Hi, I have just finished an e-book about creating realistic aviation model with Blender, GIMP and Inkscape. The first edition is a free e-book (on CC license), written in Polish. Its reader may have no previous experience in computer graphic. It teaches, step by step, how to create the airplane, shown on the enclosed picture (with all textures, moveable parts, and other stuff). First edition of this book contains 1112 pages and over 3600 pictures. It was huge project, which took me nearly 3 years to complete. I have used the actual “official” Blender version here: 2.49b. (Blender 2.5/26 will be used in eventual future editions).
You can find its abstract in English, the book itself (in Polish), and accompanying materials, at http://airplanes3d.net/wm-000_e.xml.