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Spad

Yippee!

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Hello all!

What colour was the P-38 "Yippee" - can anybody tell me? I know it was red but is the federal reference known?

Dangerous territory to look at colour pics of the day as they all seem to be altogether different from each other.

 

Thanks and hoping.
ATB
Rick

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insignia red, FS11136 overall She was the 5,000th Lightning built and carried serial 44-23296.  It was assigned to the 475th FG in the PTO and was written off in an accident on January 29, 1945. The overall red scheme was carried stateside only; it was painted  OD and neutral grey when it arrived in the Pacific, according to the written sources I found. 'Yippee' was carried in white with a thin black border on each side of the nose and underneath both wings, reading across from the right to left. Serial was in black on the outer side of each fin and rudder.

Mike

Edited by 72modeler
added text

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According to a conversation I had with Warren Bodie, who photographed the real thing on the ramp at the plant, it was a bright crimson red, with a decidedly orange tinge.  

 

Sadly, no one has ever done accurate decals for it.  Every decal has white letters with a black pinstripe border around the edge. The real thing had the crimson showing through between the white and the black pinstripe, which pinstripe was offset outside the edge of the white.  

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Most decals were based on poor profiles, and bad photo interpratation in the 70’s-80’s-90’s. The internet has changed a lot of that for the better. But now with photoshop and colorized photo’s we have a new minefield to navigate. @Sonoran i dont suppose you have a photo showing this layout of “Yippee” ? I would be interested in seeing that. Also in trying to replicate it when the time comes.

Edited by Corsairfoxfouruncle

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1 hour ago, Sonoran said:

According to a conversation I had with Warren Bodie, who photographed the real thing on the ramp at the plant, it was a bright crimson red, with a decidedly orange tinge.  

I looked at several color photos of Yippee, and all of them showed a different shade of red, ranging from a vermillion to an orange-red, but we all know about film, filters, and lighting, right? Then there's this photo I just found...note the fire truck in the background- then look at Yippee- then look at the fire truck...I am SO confused! Anyway you pait her, she's a beautiful airplane!

Mike

 

https://www.reddit.com/r/WWIIplanes/comments/57gj52/yippee_the_5000th_p38_lightning_produced_may_1944/

 

 

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Hey Mike @72modeler looks like an International orange/red to me fire engine red is a bit more crimson to my eyes ? But it could be a trick of the light as well ? Its just a thing left up to the modellers interpretation. That is unless someone has a Tardis in the garage ? Check out the over spray on the guns ?   

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I think that the Vallejo Model Color paint 70.909 Vermillion is a close match for the red shade on Yippee. There was an article in Scale Models magazine in February 1975 by Richard Marmo.

 

It is Federal Standard FS 31302.

Edited by Mick4350
wrong colour

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8 hours ago, Corsairfoxfouruncle said:

Hey Mike @72modeler looks like an International orange/red to me fire engine red is a bit more crimson to my eyes ? But it could be a trick of the light as well ? Its just a thing left up to the modellers interpretation. That is unless someone has a Tardis in the garage ? Check out the over spray on the guns ?   

Wonder what the FS equivalent is for American LeFrance Red? I'm betting there is a Humbrol or Colourcoats dead match! Ha!

Mike

 

Like so many modeling subjects- who knows, other than the guy who opened the can and sprayed the real airplane;  it seems a lot of U.S. airplanes used automotive paints, especially for one-offs...hmmmm, maybe I need to check my GM auto paint chips- come to think of it, the paint on Yippee looks  a lot like Buick engine red!

Mike

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1 hour ago, 72modeler said:

GM auto paint chips- come to think of it, the paint on Yippee looks  a lot like Buick engine red!

Could be a railroad color, could be a TWA Red to ? Lockheed was building connies at that point ? And while figuring this out. Thoughts of TWA Was the customer signed up during the war. Howard hughes wouldn't share the type with other airlines until post war. 

 

Edit - TWA ad from 1945

MtF75D1.jpg

Edited by Corsairfoxfouruncle

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16 hours ago, 72modeler said:

insignia red, FS11136 overall

Mike

Is this a documented fact?

Sorry if I sound dubious (I'm not!) but you sound very sure of this and you have piqued my interest as a result. Most people seem to think it was a bit more orange than that.

Thanks

Rick

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1 hour ago, Spad said:

Mike

Is this a documented fact?

