Special 357th FG Art

OBee OBrien's P-51D, Billy's Bitch by Lee Lacey


Mark Stepelton's P-51B, Lady Julie by Lee Lacey

Will Foard's P-51D, Swamp Fox by Lee Lacey

Can't Talk, Gotta Shoot by Dan Zoernig (Dan also did Skimming the Alps)

July 7, 1944. Capt. Clarence E. "Bud" Anderson slides in behind a trio of ME 109S flying in perfect formation, seemingly oblivious to the huge armada of bombers and fighters in the vicinity. 357TH Fighter Group leader Tommy Hayes, spoiling for action, calls out on the radio, "Andy! Where are you?" Focused on the business at hand, Anderson replies, "Can't talk now...Gotta shoot." As he triggers his guns, the mike is still keyed, and everyone hears the rattle of his quad .50s. Above, Old Crow gets good strikes all over the target, bringing Anderson's total claims to 12 1/4 in the air.

The technique is basically pretty straightforward. I build some model aircraft and photograph them on a digital camera (a professional model, not something a consumer would use.) Lighting is really important here because the aircraft need to look like they are part of the environment that you are going to put them into. In the case of Gotta Shoot, I simply photographed some clouds in the sky in the evening and used that as the background. A pretty fair amount of computer retouching goes into these to create smoke, gun flashes, and the like, but mainly to add weathering and paint chipping etc. Finally, there are some in-computer techniques I use to blend the planes into the background so they don't look pasted in. After that, they are printed with a 7 color Epson digital printer.

I created this image after studying your book, and found that the positioning of the planes was going to be a little of a compromise. Since you came in from the six o'clock position of the 109s, the viewer would
have to see the illustration either from almost dead astern of Old Crow, or from a head on view of the Messerschmitts with Old Crow being smaller in the background. I wanted to see a more oblique view of your plane (especially wanted the lettering on the cowl to be visible), which put the 109s over on the left of the canvas. I reasoned that the leader would be the middle plane of the formation, and once he began taking hits, the other two would hit the gas and roll out, one left and one right. Since you wrote that you had time to close to 100 yards while firing all the time, I figured that this would have given the wingmen a moment or two to react and start clearing out.  Dan Zoernig

If you are interested in this print or other prints by Dan Zoernig, visit his web site at: www.danzoernig.com

Painting by Merle Olmsted showing Old Crow and Little Joe on take off. 

By Manuel Perales

Two great paintings by Norbert Lisinski - Lisinski Fine Art and Illustrations

1 /