Author Topic: Northrop P-61F - "Marge" - Maj. Bong & Johnny Myers  (Read 2866 times)

Offline Logan Hartke

  • High priest in the black arts of profiling...
  • Rivet-counting whiffer
Northrop P-61F - "Marge" - Maj. Bong & Johnny Myers
« on: July 16, 2013, 11:37:50 AM »
As always, click on the image below to see the picture at 100% or view it at my DeviantArt page.  I've also submitted this to the Asiarama GB over at the What If Forums.



After the unqualified success of the famous mission to kill Admiral Yamamoto in the summer of 1943, the Fifth Air Force spoke with Northrop about the possibility of developing a variant of the P-61 to serve in the very long range day fighter role. This variant would be primarily intended to escort the B-29 in its missions over Japan. After a visit to Northrop to inspect the mockup of the fighter escort proposal, Northrop was given a contract to build 500 long range escort fighters. In order to speed up the development process, the AAF contracted Northrop to build several prototypes to test the various aspects of the new variant. Two XP-61D prototypes would test the turbo-supercharged R-2800 engines on converted P-61As. Two XP-61E prototypes converted from P-61Bs would test the new two seat center fuselage layout with guns in the nose. Finally, a single XP-61F prototype would combine the new features in a final flight test program as the first production aircraft were coming off the line.

The urgency afforded the program would pay off, and the XP-61F first flew in the autumn of 1944. In an effort to further speed up the process of getting the aircraft into combat, experienced P-38 Lightning pilots were sought to train units on the P-61F. Shortly after marrying his sweetheart, Marge Vattendahl in February 1945, Major Richard Bong was asked to return as an instructor to his old unit, V Fighter Command, the first combat unit slated to receive the new aircraft. In preparation for this, Northrop customized a newly completed P-61F for Maj. Bong’s demonstration tour. Based on his famous P-38, the presentation aircraft carried his full 40 kills, the red markings, and even the signature “Marge” photo print.

In spring 1945 both he and the first P-61Fs would arrive in the Pacific and begin combat operations. In order to convince the units coming from P-38s, P-47s, and P-51s of the big new fighter’s considerable speed and maneuverability, famed Northrop test pilot Johnny “The Maestro” Myers accompanied Maj. Bong and put the new aircraft through its paces in front of the best pilots in the PTO. After one flight, they were convinced. The P-61F was the best fighter in the theater and soon it would get a chance to prove itself.



You can see in the detail shot above how much work Talos put into the fantastic graphics for this profile.  On Bong's P-38, the photo of Marge was a pasted on print that was hand-colorized by a member of the squadron.  It often came off in flight and had to be replaced.  Just like the original, Talos painstakingly colorized this one himself.  He went through a number of iterations, but I think you'll agree that it all paid off in the end.  He did the "Marge" text on the aircraft and the customized kill markings, as well.

Cheers,

Logan
« Last Edit: July 16, 2013, 01:00:49 PM by Logan Hartke »

Offline GTX_Admin

  • Evil Administrator bent on taking over the Universe!
  • Administrator - Yep, I'm the one to blame for this place.
  • Whiffing Demi-God!
    • Beyond the Sprues
Re: Northrop P-61F - "Marge" - Maj. Bong & Johnny Myers
« Reply #1 on: July 16, 2013, 03:01:52 PM »
Superb!
All hail the God of Frustration!!!

Offline Brian da Basher

  • He has an unnatural attraction to Spats...and a growing fascination with airships!
  • Global Moderator
  • Hulk smash, Brian bash
Re: Northrop P-61F - "Marge" - Maj. Bong & Johnny Myers
« Reply #2 on: July 17, 2013, 04:59:23 AM »
Another gorgeous work of art! Team Logan-Talos cranks out masterpieces like a machine!

The kill markings are a very nice touch.

Brian da Basher

Offline Alvis 3.1

  • Self acknowledged "Bad Influence"…but probably less attractive than Pink
  • The high priest of whiffing
Re: Northrop P-61F - "Marge" - Maj. Bong & Johnny Myers
« Reply #3 on: July 17, 2013, 06:41:45 AM »
Stunningly amazing!

Alvis 3.1

Offline Old Wombat

  • "We'll see when I've finished whether I'm showing off or simply embarrassing myself."
  • "Define 'interesting'?"
Re: Northrop P-61F - "Marge" - Maj. Bong & Johnny Myers
« Reply #4 on: July 17, 2013, 03:32:07 PM »
 :)
"This is the Captain. We have a little problem with our engine sequence, so we may experience some slight turbulence and, ah, explode."

Offline Logan Hartke

  • High priest in the black arts of profiling...
  • Rivet-counting whiffer
Re: Northrop P-61F - "Marge" - Maj. Bong & Johnny Myers
« Reply #5 on: July 18, 2013, 04:24:31 AM »
Thanks so much, guys!

Another gorgeous work of art! Team Logan-Talos cranks out masterpieces like a machine!

The kill markings are a very nice touch.

Thanks, Brian!  Yeah, we're a machine.  A very slow machine...like a steamroller.

Talos made those kill markings since they were unique to Bong's aircraft.

Cheers,

Logan

Offline Weaver

  • Skyhawk stealer and violator of Panthers, with designs on a Cougar and a Tiger too
  • Chaos Engineer & Evangelistic Agnostic
Re: Northrop P-61F - "Marge" - Maj. Bong & Johnny Myers
« Reply #6 on: July 18, 2013, 05:00:03 AM »
Lovely job - nice one!  :)
"I have described nothing but what I saw myself, or learned from others" - Thucydides

"I've jazzed mine up a bit" - Spike Milligan

"I'm a general specialist," - Harry Purvis in Tales from the White Hart by Arthur C. Clarke

Twitter: @hws5mp
Minds.com: @HaroldWeaverSmith

Offline arkon

  • Paper Building Maestro
Re: Northrop P-61F - "Marge" - Maj. Bong & Johnny Myers
« Reply #7 on: July 18, 2013, 08:01:06 AM »
nice!
the paper gods demand sacrifice

Offline Doom!

  • Slayer of pixels and plastic!
  • Glad to be here!
    • Doom Island 2
Re: Northrop P-61F - "Marge" - Maj. Bong & Johnny Myers
« Reply #8 on: July 19, 2013, 02:18:37 AM »
Top notch work!
Doom!
Jeff G.