PAINT MIX


WILLIAM PARDIE
 

Along with the advencement of proper trucks and RUNNING BOARDS in our hobby is the quality of
many of the offerings of Intermountain and Red Caboose cars. With the exception of some of the
Oxide Red cars most of the Freight Car Red cars seem to have a very uniform shade of BCR. Detailing
the prepainted cars brings up the problem of matgching the color. Has anyone come up with a paint mix
that closely matches this color? Floquil would be acceptable as I have a fairly large stash.

As usual "Thanks in advance":

Bill Pardie


Tony Thompson
 

Bill Pardie wrote:

Along with the advencement of proper trucks and RUNNING BOARDS in our hobby is the quality of many of the offerings of Intermountain and Red Caboose cars. With the exception of some of the Oxide Red cars most of the Freight Car Red cars seem to have a very uniform shade of BCR. Detailing the prepainted cars brings up the problem of matgching the color. Has anyone come up with a paint mix that closely matches this color? Floquil would be acceptable as I have a fairly large stash.


        Um, not my impression, Bill, though I could be wrong. I recently received an IM 1937 box car which was a fairly brown color (C&O) and have at least two other recent IM box cars, NOT oxide red, which are DIFFERENT shades of BCR. Whether they are doing a good job of prototype paint colors, I don't know, from lack of knowledge of the particular prototypes, but I don't believe they are all the same. I would like to hear from others with views of this topic.

Tony Thompson             Editor, Signature Press, Berkeley, CA
2906 Forest Ave., Berkeley, CA 94705         www.signaturepress.com
(510) 540-6538; fax, (510) 540-1937; e-mail, tony@...
Publishers of books on railroad history





Charles Hladik
 

    My main gripe is that the manufacturer doesn't tell us what paints were used!! OK, so we might have a hard time matching Chinese paint, but they could tell us a match.
Chuck Hladik
 

In a message dated 7/18/2014 3:50:14 P.M. Eastern Daylight Time, STMFC@... writes:
 

Bill Pardie wrote:

Along with the advencement of proper trucks and RUNNING BOARDS in our hobby is the quality of many of the offerings of Intermountain and Red Caboose cars. With the exception of some of the Oxide Red cars most of the Freight Car Red cars seem to have a very uniform shade of BCR. Detailing the prepainted cars brings up the problem of matgching the color. Has anyone come up with a paint mix that closely matches this color? Floquil would be acceptable as I have a fairly large stash.


        Um, not my impression, Bill, though I could be wrong. I recently received an IM 1937 box car which was a fairly brown color (C&O) and have at least two other recent IM box cars, NOT oxide red, which are DIFFERENT shades of BCR. Whether they are doing a good job of prototype paint colors, I don't know, from lack of knowledge of the particular prototypes, but I don't believe they are all the same. I would like to hear from others with views of this topic.

Tony Thompson             Editor, Signature Press, Berkeley, CA
2906 Forest Ave., Berkeley, CA 94705         www.s ignaturepress.com
(510) 540-6538; fax, (510) 540-1937; e-mail, tony@...
Publishers of books on railroad history





Bruce Smith
 

Chuck,

1) How can they tell us a match?  The paint use is not model paint, and is custom mixed for the job.  To identify matches across a wide variety of commercial paints around the world is a huge task!

2) Why would they bother?  The VAST majority of the folks who buy the models (RTR or Kits) will not make modifications and therefore have no need to know this information.

Regards
Bruce
Bruce Smith
Auburn, AL


From: STMFC@... [STMFC@...]
Sent: Friday, July 18, 2014 2:57 PM
To: STMFC@...
Subject: Re: [STMFC] Re: PAINT MIX



    My main gripe is that the manufacturer doesn't tell us what paints were used!! OK, so we might have a hard time matching Chinese paint, but they could tell us a match.
Chuck Hladik
 
In a message dated 7/18/2014 3:50:14 P.M. Eastern Daylight Time, STMFC@... writes:
 

Bill Pardie wrote:

Along with the advencement of proper trucks and RUNNING BOARDS in our hobby is the quality of many of the offerings of Intermountain and Red Caboose cars. With the exception of some of the Oxide Red cars most of the Freight Car Red cars seem to have a very uniform shade of BCR. Detailing the prepainted cars brings up the problem of matgching the color. Has anyone come up with a paint mix that closely matches this color? Floquil would be acceptable as I have a fairly large stash.


