As promised in my last blog I finished the drop tank. I looked up my photos of the tank on the 109 at Hendon and managed to determine some of the more illusive details, such as the tensioning assembly for the main strap. I was pleased with my efforts and I hung the tank proudly from the ETC 501 rack suspended under my 190. A judicious amount of “sticking the boot in”, adding slight dents, grime and a fuel stain ensued until it looked like it had been re-used at least once. I think I mentioned in my last blog that there was a 10 RM reward for returning drop tanks to airbases and I was keen to give this one a slightly ‘used’ patina.
Who said recycling was a modern phenomena? ETC 501 rack with recycled drop tank.
I’m not entirely satisfied with my rendering of the mountings on the drop tank and the fixing points on the ETC rack, so I plan to re-work them in the near future. In some reference photos of the ETC 501 rack I have noticed that the fit wasn’t necessarily snug under the belly of the aircraft, with daylight visible in several sections. I need to re-check my research, because it currently looks like I might have over stressed this in my painting.
A wider view of Red 19 with the re-worked gun and engine cowling bulges.
After having a little time to live with it, I decided to alter the gun cowling bulges. They just weren’t doing it for me. I used the excellent Tamiya Fw190 F8/9 model kit to get around this problem. Period photos tended to confuse me because this complex panel looks slightly different depending upon the angle of the ambient light. It also varies considerably from one version of Fw 190 to another. The Tamiya kit allowed me to rotate the model to pick up the light at just the right angle, showing exact shapes of highlight and shadows. The jury is out whether to add a second smaller bulge near the bottom right edge of this panel. None of the surviving photos of Red 19 manage to show this area. Several other illustrations and model kits seem to contradict one another, so for now, I’ll leave this panel as it is.
I’ve also tweaked out the engine cowling bulge a bit. The trailing edge looked a bit vague and slightly too pointy. I’ve adjusted this area so that the trailing edge part of the bulge is now a more defined curve. Shame I can’t do this so easily with my own bulges!
I guess the painting is almost finished. No doubt it will need a few tweaks over the next few days as I live with the painting, but I’m more or less there now. I’m taking orders for signed high resolution giclée prints of this painting (65cm long) at £60 each. The edition is limited to just 20 copies. Of course, I’m also offering the basic airframe for commissioned paint schemes and nose art. Please click on the Contact link for more info.
So what next?
I’ve got a hankering to do Peter Holloway’s Fieseler Storch reconnaissance/transport aircraft. I’ve always been attracted to it’s quirky lines and outrageously spindly landing gear. On the other hand I have a substantial library of photos for a Me 190 and a Spitfire to fuel another highly detailed painting, albeit of a rather over subscribed subject. I’m torn between doing the sensible thing: the 109 or Spit, or get acquainted with the Storch, for which I have almost no research. Watch this space…