The teenage years are tricky ones, most people accept, as bodies and minds transition from childhood to the cusp of adulthood. I have sometimes wondered if I added to my own burdens during those turbulent years. In common with other only children, extended solitude did not equate to loneliness and I was resourceful enough to keep myself amused from an early age. Unfortunately, I was slow to realise that one’s own company could become too much of a good thing, and this could have prolonged my personal journey into the adult world.
So while my peers were gearing up for the years to come, making tentative steps in finding girlfriends and life-partners, I still hearkened back to older childhood activities. Drawing was one such pleasure. Art lessons at school did not engage me, alas, and i failed to develop any skills, thus I eagerly embraced photography from age 15-16. There was a transition period when I carried on with drawing, and my legacy from then include these cards I did of World War II aircraft, painted in authentic markings.
These are not freehand drawings – my eye wasn’t good enough for that degree of accuracy – but were traced with carbon paper from outlines in books and magazines. Airfix Magazine was a primary source, supplemented by monographs by Harleyford Publishing (borrowed from the local library)
These are actual warplanes, and using a set of water colours that I had had since the age of 9, I endeavoured to be spot-on accurate with the camouflage shades. Featured at the top is a Curtiss P-40 D Kittyhawk in desert camouflage of 1942. AK-919 served with RAF 250 Squadron and was flown by Squadron Leader M.T. Judd.
In US Navy midnight blue is a Curtiss SB2C-3 Helldiver of VB-80 on USS Hancock, serving in the Battle of Iwo Jima in February 1945.
Thirdly is Supermarine Spitfire Vb BM-306, as flown in 1942 by Flt. Lt. Finucane.
The start of my student life in 1969 prompted me to make a start in catching up with my adult-oriented contemporaries: it took a while. I literally put away the childish things, and forgot about my warplane miniatures for several decades. It was quite a surprise to open the box and find them – and to own up to the back-story.
Tagged: , 250 squadron , Curtiss Kitty Hawk , Curtiss p-40 , vb-80 , supermarine spitfire , Curtiss sb2c , Curtiss helldiver , camouflage , warplanes