Some of you may have noticed or indeed obtained a rather special Italian tank in the game, the P40. “www.warthunder.hu”, a Hungarian gaming portal, had an opportunity to have a chat with the guys behind it, one of whom, has been a tireless member of the moderation team for a few years. Say hello to Rik and Nick (sounds like a great double act!) who have gone out of their way to provide Italian fans with an accurately represented piece of armour.
Tell us a bit about yourselves (who are you?, how did you get into WT and how long have you been with War Thunder?)
- Rik: Hi, my name is Riccardo Lo Verso AKA “BlueBeta”, i'm 33 and living near Rome. I'm the Italian Forum Moderator, translator and historical consultant for the Italian Ground Forces Tech Tree. I’ve been active since 2012 and after one year I was chosen as a moderator for the forums.
- Nick: Hello and thank you for this interview. I'm Nicola Faggiani “Kolin0”, I'm 35 and I'm a southern Italian player. I entered the fantastic world of War Thunder around 2 years ago. I was looking for a good game dedicated to the simulation of WW2 tanks or airplanes and after some research I realized that the best was War Thunder. It has the best compromise between Arcade and Simulation.
How did you come up with the idea of making a vehicle model for the game?
- Nick: I noticed the Italian absence as a stand alone country immediately. A nation like Italy, that during WWII played an important role, was almost absent in the game. I remember that there was some aircraft in the German tech tree, but for me it wasn't enough.I've been in 3D graphics for almost 15 years, so I decided to open a thread in the Italian forum where I announced the will to devote myself in a concrete way modeling an Italian vehicle, in particular a tank.
- Rik: Since the CDK and the revenue share program was released i wondered about doing a 3D model for the game but i'm not a 3D designer, so when i saw Nick's post on the italian section of the forum, i focused toward the will to start the project.
Why did you choose to model the P40 tank?
- Rik: The Italian community selected the P40 between various options. Nick created a poll where people was able to choose the tank. The P40 was the final decision.
- Nick: We created a poll. In this way we democratically chose the first vehicle for the Italian ground techtree.
How and where did you find data for the vehicle? How long did the whole procedure take?
- Rik: I thought that Nick had the potential and skills to make this tank. I've waited for him to do the first 3D mockup of the tank. After some months (4 if I recall correctly) I contacted him saying that maybe we should forward the model to Gaijin and see if there was any interest in it. Gaijin's 3d artists were very kind and offered to help us with the project creating the CDK tank guide for this. I went to the Tank Museum in Rome collecting all the measurements and other data from 1 of the 2 surviving tanks. Searching for books, manuals and contacting Army experts... it took 5 months. This tank was very difficult to do because it was made in 1943, and Italy surrendered in that time. So, for some parts that were common to other tanks, we started to do researches for a large variety of tanks and SPGs. The whole project (rebooted in March 2017) took 8 months, but the project started 1 year before.
- Nick: Only 2 tanks survived, one is at the military barracks in Lecce, but it is difficult to visit and observe it. We needed precise permissions. Fortunately, the other tank is at the military museum in Rome, but has many missing parts. Riccardo went twice to take measurements and make a precise photographic report of the tank. In addition to the photographic material we performed historical research and purchased monographs and technical manuals for the tank.
You also participated in the creation of the Italian-Hungarian ground forces tech tree. Would the absence of Hungarian vehicles cause any problems in an independent Italian ground forces tech tree?
- Rik: No, there is no trouble for this, Italy had enough tanks. But i always thought that Hungary could be part of the project in some way.
- Nick: Including a tank or plane actually used in a historical context is one thing, as happened between Italy and Germany for example, or some captured vehicle. Creating a non-historical multinational TechTree seems unusual. If a nation does not have enough vehicles to develop its own techtree it can create "alliances" with neighboring nations. A TechTree for "Eastern Europe" would be interesting.
What do you think about the Italian aircraft that made it to the game so far? Have you guys thought about modelling an aircraft?
- Rik: Yes, some times i told Nick to try to start a plane project... but he doesn't like them so much :D
- Nick: The Italian aircraft released so far represent a good part of the vehicles actually produced. They are really well done even if some really important aircraft are missing.After delivering the P40 I also had a proposal for modeling an airplane, but I preferred to keep working on future ground vehicles.
Were you familiar with 3D modelling before, or did you learn it specifically for this case?
- Rik: I tried and started to modelling with 3dsMax when i did the CANTZ 1007bis, but i'm not so good and i'm happy that i've found Nick. I've learned how to use Autocad, so i can help him more closely and not only for data research.
- Nick: After years of study it became my official job. I collaborated with architects and at the same time I worked on the P40 project. I'm also in an Italian team for the construction of an airplane. We have an MB339A of the "National Aerobatic Team" in the pipeline. It will be released this year for FSX or P3D platform.
How did the cooperation with Gaijin go?
- Rik: Gaijin is a good company and all the workers are very gentle with us and proud of their work. They helped us every day, answering our questions and checking the 3d model that should be made with their standards (these are very high for quality), every bolt, rivet or screw is in the same place and same dimension as in the real one, when you drive the P40 (or any other tank in WT) you must focus on these particulars too and think about all the hard work required to do them.
- Nick: The collaboration went really well. They were very friendly and helped me a lot. Really precious help. They are very precise. You have no idea how many times I had to retouch the 3D model. It must be perfect. When you play with any tank remember that there are nearly 12 months of development and what you see is the third version of the tank, another 3D graphical guy would have given up. Not me, the Italian Tech Tree was meant to be born and so it was. What you see is absolutely the first tank born from the collaboration of an external team and we are proud of it.
Do you have any advice for those Hungarian War Thunder players who are familiar with 3D modelling and are planning to make a model for the game?
- Rik: No, i don't know any Hungarian 3d modeller and i am interested in Hungarian tanks too, i think that they would be very nice for the game and must be added too.
- Nick: Sure! If you love the history of your country and you like 3D graphics, you can also create a Vehicle. Tanks, aircraft or even ships. Look for all possible materials: historical photos, technical drawings, operating manuals, but especially if you have the opportunity to see the vehicle in real life, do not hesitate and go immediately with a card, pen, camera and many memory cards! Arm yourself with patience and start working on it. The pleasure of seeing the vehicle in the game will be incredible.
We wish to thank to the War Thunder Magyar Community!
- Tank P40 Leoncello (rank 2, Italy)
- 7 days of premium account
- "Breda Mod. 38 machine gun" 3d decoration
- 1000 Golden Eagles
The War Thunder Team & Warthunder.hu