Jupiter is stranger than we knew. NASA’s Juno spacecraft completed its sixth swoop past Jupiter as it moves around its highly elliptical orbit. Pictured, Jupiter is seen from below where, surprisingly, the horizontal bands that cover most of the planet disappear into swirls and complex patterns. A line of white oval clouds is visible nearer to the equator. Recent results from Juno show that Jupiter’s weather phenomena can extend deep below its cloud tops, and that Jupiter’s magnetic field varies greatly with location. Juno is scheduled to orbit Jupiter 37 times with each orbit taking about six weeks.
Charles Marville, photograph of the Rue Mondétour taken from the Rue Rambuteau (former Rue de la Chanverrerie), circa 1865. Another “about as close as we’re gonna get” image of the site of Hugo’s barricade. I think the high-res version has done the rounds on Tumblr before, but damn if I can find it, so here it is again.
Note the lighter horizontal band in the lower half of the picture–that’s not a crease or any other kind of damage. It’s a ghost… or more likely several ghosts. The widened Rue Rambuteau became a busy thoroughfare, and due to the long exposure time on the photograph, any passerby would’ve been reduced to a faint blur at head height.
A short guide to the survivors, and how to quickly identify them.
Balls Out, 44-32817, Lewis Air Legends
Red cowling, red cockpit frame, red bars on wingtips, horizontal stabilizers and fin; aircraft code G9-L. This aircraft served in the Venezuelan Air Force from 1949, and eventually returned to the US in 1995. She is based out of San Antonio, Texas.
44-90368, Lone Star Flight Museum
Orange fin and rear fuselage, invasion stripes on underside of rear fuselage and inner wings, distinctive orange/yellow/blue nose art, aircraft code IA-N; this paint scheme was worn by an identical aircraft of the 358th Fighter Group. This aircraft was sold to the Venezuelan Air Force after WWII and returned in the 1990s for restoration. She is based out of Galveston, Texas.
44-90438, Tennessee Museum of Aviation
Red cowling ring, olive drab top fuselage, yellow bands on outer wing panels and fin, aircraft code 44; she wears the paint scheme of an identical aircraft of the 57th Fighter Group. This aircraft was sold to the Yugoslav Air Force after the end of the war and returned to the US in 1986 for restoration. She is based out of Sevierville, Tennessee, with her squadron mate
Hun Hunter XVI,
44-90460, Tennessee Museum of Aviation
Red cowling ring, olive drab top fuselage, yellow bands on the outer wings and fin, aircraft code 40; she wears the paint scheme of an identical aircraft of the 57th Fighter Group. This aircraft was sold to Brazil in the 1950s and returned to the US in 1988 for restoration. She is based out of Sevierville, Tennessee.
Mottled grey-green fuselage and wings, invasion stripes on the lower rear fuselage and wings, red cowling ring, aircraft code LM-S; she wears the paint scheme of an identical aircraft of the 56th Fighter Group. This aircraft was sold to the Peruvian Air Force and returned in to the US 1969. She is based out of Madras, Oregon.
No Guts, No Glory,
45-49192, Claire Aviation Inc
Black-and-white checkerboard cowling, invasion stripes on the upper and lower wings and rear fuselage, black band on fin, aircraft code XM-X; she wears the colors of an identical aircraft of the 82nd Fighter Squadron. This aircraft was sold to Peru and returned to the US in 1969 for restoration. She is based out of Wilmington, Delaware.
Squirt VIII, 45-49205, Palm Springs Air Museum
Dark green fuselage, white cowling ring, white band on fin, invasion stripes on the lower wings and rear fuselage, aircraft code 2Z-P. This aircraft was sold to the Peruvian Air Force and returned to the US in 1969 for restoration. She is based out of Palm Springs, California.
45-49346, Yanks Air Museum
Unpainted except for national insignia and tail number, the Yanks Air Museum P-47D is one of few unpainted airworthy survivors. She is based out of Chino, California, along with
42-27385, Yanks Air Museum
Unpainted except for national insignia and tail number, she is a rare prototype YP-47M. The aircraft is based out of Chino, California.
45-49385, Westpac Restorations
Black-and-white checkerboard cowling, black band on fin, invasion stripes on lower wings and fuselage, aircraft codes WZ-A (port) and B-WZ (starboard). The aircraft was sold to the Peruvian Air Force and returned to the US in 1969 for restoration. She is based out of Colorado Springs, Colorado.
Blue cowling ring, blue cockpit frame, blue bands on horizontal stabilizers and fin, aircraft code 2Z-T; she wears the paint scheme of an identical aircraft of the 510th Fighter Squadron. This aircraft was assigned to the ANG in 1948, removed from service soon after, and later restored. She is based out of Everett, Washington.
