We're talking about "box car red"/tuscan/red oxide/freight car brown/etc.
Tony is right about "there is no one paint color/shade that is perfect" ...
for any RR for any era ... and as long as you are talking about "in service"
cars as opposed to "just received from the builder" or "just painted in
My "exceptions" should not be understood to mean that I do/do not
think there ever was a "perfect" color match. There was. On one date
and to one car/batch of cars.
===> What I'm trying to say is that after an even moderate
amount of time where the car is in service - the variations
start to come into play.
And they become more important as time goes on.
But there -were- some "basic shades that can be identified as
being more likely to be seen for a particular RR or other". For
example the Pennsy cars are "redder" than the NYC or SP cars.
Again I'm talking in general. And yes there are basic shades
that you should start with for any particular car for any particular
RR for any particular era/date, for any particular amount of time
since it was last painted. And so on and so on ...
Were their differences in different eras? Yes. Were they
"big" when we are talking about "box car red". No. Should
you try to get it right? Yes - but ONLY if you accept that there
isn't any "perfect color" (even for the starting color) and that
it all pretty much blends into one overall impression of the
ubiquitous "freight car brown" ...
Do this for an experiment - take a sample of 3 parts Floquil
Tuscan to 1 part Floquil Rust and spray it on some medium
gray card stock/styrene. Now take that sample and go to
any RR anywhere in the world and lay it down on top of a
unpainted piece of rail, coupler, draft gear or wheel (not the
shiny part) ... step back about 3 feet and it will essentially
disappear into the background.
Now do this - go look at any color picture of any freight
yard for the era we are talking about on this list. And look
at it from first the viewpoint of "the entire yard" and then
from the viewpoint of "individual cars" and what you will
see is "overall they all look the same", as individuals they
have differences ... but the differences are subtle/slight.
So ... if you haven't guessed already about where I'm going
with this ...
1) Develop your own "basic shade of freight car brown/
tuscan/whatever you want to call it" - preferably it
will be made up from more than one bottle of paint
2) Match it to some pics you have in your collection.
3) AND ... wait for it ... vary the mix -slightly - each time
you make up a new batch.
4) Ignore -any- one who ever says anything like "the color
on that car is wrong".
Because - if you've studied your pics enough you can find
"evidence" for just about every shade for just about ever
car class for just about every road!
===> Jim says "it's mostly about starting out with a -shade-
===> of color that is in the right ball park".
And if you haven't weathered it - your job isn't done! How
much to weather? Different amounts and methods produce
the best looking "variations on a theme".
Go back and study "SP Ogden yard in the 50's".
- YMMV, these are mine ... Jim B.