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  During the early part of WW2, known as the Phoney War or Sitzkrieg, depending on who’s side you were on, a pair of twin brothers were both fighter pilots in the RAF. Raymond and Maurice Cliffe flew Hurricanes and Spitfires respectively. Both were pre war pilots, graduating from Gladiators just prior to war breaking out.

 

  Raymond had just got his orders to leave for France and Maurice got promoted and posted to Duxford, starting on the following Monday. A celebratory party was in order.

 

Their sister, Clarice, hosted a party for them at her home in Stafordshire. The brothers arrived in a style only RAF Officer Fighter Pilots could ever get away with. They both ‘borrowed’ operational aircraft for the weekend jaunt and landed their Hurricane and Spitfire in the grounds of their sisters home! A more stylish arrival could not have been possible.

 

The party went well. In fact, it went a bit too well.

 

 It might have been the last of the Champagne held in the cellars, it might have been the Cognac the French Fighter Pilot guests brought with them. It might even have been the rather odd cigarettes the Artist contingent provided, but things got a bit out of hand.

Come the morning, the brothers were slightly alarmed to find their aircraft, parked on the front lawn, had been repainted by their sister and her artist friends! The paints were brought up from her studio at the peak of the celebrations and everyone had a go. The results were not exactly quiet or anything like Ministry standard.

One photograph exists, and it hardly shows the new paint scheme. Apparently the photographer was chased away by a Guards Officer in a TuTu, It’s  just possible things could all have been taken care of by phoning a few chums and pulled a few strings as would normally be the case. It was not to be though.

 

 

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One of the guests, an American artist by the name of Miles Van Houghten , was the butt of much good and bad natured ribbing over the course of the evening. Most of the ribbing concerned the artists source of income. He was a Commercial Artist! That was almost as bad as being an Actor or in the Navy!!

Miles later repaid the party hosts bad manners by adding their aircraft , complete with rather startling colour schemes, to a range of Bubble Gum cards available in the USA.

 

 

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He sent sample sets to both brothers Squadron Leaders and also to the Air Ministry. His efforts were in vain however as ranks quickly closed against the uncultured American and the whole affair was buried in red tape and soon to be forgotten files. More urgent matters were shaping up in France.

The Bubble Gum cards are the only surviving memory of the whole glorious affair and they have given me the opportunity to recreate the planes in their short lived extra fancy clothes.  

How about these beauties then?.....

 

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I'll get me coat....

 

 

Tony.

Edited by TonyW
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Now I know some twenty years previously they tried “dazzle” schemes in ships ..............,and twenty or so years later some guys sang about a yellow submarine but .........

 

speechless :D

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Very Art Deco. I think  the RAF missed an opportunity there. No art or fashion conscious Luftwaffe pilot would shoot down any aircraft so decorated. 

 

👍

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Amazing, nearest I've seen to that was up at RAF Lossiemouth, the Jaguar OCU, painted a Volvo estate in tartan colours. :nod:

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Were it not for the real story behind the modeling effort, one would think those were toys. The things that are of great interest but never show up in the history books. Loved the story and the models are wonderful!

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Wow! Definitely surprising! Hurricane is very stylish done in cubist manner. Spitfire's camo though can actually work in some parts of central Africa with its red soil and greenery of trees.

Just a small question - are these black and white on the underneath?

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4 hours ago, Dennis_C said:

Wow! Definitely surprising! Hurricane is very stylish done in cubist manner. Spitfire's camo though can actually work in some parts of central Africa with its red soil and greenery of trees.

Just a small question - are these black and white on the underneath?

I've done the Hurricane in the split Black and White finish, the Spitfire is good old Duck Egg Green.

 

Tony.

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"Harlequin to Jester, we have some incoming Jokers at 10 o'clock.."
Totally fun looking schemes and great backstory!

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Fantastic. What a great story and superb modelling. 

 

I'm sure today's RAF would keep the schemes for social media purposes, of course, because 'young people' 😂

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This is really great and gets the imagination going. I like the back story. It got me thinking about the rest of the aircraft in the card set. This site depicts them: https://www.skytamer.com/R137.html . The others in the set are not quite so artistic as the Hurricane and Spit, they remind me of unpainted Matchbox kits. It might be fun to see if all the other aircraft could be found as models. Maybe sets like this, gum, cigarettes etc from the 1930s/40s could inspire a future group build.

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Posted (edited)
50 minutes ago, Pete F said:

This is really great and gets the imagination going. I like the back story. It got me thinking about the rest of the aircraft in the card set. This site depicts them: https://www.skytamer.com/R137.html . The others in the set are not quite so artistic as the Hurricane and Spit, they remind me of unpainted Matchbox kits. It might be fun to see if all the other aircraft could be found as models. Maybe sets like this, gum, cigarettes etc from the 1930s/40s could inspire a future group build.

Thanks for the link, much appreciated. There's a ton of other good stuff on there, it's going to keep me happy for quite some time.

 

I can feel the need for a P38 growing in me...

Edited by TonyW
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