BR crimson/carmine

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David Thorpe
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BR crimson/carmine

Postby David Thorpe » Tue Feb 10, 2015 10:09 am

I have been putting the matter off for some years but I can no longer put off painting some of the coaches I have built over the past few decades. Awaiting paint are three mainline corridor coaches, three suburban coaches and one full brake, all to be painted in BR pre-1957 colours. That means crimson and cream for the mainline coaches, plain unlined crimson for the others. My difficulty - which appears to be a fairly common one - is finding appropriate colours for these.

Such research as I have done suggests that for the crimson & cream (blood and custard) coaches the official Railways Executive designation was Crimson Lake - British Standard colour reference BS381C colour no.540 ‘crimson’. However, looking at that colour - Paragon Paints at http://www.paragonpaints.co.uk/BS381C-C ... tml?page=2 is very helpful - it seems nothing at all like the crimson actually applied to the coaches which was, IMO, much closer to BS381C 564 Bold Red on the same page. However, the model paint manufacturers appear to have gone along with the official colour. I have paints from four manufacturers - Cherry, Precision, Humbrol and Gloy, all going back a lot of years and all describing themselves as BR crimson 1948 - 1956,, and all appear to be based on the official 540 colour, producing a rich plum red when applied. The Precision was the nearest and may have shown a factory finish though it still seemed too dark to me. Of course, the crimson of the blood and custard coaches was notoriously prone to fading, but I doubt very much if they were ever the 540 colour.

Ther main source of paint for many modellers appears to be the Halfords range which of course give an excellent finish. The Kinloss RAF list (http://www.rmweb.co.uk/community/index. ... 2-version/) is now out of date in that a lot of the colours listed are no longer available, but their suggestions for "coach carmine", Ford Rosso Red and Vauxhall Carmine Red, are still available, as is Ford Venetian Red, which is suggested as a possible colour for Blood/Custard. I've seen at least one of these applied and it hasn't looked quite right to me although paint fading might well have meant that two blood and custard coaches placed side by side would appear markedly different.

Also, was the "crimson" applied to blood and custard coaches the same as the crimson applied to suburban stock? Colour pictures of the latter appear to be fairly rare, but my memory, obviously grossly unreliable after so long, suggests to me that the suburbans (and the full brake) would have been a darker colour.

Any help anyone can give on this subject would be much appreciated.

David.

John Fitton

Re: BR crimson/carmine

Postby John Fitton » Tue Feb 10, 2015 11:13 am

David,

Have you looked on the RMweb at all? There are numerous threads on the subject, and without a doubt "Coachmann" will be able to assist!

John F.

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David Thorpe
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Re: BR crimson/carmine

Postby David Thorpe » Tue Feb 10, 2015 11:54 am

I've looked at umpteen threads on RMWeb, but none have given what I consider to be a definitive answer. Ford Rosso Red appears to be the favourite, but it hasn't looked quite right to me on examples I've seen. BMW Cinnober Red has also been mentioned and examples of coaches sprayed in these two colours can be seen at http://www.rmweb.co.uk/community/index. ... hes/page-9 . I think I might buy a can of each and see which looks right to me. Coachmann has had his BR crimson paint specially mixed for him and it seems to be more vibrant than Rosso. Previously he used Alfa Rome HR530 (probably mis-typed, almost certainly AR530) from Halfords but that is no longer available although aerosols are available from specialist paint companies..

David

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Simon_S
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Re: BR crimson/carmine

Postby Simon_S » Tue Feb 10, 2015 3:07 pm

If you've got the paint name or code, large branches of Halfords can mix it for you. In my experience, it's a good match.

Cheap mountain bike inner tubes at the moment too :D

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Noel
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Re: BR crimson/carmine

Postby Noel » Tue Feb 10, 2015 3:12 pm

Paragon's 540 Crimson is a very different colour on screen from colour 40 Crimson I have seen from a different, probably earlier, version of the BS381C chart http://www.clubhyper.com/reference/bsc1931wm_1.htm. It is possible that the screen display has distorted the RGB values, or that the definition of the colour has changed at some time.

