Mike Brock <brockm@...>
Tony Thompson writes:
"We do want to be in the right ballpark, and often the
prototype paint chip does give a starting point."
I'll not argue against that. I mean...one has to start somewhere, of course. I will say that I think I could build an undec PFE reefer...let's say a Tichy R-40-? [ I'll do it as an R-40-4 ] and paint it with some color but not Daylight orange...in fact, no orange at all. I'll then weather it considerably and...just to add to the fun of this thread...I'll insert it into one of my PFE reefer trains with untold numbers of variations of Daylight orange due to weathering and fading [ matching the overall appearance of real PFE reefer blocks in 1953 ] and run it slowly through Dale Junction on my layout and see if anyone can determine which car it is.
"But let's not go from "impossible to match EXACTLY" to the
belief that "prototype color has no bearing on model colors." Just
tain't so, as far as I'm concerned."
I think prototype coloring DOES have a bearing. I'm certainly not going to start with GN blue on that PFE reefer. And, I'll paint a UP box car with Polyscale Oxide Red. But I don't care a bit how close Oxide Red matches a paint chip. As Dennis Storzek wrote, the sun produces quite a bit of variations through out its period of providing light so we can see the things whose colors we're so concerned about. The resulting perception variations are even more prevalent than the light variations due to untold numbers of factors including angle of the sun, cloudiness, dirt on the subject, etc. As I have mentioned before, I will always remember the time I was waiting for ex-C&O steam loco 2716 at Taccoa, GA, during an NS excursion. It was about 5PM, the sun was behind me and as the engine came backing down the track, it appeared very grey...perhaps a dark grey. And this engine was painted with a glossy black. I recall thinking...Those guys who say black will appear as a grey were right. The point is, I very much prefer to view models...and the real thing...with the light source behind, preferably as the sun might be positioned at...well...9AM or 5PM. Does this view accurately show the true color of the subject? Of course. And, so does a view seen at 12 noon, 2 PM, 11 AM in the rain, 3 PM and even midnight. And, of course, they're all different.
Last, I always go back to that Delano shot on the cover of the May 1992 MM. Here we see at least 5 different variations of colors of C&NW box cars in 1943. Now some might try to duplicate these colors by starting with a paint color matching a C&NW chip. I believe I could produce a similar set of variations using 5 different paint colors...none of them being based on any C&NW chip. OK...a good exercise for Prototype Rails 2009.