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Author Topic: Spectrum engine black, shade difference  (Read 1901 times)
richG
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« on: June 30, 2007, 04:14:44 PM »

I hijacked another post concerning paint but never got a response. I will try my own post.
The Spectrum 4-4-0 I have has two different shades of black. With the smoke box hotter than the rest of the loco, I know the color would probably be a little lighter. The smoke box is slightly different than the rest of the engine and tender. I would like to match the paint for a couple Roundhouse steamers but I am wondering what was used in the factory painted models for the Spectrum. The bach-man made a comment about using Krylon but that does not address if the Krylon is for the smoke box or complete loco. I suspect the complete loco in the bach-man's locomotives. I do not mind taking apart the Roundhouse for painting but the Spectrum's are far too delicate and have easily damaged details. I know from experience. Any thoughts?
Thanks.

Richard
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SteamGene

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« Reply #1 on: June 30, 2007, 06:39:46 PM »

The Krylon would not be for the smoke box.  The problem with smoke box, fire box, and a few other sections is the paint must have aged rapidly, being very metallic when brand new and turning a gray fairly soon after that.  Then, apparently, the gray darkened. 
Gene
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Chief Brass Hat
Virginia Tidewater and Piedmont Railroad
"Only coal fired steam locomotives"
richG
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« Reply #2 on: June 30, 2007, 08:28:03 PM »

The Krylon would not be for the smoke box.  The problem with smoke box, fire box, and a few other sections is the paint must have aged rapidly, being very metallic when brand new and turning a gray fairly soon after that.  Then, apparently, the gray darkened. 
Gene
Yeah, I figured that but I was wondering about the smoke box color Bachmann uses. No one seems to know. I will use the Krylon on the boiler and Scalecoat engine black on the smoke box. As far as  I know, engine black is a tad lighter than regular black. It makes the engine stand out better than what I call regular black. When some people air brush, they add a tad of white to the black paint.

Cheers

Richard
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the Bach-man
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« Reply #3 on: June 30, 2007, 11:05:31 PM »

Dear Rich,
The paint we use is mixed at the factory, so there is no exact commercial match.
Have fun!
the Bach-man
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BillD53A

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« Reply #4 on: July 01, 2007, 06:47:40 AM »

When you look at a steam locomotive, you can't actually see the boiler.  What you see is the boiler jacket.   There is a thin metal sheet on the outside, with several inches of insulation under it, and the actual boiler under that.  It's like the water heater in your house. 
If you look at the area of the smokebox in a photo, the boiler diameter steps DOWN (the smokebox appears to be smaller in diameter than the boiler).  If you see a photo of the bare boiler, it actually steps UP (the smokebox is actually larger in diameter than the boiler).  There are several inches of insulation on the boiler so it looks larger in diameter thn the smokebox.
Back in the olden days, paints were of a lesser quality then they are today, and were mixed by the painters on the spot. 
The smokebox and firebox, not being insulated, got too hot for regular paint to adhere to. 
The boiler jacket, being insulated, was cool enough to be painted, and have the paint adhere without blistering off due to the heat.
The boiler jacket, cab, running gear, and tender were painted.
The smokebox and firebox would not hold paint, so they were coated with a mixture of oil and graphite, which would adhere to the hot metal.  The color varied with the amount of graphite used...anything from an almost-silver, to gun-metal, to almost-black.  The color darkened with age.
Their were natural variations due to the fact it was hand mixed. It's normal to have variations in the smokebox color, even on locomotives operating out of the same loco shop and painted by the same painter.
I paint my locos with Walmart flat black squirt paint, then use 'Folk Art' Metallic Gunmetal Gray craft store paint with some black added for the smokeboxes.
By the way, if your locos have what looks like a mold parting line and flash along the centerline of the boiler top, that isn't flash.  Its the seam between the boiler jacket sheets, and the lagging clamps that held them in place.  It belongs there.
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Paul M.

T&P Railway in the 1950s


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« Reply #5 on: July 01, 2007, 08:47:00 PM »

I think the blacker black is some kind of black like motive power black,
 and the metallic gray paint is called graphite.
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r.cprmier

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« Reply #6 on: July 01, 2007, 09:05:59 PM »

Rich G;

Just as a thought, As SOP, every engine that comes into my slimy grasp, gets a full-blown paint job! 

If yo uever read anything be John Allen, you would know why this occurance takes place.  Briefly, if a locomotive (steam-there IS no other kind!) is seen up close, one might get the glare of the sun; this would bring out some interesting colours-blue-black, as was mentioned, graphite, brownish black, etc.  As one steps back, the engine gradually picks up some more bluish tinge to the general aspect.  The farther back you go, the bluer  the thing gets. 

Floquil makes a paint called "Weathered black", in whic there is a goodly bluish-grey pigment.  I will base coat the engine with this, then go at it in a logical way, EG; dirtier brown the lower you go, brown tinge across the top to represent the soft coal exhaust, a mix of grey/white/graphite for the firebox, smokebox, stack; and then start with the fine-detail work.  THis is not slap-dash, but a well-thought out approach with logic behind it.

John Pryke, among others, is an expert on this subject and you would be well-advised to give his articles in MR, etc, a look-see.  If I knew at all how to paint before I heard of him, I surely know more now.

Rich
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Rich

NEW YORK NEW HAVEN & HARTFORD RR. CO.
-GONE, BUT NOT FORGOTTEN!
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