I've spent a bit of time over the past week messing around trying to put the Golden Hawk colours on an RV-8 side view. I tried several different applications (GraphicConverter, Sodipodi and Inkscape), but eventually ended up using the Gimp. I've got no shortage of info to work with - a large collection of photos, a copy of the official RCAF paint scheme drawings for 1961, and an article from a plastic modelers magazine that shows how the Golden Hawks scheme evolved over the years. The hard part is jamming all that stuff into the computer and making it come out right. I'm certainly no artist.

The gold colour in this side-view is not perfect, but you get the idea. I don't yet have the right font for the "GOLDEN HAWKS" and "RCAF" above and below the hawk's head either. And I haven't put in the black anti-glare area ahead of the windscreen. I'm not sure I like that aspect of their paint scheme, so I may deviate from history a bit there.

Astute observers will note that there are no registration marks. That obviously won't fly, but I haven't yet sorted out what size marks I can get away with. If I had a few years legal training I might be able to decipher CAR Standard 222 - Aircraft Marking and Registration Standards. Everytime I read it I come up with another twist on the way the various parts of it interact. I want to try to talk to the person in charge of those regulations this week to get the sordid details. My fall back position is to put large marks under the wings, and small marks on the vertical tail.

Here are two shots I took of a Sabre in Golden Hawks colours at the Royal Canadian Air Force Memorial Museum in Trenton, ON a while back. The markings evolved a bit over the history of the team. In particular, the GH seen on the vertical tail was not present in the early years of the team - it apparently appeared in late 1962. I haven't decided yet whether I will use it or not.