[HOsteam] How black is black?

Tom Knowles <ncstl@...>

Yes, even black has nuances just like all the other colors. Some of the
other lists I'm on get into huge disagreements about colors, and I say if it
hit you eye they way it should, then it's right. Weather, and light and
viewing angles and reflections (blue sky!) all play their part in the
perception of color. For locomotive black, it depends on what the status of
the loco is, but I always add a substantial amount of red to the mix to
"warm up" the appearance. As for dead flat, I always insisted on painting
dead flat, then decaling, then weather (if required/desired) followed by
dullcote. My results were usually satisfactory. But now, the press urges us
to paint glossy, then do all the rest. I haven't tried this yet except on an
E-8 painted with acrylics. I didn't really like the way the paint "sat" on
the surface, and I had trouble getting it to wet the surface of a brass
engine I tried to paint with it. I have turned from the desire to see
engines and passenger cars dead flat and cruddy to seeing a little shine in
the coat. I even have some that are "fresh out of the shop" in appearance,
but a full gloss is too toy-like to my eye.

What I recommend to you is any clear-coat that is compatible chemically with
the previous coat that gives only a little shine. A semi-gloss, if you will.
You might also try a little light hand buffing of your flat-painted model to
bring out a little sheen. This is automatically attained with overspray of
dullcote over gloss as the dullcote never seems to go dead flat over gloss.
Dead flat weathering picks up an unrealistic shine unless applied last. Soot
in particular is dead flat as is sand residue on the drivers and
underpinnings. I have wondered about masking a few of my tenders in such a
way as to show the water level in them by suggesting a different sheen to
the lower part due to condensation on the sides just where the water
actually is. Anyone tried this?

Have you checked out the MRR part of my web site yet?

Tom Knowles
website: http://members.tripod.com/tomknowles/index.htm

----- Original Message -----
From: Starr, David <david.starr@analog.com>
To: <hosteam@egroups.com>; <BM_RR@egroups.com>
Sent: Tuesday, November 14, 2000 11:15 AM
Subject: [HOsteam] How black is black?

Started painting a Mantua Pacific this week. Soap and water wash
by a pickling bath, and then a coat of dark gray auto primer. The primer
sticking well and is about the right shade, a very dark gray, looks black
under indoor lights. However, as primer's do, its VERY flat, not a hint of
shine anywhere. Most of the time this makes the locomotive look a bit
sooty and cindery and I am happy with the effect.
This locomotive has been slightly kitbashed to make it look like a B&M
P4. These were the pride of the B&M and kept in pretty good condition.
Looking through 6 or 8 photo's in my two B&M books, the P4's are always
clean, neatly painted and the paint shows a bit of gloss in every photo.
I'm beginning to think of sealing the decals on with a clear glossy
to get a little bit of shine into the paint. Has anyone tried this? Any
other finishing hints and kinks for steam loco paint that anyone cares to

Keeping the memory of steam alive!