42-25068, Comanche Warbirds Inc.
Razorback variant. Dark green fuselage, black-and-white checkerboard cowling, invasion stripes on upper and lower wings and rear fuselage, white bands on horizontal stabilizers and fin, aircraft code WZ-D. This aircraft entered civilian hands immediately following the end of WWII and has remained airworthy since. She is operated out of Houston, Texas.
Spirit of Atlantic City, NJ,
42-25254, Planes of Fame Air Museum
Razorback variant. Dark green fuselage, white cowling ring, white bands on horizontal stabilizers and fin, invasion stripes on rear fuselage and wings (may or may not be present), aircraft code UN-M. This aircraft has been in civilian hands since 1944. She is based out of Chino, California.
Lil Meatie’s Meat Chopper,
44-89136, Commemorative Air Force
Unfortunately the only picture of this plane I can find is disassembled in a hangar after a 2002 crash, so I don’t know if it still is airworthy or not. Any information regarding this aircraft would be most welcome.
Several other Thunderbolts are under restoration to airworthiness, including the wreckage of Jackie’s Revenge which was lost in May 2016 with her pilot.
Part of the British Telecom complex on Friar’s Street, Inverness.
This building is pink. It is, I would guess, inspired by the castle, which is further along the river; It has a round tower, it has horizontal bands and portrait orientation windows, it has chunky protrusions that are vaguely reminiscent of castellations. I guess this is the mid 20thC interpretation of the castle.
Is it Brutalist? Or is it only Brutalist if it’s “béton brut” concrete, and not pink sandstone? -Although I’d wager that’s just cladding or an outer skin, and that at least the top is pink concrete. It’s geometric, repetitive, massive in both size and in looking weighty, and a little bit sculptural with the form, but I am certainly no expert on 20thC architecture and am better at telling my Perpendicular from my Rayonnant and my Doric from Ionic… Anyone who wishes to enlighten me on some more recent architectural history than I am generally familiar with can feel free to educate me; learning things is good!
Something genuinely Gothic is the wall beside it - that dark grey wall encloses Inverness’ oldest cemetery, and the ruins of the Dominican Friary from 1223. That will get its own post, and interestingly has a bridge over it connecting two parts of the BT complex.
!!!HEY!!! Someone asked for a hair tutorial, so I took some screencaps of the process while I worked on one of my commissions and wrote up my thoughts to go with it! If that’s something that interests you, click through the readmore!
A quick guide to the survivors, and how to quickly identify them.
Sentimental Journey, 44-83514, CAF Arizona Wing
“Triangle U” fin flash, denoting the 457th Bomb Group, 1st Bomb Wing, 8th Air Force. This aircraft served as a mothership during Operation Greenhouse, a series of atmospheric nuclear weapons tests in 1951. She is based out of Mesa, Arizona.
Memphis Belle, 44-83546, Military Aircraft Restoration Corp.
Olive drab fuselage paint with yellow identification markings, lacks a fin flash for unit identification. The aircraft is actually a B-17G modified to resemble the real Belle for the 1990 movie, and carries the markings of the original aircraft. Note the flatter Sperry top turret (not visible in this picture), lack of a chin turret, and larger waist windows. She is based out of Anaheim, California.
Miss Angela, 44-85778, Palm Springs Air Museum
Unpainted main fuselage, bright red forward fin, yellow ring around the nose compartment, the markings of the 34th Bomb Group, 4th Bomb Wing, 8th Air Force. The aircraft was delivered to the 6th Air Force and served post-war in Brazil. She is based out of Palm Springs, California.
Fuddy Duddy, 44-83563, Lyon Air Museum
“Square K” fin flash, denoting the 447th Bomb Group, 4th Air Wing, 8th Air Force. Unpainted main fuselage, yellow fin and control surfaces, double green band on rear fuselage and fin. This aircraft served as a VIP transport in the Pacific at the end of WWII. She is based out of Santa Ana, California.
Nine-O-Nine, 44-83575, Collings Foundation
“Triangle A” fin flash, denoting the 91st Bomb Group, 1st Bomb Wing, 8th Air Force; olive drab fuselage, vertical red bar on fin, aircraft code OR-R, extensive mission markings for nose art. The aircraft was subjected to three nuclear explosions in 1952 before being sold for scrap, then restored. She is painted to resemble the original Nine-O-Nine and is based out of Stow, Massachusetts.
44-85829, Yankee Air Museum
“Triangle L” fin flash, denoting the 381st Bomb Group, 1st Air Wing, 8th Air Force; unpainted main fuselage, red vertical band on the fin and red markings on the wingtips and horizontal stabilizers, aircraft code Y-GD. The aircraft was transferred to the Coast Guard in 1946 where it was stripped and turned into an air-sea rescue plane. She is based out of Belleville, Michigan.