So far as I know, all BR Crimson was nominally the same colour, whatever its application. However, it would have been commercially produced, so there would have been variations between batches from any one supplier and between suppliers. Darlington is perceived to have used a very orangey shade, for example. Also, the final finish is likely to have varied with the application in terms of preparation, number of coats and level of varnishing, if any. Human perception is also a possible issue, as atmospheric conditions and distance change colour perception, we tend to percieve a colour differently depending on surrounding colours, humans vary in their perception of colour, without always being aware of this, and we have no reliable colour memory.

I agree that the Precision and Humbrol railway colours were both too dark and too blue. I use Humbrol 132 Red, a satin finish colour, since I don't spray paint and then use either matt or satin varnish.

Noel
Regards
Noel

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Tim V
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Re: BR crimson/carmine

Postby Tim V » Tue Feb 10, 2015 4:29 pm

I was looking at pictures of BR MK1s in blue and grey livery from the 70s and 80s. They didn't look right.

The conclusion I've come to is that memory cannot be relied on, neither can photographs :!: And that is for things just yesterday.
Tim V

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Will L
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Re: BR crimson/carmine

Postby Will L » Tue Feb 10, 2015 4:30 pm

Was the crimson on the two colour mail line stock the same as the crimson on the single colour suburban stock the same? Yes
Did they look the same? No

I think that tell you you need to know about choosing/matching paint colours.

John Duffy
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Re: BR crimson/carmine

Postby John Duffy » Tue Feb 10, 2015 8:57 pm

I am convinced that colour does not scale. Our models must take account of numerous factors, such as how paint was manufactured, the natural lighting of the prototype subject, lighting of the model and the viewing distance of both. We know that the rendering of colour in print form leads to variations in appearance, which makes it extremely difficult to absolutely determine the appropriate colour. I have heard people proclaim an exact match to a paint flake or panel, which more than likely came off of a locomotive or coach towards the end of its life, having been repeatedly washed, soaked, rained on and had soot, mud and dust scrubbed on and scrubbed off. The colour of course would have been applied to several square feet of the prototype rather than the square inches of our model.In such cases I do not believe we are matching like for like.

I recently had a fun experience attempting to match a shade of grey and put my thoughts down here - http://thesulzer27.blogspot.co.uk/2014/ ... -gray.html

My modelling tends to be done to satisfy me rather than as part of a larger group - there are very few of us in the north east of Scotland - so rolling stock does not generally get mixed. I have therefore come to the conclusion that the best way for me to proceed is to determine a colour that I am content best represents the prototype and to stick to that, even if it is not 100% accurate. Whatever 100% accurate means given my earlier comments. I do try wherever possible to utilise aerosol sprays, simply out of laziness, so will select a colour and stick to that. All colours can be mixed to order and made available as a spray so I don't worry about a colour being current. I use Halfords and Simoniz and have found Ebay to be a very good source for aerosols.

For Carmine & Cream I use Vauxhall Carmine and Gazelle Beige. The later is still available as an Opel colour.

John

allanferguson
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Re: BR crimson/carmine

Postby allanferguson » Tue Feb 10, 2015 10:56 pm

John Duffy wrote:My modelling tends to be done to satisfy me rather than as part of a larger group - there are very few of us in the north east of Scotland - so rolling stock does not generally get mixed. I have therefore come to the conclusion that the best way for me to proceed is to determine a colour that I am content best represents the prototype and to stick to that, even if it is not 100% accurate. Whatever 100% accurate means given my earlier comments. I do try wherever possible to utilise aerosol sprays, simply out of laziness, so will select a colour and stick to that. All colours can be mixed to order and made available as a spray so I don't worry about a colour being current. I use Halfords and Simoniz and have found Ebay to be a very good source for aerosols.
John


I would like to say how much I agree with this. Some years ago I was faced with painting a station building for a layout. I had an "official" painting specification, but I also had some contradictory evidence. A very experienced and well respected modeller advised me "Paint it the colour you think it should be, put it on show, and wait for someone to tell you you're wrong. Then ask them to prove it." It has worked for me.

I have for many years recorded the colours used to finish models, and have religiously stuck to these colours. Thirty years later the red oxide of Caledonian wagons (Halfords Red Oxide Primer) has in many instances faded, But then so did the prototypes. Another issue which concerns me is the replacement of cellulose paints by acrylic; I like to paint the main body colour in cellulose, and I can then wipe off my mistakes in the lining, which is enamel.

