Victory Girl recently completed the March Field Air Museum’s B-17G nose art, ‘Starduster’ on left and right sides of the aircraft, as it sits on display outside the Museum doors. This B-17G (44-6393) was built in Southern California, under license from Boeing at the Douglas plant in Long Beach, and delivered to the 97th BG, 15th AF, Army Air Corps in July of 1944. It flew briefly in North Africa, before being commandeered to Italy for the head of the Mediterranean Allied Air Forces, General Ira Eaker. Eaker named the Fortress ‘Starduster’ and had the art featuring a cheery ensign, standing atop a cloud in khakis dusting off a set of stars with a feather duster. ‘Starduster’ served in the US Air Force until it was sold as surplus in 1955. It was transferred to the Bolivian Army in 1956, and modified for use as a cargo plane. The flight controls were updated to allow all flying from the right seat.
‘Starduster’ flew in Bolivia for the next 25 years, being the last operating B-17 in Bolivia when it was returned to the United States. In early 1981 it was flown to March Air Force Base. ‘Starduster’ has 13,000 –plus flight hours logged, and was restored by the March Field Air Museum in 1997, with support from the 97th BG.
Jeff Houlihan, Senior Curator of the museum provided Victory Girl early color photos of the artwork, when it was flown for General Eaker. Victory Girl used paint methods and processes very much like the soldiers of WWII; loose hand-drawn artwork, painted outside with the elements (in the summer in Southern California—that’s kind of like North Africa…).
March Field Air Museum and Victory Girl will soon be partnering up to create the nose art for their B-26 Maurader. See the Victory Girl website at www.victorygirl.com for many other nose art projects they’ve completed, or like them on Facebook at www.facebook.com/VictoryGirlNoseArt.
The Thin Lizzie band, a Dublin based rock n roll group that had several hits by the early ’80s such as Jailbreak, The Boys Are Back In Town, Still In Love With You, Cold Sweat, Emerald and Don’t Believe A Word. They’ve recently reformed at ‘Black Star Riders’ to carry on the Thin Lizzy sound, and their new album ‘All Hell Breaks Loose’ is a nod to the WWII art that we know and love! We had the chance to paint the new Black Star Riders album cover to an actual panel, built by our friend Francis. They just played at the Coach House in Southern California Friday the 16th of May, and are now off to Japan– good luck guys!
John Zeigler, of north Richland hills, Texas, recently acquired honors for his one-of-a-kind ‘P40-mobile’, a snazzy custom vehicle, complete with a sliding canopy cockpit, nose art and wing stubs, based on a 1970 VW Beatle chassis. “Cindy Ann” won 3rd place at the huge Texas VW Classic car show and competition in the Specialty Vehicle category. “Specialty Vehicle” might be a bit of an understatement for this nifty number!
P40 style specialized vehicle
John, a flight mechanic for American Eagle, has had a passion for old aircraft all his life, starting with the fleet of models he built as a kid. John soloed in a Citabria on his 16th birthday, had his license by the time he was 17, and went on to get a multitude of ratings shortly after that. When he began the “Cindy Ann” car project 4 years ago, he knew it would be aviation related. He had the backbone of a 1970 VW Beatle that he envisioned as the cockpit of a P40 Warhawk. He custom built the frame, interior, body and canopy, and had Victory Girl hand paint nose art ” Cindy Ann” to a cowling he specially designed to fit just forward of the “cockpit”.
John is very pleased with the results and, so is everyone who gets to see this marvelous machine in action!
P40 style specialized vehicle
P40 style specialized vehicle
His lovely, patient wife Cindy Anne has put up with the late nights in the garage, the metal chips in the laundry and mutterings of john arguing with himself over the merits of a dihedral design versus a straight wing. John named this quirky little car ‘Cindy Ann’.
Starting 2014 with some great vinyl decal applications. This new Rubicon Jeep is decked out with some high performance vinyls. This jeep has added a 1st Marine Vietnam Division logo, along with some lovely ladies nose art.
