Author Topic: Northern Pacific Passenger Car Colors  (Read 2879 times)

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Nato

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Northern Pacific Passenger Car Colors
« on: October 03, 2013, 04:30:30 PM »
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            I know this is a several week old topic, Bob Gilmore just got around to uploading NP passenger photos compairing  colors on different manufacturer cars. First photo, Left to Right Con Cor Dome Car . This color looks totally correct to me, I got to view NP cars in Seattle and Butte , Montana. Middle, Lowell Smith Trains NP business car. Color looks good, has a black roof, Right  Intermountain Centrallia Coach, colors look off to me. Second photo L to R Kato Coach custom painted, got set off a Tex n Rails auction, colors too light, Lowell Smith car again, colors are good. Nate Goodman (Nato). Salt Lake, Utah.




mmagliaro

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Re: Northern Pacific Passenger Car Colors
« Reply #1 on: October 03, 2013, 04:51:34 PM »
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Here's my contribution on this subject:

https://www.therailwire.net/forum/index.php?topic=26042.0

I think the Con-Cor is very close.  The custom painted Kato I have (which I did not paint) is a little light, but
I think acceptable.  The Rapido dark green is way too dark.

By the way, I have a full quart of that NP Loewy green in a solvent-based enamel that I had color-mixed from the
NPRHA color drift card.  If you look at the thread above, you can judge for yourself whether it's right, but I think it is.

I would love to sell off 2 oz bottles of the stuff to recoup my expenses on it.
If anyone is interested, contact me privately.

Just be aware that it is a solvent based enamel mixed in a Miller Paint store.  These guys mix house paint, so the paint
is very thick.  But I just thinned it 60/40 with thinner and it sprayed fine in an airbrush.  In fact, I would go 50/50 next time
as 60/40 made it a little too watery.

wazzou

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Re: Northern Pacific Passenger Car Colors
« Reply #2 on: October 03, 2013, 05:33:25 PM »
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I think the KATO car would be what one would expect to find in the 1990's as far as color, well preserved, but faded.

The Centralia Car shops one though...yuck.
Bryan

Member of NPRHA, Modeling Committee Member
http://www.nprha.org/
Member of MRHA


CBQ Fan

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Re: Northern Pacific Passenger Car Colors
« Reply #3 on: October 03, 2013, 05:51:53 PM »
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The Lowell Smith car appears to be vey close to the Rapido cars????
Brian

Way of the Zephyr

mmagliaro

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Re: Northern Pacific Passenger Car Colors
« Reply #4 on: October 03, 2013, 09:01:49 PM »
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I just realized that the Rapido car you have is one of the newer coaches.  Mine was the older duplex sleeper they did.
Interestingly, I thought the duplex car's dark green was far too dark, and now on the coach, it looks like they have
swung the other way and made it far too light.


wazzou

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Re: Northern Pacific Passenger Car Colors
« Reply #5 on: October 03, 2013, 11:04:56 PM »
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I know factually that Rapido Trains was sent the same set of NPRHA Color Drift Cards that you mentioned Max.
Bryan

Member of NPRHA, Modeling Committee Member
http://www.nprha.org/
Member of MRHA


mmagliaro

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Re: Northern Pacific Passenger Car Colors
« Reply #6 on: October 04, 2013, 01:14:46 AM »
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I know factually that Rapido Trains was sent the same set of NPRHA Color Drift Cards that you mentioned Max.

I absolutely believe you.  But something went wrong when they used the card.
No way does that duplex sleeper car match the card (as you can see in this photo with the car next to the card...
the Rapido is at the top).   The shot on the left is the original.  The shot on the right is after I repainted the Rapido
car with the enamel I had mixed.

The cars are (top to bottom)   Rapido, Kato (custom paint), and Con-Cor.