Allan F

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Rod Cameron
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Re: BR crimson/carmine

Postby Rod Cameron » Wed Feb 11, 2015 10:11 am

I tend to use Precision Crimson (Faded) as a starting point. The (Faded) is important!
Rod

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Andy W
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Re: BR crimson/carmine

Postby Andy W » Wed Feb 11, 2015 10:49 am

If ever there was a topic that could start a fight in an empty modeller's room; historical colour is it!
Make Worcestershire great again.
Build a wall along the Herefordshire border and make them pay for it.

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Noel
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Re: BR crimson/carmine

Postby Noel » Wed Feb 11, 2015 12:04 pm

Coincidentally, Model Railway Express provided this link this morning:

http://www.semgonline.com/model/colour-scaling.html

See particularly the comment about the effect of viewing models under different lighting.

Noel
Regards
Noel

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David Thorpe
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Re: BR crimson/carmine

Postby David Thorpe » Wed Feb 11, 2015 12:25 pm

And also the comment: "(even when) working from real measured paint samples taken from real coaches and locos..........you need to lighten the shade for model use to take account of scale". Thanks everyone for your help on this. John Duffy, I hope, is going to show me one of his crimson and beige coaches, after which I'll have to decide whether to take the easier (and therefore preferred) route of getting a Halfords spray can, or the more difficult route of buying some Faded Crimson and getting the airbrush out. Of course, I could just apply it by brush - once upon a time that's what everyone did and results were often superb.

Will, I didn't really understand your post. What I'm trying to do is get it reasonably right. I haven't previously painted any BR coaches and before I plunged in and spend money buying paint which might turn out to be unsuitable I thought it would be useful to find what other people had used and whether their choices had looked right to them. As Noel's link also said while commenting on the fact that each of us perceive colour differently: "The good news is that you get reliable and repeatable results from taking an average result from as few as 12 observers". OK, I'm unlikely to get 12, but a few is better than none.

DT

John Palmer
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Re: BR crimson/carmine

Postby John Palmer » Wed Feb 11, 2015 3:34 pm

I have always thought there were at least two quite distinct forms of red livery for BR 'suburban' stock. One was a maroon hue similar to/same as that introduced for gangwayed passenger rolling stock in about 1957. The other was lighter in tone and not far removed from vermillion.

Currently I'm looking at a picture of a train at Congresbury, evidently taken before lifting of the Wrington Vale line, if that helps to date it. The leading vehicle is a bow-ended TK to GW Diag. C.54 in BR red and cream livery, but the red component is much closer to vermillion than crimson and very close to the 'suburban' livery mentioned. (See p.28 'Somerset Steam - Scenes from the Fifties and Sixties' by Michael Welch, pub. Capital Transport)

David Thorpe wrote:As Noel's link also said while commenting on the fact that each of us perceive colour differently: "The good news is that you get reliable and repeatable results from taking an average result from as few as 12 observers".
DT

I think the jury is still out on that one...

dal-t
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Re: BR crimson/carmine

Postby dal-t » Wed Feb 11, 2015 4:02 pm

I think Will was simply reflecting what many of us who can remember the liveries knew at the time, and still carry with us in our subconscious - although the same (crimson) paint was used, it's appearance on the 'blood and custard' stock was very different to the monocolour (suburban/secondary service) carriages. This was partly the contrasting 'stripe' effect of the cream, which to my eye certainly 'lightened' the red, but it may also have been influenced by different construction styles (the more modern mainline stock being steel-sided flush-panelled with large unbroken areas of colour, whereas many secondary sets were still wooden bodied, multi-compartment with greater relief and a higher proportion of droplights) and different cleaning regimes (the branchline coaches I rode in the 1950s didn't appear to see a washing plant from one year to the next, and the colour overlaying the crimson was largely derived from steam-oil and coal-dust). Reproducing this in 4mm scale isn't easy, but if I were modelling the BR era (which I'm not, being very comfortably stuck in pre-Grouping, thank you very much) I'd be spraying the blood on blood and custard with finishing coats successively lightened from the 'base' colour, and pre-shading the panels on my suburban stock before adding a few drops of black to the crimson.
David L-T

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Tim V
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Re: BR crimson/carmine

Postby Tim V » Wed Feb 11, 2015 4:20 pm

Hence my comment on the Blue/Grey livery.

