Colors for a model railroad

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Colors


  • Total voters
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Hi there was wondering what colors I should paint my locomotives as I'm making my own railroad and can't decide any input would be greatly appreciated.

Thankyou.
 

dave1905

Well-Known Member
Depends on era. Older eras tended to be darker colors so dirt didn't show up. More modern eras with better paint, had more color to them.

Generally darker colors (black, blue, green) were popular on the east coast. Brighter colors in the midwest or west.

Avoid yellow because its a particularly hard color to get to cover easily.

The lighter the color the more details (or defects) show up. The darker the color the more it hides defects or the lack of details. You can tone up or down a base color with weathering.
 

PowrCab

New Member
The Southern Rwy painted some of their steam green w/silver smoke box and yellow trim...And there are models with this livery....
But no one can tell you what you should like in a paint scheme...It's your RR. Do as you wish.. It's a hobby....
 

cv_acr

Active Member
99% of steam engines were painted black.

You might paint coloured stripes on the sides of running boards or other trimwork, and some RR's would paint coloured panels on the sides of the tenders.

Canadian Pacific's most modern steam engines had maroon running board skirts and a large maroon panel on the tender:


Older/smaller engines were plain black, but would sometimes have some gold trim around the edges.


Canadian National's last modern mainline steam engines in the late 1950s had olive green running board skirts, cabs, and tenders. Most engines were solid black.


Union Pacific's two-tone "Greyhound" sheme:


Southern Pacific's "Daylight" colours were pretty striking:


Southern's "Crescent Limited"


Often the fancy colours were on passenger-assigned locos. No one particularly cared about freight units.
 
Last edited:

Iron Horseman

Well-Known Member
Hi there was wondering what colors I should paint my locomotives as I'm making my own railroad and can't decide any input would be greatly appreciated.
I designed an arrowhead scheme with dark green and chrome yellow for freight, same dark green with silver for passenger. Used it on my paper railroad for almost a decade. It looked great on paper. THEN I started painting real equipment. The freight scheme looked like crayola crayon boxes. I've abandon that scheme and those colors.

My club designed four schemes using white and a dark green (Northern Pacific Dark Green specifically) with yellow pin stripes. The white ended up being too easy to smudge and get prints from club members dirty fingers. I would not do a scheme with primarily white again.
 




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