Squadron Leader Geoffrey Wellum DFC
‘Knights of the Sky’ sculpture series
Gregory Percival produced this work specifically for the Fly to Help charity event held at the RAF Club, 1st May 2013.
Paying tribute to Geoffrey Wellum, the the bronze sculpture depicts the pilot in his Mk11a Spitfire diving and roling to the left.
His Squadron code ‘Q J’ is visible on the body of the sculpture along with the riveting and panelling associated with these aircraft.
The completed work is a limited edition of 25 bronze casts, signed, numbered and finished by the artist. with two artist’s proofs AP001/002 andAP002/002 already sold
An early edition is being sold to the Bonham’s Oxford auction in December 2014 with proceeds again going to Fly2Help.
Cast in bronze and mounted on slate.
Artists Proofs: 2 of each, Individually numbered and signed. SOLD
Edition of 25 available from 004/025 onwards
Approx: 6KG in Weight, 40cm in Height and 30cm in Width
Current Pricing: £4500
Aged eighteen, he signed up on a short-service commission with the Royal Air Force in August 1939. The first aircraft he flew was the Tiger Moth at Desford airfield in Leicestershire, after successfully completing the course he then went on to fly the North American Harvard at RAF Little Rissington with 6FTS.
He was then posted directly in May 1940 to 92 Squadron, flying Spitfires. He saw extensive action during the Battle of Britain. His first Commanding Officer was Roger Bushell, (later immortalised in The Great Escape), and his close colleagues included Brian Kingcome
He claimed a Heinkel He 111 shot down on 11 September, and a quarter share in a Junkers Ju 88 downed on 27 September 1940. Two (and one shared) Messerschmitt Bf 109s were claimed ‘damaged’ during November 1940. A Bf 109 was claimed shot down on 9 July 1941 over France.
On 11 August 1942, Wellum led eight Spitfires launched from the carrier HMS Furious to reinforce the fighter complement at Luqa airfield on Malta. Here he joined 145 Squadron on air defence duties before being rested after a severe bout of sinusitis.
Phot graphy courtesy of John Goodman
The following images show the original sculpture being made from rough wooden former to more complex areas
This is the first wax to be created, it sits on one side of the silicon robber mould i made
Wax demoulded with its canopy, which is a seperate casting, resting on the body
Latest edition to be shown at the Goodwood Festival of Speed this week at Bonhams 016/025 edition number. From the rough casting at the foundry to the polished section with the canopy silver soldered to the body of the Spitfire.
The patination is slowly built up using a lot of heat from a large nozzle propane torch while applying ferric nitrates to the surface to build up the patina. Finally using lower heat wax is appiled hot to the surface, left to cool then polished by hand to get the almost glass like shine. Hot hot work but the results are always so satisfying. Start to finish of an ‘Endeavour’ edition Sqd Leader Wellum DFC in his Spitfire during the Battle of Britain