Captain ‘Doc’ Serrato, flying with VAW-77, named his much-loved C1A Trader ‘Mudflap Girl’, with the subtitle ‘Haulin the Fleet’s Freight’, in recognition of their missions to fly cargo, medical supplies, medical personnel, and other critical loads to Navy sites, both on and offshore. The artwork, a young lady, seated in sailor’s garb, is a nod to those other long-suffering haulers, semi-truck drivers, with their saucy seated figure found the mud flaps of thousands of delivery trucks around the United States. ’Mudflap Girl’ shows up on a brief news clip for the Stuart Airshow, in Florida -see YouTube clip http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xKMnygLb-MM
“At the Reno Air Races, we’re meeting up with old friends and meeting new ones. John Brand, attending the races from Ogden, Utah, brought us his AVG jacket, painted by Victory Girl a few years ago. John’s design features the P-40s of the WWII American Volunteer Group ‘Flying Tigers’ and AVG pilot Dick Rossi, whom John was friends with. Lonnie Ortega, an aviation artist did the initial artwork of Dick Rossi, which we re- created here on John’s jacket. John tells us that it is difficult to get his jacket away from his granddaughter, who likes his jacket as much as he does! Thanks, John, for letting us display your lovely artwork.”
The pinups we meet are usually in paint and paper, beauties forever frozen in a pretty pose. This weekend though, we got the chance to work with a living, breathing pinup in the form of Gina Elise, the principal force behind Pinups for Vets. Her non-profit organization creates a yearly calendar of her pinup poses, in locations as varied as post offices, donut shops, car hops, tea gardens and jungles. Gina and her team came to Victory Girl to utilize our hangar and vintage aircraft, as well as a few painted leather flight jackets. Gina, in vintage jewelry, stiletto heels and 50s outfits, got some great shots with a Victory Girl ‘Billie Louise’ hand painted flight jacket. Pebbles, our Shi’tzu wandered into the photo shoot looking for treats, and got a flash bulb instead! Both were really good sports though, and let the photographer Tim position them into some adorable poses. You can order Gina’s 2014 Pinups for Vets at her website at www.pinupsforvets.com.
Dr. Brett Robinson arrived at the Victory Girl studio comfortably astride a swept back, lowered, polished 2013 Victory Cross Country Touring bike that he’s recently purchased and is in the process of making improvements to (this is possible? He’s done it!). We’ve installed a high performance, die cut vinyl ‘Victory Girl’ pinup (‘natch), that looks like it was made for his gas tank. In addition, he’s had the bike lowered from its factory stance, making it more comfortable for him to maneuver the 1500 pounds of streamlined metal and leather (which weighs more than our Porterfield airplane!). This bike has more than double the horsepower of our Porterfield as well, at 135hp. He’s got USB ports everywhere, killer stereo system, and modified the rear foot pegs to better support the passenger’s foot positions.
Now we’re noodling on some fitting markings for his front and rear fenders. Hmmm, blue flames?
Christopher Wilkinson with his Mosquito crew door panel (and foam padding for shipping!)
A rare DeHavilland Mosquito crew door, owned by Christopher Wilkinson of Santa Monica is now on its way to The Military Aircraft Museum in Virginia Beach, Virginia, following a long labor of love by Christopher, which included Victory Girl nose art.
Chris found the panel on Ebay, and then began finding American pilots who flew this British designed two engined bomber during WWII. Chris found several still living, and, at his own expense (he’s an architect in his spare time!) he traveled around the country getting signatures of these unsung heros. WWII Pilots Dick Hoover and Rolland Bushner, along with First Officer Robert Kirkpatrick, Navigator William Silva and Armorer Jack Sheer have all signed the panel. Chris then asked us to handpaint the original squadron insignia for these men’s groups, prior to the display of the panel at the Military Aircraft Museum. The panel will be displayed alongside a restored DeHavilland Mosquito, being delivered to the Museum by owner Jerry Yagen.
Christopher had a special ironclad case built for the crew door’s travels around the country, and no wonder, this is a one-of-a-kind keepsake of some valiant warriors of WWII.
closeup of the DeHavilland Mosquito door art
May 4th and 5th found Victory Girl and company at the Chino Air Show “Planes of Fame” It was such a rush to see five P-38 Lightning’s flying in formation – considering there are only 7 left flying in the world.