Striking colour images bring World War 2 planes back to life

Horror explosions and terrifying crash landings colourised by design engineer

Updated: 

Credits: Paul Reynolds / mediadrumworld.c

Striking photos of World War 2 planes have been brought back to life with these specially colourised images.

SEE ALSO: Abandoned underground WW1 tunnels discovered in Wiltshire

SEE ALSO: Missing World War II plane found in sea in Cornwall

One of the snaps show the damaged tail of a Boeing B-17F-5-BO with its left horizontal stabiliser torn off, after the aircraft was nearly cut in half by the collision

Another image shows one-armed Squadron Leader J A F MacLachlan giving the v-sign next to his all-black Hawker Hurricane decorated with a cheeky painting.

Other stunning shots reveal a Douglas SBD "Dauntless" dive bomber balanced on its nose after crash landing on a carrier flight deck, also shown are some of the bombs used in the conflict including the Tall Boy - a 12,000-lb MC deep-penetration bomb.

The black and white photographs were painstakingly colourised by design engineer Paul Reynolds, 48, from Birmingham, UK.

Credits: Paul Reynolds / mediadrumworld.c

Paul Reynolds / mediadrumworld.c

Credits: Paul Reynolds / mediadrumworld.c

Paul Reynolds / mediadrumworld.c

Credits: Paul Reynolds / mediadrumworld.c

Paul Reynolds / mediadrumworld.c

"I think colourising detailed photos really brings them to life," he said.

"You notice detail that usually gets missed due to the monotone background.

"The content of the photo conveys its own message; however I am glad that by colourising these photos more people are aware of the happenings of WWI and WWII.

"I always get a positive reaction to all photos I post; people are amazed at what can be achieved with even the most damaged of photos. I love showing off my photos and it's a real boost to get that positive reaction from people."

Credits: Paul Reynolds / mediadrumworld.c

Paul Reynolds / mediadrumworld.c

Credits: Paul Reynolds / mediadrumworld.c

Paul Reynolds / mediadrumworld.c

Credits: Paul Reynolds / mediadrumworld.c

Paul Reynolds / mediadrumworld.c

Credits: Paul Reynolds / mediadrumworld.c

Paul Reynolds / mediadrumworld.c

Credits: Paul Reynolds / mediadrumworld.c

Paul Reynolds / mediadrumworld.c

The Tallboy was an earthquake bomb developed by the British aeronautical engineer Barnes Wallis and used by the RAF during the Second World War.

At 5 long tons, it could only be carried by the Avro Lancaster heavy bomber, proving to be effective against massive and hardened structures against which conventional bombing had been ineffective.

Meanwhile the Americans had their own uniquely nicknamed bomb - the Fat Man.

It was the codename for the atomic bomb that was detonated over the Japanese city of Nagasaki by the United States on 9 August 1945.

Credits: Paul Reynolds / mediadrumworld.c

Paul Reynolds / mediadrumworld.c

Credits: Paul Reynolds / mediadrumworld.c

Paul Reynolds / mediadrumworld.c

Credits: Paul Reynolds / mediadrumworld.c

Paul Reynolds / mediadrumworld.c

Credits: Paul Reynolds / mediadrumworld.c

Paul Reynolds / mediadrumworld.c

Credits: Paul Reynolds / mediadrumworld.c

Paul Reynolds / mediadrumworld.c

It was the second of the only two nuclear weapons ever used in warfare, the first being Little Boy, and its detonation marked the third-ever man-made nuclear explosion in history.

It was built by scientists and engineers at Los Alamos Laboratory using plutonium from the Hanford Site and dropped from the Boeing B-29.

Superfortress Bockscar. For the Fat Man mission, Bockscar was piloted by Major Charles W. Sweeney.

Paul explained how he added colour to the old photographs and the problems he ran into along the way.

Credits: Paul Reynolds / mediadrumworld.c

Paul Reynolds / mediadrumworld.c

Credits: Paul Reynolds / mediadrumworld.c

Paul Reynolds / mediadrumworld.c

Credits: Paul Reynolds / mediadrumworld.c

Paul Reynolds / mediadrumworld.c

Credits: Paul Reynolds / mediadrumworld.c

Paul Reynolds / mediadrumworld.c

"I use a digital pen and pad and basically layer on the colour as you would with a painting," he said.

"I've painted from an early age so this transition to digital was quite easy for me.

"The only problems I come across are the condition of the photos especially private commissions, most are torn, folded, creased, water damaged, dust spots and discoloured which then has to be digitally repaired with a brush, this process usually takes longer than the paint, but the finished photo is 100% sharper and more pleasing on the eye."

Striking images like these are featured in British author Michael D.

Carroll's new book, Retrographic on the colourisation of historical images.

England's best historic views

England's best historic views


provided by