Best Pilots customer Dick Matson had a problem, he needed a 1/4 pilot for his upcoming de Havilland DH.88 Comet. He was wondering if I had a 1/4 scale pilot that would work for that plane. Since I didn't have a pilot specifically for that aircraft, it was time to get creative! After investigating what kind of clothes a pilot would wear in this time frame and for this aircraft, I quickly realized that the flight gear hadn't really progressed that much from what they wore in WWI. So with a bit of paint, it became very plausible for Lothar von Richthofen to become winner of the 1934 London to Melbourne Centenary Air Race, T. Campbell Black.
I really just gave Lothar a "swarthier" complexion and of course a proper British mustache. The painted the coat to resemble a tan leather. I was very excited with the results and the close resemblance to the intended subject.
Of course the real test was what the customer thought. After receiving "Lothar" Dick emailed:
Pilot T Campbell Black arrived yesterday. And just to let you know when his shipping box was opened and T. Campbell Black received a unanimous-all-around thumbs-up.
And as I had an even closer look this morning it's uncanny to me how well he turned out. He'll be a great topper-offer for the DH-88 project.
Good job Lyle ! As ever,
After two days without fresh drinking water and food they gratefully welcomed Tom Black and his supplies. Tom introduced himself as Campbell Black. The German pilot was Ernst Udet, Knight of the Iron Cross, a highly revered flying ace of World War I and squadron mate of Lothar von Richthofen. An adventurer saved by an adventurer!