Before they went to the bright red color scheme, Santa Fe painted
their cabeese in "Mineral Brown", which was the same color they
painted their boxcars, Etc.
Q: Does anyone out there know of a commercial hobby paint that comes
in that color or even anything reasonably close? Alternatively, does
anyone have a URL that lists info on how to mix it from available
Just found a brass Santa Fe caboose that I've been looking for for
quite a while, but it's nekked brass and I'd like to do it right...
Santa Fe's version of boxcar red/brown (to my eyes) was slightly darker
than average, but not as dark (or as red) as Great Northern's version of
the "same" colour. I hope that description helps you some. ;-)
To my eyes, Floquil/PollyScale "roof red" looks about right. You may
wish to darken it a bit by adding a few drops of Pullman green (green +
red --> brown.) Don't add black, as that will tend to make the colour
grayish. Also check out their "roof brown", a cooler colour, which may
look more correct to you.
Also check out Scalecoat's oxide red, boxcar red (3 versions), and roof
brown. Scalecoat I is supposed to adhere well to brass without an
undercoat. I've used it only on wood.
But what's more important IMO is that you have a consistent colour for
your Santa Fe rolling stock. If you use the "correct" brown for the
caboose, while using whatever's handy for the boxcars, the caboose may
well look wrong next to a line of Santa Fe boxcars. It's supposed to be
the same colour (allowing for the effects of weather and paint oxidation.)
FWIW, here follow some thoughts on colour, and a few facts.
"Boxcar red/brown" is both a semantic and aesthetic puzzle.
a) The earth colours called "boxcar red", "mineral brown", "mineral
red", "tuscan red", etc, are basically the same colour, with variations
in tone and shade. Whether you call these brownish-red colours brown or
red has more to do with what colour terms you learned as a child than
with the actual colours.
What this means is that Santa Fe's "mineral brown" is a variation of
plain "box car red/brown."
b) As stated, the colours did and do vary, even from batch to batch used
by the same railroad. The pigments are ground up fired clay. The actual
colour depends on the amount of iron in the clay. (That's why "boxcar
red" is also a good brick colour.)
Paint makers blend(ed) different clays to get the colour specified by
the customer. Also, although these mineral paints are the most durable
colours (that's why they were used) they do fade. Old paint chips are
not reliable, as these were oil paints. Oil oxidises over time, ie, it
darkens and/or turns yellow (hence the "Old Master" brownish/yellowish
cast of ancient oil-paintings.) The surface can weather to a whitish
dust, which will lighten the colour. Then there's the effect of dust and
grime and water....
Add in the effects of light on colour, and it becomes very difficult to
determine what is a "correct" colour. Generally speaking, models should
be painted in lighter tones than the prototype, in order to look right
in the light in which they are usually viewed. The lighting in the work
area should be the same as in the layout room, too.
Bottom line: don't sweat minor variations in tone/shade. Apply
weathering to 80-90% of your rolling stock.
A Walther's order is a good place to get it.
I'll note that Wolf's post is a good one. Santa Fe's brown is a bit cooler
than many of the other browns that were used back then. Each railroad had
its own version of boxcar red and even more so, as they aged, they all
turned cooler and lighteer 9in color. As a result, you might want to use
variations on the theme for different cars with the darker warmer ones less
weathered - something which chould be done with almost all of your paint
jobs when you are done with painting. For example, locos and cars used
primarilly in the western desert conditions will lighten a lot from the sun
and will be dustier than cars used in areas where there is a fair bit of
rain to wash the dust off the lower part of the cars. The sun is really bad
on red color and the red is bleached out of a finish in a few years.
A notable exception to lighter is more normal is the SP route ovver the
Sierras as there are a lot of tunnels that put a lot of black soot on the
tops of cars and especially locos.
rmay at nethere.com
http: slash /nav.to slash bobmay
http: slash /bobmay dot astronomy.net
Floquil now makes a Mineral Brown but if you can not obtain it, mix 2 parts
Floquil 25 Tuscan Red with 1 part Floquil 74 Box Car Red. This
information comes from the Painting and Lettering Guide published by the
Santa Fe Railway Historical & Modeling Society.
Palm Coast, FL
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