The people behind the repainter's brush
A series of interviews by William Reynolds
Part 2 Stephen Stubbs
Q: So who is Stephen Stubbs??
Born in Kinston, NC
Moved to Roanoke, VA on 16th birthday.
Enlisted in the Air Force after graduating from high school. Repaired electronic countermeasures systems on F-111A/E/F and FB-111A aircraft. Three assignments (including RAF Lakenheath). Cross trained and flew as a crewmember on RC-135 strategic reconnaissance aircraft for over 10 years (over 5,000 hours). Finished career at the headquarters level managing my career field for the Air Force and training on several key intelligence systems. Was stationed in the continental U.S., England, Okinawa (Japan), South Korea and Alaska (7 years) during my career in the Air Force.
Retired from the Air Force in 1995 and moved back to the Roanoke, VA area. Worked in automotive business for almost 10 years before moving to my current employer. Currently working as a project manager in the automotive industry in Valdosta, GA and live in Lake Park, GA.
Education – Was 30 semester hours shy of a degree with Embry Riddle Aeronautical University. Vision issues de-railed finishing that degree. Have associates degrees instead.
Q: What attracts you to Aviation in general, and Avsim in particular?
Mother was a civilian flight instructor during the Korean conflict. She taught instrument flying and navigation at Stallings Field in Kinston, NC. Father was an active duty student and they met that way. Father eventually had to get out due to same eye issues I ended up getting.
Have flown PC flight simulations since the Sublogic version on the Apple IIe in 1983. Belonged to 9/JG52 during the heyday of IL-2 Sturmovik in the early 2000s. Most decorated pilot in that online squadron. Built missions in IL-2 that were used for squadrons to compete in competitions worldwide.
Avid photographer while in the military. Unit photographer at three different assignments. Have lots of aircraft pictures. I have always loved aviation in general.
I have always used AVSIM to keep up with the latest news regarding flight simming. The forums are helpful and the download library is probably the main reason. I've been using AVSIM for as long as I can remember, but finally decided to join the forums in February of 2011 as a member.
Q: How did you start making "repaints", what was your first repaint, your biggest "disaster", your biggest frustration?
I started doing repaints in the combat flight sim arena around 1999-2000. I really enjoyed painting the camouflage patterns and personalizing the aircraft. World War II aircraft have always been my favourite. My first repaint was a BF-109F in the IL-2 Sturmovik game. I can't say I've had any disasters in regards to painting. If I couldn't paint a plane, then it never got worked on. Sometimes if a paint kit was not available, I would take existing graphics and make a layered paint kit using Photoshop.
I posted a Photoshop tutorial back in the early 2000s online for folks to use when painting aircraft. I have owned Photoshop for years and built websites, composed newsletters, etc., so using Photoshop is something I have a lot of experience with.
My biggest frustration when painting aircraft is when the different sections stretch or change the painted surface and do not keep a consistent scale. I'm sure this is due to trying to cover curved areas on a 3D model.
Q: Your favourite project??
Outside of FSX, it has to be the squadron paints for 9/JG52 for the IL-2 simulation.
For FSX, it has to be the Piedmont 737-500 made for the NGX. Piedmont has always been my favourite airline.
Q: Favourite aircraft in real life, and in the virtual world?
RC-135M/V/W versions. In FSX – PMDG 737-600 NGX.
Q: Your favourite repaint (yours or from another author)?)
That’s a very tough question. Favourite repaint can be decided by 2 different areas. Which one do I like to fly the most or which one do I like due to the visual look of the repaint. I probably like the BBJ I made for Marty in Salt Lake City (MartyB on AVSIM) as a repaint project that I made.
There are a lot of talented painters out there and some of the liveries made have been superb. Chris Hick’s (Jokers Wild) work with the Southwest paints are outstanding. Marcelo Vene’s recent repaint work on some extremely complicated liveries have been nothing short of remarkable. The NGX has a lot of areas that can be very challenging when painting a livery.
Q: What are your family's thoughts on your hobby and the amount of time you dedicate to it?
My son’s in the Navy, so it’s just the wife and I at home. She has her crocheting as a hobby and I spend my free time painting on the PC. It’s relaxing for me and I like the challenges of creating something that is used by others.
Q: Future Plans??
Keep painting liveries for the NGX. I do get a lot of requests and sometime have to turn some down. I do try to make time for flying on the PC.
Thanks Stephen, a pleasure to get to know you!
In the next chapter we will speak with Mike Pearson, whose uploads to the Avsim library are as varied as they are interesting!