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Author Topic: ** 40th BlackDogs Livery Pack**  (Read 142 times)


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** 40th BlackDogs Livery Pack**
« on: October 02, 2020, 05:31:52 PM »
The 40th SOC presents the "Black Dogs"

This livery pack is intended to be used with the upcoming "Russian Contracts" campaign. I am releasing it now so that everyone has time to D/L and install. Download size is 784MB (requires 1.68GB free disk space for installation)

DOWNLOAD (version 1.3.1011 FULL PACK) -784MB:

Please read the install instructions and FAQ below. If you have any problems or questions you can Message me on Discord
« Last Edit: October 11, 2020, 03:31:02 PM by prccowboy »


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INSTALL INSTRUCTIONS ** 40th BlackDogs Livery Pack**
« Reply #1 on: October 02, 2020, 05:36:23 PM »

USE AT YOUR OWN RISK. If you are in the 40th SOC, I assume you already know how to install User Mods. So, this should be easier than AAR and instructions are below. However, If you are NOT comfortable with this process, don't do it.

unzip the files and copy the entire contents of the 'Mods' folder in the zip file to your DCS user files folder, example:
C:\Users\[YOURNAME]\Saved Games\DCS.openbeta\

(You should end up with a "40th BlackDogs Theme" folder under Mods/Tech, example:
"C:\Users\[YOURNAME]\Saved Games\DCS.openbeta\Mods\tech\40th BlackDogs Theme\")

After you have copied the files, start DCS and click on the "40th SOC Blackdogs" icon along the bottom of your screen then choose "set wallpaper"

For a clean upgrade, I suggest uninstalling (deleting) the old version and installing clean new version.

simply delete the "40th BlackDogs Theme" folder from your user files mods/tech folder, ex: "\Saved Games\DCS.openbeta\Mods\tech" (Do NOT delete the entire 'Mods' folder as this will remove any other mods you may have installed)
« Last Edit: October 11, 2020, 03:34:27 PM by prccowboy »


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FAQ ** 40th BlackDogs Livery Pack**
« Reply #2 on: October 02, 2020, 05:44:32 PM »
Why new skins? How did this project start?
This project began when Lawndart asked me to make some "pirate skins in black" for the upcoming campaign. I took it as weapons free to expand the request to introduce and play with some ideas I had for squadron-wide personalization and ease of install/uninstall of liveries via module

The ROE for this skin pack was:
- must be installable in user files (NO changes to core DCS install and must pass integrity checks)
- Size kept to a minimum. Designed to share resources across skins as much as possible and uses high compression (DXT1) for smallest file sizes/reduced VRAM (the trade-off is slightly lower quality and restrictions on what can be done in crew specific "custom" skins)
- easy to install/uninstall. The livery was packaged into a single Module so that you can uninstall/update without having to look for 50+ different skins in different locations
- "pirate skins in black" To match the "pirate" theme, the mood of the skins is intended to look mercenary, very non-Mil-Spec (No NATOPS here): dirty, poor quality paint, very weathered and patched, and no country-specific markings (rondels).

What is included?

There are roughly 52 "unique" skins across: AV8-B, A-10C, A-10CII, F-14B, F-16, F-18, JF-17, UH-1H, M-2000C and the CVN-73. There are also 6 sets of wallpapers for the Main menu with matching loading screens (these are randomly picked when you start DCS so that the wallpapers change)

All the different aircraft types have a "standard" skin (BlackDogs theme without any crew specific personalization) and "custom" skins for 40th pilots that qualified for personalization.

Does this mean I have to install 50 skins?
You only need to install a single Mod. This module has everything mentioned above built in. See Install instructions.

How do I qualify for a personalized skin?
Crew specific skins were made for pilots that met a minimum number of Saturday ATO sorties in a particular airframe. Example: Lawndart flies most of the modules; however, he doesn't typically fly the Huey on Saturdays, so he qualifies for a personalized Hornet skin but not the Huey skin. This is meant to reduce overall file size, complexity, and labor (mine). Plus I doubt you will find any crew chiefs (irl) that will give a custom paint job to a new line pilot or even the CAG if he doesn't typically fly that plane. So, if you want a custom skin in the future, contribute to the 40th by flying more in Saturday ATO's.

How long did this take to make?
More hours than the entire squadron will fly in this campaign collectively. Let's just leave it at that.

I don't like my skin (or) I want something else for my nose art (or) Why did you give me this style? (or) How do I get it changed?
As a "secret" op, I designed the skins based only on my interpretation of your callsign, personality and/or my artistic skills (none). The nose art in many cases is specific to the pirate theme. Most likely there will not be any changes to the official pack during the campaign duration. However, I anticipate there will be requests and anything reasonable might be accomodated for future livery development. Honestly, there are a lot of things I want to change as well. It's just a matter of time and effort.

Does BlackDogs replace Phoenix as "official" 40thSOC livery?
NO. BlackDogs was designed for use in a specific campaign (although it could be used again). The Phoenix livery will be updated and expanded for future release to the 40thSOC.

So, will we have personalized skins for the Phoenix themed livery?
YES! your feedback for BlackDogs will be incorporated into the upcoming launch of the new and improved 40th SOC Phoenix livery. Rowdy and I have already started the development of the Phoenix module. Stay tuned.

Hey, I found a hidden joke/easter egg
Yes, there are a few. Some are very obvious. Others not so much. Let's see who has the best SA in the group and can find them all.

Is this compatible with Mod Managers/OvGME?
Yes, but you will have to ask Rowdy about that because I don't use one (see my ROE re: mods/ics)

What is involved in making a custom skin?
It depends on how much customization/detail you want. For BlackDogs, all exterior texture files of the aircraft were re-created in Gimp with layering for: Base coat paint, top coat(s), glare paint, stencils, nose art, panel lines, rivets, dirt, oil/fuel streaks, weathering, paint nicks, scratches, paint texture, etc. and applied across the relevant files for Diffuse, AO, roughness, dielectric, normal/bump, and/or specular as appropriate to the a/c model.

Does it include the new A-10cII?
Yes. However, I did a rush job conversion. The lighting/texture roughmet still needs work and I haven't had much time for detailing or file size optimization. Nevertheless, both A-10c and A-10cII have skins available (the crew customizations are only avail on A-10cII to reduce file size).

When are you going to add [INSERT AIRCRAFT NAME HERE] skins?
no comment, but see above re: time/effort (Has NOBODY missed me in PvP night or the Dynamic server over the past months?)

Who made this?
This is a Cowboy creation, but much appreciation and thanks to Rowdy for assistance in Testing & Evaluation. 

« Last Edit: October 04, 2020, 05:36:38 PM by prccowboy »


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