The Flight Artworks 'silver Spitfire' as it appears in the BBMF Visitor Guide
Colchester, 29 October 2015
A complimentary copy of the new Official Visitor Guide to the Royal Air Force Battle of Britain Memorial Flight plopped on to my doormat this morning, to my delight.
The reason I have been sent a copy is that the whole of page 34 is given over to one of my pictures, as you can see at the top of this article.
The editor, Clive Rowley, asked if I would be interested in having a shot at making it, to help them out of a hole.
The visitor guide has, as you would expect, articles on all the flight's aircraft, including their history - and why they carry the colour schemes and squadron markings that they do, which change from time to time. In this case, Spitfire PR Mk XIX PS915, one of the relatively rare 225 photo reconnaissance Spitfires made.
For the 2016 season it is going to be in the guise of another of the type, PS852, which was based in the early 1950s with 81 Squadron at Kai Tak, Hong Kong, where it was the usual mount of the record holding pilot Flt Lt Ted Powles.
The trouble was, the guide had to go to press long before the BBMF Spitfire was going to be repainted - so no photograph of it would be available.
Hence the idea of having one of my Flight Artworks depicting the all-silver finish that PS852 bore from 1952 and PS915 will be getting.
We chose to have it almost head-on from a little above. This showed off the long Griffon engine cowling and the very smart red and white spinner on the five-bladed propeller, high above the South China Sea. It also allowed for a composition that could be used horizontal, vertical and square, as required.
The visitor guide is a beautifully put together, 42-page, 21cm (8in) square publication, with a glossy cover whose silky smoothness has to be felt to be believed. Well worth £3 of anyone's money I would say and perhaps you will pick one up if you go to visit the flight at RAF Coningsby in Lincolnshire.
If you want to support the BBMF it is worth joining the official Club - whereupon I gather you will be sent a free copy of this guide as part of the membership pack (see comment below).
If you would like to have a picture of just the Silver Spitfire they are available to order as high quality photographic posters and fine art prints in a variety of sizes - as well as greeting cards and other products - via the Flight Artworks website at www.flightartworks.com, and selected print partners.
The picture is also available to publishers to license via Alamy or you can contact me direct.
- I also do private commissions, for individual aircraft or bigger scenes. To get in touch e-mail me or visit the Contact page on my website. Find Flight Artworks on Facebook, and on Twitter @flightartworks.