Re: Freight Car Colors

Dave & Libby Nelson <muskoka@...>

-----Original Message-----
From: Richard Hendrickson [mailto:rhendrickson@...]
Now, tell me again how you can use the
Pantone system to determine the "true color" of Santa Fe Mineral Brown?
You can't. But if you look at Pantone colors you'll see a whole bunch that
are obviously wrong and maybe a couple that are kinda close to one of those
cars. What's wrong with doing that? Having done that one might also ask
why were the other ones wrong and go learn something else.

Jeff Aley is doubtless correct
that color can be objectively and precisely measured, but the process of
painting, aging, and weathering modelsl to look like the real thing
(especially in the artificial light they're almost always viewed under) is
an art form and "realism" in scale modeling is at least partly in the eye
(or more precisely in the brain) of the beholder. This may not be welcome
news to the engineering types who want to quantify everything,
but (as Ted,
Ian, and others have pointed out) there's no getting around it.
As I'm the only one posting numbers I must conclude I'm the engineering type
refered to. Either I didn't express myself clearly or you didn't read
carefully (or both), so I'll try again. Selecting a color for these models
is obviously an art form AND ALSO IS obviously based in science. Just as
one cannot make a silk purse out of a pigs ear one cannot get the right
visual appearance from the wrong colors (e.g., anything that ever resembled
Pensy freight car red cannot be obtained by weathering the color Bowser
applied to it's cars). Saying the color of a model cannot and perhaps even
should not be matched to the original is understood. But the phrasing used
here appears to suggest one should not bother to try. By implication it also
suggests we pigment-mixers shouldn't bother to understand the science of
color, and I find both objectionable.

Bottom lines whether one is mixing light or pigment, you do need to know a
bit about what your aiming for and whether what you've done already will
help or hurt making the objective. And there's nothing wrong with sharing
the results in a form others can use to reproduce the results.

Dave Nelson

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