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"Into the Storm", by Mal Wright

In conjunction with, and in support of, Texas BROADSIDE! 2011, Australian naval historian, painter, and wargame designer, Mal Wright, painted a one-of-a-kind scene of the USS TEXAS. "Into the Storm" depicts BB-35 leading a task group towards North Africa, in preparation for the Torch landings.

To see a sampling of Mal's work, some of which grace the covers of various wargames while others hang in US Naval offices, click here.

A limited number of prints of this 30" x 20" acrylic-on-art-board painting have been produced and the original work is now being auctioned off on EBay. The proceeds from the sale of both the prints and the original painting are being donated to the USS TEXAS, to further assist in TPWD's preservation efforts.

The steps documented below show how this work-of-art was created, using "in-progress" photos directly from Mal's studio.

Step 1 - The sky and water are laid in. Mal plans to put ships of the convoy in the distance and one of the TEXAS' scout planes overhead.
Step 2 - The hull is begun. This angle of view is unique for paintings of the TEXAS as most naval artists choose to paint their subject from a more forward quarter view.
Step 3 - Mal starts to hint at the Measure 12 (modified) camouflage on the hull, and the aft casemates where two 5" guns used to be. Many of TEXAS' 5" guns were unusable in their original fittings because of their proximity to the waterline, so they were moved or removed between the wars.
Step 4 - The aft 14" gun turrets (4 and 5) take shape. Each gun could throw a 1500 pound armor piercing round as far as 23,000 to 23,500 yards. Each charge bag alone weighed 105 pounds.
Step 5 - Here Mal has added the foundation layers for the midship structures, the funnel, third turret, and cranes will go here. He also starts the legs of the tripod masts.
Step 6 - After a long break from the canvas, Mal returns with gusto and starts on the forward half of the ship, adding turrets 1 and 2 and the tripod masts fore and aft. The tripods replaced the original cage masts in her 1925 refit.
Step 7 - On goes the US flag and more work on the main mast is carried out, particularly the gun director platforms at the top of the mast. He adds more definition to the two cranes.
Step 8 - Mal spends this step of the painting process adding more sea foam, detail, and effective agitation to the ship's wake.
Step 9 - Mal has begun his work on the USS DALLAS, an older CLEMSON class destroyer that was part of TP 34 and carried a US Army raider battalion on a special mission for the TORCH operation.
Step 10 - Having conducted further research on the TEXAS in 1942, Mal adjusts the camouflage to more accurately reflect the pattern she sported at the time. Her Kingfisher scout plane, one of several carried by the ship, is now shown flying overhead.
Step 11 - In this step of the process Mal has added some of the other ships in the convoy and detailed the rest of the rather complex lines and angles of the ship, the results of many refits over several occasions.
Step 12 - After confering with some of the men who work today on maintaining the TEXAS, and studying some of the recent photographs I sent him, Mal makes changed to the gun director and fire control platforms at the top of the masts and adjusts some of the other lines and angles on the ship.

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