Restoration of Caboose 1008 clinic at NNGC

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Restoration of Caboose 1008 clinic at NNGC

Don Peterson
One of the highlights of the convention for me was the clinic on the restoration of Caboose 1008. Fantastic details on the research done to "get it right" and surprises in construction details. The "Holy Grail" (for me at least) was detailed information on the colors it was painted throughout its history. They indicated four colors and gave the corresponding Pantone numbers.They indicated the Chrome Yellow they found is the equivalent Pantone #4975C. In every database I have searched, 4975C comes up as a dark mineral red. Its possible that a paint store might miraculously come up with this as a yellow color  but I doubt it. Does anyone on the list have a way to contact the Farmer brothers or Randy Hees to verify this number? I took a picture of their slide so I know the number is correct .

Don Peterson
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Re: Restoration of Caboose 1008 clinic at NNGC

Jim Courtney
This post was updated on .
Funny Don, I was just about to post this.

For those of you who could not hear this fantastic clinic, I've scanned the handout that the brothers Richard and Bob Farmer had prepared:






For the last 15-20 minutes of the presentation, Randy Hees of the Nevada State Railroad Museum discussed the analysis of the paint found on pieces of the exterior sheathing. A sample was there from caboose 1008 for all to examine. These are photos posted in the past of pieces from 1008, showing three distinctive layers of paint, without any indication of a primer, white or otherwise:


(This isn't the piece of wood on the table at the clinic)


The first layer, against the bare wood, was a yellow, presumed to be the primary build color under UP ownership in the early to mid 1880's. Randy feels that the second layer, a brick or oxide red was the true C&S freight car red used when the cabooses were repainted in 1899 under the new management and used from 1899 to about 1910. The upper, third layer(s) of paint were a darker freight car red, what we call C&S red today, likely a CB&Q standard freight car red.

Randy suggests the waycars were painted in a standard UP caboose scheme from 1883 to 1899 during the DSP&P/DL&G era. He showed a railroad paint card produced by a paint manufacturer for UP cabooses of that era:





Collaborators at the Nevada State Railroad Museum have come up with this "paint card" for the South Park and Central cars:




The Pantone number on the Museum's illustration is 7409C. I suspect the Pantone number on the slide was a misprint. The number 7409C is what I confirmed with Randy Hess in a long discussion with the Farmer Brothers after the clinic:





This yellow doesn't look "chrome" to me, more of a darker, richer yellow. Reminds me of the "Sloan Yellow" that the Missouri, Kansas and Texas used to paint cabooses and boxcars in the late 1930s to mid 1940s.

The identification of a mineral brown color for the lettering comes from the discovery of the original end numbers on the caboose 1006 undergoing restoration in Silver Plume:





Was that a great clinic or what??!!

Jim Courtney
Poulsbo, WA
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Re: Restoration of Caboose 1008 clinic at NNGC

Don Peterson
Jim,
Glad it wasn't just me (it usually is!). 7409C works as advertised. Now to find a model color match.

That was one of best clinics I've seen in a long time. Up there with Todd Leftwichs clinic on the Silvertons Yankee Girl coach, but thats another blog all together.

Thanks Jim,

Don Peterson
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Re: Restoration of Caboose 1008 clinic at NNGC

Jim Courtney
Now to find a model color match.

You might try Model Master 2072 "Gelb RLM 04".  I was thinking of using it for DL&G reefer yellow, though now I'm not sure about the pale green.
Jim Courtney
Poulsbo, WA
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Re: Restoration of Caboose 1008 clinic at NNGC

Doug Heitkamp
In reply to this post by Don Peterson
Here is a picture of a piece of wood taken from 1008. This was posted to another board a few years ago.

Doug Heitkamp
Centennial, CO
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Re: Restoration of Caboose 1008 clinic at NNGC

Jim Courtney
In reply to this post by Don Peterson
Don,

Did you happen to jot down the Pantone numbers for the different layers of red on the 1008 siding, above the original yellow paint?