Sorry if I sound dubious (I'm not!) but you sound very sure of this and you have piqued my interest as a result. Most people seem to think it was a bit more orange than that.

Thanks

Rick

Rick,

I don't have any source documentation for the FS 11136 on Yippee- just a best guess from looking at all the original color photos I examined, but I'm looking for something to confirm. I am now more inclined to think it was not an ANA/FS standard color, since it was a one-off; my original thinking being insignia red was readily available. It doesn't look to me to be international orange, but that's a best guess, as well. Maybe @Dana Bell might know more. I did not mean to imply that my post was 100% accurate- if I can find something substantial, I will post it here. (If I were dead sure, I would have posted the source.) Sorry for any confusion I might have caused. (You can probably put aside those two bottles of  Testors 'Pla'  red enamel you were saving for this subject!) 😋

Mike

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18 hours ago, Sonoran said:

According to a conversation I had with Warren Bodie, who photographed the real thing on the ramp at the plant, it was a bright crimson red, with a decidedly orange tinge.  

 

Sadly, no one has ever done accurate decals for it.  Every decal has white letters with a black pinstripe border around the edge. The real thing had the crimson showing through between the white and the black pinstripe, which pinstripe was offset outside the edge of the white.  

Paddinhaus did decals for Yippee in both 1/72 and 1/48 scales; they are currently available for purchase on that well-known auction website if anybody is interested. I think they are a German-based outfit- you could search under that name.

Mike

 

I just discovered that there is a color photo of Yippee on the covers of the  Wings October, 1977 and April, 1990 issues; I will check my library, as I'm pretty sure I have the 1977 issue and maybe the 1990 one- they were running exerpts from the Warren Bodie P-38 book on a regular basis, IIRC. I'll see if there is anything definite on the paint used...be back in a mo'!

 

Whew! Almost fell down the stairs! OK, I had the 1977 issue- there is a color photo on the cover- taken in flight of the LH side of the airplane; a b&w photo of the nose with Milo Burcham sitting on the top of the inner wing; and a two-page color photo of the well-known upper view in flight. In the text accompanying it states "Lockheed painted a P-38J-20-LO a gloss crimson and named it "Yippee" for demonstration purposes." Not much help there, I'm afraid. That being said, there is a red circle that marks one of the wing fuel tank filling points that is on the blue part of the national insignia and extends past that onto the red/crimson/vermilion-painted portion of the wing; the curious part is that where the painted circle goes outside the blue part of the cocarde, it disappears. If the color was indeed insignia red, that would make sense. I make no claims, and I wish I had found more conclusive information on the topic, but this is the best I could come up with in my internet and personal reference library search. Maybe Dana will know, but it was a one-off and a temporary scheme to begin with, so doubtful anybody went out of their way at the time to document the finish applied for posterity. Sorry, chaps!

Mike

Edited by 72modeler
added text and additional information

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Hello all,

 

I always thought that "Yippee" was painted with "Deep Red" (like Insignia Red). The photo Mike linked with a fire truck visible in the back ground made me re-think as well.

 

It seems that the red scheme was hastily applied. Look at the radiator intakes and gun barrels: red "mist" everywhere.

 

Cheers,

Antti

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9 minutes ago, Antti_K said:

Hello all,

 

I always thought that "Yippee" was painted with "Deep Red" (like Insignia Red). The photo Mike linked with a fire truck visible in the back ground made me re-think as well.

 

It seems that the red scheme was hastily applied. Look at the radiator intakes and gun barrels: red "mist" everywhere.

 

Cheers,

Antti

No kabuki tape for Lockheed back then!

Mike

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7 hours ago, Spad said:

 

Is this a documented fact?

No.  Warren had original Kodachrome 25 slides he had shot, and it was a very orange red.

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Having taken a quick look online, I notice that the cockpit area (glassworks) is all still bare metal framing.  How many times, over how many years, have I looked at this aircraft, to now think, "Huh!"

