10 April, 2010

Profile 42 - "02344" as flown by Jimmy Doolittle and Richard Cole

Insomnia is my friend.  Not.  Maybe.  I don't know.

Anyway, I made progress last night on Dick Cole's B-25B.  At least this far!  On my next sleepless night, this part will be 'masked off' and work begun on the fuselage.

The trick of this airplane is to catch the weathering accurately.  A beat-up, paint chipped bomber looks cool but may not be as the airplane really was.  The facts surrounding the B-25s that flew on the Doolittle Raid are such that the airplanes probably weren't all that trashed.  And when an aircraft was assigned to a Crew Chief, 9/10 were notoriously retentive about the care & feeding of their planes.

However, the 'Raider's' B-25s were used.  The 16 crews that flew on that extreme mission trained with their assigned aircraft from the beginning.  From factory to Squadron delivery, these B-25s experienced perhaps 6 months of wear & tear.  I'm working at capturing the right amount of oil stains, fading and chipping of paint...and of course the passionate service of the aircraft's ground crew.

Then again, I could just do a crumpled olive drab mangle of aluminum - every one of the Doolittle bombers were destroyed on that mission.

Stay tuned!

UPDATE:  Whoops.  Forgot the landing light and the words "ARMY" under the wing.  Bah.