Greg Priebe, one of the guys in our gaming group, sent me a note about a toy available at Target stores from the Disney movie, Planes. It is a good size for 28mm figures and looks like a C-119 cargo plane. I’ve always liked the look of the C-119. Before I could take action on his suggestion, I saw this blog posting: http://www.inlgames.com/c119.htm.
My pulp games involve Duke Morrison and his buddies, “Wrench” Web and “Boats” Morgan along with his love interest, Gianna Nannini, daughter of the great scientist Serafini Nannini. Duke Morrison NEEDED a plane. So within a few days, I had ordered one for me and one for Greg from Target.com.
My son took up the challenge of removing all the red stickers while we watched television one evening. After a lot of elbow grease and a fair amount of Goo Gone, the plane was ready to paint.
I first sprayed the plane black and then with a silver paint. This silver color was brighter than I wanted, so I gave it a third coat of paint, this time an aluminum color. I then mixed silver and brown paint to make a metallic rust color, which I applied liberally with a wide brush.
In the picture (above), you can see the difference between the un-weathered engine cowlings compared to the rusty finish on the rest of the plane.
I decided to keep the centers of the propellors silver, but painted the tips of the propellers white. I like that look.
Then came the challenge of coming up with a name for the plane and appropriate nose art. After I had considered several names, including Duke’s Duchess and the Granville Gal, Chris suggested Anything But a Twenty. Granville is the town in which most of my pulp games take place. “Anything but a twenty” is a reference to the fact that in G.A.S.L.I.G.H.T., rolls of twenty often cause bad — and usually dramatic — things to occur.
Below are candidate nose art I built from some Varga pin-up pictures I found on line, some image editing capabilities on my Mac, and a few other elements.
Below is a closeup of the nose of the airplane with our heroes posing in front of it. I printed the nose art on clear, matte address labels. The artwork didn’t have the vibrance of glossy paper. At first I was a bit disappointed, but in retrospect, I like the washed-out look. It seems closer to photos I’ve seen after the plane has had a lot of hard miles. The faded look seems to fit better with the rusty appearance of the plane.
I chose a tail number of NC-61326. Since “Granville Gal” lost out, I chose to use the zip code of the real Granville, IL, which is the town on which I loosely based my town for pulp games.
And here is one last look at the plane from a slightly more distant viewpoint than the previous close up. The border around the nose art didn’t quite disappear, but it’s not too obvious either.
This was a fun project. I rarely build or paint airplane models, as I don’t have much luck with them. In this case, I think the end result was quite good.