Liger-Belair designed the Stratonef
I was just reading back through the site for information on Jo, Zette & Jocko, and this caught my eye.
It's a small point, but if Liger-Belair himself is to be believed, he didn't
design the Stratonef.
He was approached by Hergé after
the story was already under way, and offered the opportunity to make and sell models of the 'plane. Hergé thought it would be good publicity for the story, and had a discussion with Pierre Ugeux (an editor at Le Vingtième Siècle
) who advertised it through the paper.
Liger-Belair did design the plans for building the model, and created a box for the kit, and offered them and materials through his shop; Ugeux ordered kits to send to readers from Liger-Belair.
Liger-Belair built a display model especially for Hergé out of balsa-wood, painted in red enamel, with an open cockpit cover showing J,Z&J inside, which sat on a small air-strip diaorama; this was apparently on display in Hergé's offices for many years. But it wasn't built in the manner of The Unicorn
, to be used in the drawing process.
Pierre Ugeux had a distinguished career during the war, as a paraptrooper fighting in the free forces, and was amongst those who spoke about Hergé's activites in that period after it ended, along with his brother William, who had been in the resistance. William's position (according to an interview he gave Pierre Assouline, quoted in Hergé, The Man Who created Tintin
), was that Hergé was, politically, "a blunderer, rather than a traitor".
Both brothers were involved in the early days of setting up the Tintin
magazine, with Pierre being responsible for convincing the authorities to grant an allotment of paper for its printing, overcoming objections to the association with Hergé, by dint of his own war service and reputation.