        Um, not my impression, Bill, though I could be wrong. I recently received an IM 1937 box car which was a fairly brown color (C&O) and have at least two other recent IM box cars, NOT oxide red, which are DIFFERENT shades of BCR. Whether they are doing a good job of prototype paint colors, I don't know, from lack of knowledge of the particular prototypes, but I don't believe they are all the same. I would like to hear from others with views of this topic.

Tony Thompson             Editor, Signature Press, Berkeley, CA
2906 Forest Ave., Berkeley, CA 94705         www.s ignaturepress.com
(510) 540-6538; fax, (510) 540-1937; e-mail, tony@...
Publishers of books on railroad history







Mikebrock
 

Bruce Smith writes:

"12) Why would they bother? The VAST majority of the folks who buy the models (RTR or Kits) will not make modifications and therefore have no need to know this information."

Not only that:

From lengthy past experience, I realize that the comment that I am about to make will have about as much chance of acceptance as my request to Union Pacific that I be allowed to perform engineering duties on the first run of restored Big Boy 4014 [ interestingly enough I did receive a message supposedly from UP that I would be allowed to ride the platform located above the pilot truck...Well...]

Anyhow, believing that 99% of frt cars operating on our layouts should be weathered and, following Richard's lead, given that the time is between 1900 and 1960, the cars should be rather heavily weathered. Given that, and suggesting that those nay sayers review the photo on the cover of the May 1992 MM, I would suggest that the paint's apparent color covered with various amounts of coal smoke, oil smoke, acid rain, non acid rain, and any of about 53 other types of grime, will vary...even on the same car. IOW, why worry about an exact match when, after matching, you then slop various weathering paints or chalks on the poor car which then kind of blends the whole mess together.

Just a thought.

Mike Brock


Tony Thompson
 

Mike Brock wrote:

Anyhow, believing that 99% of frt cars operating on our layouts should be weathered and, following Richard's lead, given that the time is between 1900 and 1960, the cars should be rather heavily weathered. Given that, and suggesting that those nay sayers review the photo on the cover of the May 1992 MM, I would suggest that the paint's apparent color covered with various amounts of coal smoke, oil smoke, acid rain, non acid rain, and any of about 53 other types of grime, will vary...even on the same car. IOW, why worry about an exact match when, after matching, you then slop various weathering paints or chalks on the poor car which then kind of blends the whole mess together.

You are right, Mike, that Richard would have agreed with most of what you say, and so do I. But. But, the starting color DOES matter, since color photos from the transition era DO show that adjoining freight cars exhibit varying shades of BCR, notably some you may know yourself, like UP, with a much more orange "Oxide Red" color. So yes, weathering mutes and conceals SOME of the differences in car color, but by no means all. I believe it is still worth shooting for a good starting point, even if I find obsession with prototype paint chips to be, in most cases, a "bridge too far" for me. Still, I do want to start in the right ballpark.

Tony Thompson Editor, Signature Press, Berkeley, CA
2906 Forest Ave., Berkeley, CA 94705 www.signaturepress.com
(510) 540-6538; fax, (510) 540-1937; e-mail, tony@...
Publishers of books on railroad history


Armand Premo
 

Gentlemen both,Weathering is a complex issue.Many colors fade and not just darken.Armand Premo

----- Original Message -----
Sent: Friday, July 18, 2014 6:38 PM
Subject: Re: [STMFC] Re: PAINT MIX

 

Mike Brock wrote:

> Anyhow, believing that 99% of frt cars operating on our layouts should be weathered and, following Richard's lead, given that the time is between 1900 and 1960, the cars should be rather heavily weathered. Given that, and suggesting that those nay sayers review the photo on the cover of the May 1992 MM, I would suggest that the paint's apparent color covered with various amounts of coal smoke, oil smoke, acid rain, non acid rain, and any of about 53 other types of grime, will vary...even on the same car. IOW, why worry about an exact match when, after matching, you then slop various weathering paints or chalks on the poor car which then kind of blends the whole mess together.

