Tuesday, February 13, 2007


Since I've been working on my Coast Guard-related comic, I thought I'd do a Coast Guard-related illustration. It depicts something I only thought a bit about when I was in. You can't think of it too much or you'd find a safer career.

I only thought heavily on it once: We landed our HH-3f on the water and the pilots did a rotor shut down. Not a normal procedure, but we all thought it'd be cool. That is, until the helo started bobbing around and the pilots had to look in the flight manual to find the proper procedure for re-starting the rotor on the water. I looked down to find that I had my hand on the toggle that activated the Underwater Escape Rebreather in my vest. I looked up to see that the navigator had HIS hand on his own toggle. The pilots eventually figured out how to start the rotor and when they released the rotor brake, the helo spun over 90 degrees with the torque. The thing is that helicopters tend to go inverted when they crash on the water. It's the fact that most of the weight (rotor, gearbox, engines) is on top. The H-3 floated even without the emergency float bags, but I didn't want to see how much I remembered from egress training.

I decided to depict the aftermath of a relatively controlled crash in the manner of The Raft of The Medusa by Théodore Géricault. I thought about doing it at the same scale as the original, but I couldn't find enough bristol board. As it was, I feel I cut some corners. This is because I give myself a deadline of Tuesday night for IF. Come what may, I have to post by then. Those in the know will notice a few things missing or changed or just dumb. Some things were changed to suit the composition of the painting, some were accidentally left out and one major screw-up that I only noticed as I finished coloring. Whoever can tell me what that mistake is will win some sort of dumb, cheap prize.

So, here's The Wreck of the F/V Medusa;


HARDWAX said...

wwow, just beautiful work, and full of action and drama. Thoroughly enjoyed your narrative as well.

demosthenes said...

great work. i couldn't spot the mistake, darnit, unless it's the guy with his hand in the other guy's armpit. ;-)

Arkonbey said...

Nope. They hand in the armpit is not the big mistake, just a slight failure. He is supposed to be holding onto the edge of the signaler's vest to steady him.

My fiance couldn't spot it either until I showed her a picture of the actual helicopter.

catnapping said...

can it be that little door? should the hinge be on the "bottom?"

Arkonbey said...

Catnapping: you're close, but no cigar! It's actually one of the details I got correct. The helicopter is inverted, so the little door is hinged correctly. It is the cover for the in-flight refuelling port and is made to open downward.

Good eyes, though.