Re: Truck Color

Daniel A. Mitchell

We’ve beat this dead horse into the ground here, and many other places, countless times.

“Mineral Red” pigment was from naturally occurring Iron Oxide deposits (rust). Iron oxide can range in color anywhere from yellow to orange to red, to purple, on to black, with most being some shade of reddish brown. So the exact color depends on which deposit of the mineral was mined for the pigment. Then add whatever mix was used to make the paint (concentration, vehicle, etc.). The color varied from place to place and from time to time. In olden times this was all quite local, with paint being mixed in the paint shop from raw material. In later times commercially prepared paint was purchased, and standardization efforts began. Much of this was, and still is “voodoo”. While a lot of progress has been made, exact matches between types of paint (chemistry), substrates, application methods, and between various manufacturers is still not possible.

Dan Mitchell

On Nov 20, 2019, at 11:36 PM, Bill Lugg <luggw1@...> wrote:

Then what I'm getting out of this is that, beyond color drift between batches, mineral red for one road is likely going to be different than mineral read for another, right?

Thanks for the responses, they help a bit with my flat car project.

Bill Lugg

On 11/20/19 6:39 PM, Nelson Moyer wrote:
ATSF and CB&Q are two roads that used the term 'mineral red'. It comes from the red iron oxide containing rock ground into powder and used as a red paint pigment. It was available and cheap, so that's why so many freight car and barns were painted red. One story I've heard about the Q paint shops is that they mixed the pigment into the base 'by the handfull', which would explain paint drift between paint batches and between paint shops. On the Q, the red pigment was from Wyoming mines, so at least it all come from the same general location. Mineral red is a reddish brown color. Floquil offered a mineral red paint, that was very close to the ATSF freight car color. The best Q freight car mineral red is produced by Tru Color as CB&Q Freight Car Red.

Nelson Moyer

-----Original Message-----
From: [] On Behalf Of Bill Lugg
Sent: Wednesday, November 20, 2019 6:25 PM
Subject: Re: [RealSTMFC] Truck Color

I see a lot of folks tossing the words "mineral red" around on this list.  What color would that be in terms a modeler (like me) would understand?

Bill Lugg

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