Topics

Color & color perception


milepost 131
 

Since color is a perennial issue for some of us:

It is my understanding that when I "match" a color with "my" eyes... my perceived color on the original will match the perceived color I apply to my model. In other words the same eyes are seeing the same color. Anyone can correct me if I'm wrong with  cite. So if I perceive it with a "yellow tint" I will attempt to replicate that same tint thus "you" should see a color that is close to what IS. Of course, my skill to mix exactly the same color could be an issue. 

That being said... most members know that Kodachrome and Ektachrome (and other color photos) can "shift" over time as the dyes degrade. I have "archived" some of my photos to digital. This "freezes"  the color. 

It is also possible to edit a photo digitally so that you can reverse colors that have degraded but be aware this can mean "correcting" to your memory. 

Since I model Southern Railway (US) in the steam era one of my issues is "Virginia Green" vs "Sylvan Green."  So that muddles the water more.

A few years back I tried to convince some modelers that perhaps a solution might be Pantone Color numbers. Pantone numbers remain constant so a Pantone identification of say 140 (if selected as say the color of a 1942 Southern Railway Boxcar) would give users a standard. But modelers seemed reticent.  So it goes.

And even if you pick the right color whether it looks like the right color under your "lighting conditions"and photographs right is yet another issue.

As for cataracts- yes they give you the yellow tint. Once removed that is cured BUT if you get a replacement lens they can shift color. For issues related to "complications"I have a lens that corrects for astigmatism in one eye. The other one did too but the complications ended up with a non-astigmatism lens.... (SIGH). Guess what? I reported t my surgeon that the color "white" was bit different depending on which eye was open. Yep- there is a difference in the corrective lens. 

So.... anyone want to start a data base of "correct colors"? BTW, the "green identified as "Sylvan" by Pantone is NOT what Southern used on their steam passenger  locomotives. I think it is closer to Pantone 2427 XGC... but what do I know... I've had surgery. Maybe the Smithsonian knows the Pantone color on #1401.

 



 


Tim O'Connor
 

Gordon Andrews wrote

 > So.... anyone want to start a data base of "correct colors"? BTW, the "green identified
 > as "Sylvan" by Pantone is NOT what Southern used on their steam passenger  locomotives.
 > I think it is closer to Pantone 2427 XGC... but what do I know... I've had surgery. Maybe
 > the Smithsonian knows the Pantone color on #1401.

Many years ago Ed Hawkins scanned some paint chips as shown here. (This is my
compressed JPEG rather than the original TIFF file.) With simple statistical
sampling you could build a database of RGB values for all such paint chips. In
my opinion well preserved paint chips are the most reliable way to assess original
paint colors.

https://www.flickr.com/photos/timboconnor/17098035956/

But as we ALL should know by now, PAINT color and PERCEIVED color are two different
animals. Dennis Storzek's post on the difference caused by 3000k (late afternoon red)
vs 5000k (high noon full spectrum) light makes a HUGE difference.

In addition, prototype colors are skewed by application directions. For example, some
SP passenger cars had Primer, then Aluminum, then Daylight Red, and finally an overcoat
of varnish. In direct sunlight some photons would penetrate the layers and so what your
eye or camera "saw" had many different influences, only one of which was Daylight Red.

Tim O'Connor


Garth Groff <sarahsan@...>
 

Tim,

I really wish you had more samples to share.

I found it interesting that you have B&O samples from two different manufacturers, and they are different. Still, after a couple of years of road grime, weather and sunlight, I doubt if the colors would have looked anything like the samples. Although we agonize over the correct shades, but often forget that in addition to lighting changing colors, so does weathering.

Get it close and weather the stuffing out of it.

Yours Aye,


Garth Groff  🏴󠁧󠁢󠁳󠁣󠁴󠁿

On 4/17/18 2:26 PM, Tim O'Connor wrote:
Gordon Andrews wrote

 > So.... anyone want to start a data base of "correct colors"? BTW, the "green identified
 > as "Sylvan" by Pantone is NOT what Southern used on their steam passenger  locomotives.
 > I think it is closer to Pantone 2427 XGC... but what do I know... I've had surgery. Maybe
 > the Smithsonian knows the Pantone color on #1401.

Many years ago Ed Hawkins scanned some paint chips as shown here. (This is my
compressed JPEG rather than the original TIFF file.) With simple statistical
sampling you could build a database of RGB values for all such paint chips. In
my opinion well preserved paint chips are the most reliable way to assess original
paint colors.

https://www.flickr.com/photos/timboconnor/17098035956/

But as we ALL should know by now, PAINT color and PERCEIVED color are two different
animals. Dennis Storzek's post on the difference caused by 3000k (late afternoon red)
vs 5000k (high noon full spectrum) light makes a HUGE difference.

