Fellow Modelers,

Bookmark this site! If you're serious about model-building, you'll want to come back often.

Caleb Flerk's Guide to Speshul Efeks is the first design resource for dedicated 3D modelers who want to create unique visual and animation special effects for CFS2 model aircraft.

You're about to discover more about how these models work than you ever imagined.

Learn not just how it's done ... but why it works!

F4U-4 SFX Model

A lot of nice effects can be created with stock and keyframe animation or the use of SDL Macros. Some special effects however, such as the application of real time bullet holes and repainting your model with damage textures in flight cannot be done with macros! These effects require "getting under the hood" of your model and editing the SCASM code.

Here are just some of the modeling secrets and techniques you'll discover ...

  • Model files (.mdl)    How they're structured, what they contain, and how to affect the way they are generated.
  • Source Code files (.sca)    Why it's important to study the object source code for your model and what you can do with this knowledge.
  • Damage profiles (.dp)    Once you learn the inner workings of your model's special effects controller, you can create some stunning, realistic special effects.
  • Bullet Holes    How to tag your model with bullet holes that only appear when the aircraft takes a hit!
  • Boresighting your Guns    Learn the correct technique to align wing mounted guns to converge at any target distance you like, including the deadly "Flerk Spread."
  • Dynamic Texture Swapping    Learn the "trick" to making your model instantly "repaint" itself to reflect damage or make parts disappear in the blink of an explosion, leaving large, gapping holes in the fuselage or wings.
  • Break Away Parts    Learn how to make your model shed parts like the CFS2 stock models and watch a shot off wing flutter away in the wind.

This invaluable reference source was developed using the following software tools ...

Flight Simulator Design Studio Pro, ver 2.11, 2.20, 2.33
Used to build the 3D model (.mdl file) and generate the object source code (.sca file). The techniques in this guide will probably work if you design models using a different program, but they are based on using FSDS v 2.33 as the primary model generator.

Microsoft WordPad
Used to edit the FSDS-generated source code (.sca file).

SCASM Compiler ver 2.88, © Copyright 1995-2000 by Manfred Moldenhauer.
Used to compile the source code (.sca file) into an object file (.bgl) and to create animations.

HexWorkshop ver 4.00 (32 bit version)
Used to merge the object file (.bgl) with the original model file (.mdl).
There are a number of free hex editors available on the Internet, but if you're really serious about "getting under the hood," this feature-packed software will make your job much easier.

PaintShop Pro v 7.0
Used to create and modify model textures.

DXTbmp ver 4.0061
Martin Wright's 16/32 bit Texture Manipulator
Used to edit and create transparent textures for your model.

And finally ...

Microsoft Combat Flight Simulator 2 (CFS2), War in the Pacific
    ... to test the results!

Many of the tips and techniques included in this guide were discovered through a long period of pure trial and error, since no one else seemed to know (or was willing to say) just how to produce these marvelous special effects.

If you're looking for that special edge that will set your flight simulator model apart from the others, you can't do better than Caleb Flerk's Guide to Speshul Efeks.

William "Bill" Caraway
Email Address: Contact me if you have a question, a comment, or a suggestion for improving this guide.

The information presented is based on my own research and personal experiments and is accurate to the best of my knowledge. The screenshots used throughout this site are the actual images from CFS2. Except for adjusting the brightness/contrast and resizing, no screenshot has been altered.

When editing any related CFS2 files created by someone else, please remember that those files may be the intellectual or commercial property of another party. You assume sole responsibility for the infringement of copyright or any other rights held by the owner. Please give credit where credit is due.

None of the information or tools referred to in this guide are supported by Microsoft Product Support. I take no responsibility for any errors or damage that may result from your use or misuse of this information.