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Color Information for those building the Tamiya P-38

Rather than worry about the color mixes Tamiya calls for in the kit instructions, here’s what you need to know to paint your model. This is based on photos of Glacier Girl, the P-38F recovered from the Greenland icecap, which has been restored as close to original as possible. Glacier Girl was a time table of the early P-38. I was around Glacier Girl during her visits to Planes of Fame, with numerous photos taken during the visits. However, there are only two you really need, and they are here.

For starters, the cockpit is painted in what is about as close to British Interior Green as you can get. This makes total sense when you consider that at the time these P-38s were produced, the only other warbird Lockheed was producing was the Hudson, for which they had ordered paint mixed to RAF specs. The best color to use for this is Tamiya XF-71 “cockpit green,” originally Mistsubishi Green, which was based on RAF interior green.

Also, Glacier Girl is painted in green-base pre-war Olive Drab, which is an exact match to RAF Dark Green. Both colors were based on the official specification of World War I British P.C.10. The best color for this is Tamiya XF-81, RAF Dark Green.. The lower surfaces are painted with a grey color lighter than Neutral Grey. It’s most likely “Sky Grey,” the US equivalent to “Sky”, and the best color is Tamiya XF-83 “Sea Grey Medium.

The photos are taken in daylight. You can match the colors listed above to these photos.Do not follow the box art. Those are the colors used on the P-38H/J. These are the colors used on the P-38F/G. Most of what passes for “information” on early P-38s is bad guesses, at best.

1 additional image. Click to enlarge.


6 responses to Color Information for those building the Tamiya P-38

  1. Thanks for the heads up on early P-38 colours. I would have just followed the instructions. RAF interior green in a P-38 who would have thought?

  2. Perfect! Thanks, Tom.

  3. Very helpful information, thanks.

  4. Here’s some reference photos from 2008, the first and last time I’ve seen Glacier Girl.

    9 attached images. Click to enlarge.

    • Thanks for the confirmation, Jim.

      • No Problem. Wish I had more, but she hasn’t returned to the Houston Show. I have a few from Sun-N-Fun 2014, but it’s just more of the same shots.

        1 attached image. Click to enlarge.

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