Step 2. Drawing the Rocket
With the Ellipse Tool (L), pull out a long vertical ellipse, we will use this to start building the rocket’s body. Using the Direct Selection Tool (A) select the top anchor of your ellipse and its handles. Scale these to reduce the sizes of the handles equally to create the point of the nose cone.
Remove the anchor from one side of your ellipse so you have the only have the outline for half of the rocket and adjust the other points to refine the shape. By using the Convert Anchor Point Tool (Shift + C) and clicking on the bottom anchor you can remove its handle giving a better shape and allowing for the based to be flat later in the tutorial
Now select the shape you have (the single side of the rocket) copy and paste it onto your canvas and reflect it around the vertical axis to create a mirror image. Line up the top anchor points of each side and select both with the Direct Selection Tool (A). If you have lined them up correctly when you join them their will only one anchor afterwards.
Now select the two bottom anchors and join these in the same way. This time there will be a gap between them, however joining them will fill this gap to complete the shape of the rocket’s body. You should adjust the shape until you are happy with it.
Moving on, the rocket will require some propulsion so we are going to add some thrusters. First copy the rocket shape and use that as the basis for the side thrusters. After some scaling and adjustments in height and width this can work well and save a little time.
To create the mounts for attaching the thrusters to the body of the rocket you have to shear a rectangle. With the Rectangle Tool (M) draw out a small rectangle and select two of the corners on the same side with the Direct Selection Tool (A). Using the down arrow on your keyboard move these anchor points down to shear the rectangle. Finally position the shape between the rocket’s body and thruster.
Copy the thruster and the attachment arm and reflect this around the vertical axis to create the second thruster for the other side of the rocket. To complete the rocket’s propulsion add a main thruster between the two thrusters we have just created. This main engine is simple to create, drag out a rectangle and select the two top anchor points and scale them to create a trapezoid with a longer top than bottom. Create another slightly smaller trapezoid aligned with the bottom of the main engine to represent the afterburner fins and position these at the bottom of the rocket.
Having completed the propulsion lets add the final detailing of the rocket. To create a small window, drag out 2 circles one 1/2 the size of the other. Select both circles and align them both horizontally and vertically.
Ensuring that the smaller of the two circles is on top of the larger circle and select both. By choosing the Minus Shape Mode in the Pathfinder panel you will create a doughnut shape that will look more like a small porthole window.
Fill the remaining ring white and position it on the rocket body. Now create white flashing on the nose cone, and at the ends of the thrusters. First select one of the thrusters and copy it and paste it on top of the original (ctl-F or cmd-F). Draw a rectangle partially over this shape, select both and use the minus tool once again to leave only a small section at the end of the thruster. Set the fill of this new shape to white.
Use this technique to also create some flashing for the nose cone. Selecting all of these areas we are going to use the scribble effect (Effect->Illustrator Effects->Stylize->Scribble). This will give the blueprint this really authentic hand-written blueprint feel. Adjust the various settings to achieve the desired affect.
Finally to complete the rocket move the scribble effect in the appearance panel into the fill layer. This will maintain the stroking around the scribbled object and make for a cleaner edge to each colored area.