Author Topic: N Scale Sugar Beets - What Color Paint?  (Read 2121 times)

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Kisatchie

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N Scale Sugar Beets - What Color Paint?
« on: February 20, 2014, 05:52:38 PM »
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I'm going to buy some Fine N Scale sugar beet loads, but they're unpainted. Does anyone know what is a good paint color to use on them? Anyone paint such loads before?

It appears from photos of real sugar beets that they're a light cream/tan, with darker brown dirt on them.


Hmm... I bet Kiz will
paint the beets one by
one...


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!"

basementcalling

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Re: N Scale Sugar Beets - What Color Paint?
« Reply #1 on: February 20, 2014, 10:57:51 PM »
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Ok, so not what you asked.

I've seen loads a light pinkish reddish brown color with dirt.
Peter Pfotenhauer

jimmo

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Re: N Scale Sugar Beets - What Color Paint?
« Reply #2 on: February 21, 2014, 01:02:19 AM »
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If you Google (or Bing) Image "sugar beets" you'll see a lot of pics of them in piles as they would be in a rail car. As I recall from my earlier days living in Simi Valley California and watching long trains of them pass by, the unwashed, unprocessed beets are mostly dirt brown with bit of pink showing through here and there.
James R. Will

nkalanaga

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Re: N Scale Sugar Beets - What Color Paint?
« Reply #3 on: February 21, 2014, 02:42:21 AM »
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The ones in eastern Washington were gray.  The local sand and silt are gray, and the beets tended to be the same color.

They're usually not washed before shipping, so any dirt should match the local soil color.  Thus, you'd almost have to specify where you're growing them before the question can be answered.
N Kalanaga
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Ike the BN Freak

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Re: N Scale Sugar Beets - What Color Paint?
« Reply #4 on: February 21, 2014, 06:14:57 AM »
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The ones in eastern Washington were gray.  The local sand and silt are gray, and the beets tended to be the same color.

They're usually not washed before shipping, so any dirt should match the local soil color.  Thus, you'd almost have to specify where you're growing them before the question can be answered.

Any idea when they stopped shipping beets by rail here in Eastern WA?  Probably before my era, but curious anyways.  And were these run in unit trains like SP did in Cali or small blocks?

Something that could add some interest in a future layout that is loosely based on BN in the PNW in the early to mid 90s.

Kisatchie

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Re: N Scale Sugar Beets - What Color Paint?
« Reply #5 on: February 21, 2014, 10:23:37 AM »
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Hmm... Kiz'll just paint
'em black and say the
beets went bad sitting
on a siding too long...


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!"

Mike Madonna

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Re: N Scale Sugar Beets - What Color Paint?
« Reply #6 on: February 21, 2014, 09:01:13 PM »
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If you Google (or Bing) Image "sugar beets" you'll see a lot of pics of them in piles as they would be in a rail car. As I recall from my earlier days living in Simi Valley California and watching long trains of them pass by, the unwashed, unprocessed beets are mostly dirt brown with bit of pink showing through here and there.

This sounds about right.
Mike
SOUTHERN PACIFIC Coast Division 1953
Santa Margarita Sub

nkalanaga

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Re: N Scale Sugar Beets - What Color Paint?
« Reply #7 on: February 22, 2014, 01:32:34 AM »
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Ike:  They were still shipping them in th elate 70s, but we moved to Kentucky in the summer of '78.  I have no idea when they stopped.

From the Tri-City Herald, as found on Google:
"Oct 29, 2012 - Washington's sugar beet decline started when Utah & Idaho Sugar Co. closed the only two refineries in the state in 1979, one in Toppenish and ..."

So, I'd say there probably wasn't much rail activity after that.

Most of the ones I remember were in blocks rather than solid trains.  There was a loading site at Glade, just north of Pasco, and I know it didn't load unit trains. 

In the early BN years they used a lot of old 2-bay hoppers, many from the CB&Q, for beets.  A lot of these were the War Emergency cars and still had the wood sides.  The steel wasn't in any better shape than the wood, and most had large holes patched with sheet metal, cardboard, globs of hay, etc.  The end for those came rather abruptly after a couple of incidents involving the loss of the load, including one where a hopper bay disintegrated at "track speed" between Pasco and Toppenish.  The NP and GN both used GS gons, without racks, and ballast hoppers for beet loading, as well as some 2-bay cars, but their cars were in better shape.  The BN tried to use the worn-out Q cars to free the better ones for other uses.
N Kalanaga
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cfritschle

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Re: N Scale Sugar Beets - What Color Paint?
« Reply #8 on: February 22, 2014, 06:54:20 PM »
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I have a photo from 2003 of a sugar beet train bound for the Amalgamated plant in Nampa, ID.  That train however originated in Idaho, so it does not help nail down a date for the last of the beet trains in Washington.  I do recall that occasionally a beet train would come east over the Blue Mountains to either the Nyssa, OR or Nampa plant in the 1990s.

And as for color, the ones around here are light brown/tan, enhanced by the color of the dirt in the field in which they were grown. 

