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 Floquil colors?
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.
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.