The Making of the B17 Flying Fortress Vintage Military Bag

Welcome to my first post on my blog. It’s been a while since I wanted to post and I think this is the right time to do so.

Of course, for everyone who wants to stay in touch daily with my work, please follow me on my Instagram account @88th_company.

The Blondie II bag is my first B17 Flying Fortress vintage military bag that I painted in a long time. I had this vision of a green army b-17 for a while. When I did my research I came across the Blondie II and her story. As sad as her story is, I thought it was a great way to salute her crew by doing this bag.

More history from the American Air Museum in Britain:

Delivered Cheyenne 22/4/43; Smoky Hill 28/4/43; Walla Walla 5/7/43; Tinker 28/5/43; Smoky Hill 1/6/43; Dow Fd 6/6/43; Assigned 334BS/95BG [BG-E], then 412BS [QW-E] Horham 15/6/43; (25m), Missing in Action Emden 11/12/43 with Jack Moore, Co-pilot: Malcolm Healey, Navigator: Ed Stanbery, Bombardier: Leon Eaton, Flight engineer/top turret gunner: Harry Sparks, Radio Operator: Frank Abbadessa, Ball turret gunner: Don Rybolt, Waist gunner: Paul Claybaugh, Waist gunner: Bob Byard,Tail gunner: Marvin Ritter (10 Killed in Action); ditched off Langeoog Is, Ger; Missing Air Crew Report 1562. BLONDIE II.

How long did it take to make the bag?

Painting a realistic B-17 Flying Fortreess on fabric is no picnic! I spend about 4 days on the bomber alone. It’s the star of the bag, so I wanted to be as realistic as it can be. Since, I haven’t done this in a while, I remembered my old techniques along the way. But I also added my new experience in painting by using less line dependency. Which is very hard, but the result is very realistic. I know that down the line, my planes will look much more realistic. Because with repetition, you learn 1 million things and you slowly become a master.

Finally, I worked on the lettering much faster thanks to my experience in air brushing and stencil making. At the end the piece had to be heat pressed like a t-shirt would.

In total it took two weeks to make.


What Material Did I use?

First, everyone’s techniques are different. In art, there’s not ONE WAY! But ANY WAY! I describe my own cookie recipe:

I’m very picky with type of brand and paint I use. I always use water based paint. My two favorite brands for this type of work on fabric are:

Pebeo and Speedball.

I really fell in love with the SetaSkrib Plus Fabric markers. They are incredible! They make my life easier, because compared to a brush, I don’t have to use so much water or worry that I might lose some paint. The markers stay fresh all the time. Thanks Pebeo for these beauties!

I need like a hundred of these!

Image result for pebeo setaskrib opaque

Speedball is the way for me to create, like acrylic or oil based paint on a canvas, highly difficult and detailed paintings on fabric.

Speedball has been a long time companion of mine. I started all my experiments with it. It’s also high quality, water based paint.

Image result for speedball screen printing



Why $300 price tag?

  1. This a unique piece of art. When you buy a painting, it’s one of a kind and so as the Blondie II bag. But the cool thing about this piece of art, you can take it everywhere with you and look awesome.
  2. The hand work is highly time consuming and is not perfect, which is the beauty of any handmade piece. Anyone that says handmade design says it’s expensive, but has SOUL!
  3. You get a vintage duffle bag, that too, carry history.
  4. Research time, ink, stencil cutter, paper, ink, paint, packaging is all included!
  5. I always throw a gift with any of my Etsy purchases: a limited edition $50 t-shirt (hand stamped).

Packaging, you said?

Yes! Packaging! I love designing them! I have been a graphic designer for a couple of years and packaging is always a fun process!

For 88th Co, I make my packaging graphics by hand, with a stencil:

Silhouette Studio Screen Shot for stencil making.


Where to buy this Piece of Art?

Please visit my Etsy shop and check out all my items.

Got a question?

Feel free to contact me through my contact form or comment. I would be happy to help you out!


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