« Last Edit: July 03, 2017, 07:58:01 PM by mmagliaro »

wazzou

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Re: Northern Pacific Passenger Car Colors
« Reply #7 on: October 04, 2013, 01:40:45 AM »
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What I intended to convey Max is that Rapido should have no excuse for inaccurate color rendition.
Bryan

Member of NPRHA, Modeling Committee Member
http://www.nprha.org/
Member of MRHA


mmagliaro

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Re: Northern Pacific Passenger Car Colors
« Reply #8 on: October 04, 2013, 04:42:30 AM »
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What I intended to convey Max is that Rapido should have no excuse for inaccurate color rendition.

D'oh!  Now I get you, Bryan.   :D

Yes, I agree.

Big Train

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Re: Northern Pacific Passenger Car Colors
« Reply #9 on: October 04, 2013, 07:18:01 AM »
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In a previous life I used to match colour paint for production use in the automotive industry. A lot of things that have to be calibrated correctly and procedures have to be rigorously maintained in order to reproduce colour accurately and consistently.

Unfortunately, it's not as simple as matching a drift card against a sample in most cases. One major consideration is the colour balance of the light source. If these cars were taken outside, are there any changes in perceived sample colour? Does it again change when viewed under fluorescent, halogen, tungsten or at different times during the day (early in the morning, Noon, later afternoon...and can be affected by seasonal changes as well). It could be a secondary spectral response, or metamorism, of the chemistry used to compound the colour. Some compounders might use optical brighteners to enhance colour reproduction. And the effect of viewing the actual sample under reflected light versus viewing samples using transmitted light through a computer monitor (CRT or Flatscreen...and are these calibrated?).

The easiest answer would be to use the same kind and colour temperature of lighting for your paint booth that you use for your layout.

But, about the drift cards.....unless the paint is actually applied on the sample and, allowing for the solvents to flash-off, left to cure for a day or so, it's not to easy to accurately match colours. How many of us have stirred the paint, lifted the stirring stick and matched wet paint against the drift card and said "close enough"? Then disappointed when the paint on the sample has cured.

I can't speak for how colour matching is done for all these manufacturers. If someone looks at a drift card in, say, an office in Chicago, it might look different on the shop floor in Guanzhouand and they proceed to match paint under their operating conditions.

We used to use a highly specialized light booth that was frequently calibrated by the manufacturer. And there were procedures for using the booth. In our case it was a small office with a door that was entirely paint munsell gray (basically battleship gray, or, 18 per cent gray) and to be totally dark in use, except for the light from the light booth. And only after 10 minutes after being in this environment could we accurately match colours.

Like I said, I can't speak for the manufacturers, but I strongly suspect they may not be as rigorous as the automobile industry in this regard.

The other point I'd like to make is the effect of "scale colour" on our colour perception. Some of my friends build model armour and aircraft and have mentioned this technique to me. But, briefly, the theory is that colour intensity is diffused by atmospheric haze and becomes more pronounced the further we are away from the prototype.

http://www.ipmsstockholm.org/colorcharts/stuff_eng_colorcharts_scaleeffect.htm

http://www.cybermodeler.com/color/scale_effect.shtml

I'm sure the manufacturers work very hard to reproduce colours accurately as best they can, but unless it's a closed-loop system where everyone maintains their part in the process, it's easy to fall off the rails.

Still doesn't explain why Intermountain made Canadian National Railways olive green and yellow F-Units that ended up almost gray instead of olive green...

<humour>Hope this adds to the confusion...</>

mmagliaro

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Re: Northern Pacific Passenger Car Colors
« Reply #10 on: October 04, 2013, 02:09:01 PM »
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Big Train:
I appreciate all that info.  And yes, I know there are a lot of variables related to lighting and viewer perception.
What bugs me about this is that many many people took one look at those Rapido NP cars and says, "Whoa... too dark."
when they came out.   I would have thought that Rapido would spray a few samples and look at them, and show
them to some NP sharpies (maybe at the NPRHA?)

