Corgi Aviation Archive 1/72nd scale AA39504 Short Stirling MK.III, LJ542 EX-G “The Gremlin Teaser”, RAF No.199 Squadron, North Creake, 1944 Angel Nose Art. Buy online at Flying Tigers.
With its nose rising imperiously into the air, the impressive stature of the Stirling was a result of the massive, lengthened undercarriage the aircraft employed, a design modification needed to give the Stirling a greater angle of attack during take-off. The Stirling’s huge bomb bay allowed the aircraft to carry three times as many bombs as the Vickers Wellington and almost nine times the weight carried by a Bristol Blenheim, presenting the RAF with a potent new weapon with which to take the war to the enemy and pointing the way towards the future of night bombing operations.
Stirling Mk.III LJ542 was unusual in that it sported rather elaborate nose artwork, a feature which was nothing like as prevalent on British aircraft during WWII but was in this case particularly impressive. Named ‘The Gremlin Teaser’, the artwork featured a pin-up girl wearing what appear to be strap-on angel wings, the inference thought to be that this angelic figure was flying in defiance of evil, in this age-old wartime struggle of good against evil, something its crew must have felt they were doing on a nightly basis. ‘The Gremlin Teaser’ would end up being a veteran of 60 operational sorties and during her time with No.199 Squadron, was involved in undertaking vital electronic countermeasures missions, particularly around the time of D-Day, confusing enemy defences in advance of the Allied invasion.