In addition, prototype colors are skewed by application directions. For example, some
SP passenger cars had Primer, then Aluminum, then Daylight Red, and finally an overcoat
of varnish. In direct sunlight some photons would penetrate the layers and so what your
eye or camera "saw" had many different influences, only one of which was Daylight Red.

Tim O'Connor


Tim O'Connor
 

Garth

While I have seen and held many prototype paint chips in my hands, I
have never owned one. They are a valuable commodity, and owners do not
share them freely - Ed Hawkins obviously being a major exception. I don't
know what became of George Bishop's (Accupaint) extensive collection of
prototype drift cards and paint samples - very likely stolen as was much
of his personal property, sad to say. Some historical societies and books
have published printed paint sheets or pages - the PFE books, a book on
Pullman passenger cars, the NPRHA, etc.

Tim O'Connor



Tim,

I really wish you had more samples to share.

I found it interesting that you have B&O samples from two different manufacturers, and they are different. Still, after a couple of years of road grime, weather and sunlight, I doubt if the colors would have looked anything like the samples. Although we agonize over the correct shades, but often forget that in addition to lighting changing colors, so does weathering.

Get it close and weather the stuffing out of it.

Garth Groff


Randy Hees
 

Hi Tim...

That was a very good analysis of the issue, and the photo showing the various mineral reds was wonderful.   

A friend and I sample paint where ever we find it.  If possible I retain a physical sample.  We also do pantone matches, then create color cards as a way of presenting the information.  An example can be found at http://www.pacificng.com/pdf/web/viewer.html?file=http://www.pacificng.com/roads/nv/cc/pdf/CC-Freight-Colors-1881-1900.pdf

None of the systems are perfect, but the photo of the variations on mineral reds suggests a solution for modelers... the cars should demonstrate the range of different colors found.  That with weathering is what gives the cars a realistic appearance.

Randy Hees


Charles Peck
 

I know that my road  (L&N) bought freight car reds from low bidders. Some a little redder,
some a little browner, some faded faster, some became almost pink.  So even before
weathering, I make sure the colors vary. I realize that this is entirely contrary to the
practice of many modelers who demand absolute consistency in their paint.  But it fits
the practice of my chosen prototype AS I REMEMBER IT from 60 years ago. 
As I see it, my personal recollections and fitting the image I remember are more 
important than having someone show me a paint chip and say all my hopper cars
should be THIS color.  
I can agree that hopper number xxxxx was painted this color in 1951.  But looking at 
the overall fleet painted in various years with differing paint, getting one car exactly
right seems a minor issue.  Not one that is going to disturb my happiness.
The only color issue that gripes me is that Dulux Gold is bright mustard, not a 
metallic gold.
Chuck Peck


On Tue, Apr 17, 2018 at 2:53 PM, Garth Groff <sarahsan@...> wrote:
Tim,

I really wish you had more samples to share.

I found it interesting that you have B&O samples from two different manufacturers, and they are different. Still, after a couple of years of road grime, weather and sunlight, I doubt if the colors would have looked anything like the samples. Although we agonize over the correct shades, but often forget that in addition to lighting changing colors, so does weathering.

Get it close and weather the stuffing out of it.

Yours Aye,


Garth Groff  🏴󠁧󠁢󠁳󠁣󠁴󠁿

On 4/17/18 2:26 PM, Tim O'Connor wrote:
Gordon Andrews wrote

 > So.... anyone want to start a data base of "correct colors"? BTW, the "green identified
 > as "Sylvan" by Pantone is NOT what Southern used on their steam passenger  locomotives.
 > I think it is closer to Pantone 2427 XGC... but what do I know... I've had surgery. Maybe
 > the Smithsonian knows the Pantone color on #1401.

Many years ago Ed Hawkins scanned some paint chips as shown here. (This is my
compressed JPEG rather than the original TIFF file.) With simple statistical
sampling you could build a database of RGB values for all such paint chips. In
my opinion well preserved paint chips are the most reliable way to assess original
paint colors.

https://www.flickr.com/photos/timboconnor/17098035956/

But as we ALL should know by now, PAINT color and PERCEIVED color are two different
animals. Dennis Storzek's post on the difference caused by 3000k (late afternoon red)
vs 5000k (high noon full spectrum) light makes a HUGE difference.

In addition, prototype colors are skewed by application directions. For example, some
SP passenger cars had Primer, then Aluminum, then Daylight Red, and finally an overcoat
of varnish. In direct sunlight some photons would penetrate the layers and so what your
eye or camera "saw" had many different influences, only one of which was Daylight Red.

Tim O'Connor