Spitfire Part 3

It’s been over 3 years since I lasted posted an update about my 3D Spitfire. In case anyone is reading and wondering why it’s been so long I’m building this model slowly as a hobby and labour of love, without any deadlines. Since the last updated I found a better set of blueprints and ditched the old mesh, starting over. The basic body/shell is complete, next comes the cutting and tiny detail bits, as well as the landing struts. When I’m feeling a brave I will tackle the cockpit interior, though that might be years down the road.

Here are a couple of pics of my progress.

Unfinished 3D Supermarine Spitfire
Unfinished 3D Supermarine Spitfire
Unfinished 3D Supermarine Spitfire from below
Unfinished 3D Supermarine Spitfire from below

Photography – Sparrows are Vicious

The sparrow, a tiny collection of feathers, skin, and bones, is a nasty, vicious species’ of Aves (is that scientifically correct terminology?), which rules the backyard birdfeeder with the ferocity of third world dictator fighting a populist uprising. Pouncing upon smaller birds, such as the gold or purple finch, or its brethren, a singular sparrow is not satisfied until it holds solitary possession of the food source. This leads to an endless, if not entertaining, cycle of violence, birds fighting each other instead of moving to empty perches where they can eat in peace.

I made these observations over the course of this rapidly retreating summer, while taking pictures of birds. My original plan was to capture images of birds in flight, which happens frequently around a feeder. I set my camera to the fastest exposure time and started taking pictures the moment birds came to eat. While I managed to snap a few decent images of flying birds the images that really struck a chord were of birds competing for food, especially the sparrows. I assembled the best images into animated gifs to showcase the sparrows behaviour.

Sequence 1

Sparrow food fight

What is this guy’s problem? Does it just assume the food on the other side of the feeder is better? Is it a bully? This sequence reminds me of a Bugs Bunny cartoon for some reason. I think its because the attacking bird momentarily hidden behind the feeder.

Sequence 2

Sparrow food fight

The aggressiveness on display in this image is at least understandable, as the food level is rather low. What this gif demonstrates is that many sparrows are mean, not just one outlier. They are quite happy beating up each other, and all claims to the throne (birdfeeder) are fleeting.

Sequence 3

Sparrows fighting

This is the silliest sequence by far and I was very lucky to get the kick at the exact moment of impact. It’s straight out of a cartoon. I can see the motion lines and a large graphic POW!! The other hilarious element is how full the feeder is: there are lots of empty spaces, but the sparrow would rather kick out another bird. Why? Sparrows are nasty creatures.

Sparrow Comic Page

Sparrows in action

Update and Corrections

Some of the birds featured in here are finches. They are still vicious.

Photography – A Red Cardinal

Red Cardinal feeding, London, Ontario

I was taking garden/flower pictures the other day when by happenstance a cardinal came by to eat. I turned my camera towards the bird and took as many pictures as possible. This image is the best of the lot, and I’m quite happy with the results. The amount of post-processing in Photoshop was minimal, consisting of cropping, removing a few loose strands of rope holding the feeder, and minimizing a yellow hue which dominated the image. All this took around a minute in total.

Pencil Drawing – Canadian Goose

Pencil Drawing of a Canadian Goose
Over the past couple of months I’ve decided to dedicate some of my spare time to sketching. Coming up with character designs for Steve the Cat proved unnecessarily difficult and I realised I needed to re-hone and practise my drawing skills. My feeling is you have to know how to draw something realistically before you can draw a stylized/cartoon version. I bought a cheap sketching guidebook, a pack of pencils, and looked through old pictures I’ve taken for inspiration. This sketch is based from a picture I took of a Canadian goose in Springbank Park, London, Ontario. Hopefully there will be more to follow. I also might update my progress on the Supermarine Spitfire, which has been on the back burner for a while.

Here’s the original photo I used for the drawing.
Picture of a Canadian Goose