Tips on modeling objects historically accurate
Research. Read up as much as you can, and get your information from more than one source. If you can, visit a museum and ask if they can help.
Reference material. Gather as much as you can, from the internet, books, photos. The more you have the better.
General tips and trick
Keep you polycount resonable.
In Brothers in Arms the character bodies are around 3000 polys (tris) while character heads are around 1000-2000 polys.
First person weapons are around 1500 polys, and first person hands are around 2000 (for both hands).
Tanks are around 3000-3500 polys.
Static weapons like the MG 42 and .30 cal are around 500-800 polys.
Trees are around 500 polys.
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