Suitable paint for goods vehicles

User avatar
David B
Posts: 1115
Joined: Sun Jul 20, 2008 5:30 pm

Suitable paint for goods vehicles

Postby David B » Sat Feb 16, 2019 2:55 pm

I am diversifying a bit from the GWR and trying to find suitable paint for other companies' freight stock. I would appreciate pointers from people who model companies other than GWR, as to which paints they use. Phoenix are about the only people who specify a company and colour, but as I have many tins of Humbrol and Revell paints and a few Phoenix, I don't want to add lots more Phoenix just for one or two wagons.

So far, I have found recommended:

LNWR grey - Humbrol 79 blue grey matt
Barry red oxide - Revell matt 37

Next up is a North East Railway box van which needs, again, to be grey, but which one? More to follow include LSWR, Midland and Taff Vale. May I have people's suggestions for suitable non-Phoenix (and car) paints? You might have noticed these are all pre-Grouping, but post-Grouping could be useful to add for other modellers.

martin goodall
Posts: 995
Joined: Fri Oct 02, 2009 6:20 pm

Re: Suitable paint for goods vehicles

Postby martin goodall » Sat Feb 16, 2019 6:09 pm

I am not sure about NER grey, but LSWR goods brown was the same shade as SR goods brown.

I believe that MR goods grey was the same as LMS goods grey. At the end of WW1, the MR bought a large quantity of Battleship Grey from the Admiralty as war surplus.

TVR goods livery was a red oxide. I am not sure about the exact shade, but when weathered I doubt whether the exact shade is likely to be critical.
Last edited by martin goodall on Sat Feb 16, 2019 6:32 pm, edited 1 time in total.

martin goodall
Posts: 995
Joined: Fri Oct 02, 2009 6:20 pm

Re: Suitable paint for goods vehicles

Postby martin goodall » Sat Feb 16, 2019 6:25 pm

Re MR grey, I forgot to mention 'Smudge'. This was a dark grey produced by mixing freight grey with black. The MR and the LMS both used Smudge for repaints of goods wagons, but photographic evidence suggests that practice was not consistent, and there were examples of light grey being used for some repaints, but I am not aware that Smudge was ever used for painting newly built goods wagons.

User avatar
Jol Wilkinson
Posts: 788
Joined: Mon Jul 21, 2008 7:39 pm

Re: Suitable paint for goods vehicles

Postby Jol Wilkinson » Sun Feb 17, 2019 8:56 am

David,

LNWR wagon grey was also known as Invisible Grey, apparently because it was the same as camouflage grey used by the Navy.

LNWR Liveries (HMRS) quotes the grey as being 50:50 white and black. As an experiment I had an aerosol produced by Halfords to that ratio. It is quite a dark grey, so I am inclined to think that Humbrol Blue Grey 79 is too blue. It is difficult to tell from online paint charts but Humbrol Slate Grey may be better if you have that.

Jol

billbedford
Posts: 682
Joined: Tue Oct 02, 2012 2:40 pm

Re: Suitable paint for goods vehicles

Postby billbedford » Sun Feb 17, 2019 10:38 am

All grey paints used white lead mixed with lamp black. White lead oxidises in the presence of sulphur to a charcoal grey tone, the same as coach roofs. This means that any grey painted wagon would become progressively darker between re-paints, and the lighter the original the more pronounced the difference would be.

Thee is a story of the NSR Study Group finding someone who had worked as a wagon painter at Stoke works. They took him a number of differently coloured NSR wagons to him and ask which was the correct livery. His answer was "all of them".

My suggestion would be that is would always be more authentic to have a range of slightly different shades than to pick one particular colour as "correct".
Bill Bedford
Mousa Models
http://www.mousa.biz

billbedford
Posts: 682
Joined: Tue Oct 02, 2012 2:40 pm

Re: Suitable paint for goods vehicles

Postby billbedford » Sun Feb 17, 2019 10:42 am

Jol Wilkinson wrote:LNWR Liveries (HMRS) quotes the grey as being 50:50 white and black. As an experiment I had an aerosol produced by Halfords to that ratio. It is quite a dark grey, so I am inclined to think that Humbrol Blue Grey 79 is too blue. It is difficult to tell from online paint charts but Humbrol Slate Grey may be better if you have that.


It's the titanium white that gives a blue cast to greys. It is always better to let down black with a cream or beige colour to get a warmer grey.
Bill Bedford
Mousa Models
http://www.mousa.biz

User avatar
Noel
Posts: 1143
Joined: Wed Jun 23, 2010 1:04 pm

Re: Suitable paint for goods vehicles

Postby Noel » Sun Feb 17, 2019 12:55 pm

billbedford wrote:All grey paints used white lead mixed with lamp black.

billbedford wrote:It's the titanium white that gives a blue cast to greys


Both may be true, but not at the same time. Paint technology changed more than once in the railway era, and so, therefore, did the way paint changed over time. White pigments which were zinc based appeared in Victorian times, as did ready-mixed paints that could be applied directly from the tin. The LMSR 1935 specification given in The LMS Wagon, Essery and Morgan, uses Zinc Oxide white, not white lead. It refers to a 1929 spec [not given] and that up to that date Midland methods [also not given] were apparently used. [I think titanium white is later still?]

So the question, for each of the pre-group companies, is did they change from lead based paint to zinc based, and, if so, when? The other question is what did wagon repair and building firms use and when did they change? Some may have changed to bulk supplies of ready mixed paint, with resulting variations in colour arising from different technologies and different manufacturers' ideas of what a particular colour looked like.

