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Second to None by Michael Rondot. (AP)


Second to None by Michael Rondot. (AP)

The unofficial motto of Number 2 Squadron Royal Air Force. It features, in typical Rondot style (and typical British weather!) Two No II (AC) Sqn Tornado GR-1As landing on a rain soaked runway on a typically filthy and wet Friday afternoon just minutes before the bar opens, and their home base at RAF Marham in Norfolk, closes in cross winds and driving rain. (Just in time to get to the mess for a quick one!) The main aircraft illustrated, is ZA400 (T) which was the personal aircraft of Wg Cdr R F Garwood DFC during the Gulf War in which he flew 19 low level night reconnaissance missions over Iraq. Notice the spray shooting off the main and nose wheel undercarriage legs, the distorted reflections of red and green bouncing up from the runway from the Port and Starboard navigation lights, you can almost feel the pressure and the whole weight of the awesome Tornado bearing down on that nose wheel as the aircraft decelerates down from its initial 150kts landing speed to the subtle gentle momentum of taxi. But what makes it for me is the second ship just behind and to the left of Zulu Alpha 400 bringing up the rear, braking hard, landing lights full on in an naive attempt to try to carve out a tunnel of vision for the Pilot in an absolute impossible wall of spray behind the leader. (Try this one, Michael Schumacher?)
AMAZING VALUE! - The value of the signatures on this item is in excess of the price of the print itself!
Item Code : MR0041APSecond to None by Michael Rondot. (AP) - This Edition
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Limited edition of 100 artist proofs.

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Paper size 27 inches x 19 inches (69cm x 48cm)Artist : Michael RondotSOLD
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The Aircraft :
NameInfo
Tornado
Artist Details : Michael Rondot
Click here for a full list of all artwork by Michael Rondot


Michael Rondot

Michael Rondot is well known in the military aviation world for his distinctive style of aircraft paintings and prints which have made him one of todays most widely collected aviation artists. During his 25 year career as a pilot in the Royal Air Force he flew over 5000 hours in combat jets, including Jaguar fighter bombers during the Gulf War, bringing a unique authority to his paintings that sets them in a class of their own. His portrayals of classic combat aircraft are much sought-after by both aviators and enthusiasts alike for their realism and powerful atmospheric settings.

More about Michael Rondot

This Week's Half Price Art

 The top scoring ace of JG.51, Anton Hafner is credited with 204 confirmed victories.  A prolific scorer, on 8th August 1944, he shot down no fewer than seven Russian Sturmoviks and, by October of that year, his overall tally had exceeded 200.  He died in combat with a Yak 7, his 204th victim, when his aircraft hit a tree. He is shown here in Messerschmitt Bf.109G-6 442013 <i>Black 1</i>.

Anton Hafner by Ivan Berryman. (GL)
Half Price! - £300.00
 Swordfish of 825 Sqn led by Lt-Cdr Esmonde begin their heroic attack on the battlescruisers Scharnhorst and Gneisenau and the heavy cruiser Prinz Eugen as they make their way up the English Channel from Brest during Operation Cerberus on 12th February 1942.  Although all the aircraft were lost and no significant damage was done to the German fleet, all the pilots were decorated for their bravery and Lt-Cdr Esmonde received the first Fleet Air Arm VC to be awarded, albeit posthumously.  The painting depicts the first wave of Swordfish attacking the Scharnhorst with Gneisenau taking avoiding action in the distance.  A German torpedo boat has turned to confront the attacking aircraft.

Attack on the Scharnhorst by Ivan Berryman.
Half Price! - £15.00
 Typhoons of 3 Squadron were in action during Operation ELLAMY in Libya in the Spring of 2011, helping to suppress the attacks on rebel forces by soldiers loyal to Colonel Gadaffi, working alongside RAF Tornadoes and other aircraft of the UN coalition.  The Typhoons carry the codes QO as an homage to 3 Sqn's Hawker Typhoons of WW2.

