I contacted fellow forum member Ties last month about painting my A1 jacket. I know for some painting and patching their jackets is not to everyone’s taste but it’s something I have always fancied doing so I thought why not. In terms of imagery to go onto the rear of the jacket, I mentioned to Ties that I had always liked the idea of something similar to a A2 jacket I had seen in the Jon McGuire book - Art of the Flight Jacket The artwork jacket in question ( Archi Ball ) was based around one of the planes in the 511th Bomb Squadron - Ball Boys. Whilst researching though, I found online pictures showing that Buzz Rickson had done a painted version in their A2 range that was a fairly strong copy of the jacket in the McGuire book. Guess they liked it too !! Given that this was going to be a custom paint job by Ties for my jacket, I decided I would rather not do an exact copy of something that is available on the retail market place, albeit no doubt, in limited produced numbers. The jackets and planes, of the 511th bomb squadron with their nose art and jackets, featured lots of variants on the Ball name ( for info the pilots and crew put on images and texts based around and incorporating the surname of the first commander of the squadron, Clinton F Ball.) I had previously researched quite a lot of information on this group and especially the flying personnel of one plane in particular called the Devil’s Ball which saw major service completing 64 missions including major destination’s such as Schweinfurt, Berlin, Peenemunde, etc. My brief to Ties was therefore to have something similar to the McGuire book, “Archi Ball “ A2 jacket. 1. This would say on it - Devil’s Ball. ( it was still to be in a similar “old English style font” ) 2. Instead of 35 bombs on the original jacket, it was to have just 25 bombs mission markers on the jacket. (these to be layed out as 3 x sets of five bombs on the top followed by 2 x sets of five bombs below). 3. I wanted it to be finished in a more distressed “aged” look. 4. The J triangle marking was to remain as per the original jacket picture. 5. The Ball boys 511th banner and lettering was to remain as per the original jacket picture. ( I wanted the writing though to look hand drawn and not computer identically generated ). 6 In terms of layout, with my A1 jacket having the normal horizontal seam running across the back, I suggested that the text, Devil’s Ball, would be best to be above the seam line. 7 Below the seam line would be the J triangle and the 511 Ball Boys banner and below that ( all as per the original jacket picture ) the bombs mission markers but as said above just 25 mission marker bombs. To aid Ties in trying to understand what the goodness I was talking about, I attached a picture ( and added some measurements ). I tried with lots of paper cut out to create a mock up of the effect I was after in a ideal ish layout hopefully showing Ties more clearly than just a text description what I was after. Ties replied to my email positively and thankfully was keen to add some of his painting magic to my jacket. He asked me to give him a few days to come up with some drafts based on my design requirement. A few days later, Ties replied to my thoughts and although I had drawn the plane’s name ( Devil’s Ball ) straight across he wondered if a slight curve to the text would be possible and best as there was space available despite the seam.