I really wish they would go back to shipping by rail, because every once in a while one comes flying off the truck, and is downright dangerous at freeway speeds!

Carter
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nkalanaga

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Re: N Scale Sugar Beets - What Color Paint?
« Reply #9 on: February 23, 2014, 01:08:18 AM »
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I believe they are growing beets again in eastern Washington, but not on nearly the scale of the 70s and earlier.  As far as I know there are no refineries there, so that may be where the beets from over the mountains come from.

Considering the damage gravel can do, coming off a load at freeway speeds, I'd hate to be hit by a sugar beet.  Potatoes are bad enough, but all we have in Appalachia are gravel, coal, and scrap metal.  The gravel and coal are dangerous to windshields but safe enough on the road.  The metal breaks your window then flattens the next person's tires...
N Kalanaga
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np1969

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Re: N Scale Sugar Beets - What Color Paint?
« Reply #10 on: March 01, 2014, 11:19:51 PM »
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Quote
I'm going to buy some Fine N Scale sugar beet loads, but they're unpainted.
I think Dick includes suggestions for colors with his products. While I haven't purchased any of his sugar beet loads yet, I do have some of his sawdust/woodchip loads, and they had suggestions. I know if you send him an email, he will be happy to answer.  info <at> finenscale <dot> com. If I can remember, and he's there, I will ask him next Thursday at the club.
I will likely need quite a few since I intend to include the sugar refinery in Missoula in my layout even though it closed 5 or 6 years before the time I'm modeling (1969). It was an ancient plant, but its closing really put an economic dent in the western Montana economy. NP used to round up any kind of hopper they could find at harvest time to haul the beets to Missoula.
On recent business trips through eastern Oregon in September/October, I have seen semi-trucks loaded with sugar beets between LaGrande and Baker City. They were probably headed for the Nampa plant that Carter mentioned. Haven't seen a train of sugar beets though on that line, just lots of UP intermodal and mixed freight. I didn't see those trucks north of LaGrande, so I suspect they didn't come from Washington.
If I weren't trying to model Missoula in 1969, I think I would try to model Union Pacific's line from Boise to LaGrande. Any era would provide plenty of action.

nkalanaga

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Re: N Scale Sugar Beets - What Color Paint?
« Reply #11 on: March 02, 2014, 01:17:25 AM »
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I never knew Missoula had a sugar refinery.  The Billings/Hardin area grew a lot, in eastern Montana, and the old sugar refinery was still standing in Hardin the last time we were through there.  It apparently hasn't been used in years (decades?).
N Kalanaga
Be well

np1969

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Re: N Scale Sugar Beets - What Color Paint?
« Reply #12 on: March 02, 2014, 04:24:53 AM »
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Quote
I never knew Missoula had a sugar refinery.
I remember my aunt driving us out to the grandparent's place in Grass Valley in the late 1960s and passing the piles of tailings along Mullan Road. Being a child, I thought the factory was shut down about the time US Grant was president. Later on my father told me he worked there for a very short time after he came home from World War II, but he couldn't stand the horrible smell. He then went to work at the Jack Waite lead mine in Idaho until a cave-in told him there were better ways to make a living.

The Missoula mill was a Great Western Sugar factory that I seem to recall from research was formerly located somewhere in Colorado. For some reason, they moved the 1920's era machinery to Missoula where it ran until about 1963. I really don' t think they received beets from Washington or even eastern Montana because of shipping costs. I don't remember the tonnage produced, but it was a pittance compared to modern factories. Between antiquated equipment and shipping costs, that's likely why the Missoula mill closed. Much of the Bitterroot Valley was dedicated to growing beets until the mill closed. My dad loves to tell me about the number of fingers lost to "beet hooks." It was a labor-intensive industry back then.

Some of the buildings are still standing, having been remodeled into office space. It's difficult to really tell the extent of the factory now, but the main processing building and power plant building are still there. I've purchased three of the Walthers Vulcan Manufacturing kits to bash into the sugar mill since they are quite similar. A few years ago I took some photos of the remaining buildings, but I've rebuilt my computer since then and can't find them. I will try to find them and add to this thread.

Kisatchie

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Re: N Scale Sugar Beets - What Color Paint?
« Reply #13 on: March 02, 2014, 06:32:43 PM »
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I think Dick includes suggestions for colors with his products. While I haven't purchased any of his sugar beet loads yet, I do have some of his sawdust/woodchip loads, and they had suggestions. I know if you send him an email, he will be happy to answer.  info <at> finenscale <dot> com ....

Thanks for the info. I need all the suggestions I can get  :P


Hmm... Kiz is lying. I
make suggestions all the
time and he never listens...


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!"

cfritschle

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Re: N Scale Sugar Beets - What Color Paint?
« Reply #14 on: March 02, 2014, 10:20:37 PM »
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Kiz,

I am not sure if this will be helpful or not.



The color of the Idaho grown sugar beets is not all that much different from the dirt.

Carter
Carter

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