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Portrait of Warrant Officer Rod Cairns

Portrait of Warrant Officer Rod Cairns
Graphite on heavyweight paper accompanied by Giclee print
420mm x 600mm

Warrant Officer Rod Cairns was a flight engineer on the RAAF's primary tactical transport of the last 45 years - the De Havilland DHC-4 Caribou.

The Caribou was acquired in 1964 and has served the RAAF since then up until their retirement from service in 2009.

Warrant Officer Cairns served in the two squadrons that operated the Caribou; Nos 38 and 35 Squadron and logged over 6000 flight hours. His wife wanted this remarkable achievement commemorated and so commissioned this work.

Firstly, an A3 sized pencil portrait was created (see below) and this image was digitised before it was framed as a stand alone work. Then the digitised portrait was superimposed onto an extract from his log book showing his 6000th flight hour. Over the top of this were placed the crests of the two squadrons, slightly faded so that they did not overpower the image... and finally a profile of the Caribou with the tail flash of the Enfield; symbol of 38 Squadron and the tail number A4-195 on the fuselage and nose (see detail below). Aircraft 195 was the aircraft flown by WOFF Cairns on his milestone flight.

To see the framed pencil portrait, see below.

To see another image of the Caribou in its final livery, click here.



The portrait at left shows detail of the graphite pencil sketch which was created on A3 sized smooth, cold pressed water colour paper.


The image at right shows the final portrait framed as a stand-alone item.


When commissioning a portrait, the final product will include a completed graphite pencil or oil painted picture (as directed by the client) framed and a Giclee print of the image which can be enhanced with text or other images such as the aircraft, squadron crests and log book as shown above.


These two images show some of the detail from the commissioned work; namely some explanatory text and the tail number of the aircraft on the fuselage (left) and on the nose (right).


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Independent Productions and Aviation Services is the website of Conway Bown, Australian Army Official War Artist and Aviation Consultant. Services include portrait painting and other portraiture, aviation services such as CRM - Crew Resource Management - and Helicopter Underwater Escape Training - HUET - which may include Emergency Breathing Systems - EBS - training using Helicopter Aircrew Breathing Devices - HABD - or Helicopter Emergency Egress Device - HEEDs.

During 2006, Conway Bown deployed to the Middle East as the Australian Army's Official War Artist, what the US Armed Forces call Combat Artist. This website features the artwork created during this project as part of the Australian Army's Official Art Scheme.

For more information on War Art, Combat Artists, Helicopter Underwater Escape Training (HUET), Emergency Breathing Systems (EBS) or Crew Resource Management (CRM), please visit the relevant webpages:

HUET - RHO Aviation

CRM - RHO Aviation

EBS - RHO Aviation

Official War Artist - IPAS.