The 1980’s anodyne box art for the AIRFIX B-29 SUPERFORTRESS dispensed with the poignant story-telling of Ray Cross’ original. And, unhappily, the later version’s contrails disobey the ‘vanishing point’.
The location of Cross’ original vanishing point is fascinating. It draws the eye to focus to a secondary area of the composition – the blazing guns of an incoming Mitsubishi Zero fighter as it strafes the Eddie Allen’s wing mate. In fact, the viewer’s perspective of the entire battle-scene is on the same plane as that of the Zero fighter.
Cross made a fascinating choice of B-29 too, the “Eddie Allen”. The Superfortress was named after Edmund T. Allen – a chief test pilot at Boeing Aircraft Co. Allen was killed flight-testing a B-29 in February 1943.
The “Eddie Allen” B-29 ended it’s service in June 1945, described as ‘condemned, battle damage’. Cross depicts, what look like, two gaping holes in the fuselage of the “Eddie Allen”.
Poignant, overlooked and superlative storytelling, told with technical excellence, all on a toy box.