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A Foxy Flat Top

Whilst the paint was still wet on the Beaufighter painting, I received an interesting commission to paint a 1960's/70's deck scene aboard the Royal Navy carrier HMS Eagle. Predominantly, it had to feature Sea Vixens from 899 squadron as the commissioner's father worked on these at the time.


I had previously painted a scene of a Sea Vixen in flight and turning above the viewer:


I had found this perspective a sure way to show off its distinctive twin-boom shape and oddly offset cockpits, however the commission specified either a take-off or landing scene. Also to proudly show the 899 squadron insignia of the winged fist "The Bunch With the Punch" that is emblazoned on the tail fins.

These extra details made for a challenge, as the de Havilland Sea Vixen loses a lot of its twin-boom identity in profile (yet conversely where the requested insignia can be clearly seen on the tail fins). The rear views of the aircraft landing was perhaps one option if the perspective was high enough, head on at take-off and once again its hard to see the squadron insignia on the tail.


From numerous angles low on the deck, the de Havilland Sea Vixen just does not sufficently show-off the full extent of its distinctive form.


Eventually research led me to several black and white period photos of HMS Eagle of the the correct time frame whilst operating both Sea Vixens and Phantoms. I used these to build a mock-up montage of what I had in mind - a busy flight deck with a parked-up Sea Vixen and replacing the landing phantom for another Sea Vixen. The two aircraft at different angles giving a wonderful show of this interesting aircraft in operation at sea.



The finished painting - Sea Vixens aboard HMS Eagle

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