Re: Tru-Color Paints - DRGW Freight Car Red?

Dale Buxton

I did some investigation into this color from Tru-Color a few years ago. My investigations into the Tru-Color founders is that they are industrial coating specialists. They match to OEM paint chips whenever they can. I really feel that the color they were matching to was the color that the manufactures were putting on the Grande's new rolling stock from 1945 to 1960. After 1957ish the standard gauge cars being serviced were mostly getting painted Rio Grande yellow/orange and silver. (Save for flat cars, gons and stock cars. Which ere black). After WWII started there was not much narrow gauge rolling stock getting repainting save the flats and gons they put into service in the pipe trains for Farmington.

I bought some of the Tru-Color Denver & Rio Grande Western Freight Car Red; 1945-1960 back then but never used it. Like you, I was trying to match the Blackstone color. Well, one of them at least. Because the they put several faded colors on their cars too. The Tru-Color TCP-216 was not a good match for any of the Blackstone colors.  Going forwards after Testors pulled the rug out from under us. I was after the best color that could use that I just plain liked and would hopefully be around until I'm too old to paint models anymore.
So, I'm looking at the Tru-Color TCP-216 color right now.  You know, I think it looks just fine as a nice Rio Grande Iron Oxide match. But still not so good of a match to the Blackstone colors. It's just too dark! Maybe a little dark for my taste. That could be toned down with a little white or bright yellow. Be advised! To much white added to brown colors can easily make them turn muddy looking. It's always best to put some bright yellow in there as to help brighten up the tint.

In the old days of wooden cars, painters used to go to supplies and and get some dry Iron Oxide Pigment, some Linseed Oil and some Muriatic acid. (the acid was to make the paint penetrate the wood and in a way pickle it.).  Then they mixed the stuff together on sight, applied it and varnished the car when they were done to extend the life span of the coating. But,  the intensity and color quality of one batch of  Iron oxide pigment varied from one batch to the next due to variables inherent to the its manufacturing process back then. So there was no true set standard to an iron oxide paint job on the Rio Grande or any other railroads rolling stock for many decades. 

In reality, some slight variation on each of your cars in your rolling stock fleets color looks more realistic. Because of the above reason.

The Paint that i've really come to like is Vallejo, Acrylic-Polyurethane, Surface Primer in the German Red Brown color. It's a nice boxcar red color match. Though, it's still not a good match to the Blackstone colors.

D. Buxton

On Wed, May 6, 2020 at 2:35 PM Brian Jansky <brianj844@...> wrote:
I was wondering if anyone uses Tru-Color paints for their narrow gauge needs and if so, which boxcar red do yall find is a close match to the color Blackstone uses? I see they have "TCP-216: Denver & Rio Grande Western Freight Car Red; 1945-1960" but since they have so many shades in total, I was wondering if it is indeed the best match or if one of the others might be better.

During this extra time we all I have, I have set my mind to try my hand at painting a stash of the Rail Line kits I that have built but have never got the nerve to paint. Wish me luck!


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