Re: Vallejo equivalent for PFE orange?

Robert kirkham

Thanks for the additional comments Ken.  I too really like the self levelling quality of Vallejo - its just great with their airbrush thinner and a brush.

Regarding colour - i realize that any model paint choice is just a starting reference, depending on the wear and tear one wants to model.  I’m tempted to try to model the really yellowed fade evident in some of the Delano photos, but I think that is hard to pull off credibly, and want to start with a close approximate to the fresh paint and experiment.

I model June 1946, Vancouver BC, so miles of rain and mud from California, and 4.5 years after Pearl was bombed and regular maintenance was way down the priority list.   I’m busy looking at various Youtube videos from around that time, showing PFE cars in trains and will try to capture some of that . . .

Still enjoying all the options this hobby invites . . . 


On Jun 25, 2022, at 11:47 AM, Ken Adams <smadanek44g@...> wrote:

I too have used the Vallejo Model Color Bright Orange 70.851 for hand brushed PFE Orange sides. The excellent leveling quality of the Model Color paint leaves almost no traces of any brush marks if carefully done. Since my earlier efforts, I now put a drop of Vallejo Airbrush thinner 71.061 to 5-7 drops of paint and it works better than straight from the bottle for hand brushing.

Personally, I think the Bright Orange 70.851 is a slightly brighter color that reflects a bit of the sun bleaching that PFE cars would get after a year in service and 6 or more trips across the country since being painted at Roseville or LA PFE shops.  

I am still using Pledge (whatever J&J marketing calls it this year) for decal preparation after painting. I follow the decaling up with Tamiya TS-80 flat clear and an appropriate light weathering. 

The condition of PFE cars will depend on where you are modeling.  Until the mid 1950's PFE washed the car exterior as they came back empty through Pocatello, Roseville or LA after each trip east. Western produce and fruit shippers expected a clean car to be placed for loading. In the mid fifties the practice of washing after each round trip was dropped. However, for the very end of the steam era it was in place. Of course there were exceptions and modeling reefers after a loaded trip east through the snow sheds of the Sierras behind an oil burning cab forward would justify a slight black patina of burnt bunker oil soot on the roof and sides of the car.  Diesel soot had the same effect. 
Ken Adams
Omicron BA2.2 may come and go but I still live mostly in splendid Shelter In Place solitude
Location: About half way up Walnut Creek

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