Flight Journal - - BRUSHSTROKES -

We are in a golden age of war­bird restora­tions, with new ones tak­ing to the air on al­most a weekly ba­sis. From fight­ers to bombers and ev­ery­thing in be­tween, planes are be­ing lov­ingly re­stored (in some cases, so lit­tle was left that they were re-cre­ated, piece by piece), many of which scream for the ap­pro­pri­ate nose art. The artists with a flair for WW II re-cre­ations are find­ing an ex­pand­ing au­di­ence for their brush­work. One of the more vis­i­ble is Gary Ve­lasco and his Fight­ing Col­ors–brand WW II art.

Ve­lasco has been paint­ing nose art in a wide va­ri­ety of art forms for more than two decades. His web­site (fight­ing­col­ fea­tures a range of re­duced, frame­able nose-art pan­els meant for den-size walls.

In ad­di­tion, how­ever, he also con­structs full-size fuse­lage sec­tions adorned with his art­work (pic­ture part of a B-24 hang­ing on your wall!) as well as air­craft­themed fur­ni­ture and house ac­ces­sories. It is the ap­pli­ca­tion of his art to re­stored war­birds, how­ever, that un­doubt­edly gives him the most plea­sure. His art cur­rently flies on nu­mer­ous air­craft, such as the Erickson Air­craft Col­lec­tion’s B-17 Madras Maiden, the Com­mem­o­ra­tive Air Force’s B-24 Di­a­mond Lil, and an in­creas­ing num­ber of Mus­tangs and other fight­ers. He’s keep­ing a his­toric art form both alive and avail­able.

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