Hasagawa P-3 Orion of VP-19.Flown out of Moffet Field , CA during 1977-78.
This is the very old 1/72 Hasagawa kit. That was done in the late 70’s. It was attached to VP-19 and was stationed at NAS Moffet Field in Sunnyvale, CA. The kit shows it’s age but was still a very good kit for the time. I believe this kit is still available from Hasagawa in other makings. Aside from it’s age it was a decent kit to build and if one was to super detail it the basics are there. Prior to using the kits decals I over sprayed them just to be sure that they held together. I did this for a gentleman that is having me do a number of West Coast Navy jet aircraft in 1/72. This was built out of the box using the decals from the kit. I wanted to use the decals for a particular reason.
The nickname of the squadron was “Big Red” and the bird of prey design on the tail was designed by iModelers own, Robert Bausch. I asked Bob how it came to pass that he was commissioned to do the tail design. This is what he told me:
"As far as I can remember the red bird tail marking for VP-19 was the result of a direct request from Andy Jampoler, who originally got in touch with me after having seen one of my aircraft art exhibitions at the Nut Tree. Or I guess it could have been at the Graf Zeppelin in SF. He was the XO of the squadron at the time (he occupied both XO and CO positions in VP-19 in succession). He then eventually was the base Commander of Moffett Field.
The squadron’s nickname was “Big Red”, and I took off with that, and the “bird of prey” idea, then came up with the distinctive marking, which caused quite a stir in the land based antisub community at the time. The markings were applied in VP-19’s hangar at Moffett Field, by their maintenance crews. I signed the port side marking on one of the actual aircraft, I believe it was PE-1. That was fun, as I remember they hoisted me up there on a kind of “cherry picker”, and I reached out and signed my name with a felt tipped pen.
Andy also commissioned a couple of P-3 paintings from me. The first (and this predated the Red Bird design, also when he was XO) was given to the outgoing CO as a going away present. The second was done for Andy when he was CO, with the red bird marking, and he still has it hanging in his office."
Included with the photos is Bob's painting that he did for Commander Jampoler. You can see more of Bob's art work at his web site, bauschdesign.com
It was always a pleasure to see these aircraft fly and knowing the person responsible for the squadron design.
10 additional images. Click to enlarge.