44-85718, Lone Star Flight Museum
“Triangle C” fin flash, denoting the 303rd Bomb Group, 1st Air Wing, 8th Air Force; olive drab fuselage, large group markings on the fin and starboard upper wing surface, aircraft code U-BN. The aircraft is painted to represent the original Thunderbird which flew 112 missions without a crew injury. She is based out of Galveston, Texas.
44-83872, CAF Gulf Coast Wing
“Triangle L” fin flash, denoting the 381st Bomb Group, 1st Air Wing, 8th Air Force; olive drab fuselage, red wingtips and horizontal stabilizers, group markings on the fin and starboard upper wing, aircraft code X-VP. The aircraft served in the Navy as a PB-1W AWACS aircraft before being retired in 1955. She is based out of Spring, Texas.
44-8543, Erickson Aircraft Collection
“Triangle L” fin flash, denoting the 381st Bomb Group, 1st Bomb Wing, 8th Air Force; unpainted main fuselage, red wingtips and horizontal stabilizers, red band on the fin, black/red open band on the starboard upper wing, aircraft code F-JE. The aircraft was converted into a Pathfinder with the H2X radar set before being retired in 1959. She is based out of Madras, Oregon.
From 1979 until 2013 44-8543 wore the colors of Chuckie, “Square W” 486th Bomb Group, 4th Air Wing, 8th Air Force. In these pictures she is painted with a yellow fin, triple yellow bands around the rear fuselage, yellow wingtips and yellow ring around the nose. This is how the aircraft was displayed at my local air museum, and how it is most often pictured.
Aluminum Overcast, 44-85740, Experimental Aircraft Association
“Triangle W” fin flash, denoting the 398th Bomb Group, 1st Air Wing, 8th Air Force; silver main fuselage, red wingtips and horizontal stabilizers, red vertical band on fin, group markings on fin and starboard upper wing. The aircraft was delivered too late to see service in Europe and was sold as surplus, entering the civilian market. She is based out of Oshkosh, Wisconsin.
44-85784, B-17 Preservation Ltd.
The aircraft carries identical markings to Memphis Belle, acquired during the filming of the 1990 movie. Her #3 engine cowling (starboard inner) is painted with a yellow-black checkerboard pattery. She is based out of Duxford, England, and is the only airworthy B-17 in Europe.
Several other B-17s are listed as airworthy, including The Pink Lady (44-8846, last flown 2010), Boeing Bee (42-29782, flown 2006 with no plans for further flights), and Shady Lady (44-83785, recently acquired by the Collings Foundation with plans to return to flight by 2017). Several others are under restoration to airworthiness.
I wanted to share some work in progress shots from one of my paintings (sorry for terrible cell phone quality). This is ‘View from the High Line - 26th Street’, completed late last year.
The painting is based on photos I took from the High Line park, which is a repurposed elevated railroad track that runs through parts of the Meatpacking District and Chelsea on the west side of Manhattan. I love the High Line because it is covered in lots of interesting plants, but the views are pretty great as well. From this vantage point, you can see the Hudson River and Jersey City at the end of the street in the far distance. The large building at the end of the street with the horizontal bands of windows is the Starrett-Lehigh Building. Built 1930-31, it is an interesting early example of International-Style Modern architecture in an industrial building. This was historically a very industrial area, but it is now the heart of the Chelsea gallery district. The buildings on the left and right foreground, along with most of this block, are home to several high-end galleries.
For the painting, I worked on Arches Hot Press 300lb watercolor paper. The size of the art is roughly
18 x 26 inches. I start with a detailed perspective drawing of the entire scene in pencil. As you can see from the progress photos, I worked from left to right, nearly finishing each section of the painting as I go - but always going back and polishing previous sections as needed. This strategy of moving across the painting helps me keep track of how much progress I have made, but i do not focus in on each little section and mechanically copy inch by inch from the photo. As with all watercolor, the painting generally starts light and the darkest colors and finest details are added last by necessity. I use a mix of watercolor tubes, most of which are Winsor Newton brand. I didn’t use any gouache or opaque white. I usually use a small amount of masking fluid and masking tape but I don’t think I needed much for this painting.
From start of the drawing to finish, this painting took about one month to complete - working on average a few hours a day.
I approach the overall process of a painting like this as if it were a traditional landscape painting. I am most concerned with balancing lights and darks, color vibrancy, warm/cool, etc. throughout the whole painting so that the final product is harmonious and compostionally pleasing. Balance was incredibly important in a composition like this one, which is so dramatically split down the middle.
Sorry for rambling on, hopefully someone finds this interesting!