Re: Freight car colors...

Rob Kirkham <rdkirkham@...>

Gee that is a creative idea Jack, but unfortunately, I don't think the electronic mix will give you any useful information. While I'm not really up on the pigments used in model paints, use of artists paints can be a revelation. We were all taught in grade school, for example, that red and yellow make orange, blue and red make purple, etc. But with paints, they do not always react with each other the way these generalisations suggest they should. Blue and red do not always make purple - it depends on the pigments. And those that do mix to purple certainly don't all make the same purples or make the purple someone new to the pigment might expect. The result is that the theoretical formulations of colour manifest in light on your computer screen do not mix in the same way as actual pigments - and so won't predict the results of the mixes of real pigment.

Rob Kirkham

----- Original Message -----
From: "Jack Burgess" <jack@...>
To: <STMFC@...>
Sent: Wednesday, May 14, 2008 4:11 PM
Subject: [STMFC] Freight car colors...

Mixing paint to match a paint chip, a paint sample, a photo, or memory is,
for me, very difficult. One could obviously prepare 50/50 mixes of all
possible combinations of one manufacturer's paint line but there are also
possible combinations other than 50/50 and 50/25/25 possibilities.

I've given a lot of thought to how that might be done "electronically".
Unfortunately, I haven't been able to find a program to take samples of
paint color and easily "mix" them. However, I have played with the Gradient
Tool in Photoshop (also available in Photoshop Elements). If one scans
painted samples of two paint colors, such as Floquil Boxcar Red and Floquil
Tuscan, and open the scans in Photoshop, the Eyedropper Tool can be used to
load those colors as the Foreground and Background color. The Gradient Tool
can then be used to "mix" the two colors and produce a 50/50 or 25/75 mix or
any other proportion electronically. The resulting mixes can be saved as
color swatches and so labeled. By scanning all of the available "reds" from
one manufacturer, one could produce swatches of all possible variations.
Samples of the prototype colors could also be sampled and compared to the

I need to develop a variation of boxcar red to match the YV cabooses I
painted many years ago (unfortunately, I didn't keep track of the
proportions back then) for a project I'm working on. I'm thinking that a
good test for the process would be to mix two reds electronically and also
physically and compare the results.

Has anyone done anything similar? Was it successful?

Jack Burgess

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