X-Plane works by calculating the aerodynamic forces from the shape of the model, created using Plane Maker. From X-Plane 8.40 onwards, this fairly crude shape could be made invisible by the designer and replaced with a cosmetically superior 3D mesh. The original geometry was still doing all the hard work under the skin, but the amount of detail became limited only by the computer hardware and the creativity of the designer.
The Comet 4C for X-Plane is made using the latest techniques: with an invisible Plane Maker model supporting a series of elaborate and highly detailed cosmetic meshes in OBJ8 format. These “Objects” were created in AC3D, with lighting and metallic effects rendered to texture, or “baked”, using Blender. The first draft was from a scale drawing by D.H. Cooksey for Aero Modeller, but this was substantially corrected and revised from de Havilland drawings of detailed sections, as well as measurements, observation and photographs of real aircraft, becoming more and more accurate over a number of years
There are two main variants: one for civilian airlines, and one for RAF Transport Command. This is because changing liveries in X-Plane only swaps the textures, and the RAF versions had different arrangements of fins and antennae on the roof and the tail, as well as a very different interior.
The modelled detail is very high. Most people will want to see all the detail, but some people will be limited by hardware, therefore there is also a cut-down, “low-poly”, version which loses none of the character, but has less detail, smaller textures and no lighting effects (see Performance).