Artistic Repesentations of Historical Images

A Warrant issued on 2nd June 1661 for the painting of drums for the 1st or Royal Regiment of Foot Guards of the Armed Royal Militia and Yeomanry stationed at Dunkirk. The 1st Foot Guards are now, The Grenadier Guards of the British ARMY

In the UK it is against the law for any military personel to display arms without the agreement of the crown and its government.

This dates back to the English Civil War. and

Cromwells New Model Armed Regimental Militia and Yeomanry 1645

Under International Law a military craft must make itself visually different from a private craft, and a Military craft is only permitted to overfly a sovereign state for non commercial reasons.

Serial Numbers and squadron markings displayed during peace time are there as a public right to complain about the actions of the military to the Crown Governmental Department. So in the 60s and 70s Military Aircraft had the Squadron Badges displayed on them so if you saw one in public or at the shows you could see the Squadron.

If an Artist was to create an interpritation of the aircraft he would paint the Squadron Badge. if he then used that artwork on his artwork he would own that version of the artwork.


I first started Illustrating in 1986 after coming out of the Armed Forces. I began painting Aircraft Profiles and 3/4 illustrations as Air Profile. as Air Profile I produced a Limited Edition Print called

Eternal Grace, a side Profile and an Oil Painting of the Bae Systems PR Mk XIX Spitfire, which went to the BBMF.

At the time the side profile Market was covered by Stuart Stevenson MBE and Prof Dougald Cameron. and they had representations of the squadron insignia on the print. They Called themselves Squadron Prints. Stuart Stevenson MBE and Keith Woodcock GAvA were Kestrel Publishing and covered the artwork, I grew up on all their work along with John Young and Plastow Pictorial at the airshows and museums.

I decided that I wanted my artworks to be endorsed by the Aircraft companies and the operators of the machines, ie Pilots, and Manufactures, that the artwork would have an educational value.

My first Published work was " Eternal Grace" I had to get permission from endorcing bodies. Bae gave me their Logo along with BCAir and RAFA. The BBMF gave me theirs and it was really poor quality, So I re Illustrated it and gave them the seperations afterwards.

I got all the relivant bodies to sign the prints, produced a book and profile to go with it.

In 2009 I went to work at RAF Cranwell, in December 2009 Keith Hildred asked me would I design and Illustrate a Beer Label for 45 Squadron, and Batemans. As this was not an official task and absolutly not for the public I agreed to produce it for them in my own time at home. it could not use any official branding but needed to represent the personnel and history of the Squadron.

I used the illustration of the camel on sqn crest it was not a good representation of the original, as I had illustrated the camel on DH Hornets before for Scale Aircraft Modeller I used my version. I changed the text From a U to an E for two reasons, Serco was operating the KingAir at Cranwell and there is no letter U in Latin.

This led to the KingAir Display pilot Leon Creese asking would I do a single crest for the Display Aircraft using my new Camel. Again as we were not contracted to do this I did it at Home from my Artwork

I produced the Art Crest from my Illustrated Crests and it was applied to the aircraft for the 2010 display season.

The digital version of the Design Phoenix Art Crest was Born.

The tutor display manager Andy Preece then asked me to do a crest for the tail of the Tutor and an alternative to the Squadron Print format.

In 2009 the MOD decided that they were going to trade mark and register a design for the RAF Squadron Crests, Will at command came up with a design for the surround of the crest and the RAF began to adopt it, until then the examples of the RAF Crests that were being used electronicallly were produced by a Civil Servant Mr joe Bridges at RAF Marham, I had first come across Joe's work when producing artworks with No IX Squadron. Joe's work is still used in the form of the RAF Badge that is displayed on many copyrighted official products on sale by the RAF.

I decided that I needed to differentiate my artworks going forward from my official work at Cranwell to do this I would not be using the new Branded versons but my own artistic interpretation of the original crests that had been on display as I was growing up. I based my design on the standard State Crown published on designs in use since 1952 but instead of surrounding the crest with feathers, I would use leaves to show the links to the RFC. I used 3d art modeling and based the crests on the regimental wall plaques, and if I was depicting aircraft from before 1952 I would use the Imperial Crown, as the crests were a illustrative representation in recognition of the men and women that operated them and the historic basis of the display of there colours.

Two examples of Design Phoenix artwork produced, My artworks were not produced for commercial gain but to raise funds for charities and associations, as the MOD had commercialised the heritage and sacrifice of thousands of what was refered to as HO men and women from the two world wars, these organisations many set up to keep the legacy and educate the public would now have to pay the MOD to use the colours that their commrades had paid the ultimate sacrifice for. Above Artwork is a montage with my Art crests illustrated within, this one was a center poster on the leaflet produced free of charge for the Scampton Heritage Centre, and the Lancaster below was produced free of charge with the BBMF to raise funds for the Green Park Bomber Command Memorial.

Detail from illustrative crests on the Lancaster print

On the left is the official MOD 2010 3fts crest on the right the Artcrest used for the Tail of the Babcock Tutors. and Design Phoenix artworks.

crest for the tail of the Tutor and an alternative to the Squadron Print format. artwork design phoenix created for Andy Preece. the artworks were officially release by the display team and given away at the international airshows.

Technical Illustration Artwork and Visualisation -