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Dioramas: Aircraft
Aircraft dioramas and related subjects.
Hosted by Darren Baker
New Gallery Pics: The Dallas Blonde
KFMagee
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Texas, United States
Joined: January 08, 2002
KitMaker: 1,586 posts
AeroScale: 0 posts
Posted: Friday, November 29, 2002 - 08:56 PM UTC
Here is something a little unusual for me... and there is a true story behind it. A customer who collects uniforms from WWII approached me with this story:

A fellow called him one day saying he had the flight uniform, side arm holster, map case, goggles, flight jacket, flight log, diary, and other gear that he found "in a box on the street". Turns out this all belonged to a fellow named Lt. Don Kerns who flew with the 325th "Checkertails" during 1943-44. He had died in the late 1980's, and his SECOND wife had just passed away (1995). Her kids were from a previous marriage to Don, so his things meant little to them... they just boxed them up and put them on the curb. The fellow who found them knew my friend (Shawn), and called him to see if he wanted the gear.

Shawn did some research, and discovered this fellow had gained four kills in North Africa and Italy before being shipped home on a medical discharge. Kerns came back one kill short of Ace status. He flew a P47 named after his wife during the war - nicknamed the Dallas Blonde. His plane was the only one in the 325th that also featured a CHECKER NOSE, and it is pictured in quite a few reference books - some in color!

Shawn told me he wanted a large dio to go into his private collection. "I want something with Kerns shooting the breeze with other pilots - while showing his plane in the background". I did some research and found that Monogram actually had a "Dallas Blonde" in 1:48th scale, but it was out of production. After much research, I found some artwork and created all the decals from scratch - what a pain... it was such a complex piece! Even the Vargas Girl noseart had to be done from scratch!

I created a scene from a hanger in Italy '1944 which showed Kern's wingmate plane inside a hanger getting a work over, while Kerns plane was on the tarmac getting his latest kill painted onto the side of the plane. This is a VERY large diorama, done in 1:48th scale. Almost everything except the two planes is scratchbuilt. i even had to create window panes (over 300!) one at a time using a special glazing liquid and a toothpick.

In the end, Shawn was quite pleased with his purchase... I don't do aircraft much, but thought this came out quite well. This took over 300 hours to complete, including research. Here is the link and a "bad" photo. Comments welcome! This album can be found in GALLERY--DIORAMAS -- AIRCRAFT if you have problems with the link.

http://www.armorama.com/modules.php?set_albumName=The-Dallas-Blonde-(P47D)&op=modload&name=gallery&file=index&include=view_album.php

REICH
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Croatia Hrvatska
Joined: August 31, 2002
KitMaker: 46 posts
AeroScale: 0 posts
Posted: Sunday, December 01, 2002 - 08:24 PM UTC
Very nice,I like the story!
Gatekeeper
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Australia
Joined: October 03, 2002
KitMaker: 142 posts
AeroScale: 0 posts
Posted: Sunday, December 01, 2002 - 10:40 PM UTC
WOW!...amazing!...awsome!
sgtreef
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Oklahoma, United States
Joined: March 01, 2002
KitMaker: 6,043 posts
AeroScale: 80 posts
Posted: Sunday, December 01, 2002 - 11:47 PM UTC
Came looking for A Dallas Blonde thought maybe a Cheerleader or something from the Cowboys. Goosh what a surprise when only thing I saw was a plane. Nice job though
Golikell
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Noord-Holland, Netherlands
Joined: October 25, 2002
KitMaker: 1,757 posts
AeroScale: 6 posts
Posted: Monday, December 02, 2002 - 12:34 AM UTC
Hi KF,
I think the story is very touching and that hose kids should be put to jail! I like the Dio, specially the weathering on the planes. I think it is good for everybody to do a little sidesteping some times, just as I'm doing right now with my locomotive (a coach wil follow shortly). It gives you a fresh view on the ususal things you do. (Not to mention the new techniques you might aquire!)
I like it.
Roadkill
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Antwerpen, Belgium
Joined: June 09, 2002
KitMaker: 2,029 posts
AeroScale: 0 posts
Posted: Monday, December 02, 2002 - 12:42 AM UTC
Not much to say exept: Another job well done, congrats Keith

KFMagee
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Texas, United States
Joined: January 08, 2002
KitMaker: 1,586 posts
AeroScale: 0 posts
Posted: Monday, December 02, 2002 - 06:45 PM UTC
Thanks again... the figures and building were "fun"... doing planes was kinda spooky! Never done aircraft for a paid gig before. Still not happy with the aerial wires... any one know how the "aircraft dudes" get theirs so tight? I dipped black thread in CA Glue and kept it straight until it dried, but as you can see in the photos, it is not as taunt as I have seen.
Golikell
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Noord-Holland, Netherlands
Joined: October 25, 2002
KitMaker: 1,757 posts
AeroScale: 6 posts
Posted: Monday, December 02, 2002 - 08:49 PM UTC
What I used several times (Yes I also made planes!) was nylon fishing wire. There are a lot of diameters available. Simpy use the cheapest version on a 25m spool. Paint it black (or use a black velt-tip marker). This is quite easy to put under tension, does not become fuzzy and is usable for a lot of different puposes. Another pro is the ease of tying, especially if you use a supple version.
FAUST
#130
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Noord-Holland, Netherlands
Joined: June 07, 2002
KitMaker: 8,797 posts
AeroScale: 190 posts
Posted: Monday, December 02, 2002 - 09:13 PM UTC
Like your dio
good story behind it

what you can do with fishing wire is heat it a little bit with a lighter (don`t burn it or you have to start over
just keep the lighter close to the wire and you`ll see that the wire tightens itself up




Plasticbattle
#003
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Donegal, Ireland
Joined: May 14, 2002
KitMaker: 9,763 posts
AeroScale: 35 posts
Posted: Monday, December 02, 2002 - 10:39 PM UTC
Great work again Keith. Does it not break your heart to part with these "labour of loves"? I love all the detail besides the aircraft, especially the guys playing baseball!
Its true what they say .... One manīs rubbish is anothers gold!
Frank
KFMagee
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Texas, United States
Joined: January 08, 2002
KitMaker: 1,586 posts
AeroScale: 0 posts
Posted: Thursday, December 05, 2002 - 10:53 AM UTC

Quoted Text

Great work again Keith. Does it not break your heart to part with these "labour of loves"? I love all the detail besides the aircraft, especially the guys playing baseball!



Well... I have to admit there are a few projects i have done that I really would liked to have kept in my own collection. I did a couple of pieces for the WWII Expo & Museum in New Orleans that I didn't even get to photograph because of the grand opening deadlines... but for the most part, when I sell a piece, it was based on an idea that a customer brings to me (such as this one)... so I have to do it the way THEY want it, not me... if i really (really) like a concept so much that I want my own, at least then I can go back and do it "my" way.... and hey - I always have photos of my work, and that (along with the cash) is pretty good consolation!
Plasticbattle
#003
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Donegal, Ireland
Joined: May 14, 2002
KitMaker: 9,763 posts
AeroScale: 35 posts
Posted: Thursday, December 05, 2002 - 11:08 AM UTC
I suppose that sounds a bit more understandable. I wish I was good enough to have this problem!!