Topics

Tru-Color Paints - DRGW Freight Car Red?

Brian Jansky
 

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!

Thanks,
Brian

Dale Buxton
 

Brian,
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!

Thanks,
Brian

Scott
 

PBL has several different Rio Grande box car colors as well.

Scott McDonald

Randy
 

Dale and Brian

I am part owner in a hobby shop here in the Salt Lake City area. One of my customers just ordered the Tru-Color Paint #202 (KCS 1950-1969 Freight Car Red) that he says is a very good match for D&RGW freight car red.

I am not sure myself, but my customer claims it is a match

Just an FYI, your mileage may vary

Randy J

tonyk537
 

Agree completely with Dale.  Don't think any two batches were the exact same color.  Added to that is that the day they were painted the elements started changing the color.  So what is a match for D&RGW freight car red?!?!  

Attached is my favorite picture when people start talking about matching color.  4 cars, 4 colors.  Taken in Durango 1958.  Believe it is a Maxwell, but could be wrong.

Tony Kassin

Lawrence Wisniewski
 

Give me a bottle of Star Brand Light Freight Car Red and some of the other colors that PBL has available and I can mix up all of the color versions in the photo.  I was struck long ago by the incredible variety of colors on a typical string of cars stored in Chama, and found plenty of good color photos taken in the 50's and 60's that reinforced the need to reflect this variety in my modeling efforts.  In more recent times, I've noticed more uniformity in car color in the rolling stock in Chama, largely due to the efforts of the volunteer  organizations committed to long term preservation and the improved color stability of modern paints.  This can mislead people into thinking that Blackstone's choice of colors is the holy grail.  Not so in the old days, for sure.  I'm one of those nuts who will strip and repaint Blackstone cars to achieve not only a more pleasing color range, but also to take advantage of the excellent lettering available from Thinfilm and San Juan decals.  


-----Original Message-----
From: tonyk537 via groups.io <Tonyk375@...>
To: HOn3@groups.io
Sent: Sat, May 9, 2020 1:36 am
Subject: Re: [HOn3] Tru-Color Paints - DRGW Freight Car Red?

Agree completely with Dale.  Don't think any two batches were the exact same color.  Added to that is that the day they were painted the elements started changing the color.  So what is a match for D&RGW freight car red?!?!  

Attached is my favorite picture when people start talking about matching color.  4 cars, 4 colors.  Taken in Durango 1958.  Believe it is a Maxwell, but could be wrong.

Tony Kassin

Robert Bell
 

Lawrence,
What do you use to strip paint from the Blackstone cars?  Thanks!

Rob Bell
Waynesville, NC

Lawrence Wisniewski
 

I use 91% isopropyl alcohol and stiff brushes on the exterior finish.  The underframes are another matter as the black they use is nearly impervious to alcohol.  It does loosen up enough to be scraped away from the metal floor with the blade of a small screw driver or similar tool.  Pretty tedious but doable.  Sometimes the body is totally clean after stripping, but there is a tendency for a very fine whitish precipitate to form on some of the surfaces.  This stuff resembles a very fine grit and I have found that the only way to deal with it is to polish it off with a clean soft cloth.  I wrote up a more detailed account of my Blackstone refinishing method for the group on 2/23/2019.  Unfortunately, it may have been posted by the notorious "Stop These Emails", a screen name that only God knows how got substituted for my real name earlier.  If you can't find the post in the group archives, let me know and I will send a copy to your personal e-mail.


-----Original Message-----
From: Robert Bell via groups.io <ionhoss@...>
To: HOn3@groups.io <HOn3@groups.io>
Sent: Sat, May 9, 2020 8:55 am
Subject: Re: [HOn3] Tru-Color Paints - DRGW Freight Car Red?

Lawrence,
What do you use to strip paint from the Blackstone cars?  Thanks!

Rob Bell
Waynesville, NC

Brian Jansky
 

Thanks for the responses!

I do agree with the point of cars being different shades of boxcar red and pretty much knew that no color would match the Blackstone color but my thought was to get close and then I could vary the shades from there to my liking. 

A friend of mine, from years back, does decent at painting models and recommended Tru Color so that is why I am leaning towards using them. Two hobby shops in the area carry Tru Color as well so that is another plus. Also, thanks for the tips on hitting the 216 with a bit of yellow or white to lighten it up a bit or maybe try 202. 

My only cautions are the fact that I heard that Tru Color can fog in humid conditions due to the use of Acetone as a solvent in it. I live in Houston, Tx and was planning on painting in a little shed beside my house which is not climate controlled so am worried about the humidity. I read on an old thread on Train Orders about Tru Color paints and it mentioned a "retarder to combat blushing in high humidity environments." but I haven't found out what that would be yet. 

I will look a little into 
Vallejo and Star Brand as well.

tonyk537
 

I have shot a little Tru Color and it was alright.  Not a fan of Vallejo at all.   I shoot a lot of PBLs Star Brand and love it.  I use a lot of Scalecoat and love it also.  Scalecoat is also so easy to obtain and has, by far, the most usable colors with a variety of boxcar reds, oxide and others.  They also have strippers, primers and other useful items.

All three Blackstone colors weathered are pictured.

Mike Conder
 

Two places in Houston have the paint?   Are they Pqpa Ben's and Spring Crossing, or is there another one?   Always looking for good places. 

