After Working on the Lope’s Hope 3rd Project, I was contacted by Pete (who closely works with the Wings Of the North Museum and Aircorps Aviation) to work on the Sierra Sue II t-shirt. His email made me really happy, because I had the chance to once again great a design around a piece of history!
Therefore, like any project, I started doing some research on the plane:
P-51D SIERRA SUE II Info Sheet:
The Full restoration of the Sierra Sue II was beautifully done by Aircorps Aviation.
Sierra Sue II is a World War II combat veteran P-51D-20NA. She was in very nearly original configuration at the beginning of the restoration. No “jump seat” behind the regular pilot seat has ever been installed. We believe the airframe was one of the most intact, original P-51s known.
- North American General Assembly Number: 106-00002 (NA 122)
- Air Corps Serial Number: 44-63675
- Construction Number: 122-31401
- North American Aviation Ship Number: 516
- Parts Usage Codes: E, F, FC, FCA, FCB, FCC
- WWII Combat Markings: 9th Air Force, 370th Fighter Group, 402nd Squadron, Code E6-D, Pilot Lt. Bob Bohna
Content from Aircorps Aviation.
After getting to know the Sierra Sue well, I started to sketch a few ideas out That I later scaned into Adobe Illustrator.
As you see, I did change the Sierra Sue II nose art design. I made it a bit wavy, like a vintage advertising title (example of my Pinterest Board below).
Also, I spend a lot of time vectorizing and copying the details of the P-51 Mustang from this beautiful picture by Leonardo Correa Luna:
In order to make the plane look more authentic, I did change the pilot’s helmet and goggles according to what was worn during during WW2 (work process on my About page).
Afterward, for the sleeve of the shirt, I made an inked version of the 402nd Squadron insignia .
In addition of a great design, you always need a great font! So it felt only natural to create a font inspired by the nose art above. With the Sierra Sue II Custom Font, I could easily write the names of the entire crew, while I kept the authenticity intact!
Finally, for the back of the a shirt, Pete wanted a stencil style Wings of the North logo.
Once I was finally done with all the corrections with Pete, I applied the design on a t-shirt mockup . In addition, I always send a full catalog of t-shirt color combination to my clients. It makes their choice and vision consequently easier.