 

p.s. I'm not entirely convinced by the argument about the fuel filler circle on the insignia.  Might be right, but it also might be that the part that would extend outside of the insignia simply isn't there/ got overpainted.  I can't spot any other filler points, and you'd think if it was important they'd have used a contrasting color elsewhere on the wing.  Don't suppose the insignia decal already had the filler circle on it? 🤔

 

p.p.s. Found a larger version (I think) of that ground shot:

https://i.redd.it/q18cyimo6grx.jpg

And I note that, in addition to the fire truck, there's something "red" just above the starboard mainwheel, a fire bottle below the nosegear door, and another "red" thing jutting out forward of the starboard fin.  My eye wants to make the fire bottle seem redder, but I'm probably wrong.  Note also that the nosegear door interior and nose strut (but not wheel) are painted Neutral Grey.

Edited by gingerbob

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gb- good point. After giving my post and the photo some more  thought, (Always painful!) the fuel filler circle marking might just be visible on the national insignia because it was applied before the red/orange/orange-red/vermillion was sprayed, thus covering up the other filler markings. I have no idea, I was just making an observation- probably not a very good one. I have seen countless photos of this P-38 and never gave its finish much thought until Spad posted his query. I say we go  dig around the  Lockheed paint booth and see if we can find any old cans of red paint!

 

BTW- it was almost as cold here the last night or two as where you are! I saw an armadillo in the yard this morning and it was wearing a parka!

 

Mike

 

 

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On 11/14/2018 at 5:43 AM, 72modeler said:

I looked at several color photos of Yippee, and all of them showed a different shade of red, ranging from a vermillion to an orange-red, but we all know about film, filters, and lighting, right? Then there's this photo I just found...note the fire truck in the background- then look at Yippee- then look at the fire truck...I am SO confused! Anyway you pait her, she's a beautiful airplane!

Mike

 

https://www.reddit.com/r/WWIIplanes/comments/57gj52/yippee_the_5000th_p38_lightning_produced_may_1944/

 

 

Is this not like the discussion of the original blue on the Spitfire prototype? The photos go back more than 70 years, and we all know how it is about color photos of the period. The observation here of the fire truck in the background says a lot: the truck has the same color as the plane. So if the truck was just red, then we can assume that the Lighting was painting in the same or almost the same color.

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10 hours ago, gingerbob said:

Note also that the nosegear door interior and nose strut (but not wheel) are painted Neutral Grey.

IIRC, neutral grey was used by Lockheed for the struts, wheel bays, and inner surfaces of the landing gear doors  on many Lightnings. Good eye!

Mike

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On 11/14/2018 at 8:45 AM, 72modeler said:

Wonder what the FS equivalent is for American LeFrance Red? I'm betting there is a Humbrol or Colourcoats dead match! Ha!

Mike

 

Like so many modeling subjects- who knows, other than the guy who opened the can and sprayed the real airplane;  it seems a lot of U.S. airplanes used automotive paints, especially for one-offs...hmmmm, maybe I need to check my GM auto paint chips- come to think of it, the paint on Yippee looks  a lot like Buick engine red!

Mike

Mike,

 

Automotive paint may be good thinking. And the engine red GM used on their engine blocks does look like a match to the photo. But did GM use this engine red during this time period? A question for antique auto experts!

And that truck in the background of the 'Yippie' photo doesn't look like a "fire truck" to me. It appears to be a standard pickup truck (3/4 ton?), perhaps a 1940 Chevrolet? The pickup might have been ordered in a standard red for added visibility around the airfield.

Maybe someone with a good eye and a lot of knowledge of American trucks at the time can ID the manufacturer and then see what color red was standard on that model truck.

 

Tim

 

Edited by VH-USB

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3 hours ago, VH-USB said:

Mike,

 

Automotive paint may be good thinking. And the engine red GM used on their engine blocks does look like a match to the photo. But did GM use this engine red during this time period? A question for antique auto experts!

And that truck in the background of the 'Yippie' photo doesn't look like a "fire truck" to me. It appears to be a standard pickup truck (3/4 ton?), perhaps a 1940 Chevrolet? The pickup might have been ordered in a standard red for added visibility around the airfield.

Maybe someone with a good eye and a lot of knowledge of American trucks at the time can ID the manufacturer and then see what color red was standard on that model truck.

 

Tim

 

I was just kidding about the fire truck and GM paint references - I was yanking @Corsairfoxfouruncle's chain! Besides, Buick engines were painted with green enamel during the 40's and early 50's.

Mike

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1 minute ago, Corsairfoxfouruncle said:

I thought we were friends 😉 

Always, mi amigo! No te preocupas!

Mike

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