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Jim Harley
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86th Fighter Group Archive of the A-36

November 8, 2019 · in Photo Collections · · 11 · 2.3K

Around 2009-2010 Collings was searching for a paint scheme for their newly restored . At some point an envelope of photos showed up full of photos from the 86th FG that was based in . The cowling section from TUTU still exists and at one point it was a toss up between TUTU and Baby Carmen. Ultimately Baby Carmen was chosen but we were left with a great archive of period photos. Unfortunately the names are lost to history unless there are some super sleuths out there that can piece together each photo.

Reader reactions:
13  Awesome

28 additional images. Click to enlarge.

11 responses

  1. Some more

    55 attached images. Click to enlarge.

  2. Ohhhh have this photos ever been published? This is a bibliographic gold mine, Decal manufacturers should look into these. Thank you for sharing them here with us Jim

  3. Wow Jim, excellent pics, I don't believe I have ever seen any of these amazing!

  4. Jim,
    These are some excellent pictures...

    Here are a few more that show the Collings Foundation A-36 you mentioned as it was being restored. Chances are that we have crossed paths several times in the past...

    I hope that you don't mind me adding these here, and that these help someone who is building a kit of one. I'm certain that I have many more photos but they're on a disc hiding somewhere.

  5. Great pics Jim, and IMHO the old AM A-36 kit can be build into a really decent model. Always thought the prop was a little thick but after looking at your pics I'm not so sure.

    1 attached image. Click to enlarge.

  6. Glad you guys like them. Of Course Louis, post it all! These are all great reference shots. I'm sure we crossed paths at some point. I was in New Smyrna a lot over the years, starting in 2003. When I started with Collings the fuselage was 4 longerons in a jig. It was a back burner project for a long time. The wing was built by Art Teeters in Salinas and Vince was the primary on the fuse and systems in NSB. It's a gorgeous rebuild. Here are some more from the photos we received. I honestly don't think they have been published.

    73 attached images. Click to enlarge.

  7. I'll have to revisit this kit, I've got two in the stash I bought back in 2010 when this was going together. I was actually going to build a Baby Carmen and a TUTU to see how the markings would translate to the full scale but I never got around to it, hard to build while moving and living in hotels every night. Alas, they went with Baby Carmen. I recognize some of the places in the photos, Rome for sure, and a couple look like Pompeii. One of the few A-36 vets I met while on tour couldn't stop talking about the mud 🙂 .

    14 attached images. Click to enlarge.

  8. This was probably one of the most in depth restorations for its time. The push towards 100% authentic was just gaining momentum when this was started. The wing tip shot was taken from the American Aero GoPro camera, with Elliot Cross doing the flying.

    40 attached images. Click to enlarge.

  9. I’m fairly certain that most of these pictures have never been published before. I remember looking at a bunch of pictures they had in a book during the restoration, and these pictures here might have been some of them...

    Our friends at American Aero Services won the Golden Wrench award for the A-36 restoration at the EAA Oshkosh show the year it was revealed to the public. Just as you mentioned it is supposed to be a very accurate rebuild. You have seen how detailed the gun bays are ... simply amazing. They even went so far as to find correct date coded shell casings for the ammunition that was displayed in the wing !

    These guys are definitely very good at what they do ... You should see the F6F-3 Hellcat they just finished. It’s drop dead gorgeous. They used a computer program and a special camera system to match the original colors that were found during the disassembly stage of the restoration.

    If you ever get the chance to see it... don’t pass up the opportunity. I have a ton of pictures of both restorations.

    Thanks again for sharing these pictures with us.

  10. Wow, what a treasure trove of photos, Their all great , put I really like the mechanics at work shots, Also beautiful restoration work!

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