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Paint Colours

Car paint aerosol equivalents for railway colours

Any Roof GreyHalford's plastic bumper
MR/LMS/BR maroonRover Damask Red
GWR/BR loco greenRover Brooklands Green
GWR/BR loco greenFord Laurel Green
BR Brunswick GreenAldi Pine Green
BR diesel light green bandFord Highland Green
BR green diesel light blue bandFord Nordic Blue
BR coach carmineFord Rosso Red
BR coach creamVauxhall Gazelle Beige
BR coach cream (well worn)Peugeot Antelope Beige
BR diesel blueVW Pargas Blue
BR steam loco bluePeugeot Royal Blue
BR loco yellow warning panelVauxhall Mustard Yellow
LNER garter blue/BR diesel blueFord Fjord Blue
LNER garter blueVW Pargas Blue
LMS Coronation BlueRover Pageant Mid-blue
Stanier Coronation bluePeugeot Royal Blue
GWR or Pullman coach brownRover Russet Brown
GWR coach creamRover Primula Yellow
SR dark olive greenLand Rover Coniston Green
LNWR/LYR coach plumDaewoo Dark Red
LNWR coach white upper panelsDaewoo Casablanca White
CR steam locoPeugeot Royal Blue
SDJR blueRover Midnight Blue
CR dark blueRover Midnight Blue
Stroudley LBSCR ochreBMC Tan
LBSCR umberVauxhall Brazil Brown
N.Staffs maroonVauxhall Gambia Red
NER coach redVauxhall Gambia Red
LYR coach upper panelsPlastikote Nut Brown
SR pre-war Malachite GreenRover Java Green

Goods stock matt colours

White primer

Grey primer

Black primer

Bauxite primer

Trade suppliers

Over the years there have arisen two main colour charts. These are the American "Pan Tone" and the German "RAL". The Pan Tone system was designed to enable manufacturers to patent colours for their products. A good example of this is "Pullman Umber". Each Pan Tone colour has a number. Some paint mixers can produce a Pan Tone colour.

The German RAL system was designed to enable people to buy the same colour from differing manufacturers or mixers regards of where they were, the RAL colours have a name and a number. The Revell colour chart also notes the RAL name and number as both are German. This proves useful if you require a lot of a Revell colour, by using the RAL number you may buy it in 150ml pots from mixers. You can get a set of the multilingual RAL 2018 colour cards from eBay, early RAL sets are all in German.

There are the "unofficial" colour charts such as the 218 "web colours", the HexRRGGBB colour number and the Hue Saturation Value system.

Paint matching from Photographs.

This is really a very nasty problem... I am fortunate to own several early Edwardian Locomotive "Picture Books" in which the colour illustrations were not done by colour photography -but by painting over the image with water colours. It does show the very startling hues used by the old companies as their metal oxide based paints were really bright compared to modern hues. Early photographic emulsions used a lot of silver bound with other metals and the Edwardian "three layer" colour processing of the time is now toxic to handle -due to decay of the substrates... The decay of modern emulsions such as the Poloroid Land system and even Kodachrome can produce aberrant colours in under a decade. Agfachrome suffers from turning things purplish after about 20 years.

Computer rendition software can be used to produce a "true" base colour provided one of the "false" colours is known. Speaking on a personal note it can also be used to wrap a loco in totally the wrong livery to sometimes beautiful effect.

Priming and Prepping your item for LMS Crimson Lake.

I have had to have a "crash course" in classical painting methods and the techniques used by the LMS for painting their carriages and locomotives. Leonard is 90 yrs old and was an apprentice at "J" and "P" shop at Derby. I obtained from "somewhere" a tin of genuine LMS Crimson Lake. After straining it through muslin a few times to remove the rubbish I was left with a jam jar of dark black treacle. The stuff smelled of camphor and linseed and had the same paint ability as black treacle!!! Leonard helped me with getting The Lake, (it is NOT paint), to a condition for hand brushing. The pink primer is as I remembered as a boy -it stinks of fish... At the time "the boy chemist" thought that it was an amine that was responsible -no it contains fish oil and ground shell fish shell. Thinning it to "6 seconds" with a paint cup and turpentine spirit produces a thin primer that soaks into the wood. two coats of this and a final one of pure primer fills everything to a pure pink that even Barbie might find too much. The next step is to wash down the primer with Sugar Soap and fine Wet and Dry (800grit). The bulk of your paint will wash off leaving you with a flat matte surface.

Now the dangerous part!!! The Lake is just that LAKE -it is not paint. You should think of it more as a coloured varnish. Any faults in your prep work will now be buried and visible for all time... Apply a red flash primer red oxide thinned to just below water thickness (about 2 secs) then soap and sand again. Deep Breath and thin your Lake to about 3 seconds and apply with a wide flat fan brush. Do this quickly and make sure that NO edge has dried before you get to it. Once you have finished allow at least 24 hours before you touch it again. Wet sand the surface with 1000grit and wash off. Now with a needle trace out the etching on the item -otherwise you will end up with a totally smooth surface with not details on it. Wet sand again and wash off. Apply the next coat in the same manner as the first. Repeat a further three times with the Lake at this dilution. The final coat is a thickness of 15 seconds. Allow at least 28 days before you begin to flat your work. You need 1600Grit and LOTS of soap to stop the paper clogging. The surface will appear a purple red then go a light red brown. At this point you stop. Clean down and then clear varnish.

This produces the wonderful classical LMS Crimson Lake as it should be. After having read this I would suspect that you reach for a spray can and rattle with relief...

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Page last modified on July 07, 2019, at 10:00 AM