You are right, Mike, that Richard would have agreed with most of what you say, and so do I. But. But, the starting color DOES matter, since color photos from the transition era DO show that adjoining freight cars exhibit varying shades of BCR, notably some you may know yourself, like UP, with a much more orange "Oxide Red" color. So yes, weathering mutes and conceals SOME of the differences in car color, but by no means all. I believe it is still worth shooting for a good starting point, even if I find obsession with prototype paint chips to be, in most cases, a "bridge too far" for me. Still, I do want to start in the right ballpark.

Tony Thompson Editor, Signature Press, Berkeley, CA
2906 Forest Ave., Berkeley, CA 94705 www.signaturepress.com
(510) 540-6538; fax, (510) 540-1937; e-mail, tony@...
Publishers of books on railroad history

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Mikebrock
 

Tony Thompson writes:

"But, the starting color DOES matter, since color photos from the transition era DO show that adjoining freight cars exhibit varying shades of BCR, notably some you may know yourself, like UP, with a much more orange "Oxide Red" color."

Absolutely. In fact, the rather well known photo I referred to illustates this. Obviously there are quite a few shades of "BCR" in the photo. Perhaps more important is the fact that several C&NW box cars exhibit different BCR colors. Note that I do not say different paints. Clearly, several C&NW cars are much more heavily weathered [ perhaps a better term might be "dirtier" ] than others. And it is possible that one or two may exhibit sun fading [ 15472 for example ]. The book West From Omaha contains quite a few color shots of strings of frt cars. Now I don't claim that the processes of developing and reproducing photos in a book produce exact images of the cars as they existed back in the 50's but the relative comparisons of cars in the SAME photo provides valuable info. For instance, on pg 63 is a very nice photo taken in 1954 of a short train including three UP 40 ft steel box cars. Yep, one of the three's color is much darker than the other two. IMO, it is a bit dirtier than the others but I can still read the lettering. So, just dirtier? I don't have a clue.

And, I cannot resist commenting on the photo on pg 66 which shows 6 red Swift reefers in bright sunlight. Yep, two are much darker than the others but they don't seem significantly dirtier than the other 4.

"Still, I do want to start in the right ballpark."

No argument there...except the ^&^%$#@ ball park apparently changes color sometimes. BTW, one of the more interesting aspects of frt car colors is that of PFE reefers. Tony is, of course, VERY familiar with PFE reefer colors and how long strings of such reefers contain many variations of orange color AND they were decorated with the same Daylight Orange paint. I run several drags of PFE reefers and I nade sure that the cars exhibit different shades of orange color.

Mike Brock


Tim O'Connor
 

And just to add another factoid -- Sometimes railroads only repainted
the sides and ends of freight cars, and not the roofs.

I have this lovely shot of PRR's Enola Yard in 1953 and there's a freshly
painted ATSF pre-war AAR box car in the "Grand Canyon" scheme -- and the
car's roof is heavily weathered, with a weathered wood running board!

The photo is great because it shows the ATSF Mineral Red, then Southern's
Box Car Red (close match to Scalecoat -- you can add maroon to an oxide
red color and you'll get something like this), and then Union Pacific's
Oxide Red -- all in a row.

I think it's important when you're modeling to think about WHEN the car
was painted. If it was recently (0 to 3 years) then the initial color is
far more important than if it has been in use for 8 to 10, or more, years.
By then almost anything could happen -- lighter, darker, dust, spills,
rust, scratches, bruises, repairs, patches, ...