3 Squadron Typhoon, Operation ELLAMY, Libya 2011 by Ivan Berryman. (P)
Half Price! - £600.00
 Portsmouth August 26th 1940, the lone spitfire of Squadron Leader Sandy Johnstone breaks the ranks and picks off one of the menacing Heinkels only to encounter an equally determined attack from a BF109. <br><br>We were brought to readiness in the middle of lunch and scrambled to intercept mixed bag of 100+ Heinkel IIIs and DO 17s approaching Portsmouth from the South.  The controller did a first class job and positioned us one thousand feet above the target. with the sun  behind us, allowing us to spot the raiders from a long way off. No escorting Messchersmitts were in sight at the time, although a sizable force was to turn up soon after. then something strange happened.  I was about to give a ticking off to our chaps for misusing the R/T when I realised I was listening to German voices. It appeared we were both using the same frequency and, although having no knowledge of the language it sounded from the monotonous flow of the conversation that they were unaware of our presence. as soon  as we dived towards the leading formation, however we were assailed immediately to loud shouts of  Achtung Spitfuern Spitfuern! as our bullets began to take their toll.  In spite of having taken jerry by surprise our bag was only six, with others claimed as damaged, before the remainder dived for cloud cover and turned for home. In the meantime the escorting fighters were amongst us when two of our fellows were badly shot up. Hector Maclean stopped a cannon shell on his cockpit, blowing his foot off above the ankle although, in spite of his grave injuries, he managed to fly his spitfire back to Tangmere to land with wheels retracted. Cyril Babbages aircraft was also badly damaged in the action. forcing him to abandon it and take to his parachute. He was ultimately picked up by a rescue launch and put ashore at Bognor, having suffered only minor injuries.  I personally accounted for one Heinkel III in the action (Sandy Johnson) . <br><br>No. 602 City of Glasgow auxiliary squadron was a household name long before WWII began. It had been the first auxiliary squadron to get into the air in 1925, two of its members, Lord Clydeside and David McIntyre  were the first to conquer Mount Everest in 1933, the squadron sweeped the board in gunnery and bombing in 1935, beating the regular squadrons at their own game. It was the first auxiliary Squadron to be equipped with Spitfire Fighters as far back as March 1939 and it was the first squadron to shoot down the first enemy aircraft on British soil.  The squadron moved south from Drem airfield in East Lothian on August 14th 1940 to relieve the already battered no. 145 squadron at Westhampnett, Tangmeres satelitte station in Sussex. The squadron suffered 5 casualties during the battle. The squadron remained at Westhampnett until December 1940 to be replaced by no. 610 auxiliary airforce squadron. No 602 squadron itself remained active up until 1957 when it was put into mothballs.

Gauntlet by Anthony Saunders (P)
Half Price! - £3100.00

 Lancasters of 617 Sqn <i>Dambusters</i> get airborne from their Scampton base at the start of their journey to the Ruhr Valley on the night of 16th May 1943 under the codename <i>Operation Chastise</i>.  These are aircraft of the First Wave, led by Wing Commander Guy Gibson, the Second Wave having already departed some ten minutes earlier to negotiate a more northerly route to their targets.  On this momentous night, both the Möhne and Eder dams were successfully breached, whilst the Sorpe was also hit, but without serious damage.  Of the nineteen aircraft that took part in the mission, eleven returned safely.

The Dambusters by Ivan Berryman. (GL)
Half Price! - £300.00
 Grid Caldwell, the top New Zealand Ace with 25 victories in his SE5A of 74 Squadron, is shown taking off from his home airfield during the Great War. Keith Logan (Grid Caldwell) was born 16th October 1895.  At the outbreak of World War One, Caldwell joined the territorial army.  He attempted to enlist with the New Zealand expeditionary force destined for Gallipoli but was refused.  In October 1915 he paid the sum of £100 to join the first class of the New Zealand Flying School.  In January 1916 Grid Caldwell arrived in England and was commissioned into the Royal Flying Corps in April that year.  In July 1916 he was posted to No.8 Squadron, flying BE2Cs and Ds on observation duty.  It was on 18th September 1916 his first aerial victory was scored, shooting down a Roland CII.  He transferred to 60 Squadron in November and flew Nieuport 17 fighters and was promoted to Captain in February 1917.  During this period he scored further victories, shooting down Albatros Scouts, and on 17th September was awarded the Military Cross.  In October 1917 he was posted back to England as an instructor.  In March 1918, promoted to Major, he was given command of 74 Squadron RAF flying SE5As.  The squadron under his command was credited with 140 aircraft destroyed and 85 out of control.  This tally was scored in the last eight months of the war with the loss of only 15 pilots killed or taken prisoner.  During his wartime flying, he had fought dogfights with German aces Werner Voss and Herman Becker, and he once survived a mid-air collision, bringing his badly damaged aircraft to ground level, jumping out before it crashed.  He was credited with 11 aircraft destroyed, 3 shared destroyed or captured and 10 out of control, and 1 further shared out of control.  During World War Two he was station commander at Woodbourne and later Wigram and posted to India in 1944.  After the war he was made commander of the British Empire.  He retired from the RNZAF in 1956, and sadly died of cancer in Auckland on 28th November 1980.

Grid Caldwell by Graeme Lothian. (GS)
Half Price! - £250.00
 Giuseppe Biron was one of Italy's most successful pilots serving on the Eastern Front in 1941, claiming at least four kills against Russian aircraft, as depicted here, as he sends a Mig 3 down in flames whilst flying a Macchi MC.200 with 369a Squadriglia, 22° Gruppo Autonomo.  Biron's aircraft sports the <i>scarecrow smoking red stars</i> emblem, designed by Biron himself and adopted as 22° Gruppo's badge before their deployment to the USSR.

Tribute to Sottotenente Giuseppe Biron by Ivan Berryman. (GS)
Half Price! - £200.00
 Lancaster BIII OF-J PB410 of 97 sqn. lifts off from Coningsby (Tattershall Castle in the background) in 1944/45 en route for a night mission over Germany. This squadron was the second to equip with Lancasters in Jan1942 after a year with its predecessor, the Manchester. It used Lancasters until July 1946 when it converted to yet another Avro type, the Lincoln.
Night Mission Ahead by Keith Woodcock. (Y)
Half Price! - £50.00
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