Richfield tank car lettering color


Ken Roth
 

Calling all tank car gurus.  Does anyone know the colors used on Richfield Oil tanks through the years?  Ted Culotta has nice set of silver lettering for asphalt tanks, but in my stash of decals I have an old Walthers set with Orange lettering.  Is this a total Foobie, or does anyone have evidence for this?


Thanks in advance,

Ken Roth


Roger Huber <trainpainter@...>
 

Ken,

All the info I've seen on Richfield tanks says black with silver lettering. I would believe Ted's decals long before those Walthers ones. They weren't known for accuracy in anything..............sizes, fonts, colors, numbers, etc. They were just all there was many years ago so we used them. Better stuff (Ted's) is out there now.

Roger Huber
Deer Creek Locomotive Works


On Monday, January 29, 2018, 7:42:47 PM CST, kenwroth@... [STMFC] wrote:


 

Calling all tank car gurus.  Does anyone know the colors used on Richfield Oil tanks through the years?  Ted Culotta has nice set of silver lettering for asphalt tanks, but in my stash of decals I have an old Walthers set with Orange lettering.  Is this a total Foobie, or does anyone have evidence for this?


Thanks in advance,

Ken Roth


Tony Thompson
 

Ken Roth wrote:

 
Calling all tank car gurus.  Does anyone know the colors used on Richfield Oil tanks through the years?  Ted Culotta has nice set of silver lettering for asphalt tanks, but in my stash of decals I have an old Walthers set with Orange lettering.  Is this a total Foobie, or does anyone have evidence for this?

       As it happens, I wrote a blog post bearing on this topic (link below). The post makes two points: first, though it is common to denigrate Walthers nowadays for slapdash approach to accuracy, back in the William K. Walthers days the decals and much else were in fact quite clearly based on prototype. The typefaces may not be quite right, but they are not imaginary schemes.
        The second point in the post is that Will Whittaker, who took photos of Richfield cars, did recall seeing yellow lettering on some Richfield cars. And my friend Richard Hendrickson told me he had no evidence either way about the yellow.


This of course is not to say that Ted's lettering is wrong. Most Richfield photos show what seems to be aluminum or white lettering, just as Ted has reproduced. But I am certainly doubtful that the old Walthers yellow is a foobie.

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






Tim O'Connor
 


The Gerstley duplicate slide photo of ROX #118 (GATC 1926) shows
as definite WHITE lettering, but the photo is circa 1958-1959 while
Speedwitch's lettering is for an ACF tank car of the same vintage.
I've never seen a photo of the ACF prototype so I have no idea whether
Ted's lettering is correct, but I bought some just the same. <:-|

Tim O'Connor





Ken Roth wrote:
Calling all tank car gurus.  Does anyone know the colors used on Richfield Oil tanks through the years?  Ted Culotta has nice set of silver lettering for asphalt tanks, but in my stash of decals I have an old Walthers set with Orange lettering.  Is this a total Foobie, or does anyone have evidence for this?



As it happens, I wrote a blog post bearing on this topic (link below). The post makes two points: first, though it is common to denigrate Walthers nowadays for slapdash approach to accuracy, back in the William K. Walthers days the decals and much else were in fact quite clearly based on prototype. The typefaces may not be quite right, but they are not imaginary schemes.
The second point in the post is that Will Whittaker, who took photos of Richfield cars, did recall seeing yellow lettering on some Richfield cars. And my friend Richard Hendrickson told me he had no evidence either way about the yellow.

http://modelingthesp.blogspot.com/2017/07/paint-schemes-real-and-imaginary.html

This of course is not to say that Ted's lettering is wrong. Most Richfield photos show what seems to be aluminum or white lettering, just as Ted has reproduced. But I am certainly doubtful that the old Walthers yellow is a foobie.

Tony Thompson


Chuck Soule
 

The Travel Town Museum in LA has a Richfield tank car that is very much like the MDC Old Timer tank car.  I haven't seen it in over 20 years, and I have no idea if the paint scheme has any authenticity.

Chuck Soule


Ken Roth
 

Thanks to those of you who responded to my question on Richfield lettering.  Tony, thanks for mentioning your blog on the Richfield colors.  Somehow I missed that one, maybe because the title didn't mention tank cars.  So far, the most convincing evidence would seem to be Will Whittaker's memory as he was all over the SP in Oregon and California where Richfield cars lived.  Tim, I too just bought Ted Culotta's Richfield decals, because I know they are beautiful, but I have not yet thrown out those Walther's ones.  As usual, the only way to find out the color is to build one with yellow-orange lettering and wait for the inevitable evidence that they were never painted that color!!

Somewhere, there's got to be a color slide that has one in it ....

Ken Roth


Garth Groff or Sally Sanford <sarahsan@...>
 

Friends,

Does anyone know if there are Richfield archives? Perhaps there are surviving tank car lettering specifications. Successor ARCO is headquartered in La Plama, California, though it is now a subsidiary of BP.

Here is a brief Wikipedia article on Richfield's history (nothing about tank cars though): https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Richfield_Oil_Corporation .