It is not hard to see that the painted car is much darker than the card, and it looks that way everywhere.  In my layout room,
on my desk, in my kitchen.

Maybe I just got "lucky".  I took the drift card to the paint store, they matched it with a computed scan, and mixed the
paint.  All I know is, it came out a lot closer to what I see on that card.


Kisatchie

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Re: Northern Pacific Passenger Car Colors
« Reply #11 on: October 04, 2013, 07:34:09 PM »
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Since childhood, I always thought the Northern Pacific dark green/light green scheme was the best passenger car colors around. Then in 2002, I was in Montana when I saw a clump of trees. The leaves on top were dark green, while the undersides were light green. A light bulb lit up in my head. Same colors as Northern Pacific cars had.


Hmm... talk about a
"d'oh!" moment...


Two scientists create a teleportation ray, and they try it out on a cricket. They put the cricket on one of the two teleportation pads in the room, and they turn the ray on.
The cricket jumps across the room onto the other pad.
"It works! It works!"

Puddington

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Re: Northern Pacific Passenger Car Colors
« Reply #12 on: October 04, 2013, 07:57:48 PM »
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 I would have thought that Rapido would spray a few samples and look at them, and show
them to some NP sharpies (maybe at the NPRHA?)

OK; so, I was not at Rapido when these cars were produced but let me add a couple of things I know:

1. If you produce your cars 6000 miles away, you can't just "spray a few samples"... that's not the way it works. We do 10-15 paint schemes at a time - we specify the paint colours, using Pantones and/or samples and equivicate them to known matches. we don't get "a few sprayed samples" for each car before production....

2. I second the motion about drift cards. I spent 25 years in the flecographic printing industry and we got rid of "tolerance proofs" 20 years ago - colour is way, way to subjective and drift cards are not using it. Today it's colour denstometers, colour spectrometers and a host of other things..... You just can't run around with a "card" and use it - substreight, light, paint/ink/dye.... application process... they all have a huge effect on things.....

3. I can't say if the picturs shown are accurate - my laptop monitor isn't ICC profiled and I'll wager that many of yours are not either. Colour on a monitor is a pandora box of issues...

Ok, so that said, people don't like the colout of the Rapido NP green.... I will launch an internal investigation (and being as there are four of us that isn't as grandious as that sounds) and will see what I can report back....

Ask 4 model railroaders what "colour" is right and you'll get 28 opinions..... :D 
« Last Edit: October 04, 2013, 07:59:55 PM by Puddington »
Model railroading isn't saving my life, but it's providing me moments of joy not normally associated with my current situation..... Train are good!

CBQ Fan

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Re: Northern Pacific Passenger Car Colors
« Reply #13 on: October 04, 2013, 08:08:14 PM »
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The way people react to NP colors I don't blame any manufacturer for doing it however they please.  I have never seen so many militant positions on both sides of the spectrum as I have with this color combo.  If Rapido had kept their production on N scale passenger cars on a more consistent run I would not own so many Centralia cars.  As a result if they do make the next two car styles in NP I will by them (they better match the prior runs though), but I will not pre-order them.  Did that once and the orders were all cancelled with the re-announcement.  I get the email and was very disappointed to see more and more new HO announcements and no N scale.  Puddy you need to get a stronger commitment to N scale or they may as well just skip it.

I have some photos in books that are dead on for the Rapido covers.  Since I was not alive when the real deal ran that is all I can go by!
Brian

Way of the Zephyr

Kisatchie

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Re: Northern Pacific Passenger Car Colors
« Reply #14 on: October 04, 2013, 08:13:14 PM »
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Hmm... if you want
accurate NP colors, go
get a leaf off one of
those trees Kiz saw.


Two scientists create a teleportation ray, and they try it out on a cricket. They put the cricket on one of the two teleportation pads in the room, and they turn the ray on.
The cricket jumps across the room onto the other pad.
"It works! It works!"