Results 1 to 7 of 7

Thread: Vallejo Model Air Paints - Match to Railroad Colors

  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2016
    Posts
    1,353
    Thanks
    596
    Thanked 1,815 Times in 571 Posts
    Mentioned
    47 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)

    Default Vallejo Model Air Paints - Match to Railroad Colors

    Anyone have recommendations for best Vallejo Model Air Paint colors (or mixes) that are closest to prototype colors for following lines:

    Union Pacific
    New York Central
    Erie Lackawanna
    CSX

    I found this page which has some colors mapped: http://www.testors.com/~/media/Digit...-Portrait.ashx and reviewed a bunch of other documents regarding this (e.g., Badger has a good correspondence document -- http://www.badgerairbrush.com/librar...d%20Colors.gif and NYC Historical group has some discussion about NYC colors -- https://nycshs.org/nyc-colors/).

    But I could not find a straightforward answer that would let me buy some paint to test a new airbrush I bought. Thanks in advance for any help.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Location
    Tinton Falls, NJ
    Posts
    2,199
    Blog Entries
    3
    Thanks
    750
    Thanked 1,219 Times in 800 Posts
    Mentioned
    36 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)

    Default

    "It's not whats best......It's whats best for you"

    Gary

  3. The Following User Says Thank You to ike8120 For This Useful Post:

    Mac

  4. #3
    Join Date
    May 2016
    Posts
    1,353
    Thanks
    596
    Thanked 1,815 Times in 571 Posts
    Mentioned
    47 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by ike8120 View Post
    Thanks Gary -- I did come across that but it has so few Vallejo colors -- maybe I am assuming that I can get all the colors I need from one vendor but I actually need to plan to buy paint from multiple manufacturers to match colors (is that what is suggested by that chart?).

    Anyway, just trying to wrap my head around this whole airbrush thing.

  5. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 2014
    Location
    Fort Smith, Arkansas
    Posts
    1,226
    Thanks
    1,027
    Thanked 1,558 Times in 537 Posts
    Mentioned
    18 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)

    Default

    Fugate's page is great. You may find that you have to do some custom mixing to get what you are looking for. Also, as others on this forum have pointed out, there is a lot of variation within the prototype due to age and weathering or even variations within their own paint mixing. Basically, paint matching for trains is more like horseshoes than golf. If it is close enough, it is close enough. If you know what I mean. After a couple years, no two cars have exactly the same shade.
    Daniel Dawson

  6. The Following User Says Thank You to Mobile One For This Useful Post:

    Mac

  7. #5
    Join Date
    May 2016
    Posts
    1,353
    Thanks
    596
    Thanked 1,815 Times in 571 Posts
    Mentioned
    47 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Mobile One View Post
    Fugate's page is great. You may find that you have to do some custom mixing to get what you are looking for. Also, as others on this forum have pointed out, there is a lot of variation within the prototype due to age and weathering or even variations within their own paint mixing. Basically, paint matching for trains is more like horseshoes than golf. If it is close enough, it is close enough. If you know what I mean. After a couple years, no two cars have exactly the same shade.
    The whole fading thing is interesting -- I cannot recall which source it was but one had Union Pacific Armour Yellow as well as Armour Yellow Faded as a separate color...

  8. #6
    Join Date
    Oct 2015
    Location
    Western Washington state
    Posts
    40
    Thanks
    202
    Thanked 30 Times in 19 Posts
    Mentioned
    1 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)

    Default

    Military and aircraft modelers have faded colors for years to achieve "scale effects". I don't remember the formula, but the theory is that the smaller the scale your model is the farther away your viewing distance in scale feet or meters. So, someone painting a plane in 1/72 scale would cut in a larger percentage of white than someone modeling the same plane in 1/48 scale. Paint quality in times past (WW II; classic steam era; ....) wasn't very fade-resistant. Photos of warships that had paint patches show extreme fading of base colors; US olive drab bleached out quickly - so Union Pacific yellow bleached out by service in the arid West doesn't surprise me. Mobile One is right: after a couple years, no two cars will exactly match, so a realistic modeling technique would be to subtly fade and weather them differently. And ... Don't sweat the exact color match! Have fun! I just spent a lot of time looking for Color photos of the Northern Pacific "Pine tree" passenger train paint scheme. Between inconsistent lighting and the chemistry of color film circa 1947, the colors were all over the map. I custom-mixed something that looked good to me and shot the cars!
    - Rob
    Interests in Northern Pacific, Missouri Pacific and predecessors
    Going in direction of FreemoN (and Freemo for leftover HO gear)

  9. The Following 2 Users Say Thank You to RH Bay For This Useful Post:


  10. #7
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Posts
    10,323
    Thanks
    1,393
    Thanked 7,482 Times in 4,373 Posts
    Mentioned
    248 Post(s)
    Tagged
    1 Thread(s)

    Default

    Paint color is very affected by the lighting it is seen under. You will see very different colors of finishes by just moving your model from place to place. That immaculate match you did under incandescent light in your shop, will change, when you see it under the fluorescent light, you use over the layout. It will change again for that beauty shot on that diorama under the sun.

    So match your work lights to the layout lights when mixing paint.

    The fading of paint by armor modelers is a simulation of atmospheric haze. The smaller the model the farther away from it you are. Hence more fading.

    Some of the worst color fading happen to reds and yellow. When you look at Warbonnets you will find about 500 different reds.

    While today's paints are better at retaining their luster, there have been a couple of disasters. Just ask any C&NW modeler about Zito Yellow. The paint reacted badly to sunlight and the detergents used to keep the locos looking pretty. The range was full strength Pantone 102C (when new) to baby powder yellow. Because of the disaster, "Safety Yellow" was replaced by the classic Stagecoach Yellow rather quickly.

    The best way to find correct colors is to find the Pantone or PMS number. Often found in company documents and historical society archives. The Pantone Matching System is a way for the printing and coatings industries to have consistent colors no mater the location. Because all colors are a percentage mix of CMYK (cyan, magenta, yellow, black) in a base. You should get the color you are looking for. You can find PMS books with the swatches, through art stores and printing suppliers. Some of the books have the swatches with holes in them for easier matching. Ideally, shops/designers will replace the books every few years. So, if you know someone in the color industry, they might have an old book, you can have.
    Use what you know about the world to model…
    Learn from modeling what you don't know about the real world.



  11. The Following 2 Users Say Thank You to ChicagoNW For This Useful Post:


Similar Threads

  1. Replies: 3
    Last Post: 29th Apr 2017, 03:06 PM
  2. Great acrylic organizer for model RR paints
    By danb in forum Structures & Scenery
    Replies: 4
    Last Post: 5th Feb 2015, 09:23 AM
  3. MicroLux railroad paints - Polly Scale replacement! Yea!
    By BraselC5048 in forum Product & Service Announcements
    Replies: 1
    Last Post: 1st Nov 2013, 10:39 PM
  4. Matching railroad colors?
    By TwinDad in forum Modeling Techniques
    Replies: 7
    Last Post: 18th Mar 2011, 10:31 AM
  5. Railroad Colors for SketchUp
    By DaveR1 in forum Software
    Replies: 10
    Last Post: 19th Apr 2010, 08:16 PM

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •