OK, I've got an Industry Gripe!

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grande man

Bonafied Grande Nut
Hi all. What's up with the paint jobs on our models? Why aren't the colors prototypical across the spectrum of manufacturers? We've got several different shades of Rio Grande orange and yellow. A good friend models the Frisco. His fleet looks like a rainbow too. This seems so simple. I wish they'd all standardize on one paint manufacturer or the paint companies would all just get it right. This can't be that hard. :rolleyes: Rant mode off. :D
 

mtrpls

Ignorance is Patriotic
Well, even in the real world, the same color paint tends to fade at different rates on different cars; I've seen several different shades of BNSF orange, for example.

I'm not at all upset by the manufacturers' differences in shades, they lend to a more prototypical appearance and are accentuated when a model rolling stock or engine is weathered.
 

AlanH

New Member
.

My biggest gripe is that all past and future railroads had paint samples to keep their fleet colors consistant. The PRR, NYC, B&O... etc. (name your favorite railroad), did not want their consist to be a rainbow of colors... and, they spent millions to have their locos, freight and passenger cars herald those colors.

So, why, with both the present day railroads, and the historical societies that have original paint chips of the "fallen flags".... why can't you put together the same (or similar) railcar, from the differnet model railroad manufacturers... and have them look the same? ... or, at least close!!

EXAMPLE:
I don't think Lionel has ever painted one their GG-1's the same Tuscan or Brunswick color, two years in a row... in over 60 years of making GG-1's.

The PRR Historical Society has had the original paint chip chart for all of the PRR's colors, for years !! Why hasn't Lionel used them?

The model railroad manufactures should have gotten together years ago, and made the final defacto color standard for all the railroads they will be modeling now, and in the future.

You should be able to place any MTH or Lionel Santa Fe loco with "Warbonnet" colors next to each other, and have them look identical !!

Likewise for any other train item of the same color, from all the other manufacturers... whether it's G, O, S, HO, N or Z scale.

The industry begs for a "Standard Color Chart for All Railroads- Past and Present".

Every model train product should look like it has just come out of the paint shop... brand new and shiny.

If you (the model railroader) want it to look "weathered"... fine!! You've got a thousand tools, paints, materials and books of how to do just that !!

Wouldn't that make it a lot easier to mix and match items from different manufacturers? . YOU BET !!! . ;)

.
 

enjineerbill

Avid People Watcher
Maybe, Just maybe, The manufactures have spent all their paint and detail research coffers on paying the license agreements to even produce said models? (snicker).

Johnny

And playing my own devils' advocate; You would think that BECAUSE they have to pay for the 'right' to produce said models, that the licensee would demand the correct paint, font and details. (louder snicker).
 

Brakie

Member
After 1963 how many of you believe ALL B&O units was painted Royal Blue?
How about the C&O? Was all of their engines painted in Enchantment Blue?
And how about the Chessie System Blue? Was it Dark Blue,Royal Blue or Enchantment Blue or a combination of all 3? Hint: Don't bet the farm.

Remember 90% of the paint chips that so many swear by just may have came off a unit that has been in the sun and weather for a unknown length of time-even a brand new locomotive...Also recall railroads not being PERFECT by nature would some times use what paint they had on hand or could even change paint suppliers.
Also take in the type of camera,lens sittings,type of film being used and film processing and you can see where pictures aren't the best to go by on either.Now add the different light conditions and again different shades of color could appear.
The same can apply to our models as well.
And remember...Only modelers worry about perfection to a fault..Not the railroads.
 
Last edited by a moderator:

RexHea

RAIL BENDER
Hi Johnny! Nice to see you post.

The problem is not just with the models, but also with the paint bottles that you buy. Many times I have bought Polyscale paint of the same description/number, but had considerable differences in color. The Technology is there for exacting colors, but the quality control is obviously missing.

AlanH, I agree with you 100%. Keep in mind though that even the prototypes didn't always have an exact match. Many paint shops didn't have a premixed paint (which also varied) and followed a formula for mixing, but the raw materials used varied, measurements varied, and sometimes paints were blended to come up with one of the additive colors because they were out of the specified color.
 

Cjcrescent

Master Mechanic
Brakie said:
Remember 90% of the paint chips that so many swear by just may have came off a unit that has been in the sun and weather for a unknown length of time-even a brand new locomotive...Also recall railroads not being PERFECT by nature would some times use what paint they had on hand or could even change paint suppliers.
Also take in the type of camera,lens sittings,type of film being used and film processing and you can see where pictures aren't the best to go by on either.Now add the different light conditions and again different shades of color could appear.
Brakie has hit the nail almost directly on the head. Another aspect of "different" shades is , even from the same maker, the paint could vary from batch to batch almost 10% at times. This could be due to tint differences, the base the pigment was mixed into, to the mixture wasn't as well "stirred". Sometimes it even got down to additives added on site of the paint shop that painted the locos. One time they may mix the paint thinner than the last time, or even thicker. Environmental conditions the paint was applied to the loco in, also could play a big part. What was the humidity, pollution levels (poss contaminents)?

There are just too many varibles introduced each time a loco/car gets painted, from both the manufacturers side and the painters side, to insure that every loco/car looks identical to the one before it, or to the one after it.
 

Steve B

Firefighter
on the vehicle I.D. plate on my car (auto) there is a paint code which paint manufacturers can match exactley,
good point Eric
 

Zephyr

Rocket Red
I have this problem with Athearn's kodachrome units - it seems the color is darker than what I use for my modern custom jobs with Badger Modelflex paint. Weathering is the only good fix to this. And I've noticed they don't even get the decals right - instead of adding the other two letters to SP or SF I've had to totally redo all four letters because it doesn't match the Microscale decals and it's not prototypical to start with...
 

SDP45

I like TYCO!
I modelled the BN in my previous life (read: before marriage) and I found there were many shades of BN green. It was easy then to justify the different shades offered by manufacturers.
 

kenw

5th Generation Texian
enjineerbill said:
Maybe, Just maybe, The manufactures have spent all their paint and detail research coffers on paying the license agreements to even produce said models? (snicker).

Johnny

And playing my own devils' advocate; You would think that BECAUSE they have to pay for the 'right' to produce said models, that the licensee would demand the correct paint, font and details. (louder snicker).

actually they do have to pay attention when licensing, the problem is that most weren't ever officially licensed. It wasn't until recent years that it was ever enforced with any consistency.

And realize too that unless you have the correct Pantone color #, and are seeing it in SUNLIGHT, it won't ever look right under indoor lighting anyway.
 

leghome

Maytag "Danged Agitator"
kenw wrote; "And realize too that unless you have the correct Pantone color #, and are seeing it in SUNLIGHT, it won't ever look right under indoor lighting anyway."
Pantone is the standard for the for the printing industry. While working in the packaging department for Delco Remy Division of General Motors I was given the job of changing all of the repair part cartons from GM #2 Red and GM #2 Blue to the correct Pantone colors. After this had been completed all of our suppliers knew what colors we wanted our carton printed with. Before the change they all interperted the colors to thier own standards. This is more than likely the problem with painted models, the Railroads never used a standard for thier color choices, they picked and chose their colors at random. I have also worked in auto body repair shops and at times it is very hard to match color on a repaired car. Technology has helped a lot but it still can be very difficult to match color.
 

tenwheeler

Member
You've all hit the nail squarely on the head. I'm thinking about renaming my line "the Rainbow Railroad" !!! What could be so difficult about standardizing road color's throughout the model industry.

Bob :confused:
 

HaggisKennedy

Coal Shoveler
A few years ago, somebody mentioned that there were some colors that can't be duplicated because the formula used to create that color was now prohibited by EPA and OSHA regs.

Kennedy
 

WK&GL Pres

New Member
I remember years ago sitting in a new Cheverolet with a neighbor who worked for GM, and having the "rainbow" of colors pointed out in the interior trim of the car, which were all supposed to be identical. Part of this is also true with the manufacturers of our models, try as they may the subjective nature of color, texture, and shading creeps into add to the "rainbow". I would love to be able to get some consistency in color from the model manufacturer, and the model paint suppliers; however I am not holding my breath that it is likely to be accomplished before a deep shade of blue washes over my lips.

Will
 

kenw

5th Generation Texian
Pantone is more than just for printing purposes, I had to do some matches back in the 80s on silver trim for our computers (a silver trim stripe on a printer housing). We spec'd Pantone #s for all of our paint and molded-in color plastic parts (as well as a Macbeth inspection booth to verify them with to get the color temp right).

I took the pantone sheet to the auto parts store and got a near perfect match with stock 3M automotive trim stripe tape. Which I used to replace a handpainted stripe and increased production by about 300-400%....got a nice bonus outta that too....;)
 

JeffShultz

Stay off the tracks!
Steve B said:
on the vehicle I.D. plate on my car (auto) there is a paint code which paint manufacturers can match exactley,
good point Eric
And it's amazing how different the paint in the tube that came was from what was on my car....
 

abcraghead

Mmmm, turbos
Manufacturers secretly have invested money in Paasche, Badger, Testors, Floquil, and Microscale. If they made all the schemes right straight out of the box, they wouldn't make money off their secret investments!

:p
 




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