25 July, 2010

Profile 43 - "315" as flown by Lt. David Carey

Well, there it is.  The fuselage.  Sort of.

The stencils were added early to help me get a grip around the Skyhawk's subtle curves.  So too were the interior cockpit highlights.

My references - so far - are a "walk around" book on the A-4 series, a drawing done by an unknown artist and a 1/48 scale model.  And each one is frustratingly different.  Frankly, I don't know what panel line to trust.

Oh well - the tail/rudder will come next, along with masking in the wing, elevator and tailpipe assembly.

I'm still 30 days from completion...

18 July, 2010

Profile 43 - 315 as flown by Lt. David Carey

Update -

Well, so far, I've "Thrown out and started over" 3 times.  I'm barely hanging onto this version.

In case you're curious, see that tail?  It "makes" the A-4's lines.  In the pencil studies, I continually draw it too small and swept-back, like a Grumman F-11 Tiger.   The real-deal's tail is tall and wide, visually 'too-big' for the compact, stunt-plane like lines.

However, when (sometimes it seems like 'if') this one gets finished, I'm sure the point of contention will not be the airplane itself but those stencils painted all over the airplane.

So far, there are at six different ways to write "RESCUE" or "DANGER" or "WARNING" in a 1960's vintage NAVY fighter.  Some have broken letters, some don't.  Some arrows have a notch, some don't.  Some are outlined in solid black, others a broken black line.

I'm hoping Dave has a miracle photo laying around showing exactly what the intake and cockpit stencils looked like.  In the meantime, stay tuned...

11 July, 2010

Profile 43 - #315 as flown by Lt. David Carey

Up until now, I haven't had the time to really focus on Dave Carey's A-4E.  So, I'm sketching myself back into the groove, getting the feel for the airplane's fantastic lines.  Here's my latest study.  I'm not quite "there" yet.

Anyway, this is the airplane Carey was flying when he was hit by a Surface-to-Air Missile (SAM) over North Vietnam, in 1967.  He ejected and began a 5 and a half year life as a Prisoner of War. 

Ironically, I spent part of yesterday with former Senator George McGovern.  Most remember him as a front-stage "anti-war" politico of the era.  Far fewer know him as a combat pilot himself, flying B-24s over Europe in WW2.

It's too bad I couldn't have talked to them both over the same table - they're both students of leadership, of history and are patriots.  Maybe some day.

But in the meantime, I look at Carey's Skyhawk with a different eye, knowing he served his nation with so much controversy back home and endured captivity under a rabid enemy.

Though #315 is a few weeks from being finished, I look forward to learning more about what makes Carey tick and representing his machine as well as I can.  As a student of history, I'm grateful for the front seat.