Sorry for the lack of an exciting update today, but I really needed to get my Boeing 757–200 template updated with Rolls Royce engines as soon as possible. You see, I create illustrations of all the aircraft that I fly on for my travel blog, and several weeks ago I flew on a American Airlines 757–200 from Phoenix to San Diego (a really great flight by the way).
As you are probably aware, American Airlines 757s are all Rolls Royce powered (and I only had the Pratt & Whitney version illustrated), so this had to be done in order for me to keep up with my normal posting schedule over there. Sometimes I’m really starting to think that my blogs own me, and not the other way around…
Simply drawing a new engine and applying it to my existing 757 template is not as easy as it sounds. The problem was that I needed to find decent reference material which clearly showed all of the tiny little differences between the two versions of this aircraft. Considering that most of those details are under their wing and in the shadows, it’s never easy to find a single “Holy Grail” pic revealing everything. It usually involves scouring through hundreds of photos and picking out a handful of the best to compare with my existing illustration to figure out what the differences are.
It’s exactly like being six years old again and I’m struggling with one of those stupid books which are showing me two silly pictures and I have to figure out which one has the cat holding a hotdog and which one doesn’t. Well, at least I can say that my education paid off, right?
The complexities don’t end there either. In this particular case, I created that original 757 template three years ago, back when I was still learning how to do side view airliner templates and I didn’t necessarily have my technique refined and down pat as I do now. Therefore, as I’m working with those old templates, I start to notice little problems here and there that need fixing before I can proceed with the new engine integration.
It always takes time to go back and redo portions of those old illustrations to get them up to snuff with my current level of quality, which is a good thing I guess considering how much of a perfectionist I am. I always want to make sure I’m giving you guys the highest quality that I can when it comes to my original source files.
By now you are probably asking yourself, “Scott, which version of the 757 do you think looks better? The Pratt & Whitney version, or the Rolls Royce version?” Okay, it’s probably more likely that this particular question never even crossed your mind, but I’m really itching to tell you which one I like the best – because I’m opinionated like that! The winner in my book is the Pratt & Whitney powered version, simply because I think the Rolls Royce engines look too small compared to the overall size of the airframe. What do you think?
For my next template, I’m thinking about doing something from scratch instead of making a small update to one of my existing templates such as I did with this one. I haven’t done any Russian aircraft yet other than the SSJ-100, and I know very little about commercial Russian aircraft in general, so I think that would be a lot of fun. But don’t get your hopes up! I haven’t even started anything yet, and I’ve got a week long vacation coming up soon, so my mind could change by the time I come back and get started again. It’s really anyone’s guess which aircraft is coming next…