Re: Freight Car Colors

Ian Cranstone

From: Ted Culotta <ted_culotta@...>
By the way, I don't put too much stock in exact color
matches. 1,000 cars in a given series built by/for a
specific road probably had color variances right out
of the shops. Couple that with the fact that some
wintered in Minnesota while others got rained on in
Pittsburgh (no acid in the rain there in the 1940's,
huh?) while another spent the better part of the
winter in Florida... and all this is just for one
winter. The variance between two cars that came out
of the shops at the same time is staggering. Just
show some variety in your weathering and call it a
I'll second Ted on this one -- super-accurate colours are probably only
important if you're modelling a brand-new (or freshly repainted) car. After
a year or two, they've probably started to fade or weather to the point that
spending too much time matching the base colour exactly is a bit of a waste
of time.

I don't know that I can agree with the theory of paint variance with cars
right out of the shops though. Canadian National had some pretty strict
standards regarding colour during the steam era, and even in today's
any-old-boxcar-red will do era, a batch of cars right out of the shop is
pretty consistent. For that matter, the ones from CN's shops are pretty
consistent colour-wise, it's just that there are a lot more outside shops
performing this kind of work as well, and they don't tend to use standard CN

Don't forget also that our layout lighting tends to be a different
temperature than outdoors -- and usually a whole lot dimmer to boot. As a
result, the colours that we might have spent a lot of time carefully
matching might not look right anyways.

All in all, I think Ted's last line really summed up the most important
aspect of all.

Ian Cranstone
Kanata, Ontario, Canada
lamontc@... (note change: was lamontc@...)

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