Tim O'Connor


Allan Smith
 

Railway Prototype Cyclopedia Vol#3 on page 37 has a very good paint color match to Railroad colors using Floquil Scalecoat Accu paint mixes. The chart includes Red Oxides Red browns & Browns. This has been a good starting point for the colors I have mixed up for my fleet.  I have 18 Colors of BCR that I have painted onto a sheet of Evergreen plastic that I use to match existing model paint. The RPC V3 is still available at many shops and on their website.
Al Smith


On Friday, July 18, 2014 11:52 AM, "WILLIAM PARDIE PARDIEW001@... [STMFC]" wrote:


 
Along with the advencement of proper trucks and RUNNING BOARDS in our hobby is the quality of
many of the offerings of Intermountain and Red Caboose cars. With the exception of some of the
Oxide Red cars most of the Freight Car Red cars seem to have a very uniform shade of BCR. Detailing
the prepainted cars brings up the problem of matgching the color. Has anyone come up with a paint mix
that closely matches this color? Floquil would be acceptable as I have a fairly large stash.

As usual "Thanks in advance":

Bill Pardie



Tony Thompson
 

Al Smith wrote:

Railway Prototype Cyclopedia Vol#3 on page 37 has a very good paint color match to Railroad colors using Floquil Scalecoat Accu paint mixes. The chart includes Red Oxides Red browns & Browns. This has been a good starting point for the colors I have mixed up for my fleet.  I have 18 Colors of BCR that I have painted onto a sheet of Evergreen plastic that I use to match existing model paint. The RPC V3 is still available at many shops and on their website.

   Excellent point, Al, thanks for reminding us of this very helpful resource.

Tony Thompson             Editor, Signature Press, Berkeley, CA
2906 Forest Ave., Berkeley, CA 94705         www.signaturepress.com
(510) 540-6538; fax, (510) 540-1937; e-mail, tony@...
Publishers of books on railroad history





Geodyssey
 

Makes sense to me.


Robert Simpson




---In STMFC@..., <brockm@...> wrote :
...

From lengthy past experience, I realize that the comment that I am about to 
make will have about as much chance of acceptance as my request to Union
Pacific that I be allowed to perform engineering duties on the first run of
restored Big Boy 4014 [ interestingly enough I did receive a message
supposedly from UP that I would be allowed to ride the platform located
above the pilot truck...Well...]

Anyhow, believing that 99% of frt cars operating on our layouts should be
weathered and, following Richard's lead, given that the time is between 1900
and 1960, the cars should be rather heavily weathered. Given that, and
suggesting that those nay sayers review the photo on the cover of the May
1992 MM, I would suggest that the paint's apparent color covered with
various amounts of coal smoke, oil smoke, acid rain, non acid rain, and any
of about 53 other types of grime, will vary...even on the same car. IOW, why
worry about an exact match when, after matching, you then slop various
weathering paints or chalks on the poor car which then kind of blends the
whole mess together.

Just a thought.

Mike Brock


Mikebrock
 

Another issue with regard to color is, obviously, the light source in which the model will be viewed. I can well recall painting a brass 4-12-2 [ using Scalecoat Loco Black #1 I think. Scalecoat had another black...#4 <?> ]. Anyhow, I was pleased with the result. I had painted it outside under sunlight. Well, I proudly took it to the layout and...OHMYGOSH!...it took on a bluish appearance. Blue? The layout used Warm White fluorescent bulbs. Hmmm. I mixed a new Scalecoat batch, adding some red [ as I recall ] and perhaps some brown and voila!. A brownish black...under my Warm White bulbs. BTW...why Warm White? Ever been to Southeastern Wyoming on a sunny day?

Anyhow, as has been discussed countless times on here, ITLSS. It's the light source s...<G>.

Mike Brock


Jim Betz
 

Hi,

My study of pictures - both color and b/w - indicates
that "every car was a slightly different shade of BCR".

When I look at a pic of a STMFC era yard the first thing I
notice is that "it is one big sea of BCR" and all the cars
look alike. But just a moment of additional study shows
that, in fact, there were subtle variations from car to car.
Even when it is a pic of two cars of the same RR and from
the same number series ... there are still differences.

The only time I've ever seen two cars side-by-side in a
picture that they looked like they were probably 'perfectly
matched shades of BCR' ... is when the pic is a publicity
photo.