The first layer of red in the photo that I posted looks to be a dark oxide red.  But the photo that Doug posted (which matches my memory of the sample at the table) is a very light oxide red, almost like a Pennsy oxide red.
Jim Courtney
Poulsbo, WA
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Re: Restoration of Caboose 1008 clinic at NNGC

Don Peterson
Jim,
I did. They are as follows:

1883 Chrome Yellow 4975C now 7409C
1895 Mineral Color 1545C
1910 Caboose Red 484C
1930 1817C (approx.) - his notes

I rather like the two toned green combination of the Tiffanys, especially with the red roof. It looks "vintage" to me after seeing it in historical context in Randys Hees slides. Especially after Randy showed the color boards from the UP and the Lehigh Valley. The "palette" seems to fit. Not good reasoning I know. And of note, there was no white to be found. Hmmm...

Don Peterson
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Re: Restoration of Caboose 1008 clinic at NNGC

Jim Courtney
Thanks Don,

I'm a bit confused. When I listened to the talk, I only remember Randy talking about three major paint layers on the car siding:

1883-1899,  UP Yellow at bottom (7409c)
1899-1910,  C&S "brick red"  (484c)
Post 1910,   C&S/CB&Q red  (1817c approx)

Did he say that the 1895 Mineral color (1545c) was a distinct paint layer on the siding, or was it the trim color of the 1883-1899 caboose paint scheme as in the DSP&P paint card above?

In other-words, I count only three distinct paint layers on the pieces of wood siding as posted above, bottom to top.

Did Randy Hess have a separate handout from that of the Farmer Brothers for the clinic. If so, I didn't get one--could you scan any copy you have and post it?

It seems to me that if the new C&S in 1899 used the "brick red" color to repaint the cabooses, the same color would logically have been used on the other freight cars (all cars carrying the "Colorado Road" lettering), possibly using it as late as the 1910 SUF cars when built as well (C&S Block lettering).  If so, first decade C&S rolling stock would look a lot different than the freight car red of the later years.

1899-1910,  C&S "brick red"  (484c):




Post 1910,   C&S/CB&Q red  (1817c approx):




Also, did Randy give a Pantone number for the UP boxcar paint card, the one with the black rectangles behind the reporting marks?

Thanks for helping make more sense of this neat information.

Still thinking about those pale green Tiffany reefers--not sure about that icky "German Expressionist" bilious green on the fascia. But a pale green car with mineral red roof and fascia might not look so bad.
Jim Courtney
Poulsbo, WA
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Re: Restoration of Caboose 1008 clinic at NNGC

ComoDepot
In reply to this post by Don Peterson
I have asked, they came into the Hotel on Saturday, did not have a car but I have forwarded through someone who I know has their details.

Amazing what you can find out about Paint History through a small sample, the report we had done included reference to the nearest current commercial colour.
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Re: Restoration of Caboose 1008 clinic at NNGC

John Greenly
In reply to this post by Jim Courtney
This color detective work is excellent, thanks for relaying it to the  rest of us.

I have a couple of questions.  Is it being assumed that the colors of these old samples haven't faded or changed  or is some kind of correction for that being made?

Also, is the fidelity of colors displayed on our digital devices really well controlled nowadays? It used to be that different computers and monitors had substantial differences in color rendition.

thanks,
John
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Re: Restoration of Caboose 1008 clinic at NNGC

ComoDepot
I can answer that, the process does not rely on the surface layer, when they do a cross section you see a thin chip say an inch across with the layers of dirt and oxidation as well as the main body.

I am sure there is a difference between screens, head on down to your local Costco whatever and compare the pictures from different TV's.
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Re: Restoration of Caboose 1008 clinic at NNGC

Jim Courtney
In reply to this post by John Greenly
Good questions.

I plan on going to the paint store this weekend, with Pantone numbers in hand, and try to find current equivalent swatches before trying to match model paint colors. Wouldn't dream of trying to match colors to my monitor.

I believe Randy Hess is using historic, written records of the UP paint specs for much of this information, including the Pantone numbers, which should be translatable to modern paints.

Then there is also the issue of the lighting being used to view painted models (specifically colors like yellow and green), as well as adjustments for scale and distance.

Any of you artist types have any rules of thumb regarding "scale color"??
Jim Courtney
Poulsbo, WA
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Re: Restoration of Caboose 1008 clinic at NNGC

Jeff Young
> Any of you artist types have any rules of thumb regarding "scale color”??

In the HLS colour model, keep hue constant, increase lightness, and decrease saturation.

In paint terms, add light grey.

