Wednesday, 19 May 2010

The first step

This blog is intended to show how I painted Bomber nose art on my leather A2 jacket and on a budget.

I'm not saying this is the best way, or even the right way. It's the way I did it and it turned out better that i thought it would.

I have a love of old planes and in particular the B17 Flying Fortress and was always fascinated by the names and artwork, fighter and bomber pilots/crews put on their planes.

As well as their aircraft, they also would paint them on their A2 and G1 (G1 being the Navy and Marines version) issue leather flying jackets.

I've wanted one of these jackets for ages, as they look really cool and are probably the basis of most bomber jacket designs to date. Even Indiana Jones wore a version.

I looked on the internet and found really good reproductions, such as Eastmans and But these cost a lot of money and if I was going to paint on it, I didn't want to ruin a good jacket. The best option was to look on ebay and find one which looked like an A2 that I could afford. Finally I got one for £25. I found out later that it was G1, but it was a good quality jacket all the same.

And so I started to research the planes and crews and where they got their references from.
There is a huge amount on the web about Nose art and the people who painted the original artwork. A good site for the artists and pin-up reference is

There is also an abundance of excellent reference of bomber nose art on Flicker.

Eventually I found an image I thought would be good. It was a picture of 'Betty Page' (yes I know she was much later) it had that sassy quality that was popular with the crews.

So now I needed a name. After looking at the 91st bomb group web site and the 100th I came up with 'Hellraiser,' which fitted the image nicely.

Now i needed to know the best type of paint to use and how to transfer the design to the jacket.

I'll explain how i did this on the next blog on another jacket I named, 'Incendiary Blonde'.

Above is a picture of Hellraiser.

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