I weather every car. Some heavier than others but all
get some kind of weathering. I do the majority of my
weathering using dry brush (details) and acrylic washes
(over all grime). I finish with a very light over spray of
one or more weathering colors ... and a layer of dullcoat
to kill any shine that might be still on the car(s).
Except for the cars I paint and letter myself - I pay zero
attention to the color/shade of BCR on that particular
model ... by the time I'm done weathering it you usually
aren't going to be judging it based on the "correctness
of the shade of BCR" on that car (or any other of my
cars for that matter).

Most STMFC cars that were painted BCR were mixed by
the RR car shop - using a formula - but just about every
5 to 50 gal batch they did was bound to have some
variation from the ones they did last month.
Cars, especially box cars, went here, there, and
everywhere ... North, South, East, West ... some were
in Arizona in the summer and Washington the next
winter ... others spent a couple of years going from
Dallas to L.A. to New Orleans to San Diego. And the
-weather- affected the paint.

Hey, it's why we call it "weathering" ...

- Viva La Difference!!! ... Jim Betz

P.S. As many of you know I'm an old movie buff. The
next time you see a Buzby Berkeley number take
a look at all the blondes. At first glance they are
all 'identical' ... but you quickly pick out differences
and not soon after than start looking for "the pretty
ones".
They are all pretty. They just as easily could have
all been 'BCR redheads' as blondes - OK, I've lost
it ... that would never have happened. *G*


Greg Martin
 

AMEN...
 
New or old the way light refracts of the surface can easily change the perception of the color, Mineral Red is Mineral Red straight from the can, correct? But paint it on the side of a boxcar and walk around it with a camera and you'll be surprised how many different shades the same Mineral Red can be. 
 
But I don't really think that is what Bill was getting at... I know him as a modeler that is a craftsman, so he like to roll his own...
 
I think what Bill was asking was more along the lines of, " Most of the freight cars from the current producers seem to have found a more common color for basic Box Car Red." " Can you guys advise me on a reliable close color match you are comfortable with and I would prefer it be FLOQUIL." To which I would reply for most color matches I would recommend FLOQUIL Boxcar Red but test it first on the underframe beneath the trucks for starters, then tweak it a bit.  
 
Greg Martin
 
 
Eventually all things merge into one and a river runs through it.
Norman Maclean
 

In a message dated 7/18/2014 5:01:27 P.M. Pacific Daylight Time, STMFC@... writes:
 


And just to add another factoid -- Sometimes railroads only repainted
the sides and ends of freight cars, and not the roofs.

I have this lovely shot of PRR's Enola Yard in 1953 and there's a freshly
painted ATSF pre-war AAR box car in the "Grand Canyon" scheme -- and the
car's roof is heavily weathered, with a weathered wood running board!

The photo is great because it shows the ATSF Mineral Red, then Southern's
Box Car Red (close match to Scalecoat -- you can add maroon to an oxide
red color and you'll get something like this), and then Union Pacific's
Oxide Red -- all in a row.

I think it's important when you're modeling to think about WHEN the car
was painted. If it was recently (0 to 3 years) then the initial color is
far more important than if it has been in use for 8 to 10, or more, years.
By then almost anything could happen -- lighter, darker, dust, spills,
rust, scratches, bruises, repairs, patches, ...

Tim O'Connor


Tim O'Connor
 

Ever been to Southeastern Wyoming on a sunny day?
Mike Brock


Mike

Yes I have. And as far as I know, sunlight is 5500k-6000k almost
everywhere on earth (if you don't count the poles). Switched over
to daylight full-spectrum bulbs a few years ago and everything is
looking just dandy. :-)

Tim O'


Tony Thompson
 

Jim Betz wrote:

Most STMFC cars that were painted BCR were mixed by the RR car shop - using a formula - but just about every 5 to 50 gal batch they did was bound to have some variation from the ones they did last month.

     Doubtless true in the 19th century but around 1900, there was already a lot of discussion in Railway Age about the advantages of commercial paint for rolling stock. The invention of the recloseable paint can by the Sherwin-Williams company, and then the success of that company supplying paint to Pullman in the 1890s, made a big impact. As early as 1905, SP was a Sherwin-Williams customer and specified their paint for a number of uses. Within a few years, SP and PFE paint specs for rolling stock identified the commercial brands, and the color names used by those brands, among the "acceptable" paint choices. And of course by then, the great majority of North American freight cars were already being manufactured commercially. When repainting was needed, I would be surprised if the RR shop did not have a few drums of one of the "acceptable" paints on hand. I'm not saying there were no variations, only that it wasn't because of hand mixing of every batch.

