ve downscaled the images quite a bit from what I sent. Here’s a 1500 pixel version of it:


(original was 5400x3600 ;))


5 stars for you matey ! :thumbsup:


Your works are very impressive! nice to see you again



What can I say, we’ve been waiting a few months for this and was definitely worth the wait. It looks amazing, every rivet and stencil is included. At last someone as modelled and rendered a accurate looking P51. I think this is your best work so far, it would be hard to believe the vets could be anything else but thrilled by this work.

Thanks for the link to the larger image and the profiles look fantastic as well. These should be published as they look much far better than the ones you normally see in most books.

I really like the image with plenty of action going on despite no enemy fighters in view. There is also a sense of urgency in this image, but I’m not really sure why I think that but just my impression. The contrails look great too.

If there is anything to crit it would be that some of the aluminium panels could have a little more variation in tone (some brighter and some darker).

Interested to know about two mustangs depicted. Did the vets provide you with details about their aircraft or was this information already published some where ?

Really good stuff !


5* from me too! :slight_smile:


Ronnie , It’s really aviation art:thumbsup:
Natural metal surface of P-51’s looks good balace ,
and composition of the picture is excellent.
5stars from me.


hahaha niiiiiiiiiiceee :slight_smile:

i wonder how u did the aluminium stuff though :stuck_out_tongue:

+5 well deserved :slight_smile:


Good work mate, congrats :slight_smile:


I’m impressed by the realism ! Very very very nice work !

The background is a matte painting ? a photography ?


Awesome work! Realistic :slight_smile: .


Wonderful to finally see it finished :smiley: This is a frontpage stuff! Very, very realistic and good lighting
But I was wondering how you did the background?


This is very nice, first page job.

I like all your models, this is the best of all, keep it up with this amazing stuff.

5* stars …


Thanks so much guys for all the nice feedback! :thumbsup:

I am very glad you like it. This has been one of the most time consuming projects ever. The main difficulty was to get the shape of the Mustang right. I have seen so many 3D Mustangs that were simply not accurate enough. And because I was doing “yet another one” I was determined on getting it right.
I spent a total of 125 hours on this one, 50 hours went into the modelling (compared to my normal average of about 15-20). These 125 hours were all covered in the space of one month besides my full-time job. Busy month as you can imagine! :wink: The image has been finished for awhile, just I wasn’t able to show it online yet until the veterans got it (not to accidentally spoil the surprise).

Kevjon, I used to do a lot of panel contrast in my models but have come back from that as it makes the planes look painterly. On real aircraft the difference is often not that strong or even complete missing. The same with these two particular planes:
from: (my main reference)
We didn’t tell the veterans about this of course, as it was a surprise. But we did ask one of them a question about a particular feature on his plane (under the cover of an excuse) and he simply didn’t know the answer as he couldn’t remember. It’s been 60 years afterall… :slight_smile:
I got some help on a few aviation forums, though, and from the guy who asked me to make this image.

Voutlooz, the metal was made using raytraced reflections and the following texture maps and an inverted dome with seamless sky textures (invisible to the camera, but not to the reflections):

resulting in:

On the print you can best see the result of this in the drop tanks as they’re the cleanest (as they were single-use, thus brand new).

Dogster, Jeff, the background is from a photo I took from an airliner whilst on holiday. I always take my camera with me and make loads of pics like this one. Very handy! :wink:
Photos were used for the contrails too. I took several high-res images of a contrail and glued them together to form a 12,000 pixel contrail and another 8000 pixel one! These were then mapped on 3D geometry.

Thanks again! :slight_smile:



amazing work
forntpage and 5 stars:thumbsup:


Great Work There :thumbsup: