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The Great War (1914-1918) Forum

New painting - Canadian war trophies

Russell Smith

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This one has been finished about a week, but I just got it scanned and color corrected. I kept the palette slightly muted on this one. There is so much going on here between the aircraft, the figures and that $%^&* lozenge pattern that I didn't want the image to turn into a circus with a bunch of bright colors.

Spoils of War

28" x 15"

oil on linen

The Armistice of 11 November 1918 required Germany to surrender 1,700 aircraft to the Allied Armies. Thanks to the generosity of American and British authorities, a large number of these ‘war trophy’ aircraft were allocated to Canada. Spoils of War depicts a typical scene during August 1919 at Toronto’s Leaside Aerodrome after the arrival of these trophies. During that summer, William George Barker and William Avery (Billy) Bishop, the two surviving Canadian airmen awarded the Victoria Cross during the Great War, joined together in a private business venture. Pilots from Bishop Barker Aeroplanes Limited (BBAL) used surrendered Fokker D.VIIs for regular displays of formation aerobatics and mock dogfights in the skies over Southern Ontario.

In the foreground, two men examine one of the six Fokkers assembled and flown by BBAL. Fok. D.VII (OAW) 8609/18 was surrendered to the American Expeditionary Force directly from the Ostdeutsche Albatros Werke factory before it had received rudder or fuselage markings. The aircraft werke number, which had not yet been applied at the factory, is written in chalk on the side of the fuselage.

To the right and behind the tail of 8609 is another of the BBAL assembled Fokkers. Barker flew this aircraft, marked with ‘50’, in the Toronto to New York Air Race. Next to the aircraft, Barker, in his RAF service dress, is speaking to the proprietor of Leaside, F.G. Ericson, about the D.VII.

On the left, another BBAL pilot is examining Fok. D.VII 5924/18 (‘RK’) outside the hangar. The Canadian Air Force had flown this machine in England, but as with most of the trophy aircraft it was not assembled in Toronto. Inside the hangar are two of the most famous World War One aircraft that survive into the 21st century - Barker's Sopwith Snipe and the "Knowlton" DVII. Fok. D.VII (Alb.) 6810/18 was allocated to the Brome County Historical Society in 1920, and remains on display in the town of Knowlton. Barker was flying Sopwith Snipe E8201 when he earned the VC. He was reunited with the fuselage of this aircraft in Leaside, and today it is on permanent display at the Canadian War Museum in Ottawa.




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Another beautiful piece Russell.

I particularly like the subtle reflection underneath the top wing - I suspect that was a tricky area to paint and take my hat off to you for the finished render.



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Thanks so much EofB. That lozenge is a pain in the A*** to paint (particularly, in this case, the lozenge under the wing), but after doing it a few times I've figured out a good approach. Once the pattern is in place the hard part is striking the perfect balance of hue and saturation so that the colors look correct in relation to each other. throw such variables as shadows and reflections into the mix and THEN it really becomes a challenge!

In this piece, the lozenge consists of 3 coats of paint - a base coat, a finish coat, and glaze. Each step moved the colors closer to where they needed to be.


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Another excellent piece Russell.

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nice piece of work!


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