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Truro artist honours wartime bomber crews with new outdoor mural

It took Pat Power about a month to paint a Lancaster bomber on the wall of the Royal Canadian Air Force Association building in Truro. This is one of several planes he has painted for the organization locally.
It took Pat Power about a month to paint a Lancaster bomber on the wall of the Royal Canadian Air Force Association building in Truro. This is one of several planes he has painted for the organization locally. - Fram Dinshaw
TRURO, N.S. —

For Pat Power, painting a bomber is much like building one.
He started out with a sketch, using archival photos and YouTube videos to hone his design of a Second World War Avro Lancaster bomber, before finally painting it as a mural on the outer wall of the Royal Canadian Air Force Association building in Truro.
“You learn the configuration of the engines, the exhaust points and the air intakes,” said Power. “When you paint a plane and you’re not in the air force, there’s a lot of lumps and bumps and you don’t know exactly what they are.”
Power started painting the mural on July 1 and completed the final varnishing exactly 30 days later. His work is a tribute to the Canadian and Allied airmen who fought in the Battle of Britain and over Nazi Europe.
The new mural is replacing an earlier painting of the same bomber he did in 2001, but had deteriorated over time.
Working on his earlier drawing, Power said there were still plenty of former Lancaster air crew members and ground mechanics who advised him on how best to depict the aircraft, pointing out finer details such as the rudder configurations and its defensive gun turret placement.
Thousands of Allied airmen flew combat missions over Germany and occupied Europe in the 1940s, but the few veterans still living today are in their 90s and older.
“Veterans are getting pretty hard to find nowadays,” said Power. “They gave me a lot of information you can’t get otherwise.”
However, Power was able to draw on his previous experience for the second painting, as well as historical information he could dig up.
The new mural shows the Lancaster bomber at a different angle, painted on steel sidings used to cover up the faded older painting. 
“Hopefully I’ll probably be dead before it deteriorates,” said Power of his latest work. 
The Lancaster is one of several planes he has painted over the years for the RCAFA in Truro. His indoor works include a Spitfire and the Cold War-era Avro Arrow and CF-104 jets.
Power, now 69, did not serve in the air force, nor did any of his relatives who fought in the First and Second World Wars.
However, the wars did not leave his family untouched. His great aunt served as a combat nurse in France during the First World War and she lost a brother in the Battle of Passchendaele. 
“She saw all the horrors,” said Power.
Two of Power’s uncles also served as soldiers in the Second World War.

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