I was working on an original design when I realized that I needed to go back to the drawing board with it, so I decided to make a jet in the mean time, because frankly I feel lazy if I'm not modeling or texturing every day. And it's not even Russian for once! I apologize if spamming the boards with aircraft is annoying anybody; I haven't made very many vehicles so I'm always looking for critique. This will definitely be the last one for a while. Once again this will be a complete game model when I'm done.
This time I'm doing a Swedish jet. On the nerd side of things, this guy has an unusual arrangement where the horizontal stabilizers are in front of the wings. Called canards, the type used on the Viggen is close-coupled, which produces less drag than a conventional arrangement. Because of this configuration, the wings have elevons instead of ailerons: they can function as both ailerons and elevators. The vertical stabilizer is hinged at the base and can fold completely sideways, allowing the Viggen to fit into much smaller spaces. It also has bicycle style rear wheels to keep a narrower profile, so that the wheels can fit into the wing. A near semi-permanent drop tank is mounted centrally, adding 30% more fuel. It is no longer in use by Sweden, having been retired in 2005.
Here's the finished high-poly:
It's much lower in surface detail than my previous stuff because most of the visual interest is going to be in the panels and grime, of which I have wonderful reference. Also, I modeled the wheel wells and associated tangles of cables separately instead of cutting them into the wings and fuselage because it would be a huge pain in the ass to do in the high poly model and it wouldn't make the end result any better. Those nasty cuts before the cockpit are along panel lines, and are not nearly as noticable under normal lighting conditions.