Creating 'Pistol Packin Princess' for Fantasy of Flight's A-26B Invader
The rare A-26B Invader, owned by Kermit Weeks, has been under restoration by Aerotrader, at Chino Airport, where Victory Girl worked with Kermit to create the nose art 'Pistol Packin' Princess", painted to both sides of the fuselage.
This A-26B (41-39401), built by Douglas Aircraft, had been stored at Kermit's facility in 1992, at Tamiami Executive Airport (now Miami Executive Airport) when Hurricane Andrew severely damaged the hangar and the aircraft inside, including the A-26. Kermit shipped the A-26 in pieces to Chino in 1995, and Aerotrader has been working on its restoration on and off since then.
The nose art was one of the last updates made to the airplane, following her overall paint job. Kermit wanted to feature a cowgirl sporting several pistols, modeling the figure after his wife. The figure, lying on her side, wielding a pistol in each hand, and four others strapped to her sides. The six pistols reflect the six nose mounted .50 cal machine guns that armor this A-26 model.
We first developed concept sketches to get the composition and layout of the artwork. While restoration of the aircraft was wrapping up with the help of Tucker Yamada, we painted both left and right sides of the artwork first, and with the figure complete, we hand painted the lettering. We hope we get to see this A-26 at EAA Airventure this year. See the progress pictures, below!
Above, the color study approved for paint to the aircraft
The Image drawn to the left and right side, paint surface prepped, and background primer added, before painting starts.
The A-26 is moved periodically for work inside the hangar, or outside. We also await input from Kermit on some design details. Once the figure is painted, some touchup of the surface grey paint is needed before we can paint the lettering in.
The full-sized text mocked up onto the sides of the airframe gives us a chance to move it around and try different placements before decide exactly where it goes.