I get down there once a year or so, couple of kids and a bunch of grandkids are on FM 1960 and Cypress area, near that Home Depot. 

Mike Conder

On Sat, May 9, 2020 at 12:40 PM Brian Jansky <brianj844@...> wrote:
Thanks for the responses!

I do agree with the point of cars being different shades of boxcar red and pretty much knew that no color would match the Blackstone color but my thought was to get close and then I could vary the shades from there to my liking. 

A friend of mine, from years back, does decent at painting models and recommended Tru Color so that is why I am leaning towards using them. Two hobby shops in the area carry Tru Color as well so that is another plus. Also, thanks for the tips on hitting the 216 with a bit of yellow or white to lighten it up a bit or maybe try 202. 

My only cautions are the fact that I heard that Tru Color can fog in humid conditions due to the use of Acetone as a solvent in it. I live in Houston, Tx and was planning on painting in a little shed beside my house which is not climate controlled so am worried about the humidity. I read on an old thread on Train Orders about Tru Color paints and it mentioned a "retarder to combat blushing in high humidity environments." but I haven't found out what that would be yet. 

I will look a little into 
Vallejo and Star Brand as well.

Brian Jansky
 

On their website, Papa Ben's shows to carry it and it looks like G&G Hobby Shop does as well but it is hard to tell. I haven't really looked at the paint selection in either as they haven't been open since I have taken to this new adventure. You should plan your trip down during the San Jac Model Railroad Clubs fall layout tour. There are many fine layouts on the northwest side that I am sure you would enjoy seeing! 

Tony, what is the solvent for Star Brand? Is it acetone based as well or something else? 

Thanks,
Brian

Randy Hees
 

I won't speak to tru-color paints, but need to comment on railroad paint practice...

in a previous answer it was said  "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." 

19th century master car painters (they had their own association) were professionals, able to, and expected to match color to a reference sample.  Materials (pigments, oils, and resins (dryers) were factory made to high standards.  The only references to acids (and only acidic or sulfuric) i can find reference to in 19th century painter's guides are for pickling iron before painting or for testing linseed oil for purity... never, never mixed into paint.  Paint of the time consisted of oil (mostly boiled linseed oil) and pigments, mostly purchased either dry or in a paste.  A small amount of turpentine could be added to thin to make it brush better.  Some painters would add dryers, various resins to promote drying, but if too much was used it resulted in brittle paint layer, that would fail on wood.  The D&RG used Prince's Metalic paint until 1919.  Central Pacific had match cards. Union Pacific used Rawlins Metallic paint (at one point they owned the quarry....  Rawlins metalic was used on the Brooklyn bridge, Princes was used on the iron pier...  Prince's was a brown mineral red.  The new 1919 D&RG(W) color was a redder mineral red until after WWII.   The color of new paint never varied.  The appearance of a weathered car did vary, more so in later years when cars were painted less often.  It was common to varnish a passenger car or a locomotive after painting and lettering, but not freight cars.  By the way, linseed oil based paint is naturally glossy.

Randy Hees

On Thu, May 7, 2020 at 8:42 PM Dale Buxton <dbtuathaddana@...> wrote:
Brian,
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!

Thanks,
Brian

David Laverick
 

Looks great, well done. Nice photos, inspirational.


On May 9, 2020, at 4:42 PM, Mike Conder <vulturenest1@...> wrote:

Two places in Houston have the paint?   Are they Pqpa Ben's and Spring Crossing, or is there another one?   Always looking for good places. 

I get down there once a year or so, couple of kids and a bunch of grandkids are on FM 1960 and Cypress area, near that Home Depot. 

Mike Conder

On Sat, May 9, 2020 at 12:40 PM Brian Jansky <brianj844@...> wrote:
Thanks for the responses!

I do agree with the point of cars being different shades of boxcar red and pretty much knew that no color would match the Blackstone color but my thought was to get close and then I could vary the shades from there to my liking. 

A friend of mine, from years back, does decent at painting models and recommended Tru Color so that is why I am leaning towards using them. Two hobby shops in the area carry Tru Color as well so that is another plus. Also, thanks for the tips on hitting the 216 with a bit of yellow or white to lighten it up a bit or maybe try 202. 

My only cautions are the fact that I heard that Tru Color can fog in humid conditions due to the use of Acetone as a solvent in it. I live in Houston, Tx and was planning on painting in a little shed beside my house which is not climate controlled so am worried about the humidity. I read on an old thread on Train Orders about Tru Color paints and it mentioned a "retarder to combat blushing in high humidity environments." but I haven't found out what that would be yet. 

I will look a little into 
Vallejo and Star Brand as well.



tonyk537
 

I have no doubt of the quality of craftsmanship for the Carmen of the time.  Have seen some great examples of it on all the cars i have worked on.  I think the passenger cars were a great example of making sure they were perfect.  I am sure there was a formula for the color they used  but the description of mixing freight car paint from Dale was described by Richardson who said he saw it many times including a very pink car.  The 2 gents who used to help out with the Friends years ago were car men on the Grande back when and described the exact same thing.

Star and Scalecoat paints are both Lacquer based.  They both spray and brush very well.  

PBL's Star Paint:
https://www.p-b-l.com/index.html  

Scalecoat Paint is made by Minuteman Models:

https://www.minutemanscalemodels.com/category-s/111.htm


Tony Kassin