Although the period was pretty abhorrent, try the test yourself, you looked at the coaches, but what colour were they? Only 20 years ago. Blood and Custard was nearly 60 years ago. Red is a fugitive colour.
Tim V

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Noel
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Re: BR crimson/carmine

Postby Noel » Wed Feb 11, 2015 5:35 pm

John Palmer wrote:I have always thought there were at least two quite distinct forms of red livery for BR 'suburban' stock. One was a maroon hue similar to/same as that introduced for gangwayed passenger rolling stock in about 1957. The other was lighter in tone and not far removed from vermillion.


You are quite right, John. Corridor stock livery changed from crimson and cream to maroon (crimson lake officially, I think) from March 1956, although it took several years for the change to be completed, of course. At the same time non-corridor vehicles changed from plain crimson to plain maroon [definitely theoretically the same colour again], with the same caveat. Unfortunately, some people cause confusion by treating them as the same livery, which they are not, or by not being clear about which one they mean [not intended as a comment on any post in this thread, honest].

What BR called various colours, what enthusiasts call the same colours, and what paint technologists or manufacturers call them are often three different things, again productive of confusion, as are the variations in colour photographs. It can sometimes be difficult to determine which colour you are looking at in a photograph, although in a photo with both crimson/crimson and cream and maroon vehicles in it is normally quite clear which is which.

Noel
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Noel

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Guy Rixon
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Re: BR crimson/carmine

Postby Guy Rixon » Thu Feb 12, 2015 11:34 am

David Thorpe wrote:... Of course, I could just apply it by brush - once upon a time that's what everyone did and results were often superb. ...

The current ranges of railway specific colours I find hard to apply evenly by brush - much harder than with Humbrol paints. You might want to practice on something disposable. :)

The railway colours seem to be easier to brush on when lightened with white.

Alan Turner
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Re: BR crimson/carmine

Postby Alan Turner » Thu Feb 12, 2015 2:42 pm

John Duffy wrote:I am convinced that colour does not scale.


It does - "Blue remembered hills" - A Shropshire lad

Have a look at Model Railway Journal Compendium No. 2 - Scale Colour by Ian Huntley.

regards

Alan

billbedford
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Re: BR crimson/carmine

Postby billbedford » Fri Feb 13, 2015 10:16 am

I have found this page useful when thinking about painting, and the other pages in the resources section worth having a look at.
Bill Bedford
Mousa Models
http://www.mousa.biz

John Duffy
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Re: BR crimson/carmine

Postby John Duffy » Fri Feb 13, 2015 7:48 pm

billbedford wrote:I have found this page useful when thinking about painting, and the other pages in the resources section worth having a look at.


That is very useful and interesting read Bill. The adaptation of the original colour to make it look right on a model is what I mean by colour does not scale, it must be modified in some way. The article is a good resource for considering the options to do just that.

John

johnmand
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Re: BR crimson/carmine

Postby johnmand » Mon Feb 16, 2015 6:26 pm

I hope David can make the next Grampian (NE Scotland) Group Meeting at which he can view, in addition to John Duffy's offerings, both suburban non-corridor stock and mainline corridor, BR(E) wooden bodied stock in lightly weathered pre-1956 colours on Hedleyhope. The former are in 'Precision' crimson and Cream (Dull) and the non-corridors are in the same crimson, but probably due to the absence of the cream they look duller, as other correspondents have suggested.

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Re: BR crimson/carmine

Postby johnmand » Tue Feb 17, 2015 10:48 am

I should have added to my earlier posting that the 'crimson' on my coaches is more a darker red than the 'carmine' as reproduced in Haresnape's "Railway Liveries" on pp 29, 33, 36/37, & 84. At this time in history it is going to be difficult to establish a definitive shade when weathering, age fading,traffic film etc are taken into account. Life is full of compromises!

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Noel
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Re: BR crimson/carmine

Postby Noel » Tue Feb 17, 2015 11:30 am

johnmand wrote:The former are in 'Precision' crimson and Cream (Dull) and the non-corridors are in the same crimson, but probably due to the absence of the cream they look duller....I should have added to my earlier posting that the 'crimson' on my coaches is more a darker red than the 'carmine' as reproduced in Haresnape's "Railway Liveries" on pp 29, 33, 36/37, & 84.


I must admit, having tried that shade, I always thought it looked more like post 1956 maroon than the earlier crimson.

Noel
Regards
Noel


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