This diptych is my second 2.5D work. It portrays the Gripen multirole combat aircraft from two vantage points. It’s often difficult to choose the perfect angle to frame a subject. The beauty of the diptych is that you get to choose two angles. The classic front three-quarter view creates a strong sense of perspective and captures the thrill of an aircraft flying towards you. The overhead view showcases the Gripen’s graceful delta wing shape and signature canards.
Like Zero, Gripen is made of styrene and acrylic. I sourced opaque green and brown acrylic sheets for the background plates with the intention of preserving the natural sheen of the material. However, I ended up repainting them because the colours weren’t the right shades.
The exhaust effects were created with translucent acrylic. The sand coloured plate which ties the two halves together is a clear acrylic sheet with a coloured paper backing. This preserves the natural gloss of the acrylic.
You may have noticed that the aircraft have no markings. Like most modern combat aircraft, the Gripen usually wears low visibility markings which are not only lacking in colour but also rather undersized. I decided to omit the markings since they have little graphic value. I leave it to you to decide which air force these Gripens belong to.
Gripen is Swedish for griffin, a mythical creature that is part lion and part eagle. The JAS-39 Gripen entered service with the Swedish air force in 1993 and features the familiar Saab delta wing design previously used on the Draken (dragon) and Viggen (thunderbolt). The Gripen has enjoyed commercial success and is in use with half a dozen air forces around the world. Like its predecessors, the aircraft has a short takeoff roll that enables it to operate from highways and other improvised airfields. Its modular design lowers maintenance costs and should ensure a long service life.
What sets the Gripen apart from other modern jet fighters is the canard control surfaces at the front of the aircraft. Saab is one of the pioneers of this technology, and they previously employed it on the Viggen. Apart from providing aeronautical benefits like increased control and maneuverability, these small aft mounted wings give the Gripen a style all its own.