Contents:

 
Flawed Beginning
  History Begins
  Early
UOP's

  "The Dr.1 is Porked!"

  SWWISA

  The Last Classic UOP

  To the East!
  Revolution of CdT
  A New Breed of UOP
  Pat Wilson and WFP

  Stachel's Hell's Angels

  The Promised Land

  The End of the Road

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The Giant Leap Forward: A New Breed of UOP

Karel opened the floodgates for patch makers to come. The new models, however, had to be installed one by one, often leading to crashes and headaches for anyone not intimately aquatinted with Red Baronís quirks. I recall spending many hours trying to update each model within the game one by one, but to no avail. I personally didnít realize it at the time, but a revolution had begun. Karel had found a way to create new models from scratch that broke out of the Red Baron mold. Because of this discovery, the community now had a way to create models for planes not originally in Red Baron, and this opened up a new world of possibilities. One can say that Karel saved the community. In late 2000, most of the chatter on the respective forums used to keep in touch with other members had fallen almost silent. There was little left to do by all accounts as the community appeared to hit the limits of what they, and Red Baron, could do together. When his models began to appear, life flooded back into the efforts made by new and daring patch makers. It is unfortunate that 1918 Air War, a brilliant patch in itself, was doomed to be largely overshadowed by this revival. However, the changes that were to come over the next four years would be nothing short of extraordinary. This period can largely be considered the high water mark in Red Baronís history.

(The Giant Leap Forward: A bitmap file from Pat Wilsonís Western Front Patch
 compared with a Beery 2.0 bitmap file. Both model the Fokker EIII)


Pat Wilson and The Western Front Patch

After SWWSIA had been officially formed in early 2001, work began on a new kind of UnOfficial Patch that would incorporate these new models. The three authors were Pat Wilson, Panama Red, and Beck. Pat explains the advent of The Western Front Patch in his own words:

ďWith the fact that paint schemes could be swapped in and out over time came the idea, why not whole planes? The Western Front Patch was started by Panama Red, Beck and myself. The original intent was to address the glaring weaknesses of RB, [such as] no French early war two-seaters. Panama Red did the Flight Models, Beck did the squadron updates, and I did most of the rest of the data files. Beck and I were both 3d modelers. We had done several of SWWISA models and continued to do them for WFP as needed. The skins came from a variety of sources, a lot of them done by myself and many done by others.

 

I was pushing for a smaller project to start with but Beck and PR wanted to go bigger. WFP started at around 65 planes. The project was too large to be accomplished in one shot so we started with 1915/16, then released 1917 and 1918. Over time planes were added as time and ideas permitted. WFP now stands at 100 [planes]. SWWISA figured out how to do individual cockpits and they were added. Reconnaissance and Bomber campaigns, and how to transition from them to a scout career were added later. Now Mark Hutchinson has completed the moving front patch for WFP, which will be made publicly available soon.

 

PR dropped out after the initial release and Beck disengaged about a year ago. Since then I have retained ownership. We have gotten lots of help from people over time. Panama Red's original Flight Model was replaced by Royce's which was in turn replaced by WvW's. Greybeard has a current alternative FM. Zintech came along with a great DM and has been doing them for quite some time. OvS came out with HA and there has been constant sharing between our patches. Skins have come from all over, Walther Wever, Andreas, OvS, WingStrut, ... too many to mention. Pretty much everybody that has ever done a 3d model contributed to WFP. Go look at the SWWISA page and you will see most of the contributors. Beck, Steve Fabert, and Shredward have been instrumental in getting the history right.

 

I know that I have not named everybody that has contributed. This project has been ongoing for over three years and we have taken bits and pieces from everybody, and as the Moving Front Patch shows, it ain't over yet.Ē

   

(Two aircraft unique to the early war portion of The Western Front Patch)

 

By the time of its latest release in 2004, The Western Front Patch version 6.4 would model the war in the air from late 1915, a full six months earlier than the original Red Baron II campaign, through 1918. Utilizing date based file swapping, WFP would model every conceivable change to every possible aircraft on the Western Front. In the end, Pat estimated 100 types of aircraft are modeled in WFP, compared to the 40 aircraft in the original game. French reconnaissance squadrons now flew French aircraft, engine upgrades to the SE5 were modeled accurately down to the month, unusual planes like the twin Spandau Fokker EIV and others were now modeled with complete historical accuracy.

The list of historical and gameplay improvements in WFP cannot be underestimated. In addition to the improvements of the patch itself, Pat built a utility called MissionGen which altered the mission parameters created by Red Baron, allowing the game to accurately model the sparse skies of 1915 along with the large scale flights of 1918 with almost-perfect accuracy. The comprehensiveness of SWWISA and Pat Wilsonís work on WFP and MissionGen is stunning and it is considered by all in the community to be the ultimate historical recreation of the air war along the Western Front that is possible within the confines of Red Baron.

Another major contributor to the Western Front Patch legacy was DeltaK. DeltaK holds a unique place in history. He created a series of skins for all of the aircraft in Western Front Patch. Yet, while Pat and the gang were striving for what became known as Dirty Birds (aircraft that looked weathered and beaten), DeltaK made aircraft that resembled very high resolution versions of the skins featured in the original Red Baron. While they werenít photo-realistic, they were beautiful in their own right; holding crisp, clean lines that were pleasing to look at while being historically accurate in their markings. Sadly, DeltaK retired his patch about a year before the latest release of Western Front Patch 6.4, though many within the community continue to beg him to make a new version of his classic patch.