This is a work I did at 100% in ZBrush (well, 99%, because of Photoshop), and more important, I wanted to work on reproducing existing objects, and not working with something out of my imagination.
Then I decided to work on a RC helicopter, inspired by a Trex 450 SE V2 (Google will give you tons of images!)
Here are the final ones. Some parts are still missing, and I will post later the fully finished model (currently, more than 200 SubTools!)
Some information about how I worked for some parts:
Shadow box was at the center of my pipeline, it was the perfect tool for me to create parts which was close to the final model:
When possible, I was working on the Back plane as it create very nice extrusions. Mixing Masks with different strokes and cleaning locally the masks give a lot of flexibility. For some parts, I used a shadow box with a high definition (256 to 320) to avoid extra subdivision levels, like this mesh.
Another thing to consider for Shadow Box : you can use a texture loaded in a working plane, then convert it to a mask, or more easier, draw a complex B&W image in Photoshop, load it as an Alpha then use the Drag Rectangle stroke with a Focal Shift value at -100 to have a clean result on a working plane!
This is another part, the tail blade support, which was using the three planes. For creating this model (and others), I built a new Mask brush, the MaskPerfectCircle which is a Circle Stroke with the Center and Square option enable, then saved, similar to the ClipCircleCenter.
Then some hPolish, Clip Curves to clean the mesh, mask with inflate (with realtime feedback which is great to define the depth!) and the model was done.
For the Canopy, I didn't use Shadow Box, but a more traditional sculpting approach:
I started from a sphere, then I use the new Move Elastic brush to define the rough shape, the I use the Polish Brush to finish the shape. Then I draw a Mask to define the overall surface and did an extract to have a thickness on all the shape.
Then I did a new polygroup based on a Mask and combined it with a GroupLoops. With the polygroups topomasking, I did the polypainting on each area.
I also wanted to add some logos with Spotlight, but finally, I revert my ideas for the canopy and did a more simple Black a orange one. I'll add later a ZBrush logo on it.
Step by Step
And a small step by step about a technique which is a big part of my workflow: mesh creation (primitives or shadow box), the Remesh to have a more consistent topology, then projection with the new features of ZBrush 4. This is a short Step by step to create an hex pan screw.
I created two primitives by tweaking the initialize parameters. Then I close the both side of the screw support as it have opening, with the help of the Tool >> Geometry >> Close holes function.
I combined thew as two SubTools, changed the size, and I also tweaked the subtools which will create the threading (I hope I'm not wrong with the name!) to make it going outside of the screw support.
Here is a trick: I inverse the normal of the threading SubTool, to see its inside.
This is the projection step. Now, with the new Projection Shell, we can define the limit of the projection. In this purpose, I do only an negative projection. By moving this slider, we have a live deformation of the mesh which show these limits, which is great to control the projection distance!
Another important thing to consider, the Projection distance: it mustn't be a too high value as the elements are close each others.
Another trick: I added on the support one or two extra subdivision levels before the projection, to have a better quality for my result, and after the projection, I deleted the unwanted one, to have a lighter mesh in terms of polygons (hey, it's just a screw! )
Then I remesh the whole model to have a better topology, especially on the top of the screw head, which was just a close cap with triangles, because of the close holes function.
Then I did a new projection, from the original screw to this new one. Like the previous projection, I added some temporary subdivision levels to the remesh model, for having a better result.
On the screenshot, the center screw is the original, the right is the new one, using the Remesh topology.
Now, it's time to do the hex head. Nothing more easier with the symmetry with the strokes: I enabled the radial symmetry, I pick the Square Mask brush and did a selection on the sides. Take care of the other part of your model, that everything is 100% masked.
The easiest part! switch to orthogonal view, go on the side, pick Transpose and move the non masked part to the back. And voilà!