Given the variations in methods, the use of paint prepared in batches from separate ingredients in many cases, the human judgements and perceptions involved, the use of paint in this context purely for protection [not decoration], and the different chemical changes over time, wagons would have varied in shade as Bill pointed out earlier. The only constant would have been the accumulation of dirt over time.
Regards
Noel

martin goodall
Posts: 995
Joined: Fri Oct 02, 2009 6:20 pm

Re: Suitable paint for goods vehicles

Postby martin goodall » Sun Feb 17, 2019 1:55 pm

I would have to disagree with Bill Bedford's assertion that any grey paint would become progressively darker between repaints. It would depend on the materials actually used in the mix.

There is ample photographic evidence that L&Y grey, which started out as a medium-dark shade, was particularly prone to fading, and could become quite a light grey by the time of the next repaint. Metropolitan Railway goods grey, which started out as much the same shade as L&Y grey also tended to fade over time, although apparently not quite so badly as the L&Y colour.

On the other hand, GWR goods grey seems to have shown no sign of fading at all (but then, as we all know, everything about God's Wonderful Railway was infinitely superior to all the lesser lines). In black & white photos, it can sometimes be difficult to distinguish GWR goods grey from Black. It was a particularly dark shade, although I am unable to say whether or not it actually darkened with age.

User avatar
David B
Posts: 1115
Joined: Sun Jul 20, 2008 5:30 pm

Re: Suitable paint for goods vehicles

Postby David B » Sun Feb 17, 2019 2:14 pm

I am inclined to agree with Martin that it would be far more usual for colours to get lighter through exposure to sunlight and pollutants, rather than darker. The main darkening agents were likely to be mud, smoke and airborne dirt, some of which would wash off in rain.

It is clear that there can be no definitive Company colour except where a formula is given and then, only applicable when newly painted. Returning to the modelling question that began this, I am looking more for a base colour from which to start - Midland grey was very pale (Humbrol 64?); GW grey dark (Humbrol HR105?); LNW grey had a blue cast (Humbrol 79 or 123?).

So, to re-phrase my earlier question, what would be recommended 'starting' colours be in terms of Humbrol, Revell or whatever make?

User avatar
Guy Rixon
Posts: 606
Joined: Sun Mar 27, 2011 6:40 pm

Re: Suitable paint for goods vehicles

Postby Guy Rixon » Sun Feb 17, 2019 3:37 pm

I use Tamiya "IJN Grey" to represent LNWR goods grey. I used to darken it with a little black, but now that I'm using a black oil-wash for weathering, I find that the base colour can be lighter.

If LNWR grey is equal parts black and white pigment, I don't believe that it can be the colour of British warships. AFAIK, Royal Navy vessels have always been lighter than that. It's possible that it matches the darker component of some naval camouflage, or that it was the colour of German warships. I could also believe that the LNWR used the navy-surplus paint while it was cheap and that it was an entirely different colour from the 50-50 grey.

I've used Tamiya "Light Sea Grey" for Midland vehicles, but I'm told that it's got too much of a blue-green cast. It may be a good match for the ex-naval shade post-1918. Tamiya "Sky Grey" is a possible match for a very-light grey such as the Midland 17-white-to-1-black mix, or for greys that weather by fading. I used it recently on a Cambrian wagon - see my workshop thread - and was pleased with the result.

John Palmer
Posts: 575
Joined: Fri Jul 15, 2011 11:09 pm

Re: Suitable paint for goods vehicles

Postby John Palmer » Sun Feb 17, 2019 5:03 pm

Guy Rixon wrote:I use Tamiya "IJN Grey" to represent LNWR goods grey.

Ah but that begs the question "which IJN Grey?" The Naval Arsenals at Maizuru, Kure and Sasebo used different greys in ascending order of darkness. In addition the Yokosuka Naval Arsenal used a fourth gray which has been said to have had a green component, though I can't see it myself. I understand that the Tamiya paint range covers all four variants.

User avatar
Guy Rixon
Posts: 606
Joined: Sun Mar 27, 2011 6:40 pm

Re: Suitable paint for goods vehicles

Postby Guy Rixon » Sun Feb 17, 2019 10:11 pm

John Palmer wrote:
Guy Rixon wrote:I use Tamiya "IJN Grey" to represent LNWR goods grey.

Ah but that begs the question "which IJN Grey?" The Naval Arsenals at Maizuru, Kure and Sasebo used different greys in ascending order of darkness. In addition the Yokosuka Naval Arsenal used a fourth gray which has been said to have had a green component, though I can't see it myself. I understand that the Tamiya paint range covers all four variants.

Good point. It's the Sasebo one.

dal-t
Posts: 624
Joined: Mon Jan 11, 2010 8:06 pm

Re: Suitable paint for goods vehicles

Postby dal-t » Mon Feb 18, 2019 12:20 pm

A couple of years ago I realised I was running out of Precision L&NWR grey, and knowing it would be difficult to replenish here, whereas I can get Humbrol enamels from a local supplier, I did some trials of likely contenders for a stand in. Unfortunately the detailed results, with photos taken from both airbrushing and 'hairy sticking', remain locked away on my 'dead' iMac, but my main conclusion was that one of several Humbrol shades would 'do' straight from the tin, with my favourite being Hu92, matt Iron Grey. But I also tried the 50:50 white/black mix that Jol mentions was the prototype approach. I found that however carefully I measured 'drops' (on the old Humbrol colour-match system) or mililitres from a pair of graduated syringes, I was unable to get equal parts of each colour close enough to replicate the same shade twice. I have therefore decided that when I want 'another' shade of grey (and I've got both LMS and MR wagons on the production line at the moment) I'll just mix black and white in roughly equal parts and go with the result produced on the day.
David L-T


Return to “Wagons”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 0 guests