Cheers,
Jeff.
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Re: Restoration of Caboose 1008 clinic at NNGC

Don Peterson
In reply to this post by Jim Courtney
Jim,
This is the slide shown at the clinic. I'm sorry I was so fixated on the Chrome yellow that I didn't pay attention to how the reds fell into play. My recollection is that the sample came from under the roof on the platform so fading would have been minimal.



Don Peterson
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Re: Restoration of Caboose 1008 clinic at NNGC

Jim Courtney
Thanks Don,

Randy's presentation, due to time constraints, presented too much information in too short a time for me aging brain to keep up!

But the chart you posted begins to make some sense. It appears attached to the color rendering of the DSP&P waycar that I posted above. If so, I think that the "1895 Mineral Red" is the same as the trim "Mineral Color" given an RGB number of 104/41/33 in the color drawing.

If it is indeed the trim color, it makes sense that it would be above the yellow on the underside of the roof (above the platform), yet below the brick red (1900) and later darker mineral color (1930), four layers in all.

But if the "1895 Mineral Red" was not used on the car body sides and ends, then there would only be three layers of paint: 1880s yellow, 1900 brick red and 1930 mineral red; consistent with the piece of wood we examined, a photograph of which Doug posted above.

Does this seem plausible from your memory of the presentation?
Jim Courtney
Poulsbo, WA
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Re: Restoration of Caboose 1008 clinic at NNGC

Todd A Ferguson
In reply to this post by Jeff Young
Being pretty into photography I can say one thing about light, maybe two.  The light indoors, even what we would consider bright light is much less bright than even cloudy light outside.  Think about the old idea of painting black things on models a dark grey instead of a straight black to make them show more detail under typically low level layout lighting.  So, some people lighten colors to better view details under layout lighting conditions.  And of course weathering of the models can also change the look of a model just as it does over time on the prototype.

Also the light under different conditions is going to have a different Kelvin color temperature.  Daylight has a certain color temperature and evening and early morning sun has different temperature.  And most people are aware today that different types of artificial lights have different color temperatures. LED, Daylight balanced florescent, tungsten, etc.  So, the type of lighting you are working with at your workbench, paint booth and on your layout can all change the perception of the color you are dealing with on a model.  Mixed lighting typed or temperatures only compounds these issues in many cases.  We can probably all remember taking film photos indoors and having them all turn out with an orange tint.  That is because the film was not color balanced with the tungsten lighting mainly used in homes at the time.  

Today with digital it is much easier to set the white balance in camera or in post processing to get correct colors in our images.  Of course this is all assuming a decent exposure level that is not way under or over exposed. There are tools for managing color both on your computer monitor and in your camera and post processing.  These are especially important in certain commercial printing and graphic system outputs where colors are critical and often trademarked.  Coca Cola Red must be the same color whenever it is used on advertising or on product for example.

Lastly the sun is going to give different effects on paint and colors at higher elevations. Early paints at higher elevations would most likely oxidize and be faded by the sun fairly quickly.  Today we have paints that are not photochemically reactive and therefore have much less changes because of exposure to sun.  Think about 40 years ago how hard it was to match paint colors on a 2-4 year old car with wreck damage. Today you never really hear people talking about that issue.  I know people always get hung up on what color is boxcar red for example.  It may have started out as the same color, although not always due to variations in pigments and resins used to make each batch of paint in the old days. But I remember being at a clinic on narrow gauge boxcars where the proper color was being discussed and the presenter put up a photo of five or six boxcars of the same series and each was a different shade of boxcar red.  Point made.  And we have not even touched on the issue of paint on wood versus the same paints on metal parts and how they weather and wear from use too.

Bottom line is I think we often get way to hung up on trying to say that this color or that color is correct or not.  There are a ton of variables and we as modelers often want our models to be as accurate as we think we can make them.  That is part of the challenge and enjoyment for many modelers.  Yet we should also keep in mind that most people who might view our model probably have little or no knowledge or expertise regarding what is correct or incorrect about the model, its colors or its actual look in service.  Back home in Western Pennsylvania where I grew up and live for 40 plus years we had cabooses on the Bessemer and Lake Erie Railroad that were a nice caboose red when new but fairly rapidly faded to an almost pink color in a few years.  I have never tried painting a model to represent on of these faded cabooses. But I do think it would be very hard to pull off successfully even in theses of those who are familiar with this real series of cabooses.  It just goes against what our mind thinks of as normal, whatever that is.

Best,
Todd Ferguson