Nose Art – A Trend That Emerged From World Wars

Fighter planes have had mundane looking exteriors since their very beginning. To improve that look, pilots, and crews came up with the idea of painting the sides of their airplanes with vibrant doodles to touch the dull gray aluminum backdrop with a stroke of color. The idea became very popular and soon become infectious. Since 1913, airplanes are seen to fly across the skies wearing attractive artworks that make their aircraft more identifiable than other aircraft. The nose art came out as an iconic one, restoring the shine and luster of the fighter aircraft with the diversified paintings.

Messerschmitt Bf-109E Nose Art

Messerschmitt Bf-109E

The concept of customizing the designs of aircraft nose art emerged from a sense of self-expression. Even in the extremes of situations, human’s desire and demand liberation of their thoughts and have desires to translate them into something tangible. The best way for wartime pilots and crews was through the nose art that appeared on the side of their aircraft. The major themes of nose art during WW I and WW II that had the largest impact were pin-up girls and Disney doodles. The use of colors to depict humor, bravado, valor and patriotism had an electrifying effect on the pilots and crews who flew the planes engaging in life-risking combat mission miles above the ground. The artwork did great in empowering a sense of courage and enthusiasm for them.

B-24 Liberator Surprise Attack Nose Art

B-24 Liberator Surprise Attack

Time-tested nose art is still enduring and thriving in the current century. Although it came out nearly a century ago, it still continues to be used in the world today. The stereotypical themes and finishing of the work have radically changed. Fighter planes wearing artworks seen in the current scenario use slogans, not of war but of peace. They use nicknames, quotes from movies, lines from popular songs, etc. At a greater degree of personalization, people paint their names, nicknames, personal messages, etc. on the sides of their airplanes.

B-25 Mitchell Ruptured Duck Nose Art

B-25 Mitchell Ruptured Duck

Acrylic paints are used to produce the artworks with the help of brushes and talented painters and artists. In many cases, airbrushes are used to make the painting faster and with adorning finishes. There are many professionals (though not as many as graphic designers) who can deliver beautiful results for nose art. Current nose art has greater detail and a lot more different finishes are available now than in the salad days of the art. Special effects like beveling, embossing and shadowing are also listed as part of the catalog of today’s designs. Depending on your taste and budget and feasibility, you can make your pick today and get your airplane beautifully painted with some gorgeous nose art.

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