Tony Thompson             Editor, Signature Press, Berkeley, CA
2906 Forest Ave., Berkeley, CA 94705         www.signaturepress.com
(510) 540-6538; fax, (510) 540-1937; e-mail, tony@...
Publishers of books on railroad history





Armand Premo
 

    Shop crew members were quest speakers at a local  rr historical society meeting were asked, "What color was used on  equipment?" Their response was,"The closest match at the cheapest price".Armand Premo

----- Original Message -----
Sent: Saturday, July 19, 2014 2:59 AM
Subject: Re: [STMFC] Re: PAINT MIX

 

Jim Betz wrote:

Most STMFC cars that were painted BCR were mixed by the RR car shop - using a formula - but just about every 5 to 50 gal batch they did was bound to have some variation from the ones they did last month.

     Doubtless true in the 19th century but around 1900, there was already a lot of discussion in Railway Age about the advantages of commercial paint for rolling stock. The invention of the recloseable paint can by the Sherwin-Williams company, and then the success of that company supplying paint to Pullman in the 1890s, made a big impact. As early as 1905, SP was a Sherwin-Williams customer and specified their paint for a number of uses. Within a few years, SP and PFE paint specs for rolling stock identified the c ommercial brands, and the color names used by those brands, among the "acceptable" paint choices. And of course by then, the great majority of North American freight cars were already being manufactured commercially. When repainting was needed, I would be surprised if the RR shop did not have a few drums of one of the "acceptable" paints on hand. I'm not saying there were no variations, only that it wasn't because of hand mixing of every batch.

Tony Thompson             Editor, Signature Press, Berkeley, CA
2906 Forest Ave., Berkeley, CA 94705         www.signature press.com
(510) 540-6538; fax, (510) 540-1937; e-mail, tony@...
Publishers of books on railroad history





hees@...
 

19th century master painters would be expected to mix a paint color or match a paint color very closely, if not exactly.  By 1875 there were large commercial firms selling pigments ground in oil, so there was less color variation in new paint than you would expect.

I do paint matches for museum restorations... for both houses and railroads.  In these cases we need to be very careful and accurate.  I have found SP box car red, circa 1900 to match across a number of cars, from different shops or builders.

But back to the original idea...with a model, with the differences in light, and with issues of scale effect, the little chip at Home Depot looks different than a whole wall at home... the model is about the size of the chip and air quality (think about the material in the air... we see our model from 1' away... we see the prototype from 50' away, maybe further... add coal smoke) and the size of the sample... )

I believe for modeling, we need to adjust our colors to the situation, to look "right" rather than slavishly copy prototype colors... so understanding that some box car reds are brownish, some ornageish, some redder, some a bit purple, and having those variations visible covers a lot of ground... with weathering it might be the right answer.

Randy Hees


Mikebrock
 

Tim O'Connor replies to my:

Ever been to Southeastern Wyoming on a sunny day?
Mike Brock

With:

"Yes I have. And as far as I know, sunlight is 5500k-6000k almost
everywhere on earth (if you don't count the poles)."

Yes, but that's actually the point I'm making. The same sun strikes, say, the SR's line from Old Fort to Asheville. It strikes VERY green colored surfaces [ trees ] and the reflected light has a "greenish" appearance. In southeastern Wyoming this same sun is striking and reflecting from a very reddish surface...particularly later in the year when the grasses have died back. Trees? Well, higher up on Sherman Hill there are stands of bull pines...relatively smaller pine trees....but mostly you see grasses and reddish appearing rocks. Stand up near Speer and look toward Cheyenne and the you get a reddish impression.

"Switched over
to daylight full-spectrum bulbs a few years ago and everything is
looking just dandy. :-)"

I, too, switched to some extent because I couldn't find warm white.

Mike Brock