G Scale Model Train Forum banner

1 - 8 of 8 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
80 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Building an 1881 D&RG boxcar and i'm struggling with color. Can anyone advise what color was used during this time period and a good paint brand / formula ?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
362 Posts
I take it your looking for the Red? If so Boxcar red from ScaleCoat. Or I use Krylon Oxide Red primer spray paint.. (check out attachment) It looks pretty close, and you can paint 3-4 cars rather than one from the Scale Coat sizes.

Jason
I would go with the Krylon rattle can spray red oxide primer, looks good on a number of things
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
6,042 Posts
Mineral brown was the other color of the day.
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
4,961 Posts
It's important to note that paints were not nearly as consistent in the 1800s as they are today. What we commonly call "box car red" wasn't one color, but a type of paint colored with cheap mineral pigments (iron oxide, for example). It would vary in tone depending on the batch and strength of pigments used.

From a modeling standpoint, you'll be fine with anything in the "rust-colored" family. I use Krylon, Rust-o-leum, Valspar, and other "ruddy brown primers" on my equipment and don't worry that the exact hues vary slightly from brand to brand. They would vary from paint batch to paint batch on the prototypes, so subtle variations would be the norm. Add to that the effects of weathering, and you'd likely not find two cars exactly the same color unless they were fresh out of the shops and painted at the same time.

Later,

K
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
681 Posts
To add to Kevin's comments above, in modern times paints generated using the Federal specification formulae will vary as a function of the 'purity' of the titanium white base they are made from. White will vary from batch to batch (not necessarily discernible to the eye) so my advice is if you are planning to 'match' a certain color in the future, purchase enough at one time for all your projects, and be sure they are all from the same batch.


This advice is given after a personal experience with a company color. Painted the main product with one batch number and when touch up paint was needed during construction, it was not even close. When pressured the manufacturer of the paint finally conceded the fact that the white base would 'taint' the final color. Unless you have an actual paint chip from the car you are modeling an exact match is near impossible, and even then, how much fade and degradation has occurred from original color.



Also consider that many of the photos we a reviewing in that time period are black and white. Some educated guessing can be made knowing that a certain RR painted their coaches a particular 'name' color, and deducing the 'shade' by the density of the photo. On another forum there is a spirited thread on the 'green' boilers on the D&RGW locomotives.


In my opinion, in the hobby 'close enough is good enough', unless you are doing museum quality models, and even then I am not sure it matters that much as how many of the viewing public will know the difference.
 

·
Junior Senior Member
Joined
·
579 Posts
One final thought. The Grande ran at high altitudes and suffered a lot of very quick fading. If I was painting cars I would choose a light rust color. If doing more than one car I would paint each one a slightly different lightness.


The "correct" color is Princes Mineral Brown which is a little browner than iron oxide. Only noticeable if you have the two paints side by side.


Hope this helps.
 
1 - 8 of 8 Posts
Top