Bristol Beaufighter Mk.21 RAAF (original artwork)
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Bristol Beaufighter Mk.21 RAAF (original artwork)

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A development of the Beaufort which eventually proved far more successful than its parent, the Bristol Beaufighter was almost universally referred to as the "Beau." First flying in 1939, the type saw service as a night fighter during the Battle of Britain, and its career expanded steadily from there, seeing service in many different roles, in many different theaters, and with many different countries, finally being retired around 1960. While most were in British service, large numbers flew for Australia (primarily in the anti-shipping role) and the type was also used by the USA, Canada, New Zealand, Poland and South Africa.

The space limitations of box art works make it hard for the artist to create something like the very dynamic two-plane composition seen here, which really conveys the type's power and weight to the viewer. The plane in the foreground is T-SK A8-124 "Marge," a Mk.21 being operated by RAAF's No. 93 Squadron. She was based in Borneo in the late months of the war, proving a scourge to Japanese shipping. Koike-san is always a master of the use of light in his creations, and the strong illumination from above on the aircraft coupled with the delicate gradations it creates on the colors of the sea make for a stunning combination.

This original painting is acrylic on heavy art board.  The board measures 54cm x 39cm, and the painted area is approximately 47cm x 29.5cm.