B-17G-80-VE 44-8471 "Winged Warrior"

The actual painting (in progress)

I'm going to be posting photos here of the painting as it gets painted. For the time being, this will be very much like a blog, with the most recent posts at the top.

Oct. 23

Really, Really, Really Finished...

Yesterday, Steven Murphy (Steven is a former student of Col. Newman who instigated this painting back in December 2009) drove the painting to Wilmington, NC to deliver the painting to Robert Newman. He was quite thrilled with it and gave both of us a big hug. After deciding which wall it was going to hang on and that the current occupant, a picture of a B-52 was going to have to go, he took us both out to lunch at a nice restaurant looking out over the ocean.

So, it's really finished now, unless I want to drive 4 hours to Wilmington to fix something...

So, what now?

Back in December of 2009, after I had finished a P-51 painting for Steven, the next painting I had planned on working on was of an OS2U Kingfisher, a US Navy float plane used for observation and scouting in WWII. Then I got sidetracked for “several months” working on the B-17 painting.

There are only 9 Kingfishers preserved and one of them just happens to be in Wilmington, NC. It's perched on the deck of the USS North Carolina, a WWII battleship that's now a museum. So, earlier in the week I contacted Kim Sincox, the Museum Services Director for the battleship to see if I could get better access to the Kingfisher than the average visitor might. They happily provided a 10 and 12ft ladder so I could get a vantage point above the wings of the plane. After taking about 300 photos of the plane, we spent the rest of the day somewhere deep inside the ship where the archives are, digging through old photos and scanning them into my laptop.

Oct. 21

Really Finished!” version 2.0

It's really done now. I didn't change anything today except for putting a simple strip frame around it. I also took it outside in direct sunlight and took some pictures. All the pictures I've taken up to this point, the color in the photos always seemed a bit “off” to me. But the ones in the direct sunlight really seem to get the colors right, at least on my laptop they look pretty good. The only downside is that the varnish I put on last night makes little glints here and there where the surface of the painting isn't perfectly flat.

You can click on the first image below and see a full resolution version.

Tomorrow the painting goes to Wilmington to be delivered to Robert Newman, the B-17 pilot who flew Winged Warrior on 9 missions.

Oct. 20

Finished!” version 1.3

I've let it dry a few days. Today while I was getting some prints made of the painting I noticed one more thing I needed to fix. Nothing big of course, but if I didn't fix it, I would fixate on it every time I see the picture. It took longer to get the paint out and then clean up than it did to paint the problem area.

I also sprayed on a coat of retouch varnish to even out the surface so that there weren't dull spots and shiny spots.

See if you can find what I fixed...

Oct. 14

11:00 am

Finished!” version 1.2

Another list of tiny changes this morning. None of them noticeable in this small image.

I finally did add a drop shadow around the “Winged Warrior” lettering. It could make this out in one of the 3 actual photos of Winged Warrior I have, but the drop shadow only seemed to be around “Winged”, not “Warrior”. I painted it around both words though.

Oct. 13

11:00 pm

Finished!” version 1.1

Went back in this evening with a list of things to fix. Almost all of them invisible. Probably the only noticeable changes are the addition of the mission markings (a long row of bombs) to Kimmie Kar, and de-smudging of the sky a bit.

Oct. 13

12:00 noon

Finished!” version 1.0

I say it's “finished”, but I know I'll be back tonight working on something else on the painting. Stay tuned...

Oct. 12

I realized this morning, that in addition to not being able to see clearly last night, I wasn't thinking too clearly either. The right side cheek gun is of course, in front of the prop, not behind it as I wrote yesterday.

At any rate, when I went in to paint this morning the gun barrel was dry enough that I could start putting in the blurred prop blades. Those all went in fairly well, though they're not as “painterly” as I'd have preferred, I can certainly live with them.

I took the afternoon off to go paint rocks, then returned in the evening to put in the prop blades on Kimme Kar and 8127. Also blocked in all the guns and antenna posts I've been avoiding for so long. Hopefully tomorrow morning I'll be able to finish off the guns and lay in the antenna wires, then knock out a few details and it'll be “done”. “Done”, until I go home and look at the photos of it and make a long list of details that need working on. Details like “What happened to the #1 prop hub on 8127?”

Oct. 11

Almost no progress today.

I'm being sidetracked by real life work painting rocks on flats for the furniture market next week. I went in this evening with the intention of painting in propellors, but then realized that I needed to paint in the right side cheek gun first since it's behind a prop blade. Then, while painting in that gun barrel and starting the top turret guns it became obvious that because of the new pair of contacts I got this morning at the eye doctor, my close up vision was somewhat lacking. So, I stopped, leaving the top turret guns unfinished. Tomorrow, I'll put in last weeks contacts which worked fine for painting.

