Re: Freight Car Brown

Nelson Moyer <ku0a@...>

It's been a while since I raised the question about what paint color or mix
comes closest to CB&Q Indian Red (aka mineral red). I've found ten different
published painting recommendations from straight out of the bottle to
complex color mixes.


1 part D&H Caboose Red; 3 parts Southern Freight Car Brown


Erie Lackawanna Maroon with a little Reefer White


1 part Caboose Red; 4 parts Boxcar Red


Southern Freight Car Brown


9 parts Tuscan Red; 1 part Boxcar Red; 1 part Reefer White


ATSF Mineral Brown


Maroon Tuscan Oxide Red


Dark Tuscan Oxide Red

Poly Scale

1 part Special Oxide Red; 3 parts Zinc Chromate Primer

Scalecoat II

1 part Tuscan Red; 1 part Boxcar Red

These colors range from relatively brown to oxide red, so some of them are
clearly the wrong color for CB&Q.

I matched some paint chips from a depot that was last painted in the 1950s,
but the resulting color seemed to have too much zinc chromate and not enough
red. Probably the color shift on the paint chips was from sun exposure over
50 years, and I don't have any idea what a newly painted depot or freight
car looked like in 1953. The mix that matched the paint chips using Poly
Scale is:

5 parts Zinc Chromate Primer

2 parts ATSF Red

2 parts Special Oxide Red

Was the same paint use on structures also used on wood sided freight cars
before the Q got their first all steel Class XM-32 box cars? I have several
double and shingle sheathed box cars ready for paint, and I'm still
undecided about what to use. Does anyone out there have an authentic color
chip to match?

Nelson Moyer

-----Original Message-----
From: STMFC@... [mailto:STMFC@...] On Behalf Of Ed
Sent: Friday, June 08, 2012 12:11 PM
To: STMFC@...
Subject: Re: [STMFC] Freight Car Brown

On Jun 7, 2012, at 3:11 PM, Brian Rochon wrote:

I notice that all of the listed colors show a start date of 1944. Did
these railroads all change their color formulas in that year or would
they be accurate for earlier years? I model 1943, so that means
freight cars last painted as far back as the late 1930's?
Based on the ACF paint samples from 1931 to 1952, there was a general
trend from darker, browner, and flatter paints during the 1930s to the
early 1940s to freight car colors that were lighter, with more red, and
more glossy in the immediate postwar years and into the 1950s. There
were some exceptions to this rule with UP being one example that used
an oxide color in the late 1930s.

Several ACF Santa Fe "Mineral Brown" paint samples for cars built
during the 1930s to 1944 were quite dark brown and flat. Comparing to
Tru-Color Paint #19, they are a perfect match. By the late 1940s ATSF
Mineral Brown had changed considerably with more of a red-brown hue.

Around the end of World War II the paint manufacturers
apparently reformulated paints and the names often used "synthetic" in
the description.
Ed Hawkins

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