Anything But a Twenty

Buck

The "Anything But a Twenty"

The “Anything But a Twenty”

Greg Priebe, one of the guys in our gaming group, sent me a note about a toy available at Target stores from the Disney movie, Planes.  It is a good size for 28mm figures and looks like a C-119 cargo plane.  I’ve always liked the look of the C-119.  Before I could take action on his suggestion, I saw this blog posting:  http://ift.tt/1w0TUvz.

My pulp games involve Duke Morrison and his buddies, “Wrench” Web and “Boats” Morgan along with his love interest, Gianna Nannini, daughter of the great scientist Serafini Nannini.  Duke Morrison NEEDED a plane.  So within a few days, I had ordered one for me and one for Greg from Target.com.

Cabbie the cargo plane

Cabbie the cargo plane

My son took up the challenge of removing all the red stickers while we watched television one evening.  After a lot of elbow grease and a fair amount of Goo Gone, the plane was ready to paint.

The airplane after the decals had been removed and the plane sprayed silver

The airplane after the decals had been removed and the plane sprayed silver

I first sprayed the plane black and then with a silver paint.  This silver color was brighter than I wanted, so I gave it a third coat of paint, this time an aluminum color.  I then mixed silver and brown paint to make a metallic rust color, which I applied liberally with a wide brush.

A darker, less shiny paint job with rust added

A darker, less shiny paint job with rust added

In the picture (above), you can see the difference between the un-weathered engine cowlings compared to the rusty finish on the rest of the plane.

First coat of blue paint on the tail, engine cowlings, and nose

First coat of blue paint on the tail, engine cowlings, and nose

After the second coat of blue with the propellers painted

After the second coat of blue with the propellers painted

I decided to keep the centers of the propellors silver, but painted the tips of the propellers white.  I like that look.

Then came the challenge of coming up with a name for the plane and appropriate nose art.  After I had considered several names, including Duke’s Duchess and the Granville Gal, Chris suggested Anything But a Twenty.   Granville is the town in which most of my pulp games take place.  “Anything but a twenty” is a reference to the fact that in G.A.S.L.I.G.H.T., rolls of twenty often cause bad — and usually dramatic — things to occur.

Below are candidate nose art I built from some Varga pin-up pictures I found on line, some image editing capabilities on my Mac, and a few other elements.

Duke’s Duchess didn’t remain in the running too long, but I like this image.

I really liked the original artwork with the girl in the soldier outfit.

I liked this artwork, but I was beginning to settle on Anything But a Twenty as the name of the plane

The final nose art and final airplane name

Below is a closeup of the nose of the airplane with our heroes posing in front of it.  I printed the nose art on clear, matte address labels.  The artwork didn’t have the vibrance of glossy paper.  At first I was a bit disappointed, but in retrospect, I like the washed-out look.  It seems closer to photos I’ve seen after the plane has had a lot of hard miles.  The faded look seems to fit better with the rusty appearance of the plane.

"Wrench" Webb, Duke Morrison, Gianna Nannini, and "Boats" Morgan in front of Anything But a Twenty

“Wrench” Webb, Duke Morrison, Gianna Nannini, and “Boats” Morgan in front of Anything But a Twenty

I chose a tail number of NC-61326.  Since “Granville Gal” lost out, I chose to use the zip code of the real Granville, IL, which is the town on which I loosely based my town for pulp games.

"Wrench" Webb inspects bullet holes in the starboard wing

“Wrench” Webb inspects bullet holes in the starboard wing

And here is one last look at the plane from a slightly more distant viewpoint than the previous close up.  The border around the nose art didn’t quite disappear, but it’s not too obvious either.

"Wrench" Webb, Duke Morrison, Gianna Nannini, and "Boats" Morgan in front of Anything But a Twenty

“Wrench” Webb, Duke Morrison, Gianna Nannini, and “Boats” Morgan in front of Anything But a Twenty

This was a fun project.  I rarely build or paint airplane models, as I don’t have much luck with them.  In this case, I think the end result was quite good.

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