On Aug. 4 2001, Francis "Gabby" Gabreski, Walker
"Bud" Mahurin and Gerald "Jerry" Johnson were reunited for a 56th FG pilot's
at Willow Run airport, home of Michigan's Yankee Air Force. (Michael
Gladych was scheduled to attend also, but unfortunately due to health
reasons, had to abort the mission.) The gentleman that put it together
is Ed Kaminski, proprietor of The Military Art Gallery. (http://milartgl.com) He has an
interesting model collection consisting
of 48th scale pieces flown by aces or other famous pilots he's hosted,
and who've signed a wing of the model. Ed commissioned me to build
models of the P-47s flown by 56th FG aces for them to autograph. Because these were to be vehicles for signatures, detail wasn't going to
be as important as accurate markings.
|Bud Mahurin's "Spirit of Atlantic City"
Monogram kit, stock except for the removal of wing racks. (These
appear on P-47s until the end of 1943 at the earliest. Check your
references.) Markings are a combination of Aeromaster and Microscale
Gabby Gabreski's HV-A
Stock Hasegawa kit, including decals from the "Special Markings" issue
featuring Gabreski's A/C. Note that the decal of the scoreboard
illustrates Gabby's full 28 kills. The pilot of this airplane pointed
out that only 27 should be showing if the A/C is wearing invasion
stripes. No. 28 was added after the stripes were overpainted.
How many of YOU guys have had an ace point out a goof on one of YOUR
| Mike Gladych's "Pengie IV"
Stock Monogram kit with a second drop tank from the spares box.
from the Tech-Mod sheet -- which were superb. There is some
about the actual color of this airplane, so Ed Kaminski asked Mr.
Gladych himself. The reply was "dark blue."
| Jerry Johnson's "Jackson County Michigan
Fighter/In The Mood"
This one was the challange. Long ago Microscale did a decal sheet
featured this A/C, but it is long out of production, and I had to weigh
the time and effort of getting my hands on one (no guarantee that I
would), or doing the markings myself. I opted for the latter.
Jackson County etc. came from Woodland Senics dry transfer lettering.
The style wasn't exact, but darn close. Serial number came from
Aeromaster's yellow letters/numbers sheet. The code letters came
Microscale letter/number sheet and were outlined in black with a
straightedge and drafting pen. National insignia from Microscale.
"Miss Moody" was the fun part. I enlarged the profile
painting of this
A/C in the Squadron/Signal "56th Fighter Group" book to 48th
scale on an
enlarging copy machine, then traced the figure on to white decal stock.
I then painted her as you would a 3D figure, starting with an acrylic
flesh tone base, then adding shadows and highlights with artist's oils.
"In The Mood" was likewise handpainted.
Stock Monogram kit and as with Mahurin's A/C, Johnson's was not fitted
with wing racks.
|Gabby Gabreski signs a model of his airplane while
your truly looks on.
Brian James photo.