Denny Anspach <danspach@...>
Matching "box car reds" is one of the most frustrating of all my modeling endeavours, and worse- the very nature of the beast is such that small differences can really stand out.
A longtime side interest is the rescue and restoration of old craft and metal HO freight car models from the '30s, '40s, and '50s (for SGL- that is, the 20th century!), all of which were painted with "box car reds" from Stewart Lundahl (410 M), Roundhouse, Super, and the old really-good lead-based Floquil. It is absolutely frustrating, and mostly impossible to match these paints, even though I have a virtual cornucopia of modern red oxide paints to which to refer.
The Milwaukee's freight cars were painted with a bewildering variety of red and red/brown paints- obvious to me because they bought paint lots not for color consistency, but because of ad hoc utility and cost. How many other railroads did the same?
I have a gallon of SP "boxcar red" enamel gathered into quart cans in the late '70s out of a partially emptied 55 gallon drum of paint that the SP Shops had abandoned when they closed their car activities. Now, I have no idea whether or not this matches anyone's perception of what SP "boxcar red" should look like (I don't model the SP), but a number of people have described it "authoritatively" (as applied to a Fairmont S2e motorcar in my possession) as "ATSF Mineral Brown".
I mention all of these things because my impression that the "true box car red" is likely to actually be series on series of countless subtle permutations, and it may be an unlikely event to ever really find "an exact match".