Yours Aye,


Garth Groff 


    
On 1/31/18 9:37 PM, kenwroth@... [STMFC] wrote:
 

Thanks to those of you who responded to my question on Richfield lettering.  Tony, thanks for mentioning your blog on the Richfield colors.  Somehow I missed that one, maybe because the title didn't mention tank cars.  So far, the most convincing evidence would seem to be Will Whittaker's memory as he was all over the SP in Oregon and California where Richfield cars lived.  Tim, I too just bought Ted Culotta's Richfield decals, because I know they are beautiful, but I have not yet thrown out those Walther's ones.  As usual, the only way to find out the color is to build one with yellow-orange lettering and wait for the inevitable evidence that they were never painted that color!!


Somewhere, there's got to be a color slide that has one in it ....

Ken Roth


Tony Thompson
 

Garth Groff wrote:

 

Does anyone know if there are Richfield archives? Perhaps there are surviving tank car lettering specifications. Successor ARCO is headquartered in La Plama, California, though it is now a subsidiary of BP.


       A decade or so ago, there were VERY complete Richfield archives in the old Richfield building in Los Angeles (a handsome black and gold Art Deco building, IIRC . . . black gold, get it?). Those archives survived the demolition of the old building and were moved to the new Arco skyscraper. But at that time, there was no company archivist who could supervise delving into the records, so no one was allowed to do so. Don't know if those archives still exist.

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






Tony Thompson
 

       A decade or so ago, there were VERY complete Richfield archives in the old Richfield building  . . .

    Got ahead of myself here. The old Richfield Art Deco building was demolished in 1969. I meant the former Arco skyscraper, now renamed for some other tenant.


Barry Roth
 

Within the last few years there was a Richfield tank car on display at Travel Town in Griffith Park, Los Angeles. I know because I snapped a pic of it, not for modeling purposes but because the I hoped the ROX lettering would impress a certain Roxann. Relying on memory, I would say the lettering was white. 

Unfortunately I can't find that image now (and Roxann and I are not all that close either) and have found none online. Maybe a member in the LA area could take a look. 

Barry

On Feb 1, 2018, at 3:51 PM, Tony Thompson tony@... [STMFC] <STMFC@...> wrote:

 

Garth Groff wrote:

 

Does anyone know if there are Richfield archives? Perhaps there are surviving tank car lettering specifications. Successor ARCO is headquartered in La Plama, California, though it is now a subsidiary of BP.


       A decade or so ago, there were VERY complete Richfield archives in the old Richfield building in Los Angeles (a handsome black and gold Art Deco building, IIRC . . . black gold, get it?). Those archives survived the demolition of the old building and were moved to the new Arco skyscraper. But at that time, there was no company archivist who could supervise delving into the records, so no one was allowed to do so. Don't know if those archives still exist.

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






Garth Groff or Sally Sanford <sarahsan@...>
 

Barry,

One has to be careful about preserved equipment in museums. Sometimes repaints can be quite dodgy. I remember the WP caboose at Travel Town has gone through a couple of repaints, and IIRC the paint job was not always faithful (nor is the car number correct, but that's not the museum's fault).

This sometimes has consequences. Sacramento Northern GE steeple cab is 653 preserved by the Orange Empire Railway Museum at Perris. When in service this motor had yellow-orange scare stripes. Just before it was donated, the parent WP ran it through the paint shop in Sacramento and used "Zephyr" orange for the stripes, a much richer orange. Later the museum compounded this error by using similar rich orange when the motor was repainted locally. This became the "correct" color in the minds of many fans, since it was all they had ever seen (ignoring that 652 and 654 were then still wearing their in-service paint at the Western Railway Museum). When painted models of the steeple cabs were imported around 1990, the paint scheme was faithfully done in yellow-orange as the motors all wore while in service. The models did not sell as well as expected, as some modelers pointed to 653 and complained the paint was inaccurate.

Yours Aye,


Garth Groff 🏴󠁧󠁢󠁳󠁣󠁴󠁿

On 2/1/18 7:55 PM, Barry Roth barry_roth@... [STMFC] wrote:
 
Within the last few years there was a Richfield tank car on display at Travel Town in Griffith Park, Los Angeles. I know because I snapped a pic of it, not for modeling purposes but because the I hoped the ROX lettering would impress a certain Roxann. Relying on memory, I would say the lettering was white. 

Unfortunately I can't find that image now (and Roxann and I are not all that close either) and have found none online. Maybe a member in the LA area could take a look. 

Barry

On Feb 1, 2018, at 3:51 PM, Tony Thompson tony@... [STMFC] <STMFC@...> wrote:

 
Garth Groff wrote:

 

Does anyone know if there are Richfield archives? Perhaps there are surviving tank car lettering specifications. Successor ARCO is headquartered in La Plama, California, though it is now a subsidiary of BP.


       A decade or so ago, there were VERY complete Richfield archives in the old Richfield building in Los Angeles (a handsome black and gold Art Deco building, IIRC . . . black gold, get it?). Those archives survived the demolition of the old building and were moved to the new Arco skyscraper. But at that time, there was no company archivist who could supervise delving into the records, so no one was allowed to do so. Don't know if those archives still exist.

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