Bonus picture of Emma from this weekend to distract from the lack of painting progress...

Oct. 08

Almost there... I did a lot of very minor things this morning. Most of them invisible if you're more than 3 ft. away from the painting. Probably the most obvious was a lot of smearing around of the sky and working on contrails. On the B-17 itself, probably the most noticeable thing is the reflection of the cheek gun in the nose plexi. And the cooling holes in the barrel sleeve of that gun.

Now I'm going to let this dry for a few days before coming back and putting in the rest of the guns and antennas. Also the propellors. The props are my last chance to really mess this up.

(All these photos today were taken outside, except for the last one.)

Oct. 07

A lot more detail work today, most of it hard to see. I put in the flush rivets on the cowlings, finished out the exhaust/supercharger parts (all dark) on the undersides of the nacelles, and roughed in Kimmie Kar's engines. Also started to even out the sky/background below the main B-17.

I took the painting outside and took some pictures in daylight instead of under beautiful fluorescent illumination. While these colors aren't necessarily perfectly accurate, I think they're closer to the actual colors than any of the other photos I've posted.

You can see some of the flush rivets on the cowling in the second picture below.

Oct. 06

Only got in about 3 hours of painting today, most of which was doing hard to notice details. The only real “obvious” changes are the beginnings of the .50 cal gun in the cheek blister and the ADF football beneath the fuselage.

Less obvious would be getting the right wheel (right wheel of the plane, meaning the wheel on the left in the painting) to finally look round, refining the optical bomb sight glass and frame in the nose and a little work on the ball turret.

Oct. 05

Got in a solid 6 hours of painting today. After looking at the cleaned up #2 cowling from yesterday, I decided the other 3 cowlings needed the same treatment. (You may have noticed that the chipped paint from a couple of days ago has vanished, I actually went back later in the evening of the day that I'd posted the pics of it and wiped the chipped paint off before it had a chance to dry)

The really noticeable thing that I did today was to work on Kimmie Kar. The nose art for Kimmie Kar is probably only an inch or so wide on the painting, so not a lot of detail there.

Oct. 04

Today I worked on rivets a lot of other little details. The most obvious thing (to me anyway) that I did today was working on the #2 cowling and getting the opening to actually appear to be circular.

The rivets aren't a rivet by rivet recreation, more of an impression of rivets. Rivets that are going from front to back appear to be so close together because of the perspective, that they almost look like lines. There are 2 rows of rivets on the lower section of the fuselage where this effect can be seen pretty easily.

Oct. 03

Even after another day (with the kiln on even), the paint on Kimme Kar was still tacky. So, I couldn't do as much on Kimmie Kar as I had planned, but I did work on refining the nacelles and putting some windows in.

Winged Warrior got a little attention, nothing very obvious though. I slimmed down the windshield wiper, grayed out the pilot slightly, darkened the words “Winged Warrior”, worked on the right tire and popped in some brighter highlights on the cowlings on the left side of the painting. I also put in some chipped paint on two of the cowlings. I'm not sure whether I like how the chipping turned out or not.

The most noticeable thing I did overall though, was roughing in more contrails.

In the picture above, I'm not sure why the opening in the cowling on the rt. side appears to be so squished, it's not really like that.

Emma came by in the afternoon, and wanted to take some pictures. So, I put the camera on the tripod and let her push the button.

Oct. 01

Not a lot of progress today. When I got to the studio, the paint from yesterday was still wet to the touch which limited what I could do. So, added the pilot, windshield wiper, a thing in front of the windscreen that looks like an eye bolt mounted in a little olive drab pyramid and some rivets and glare on the nose plexi, though I ended up wiping most of that back off.

The pilot pops out a bit too much, but eventually there will be a slight glare added to the windscreen which should knock him back somewhat. Windshield wiper also looks a little chunky.

Also did some experimentation with rivets on the lower section of the cheek gun mount, but I'm not all that happy with how it turned out. I'm going to have to look for a different brush rather than the liner brush I used today.

Sept. 30

Did a lot today, though nothing as noticeable as yesterday. Worked on the left wing, reflection of the ball turret in the fuselage, cut in the rudder into the red paint on the vertical tail and base painted Kimmie Kar again since my metal colors have evolved a bit since the last time I worked on it. I'm not planning on repainting 8127 though..

If anyone is wondering what I'm using the curtain rod for...



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Reference Photos

The CG Model (Overall)

The CG Model (Engine)

The CG Model (Nose)


The CG Model (Misc Parts)

Composing the Painting




Copyright 2010 - David Rawlins