Colors of depots?

Discussion in 'General' started by Bradley A. Scott, Jun 27, 2006.

  1. Did the Frisco have a standard color scheme for its wooden depots? I'm primarily interested in the period from about 1920 until 1952, but any information would be appreciated. Here's what I've come across so far:

    I looked through some of the images at The color pictures from the 1950s suggest that gray with white trim was the most common color scheme at that time, but many depots appear to be a solid medium/weathered gray. (Actual paint color? Or had the white trim simply weathered into oblivion?)

    Older photographs, of course, are mostly black & white, which doesn't tell me much about the paint colors. Were there different color schemes that were used at different periods?

    Thanks in advance for any information.

    Bradley A. Scott
  2. yardmaster

    yardmaster Administrator Staff Member Administrator Supporter

    Bradley -
    I hope a nearly two-year late reply isn't too late but I didn't see a reply here.

    Frisco4301's threat "A Trip Down the Current River Branch" shows a good color photo of a standard SL-SF wood depot -Winona, MO in this case.

    When I first threw together a styrene Frisco wooden depot, I was quite satisfied with a can of Testor's Battleship Gray, a bottle of standard white (don't remember the brand) for trim, and some green craft acrylic with weathering chalks on the tarpaper roof (masking tape). The gray may have been too dark but I felt it was good enough.
  3. TAG1014 (Tom Galbraith RIP 7/15/2020)

    TAG1014 (Tom Galbraith RIP 7/15/2020) Passed Away July 15, 2020 Supporter

    As a kid (late 40's, early 50's) I remember the gray with white trim at Turner Station (SE of Springfield), but I also remember some of the other stations in the area as gray with a very dark green trim. Sometimes the gray seemed darker, but I think that was weathering (darker) and fading (lighter).


    PS: In the Depots and Structures section, the photos of Stoutland (right picture) and Seymour are examples of the gray with white trim. The photo of Strafford (mis-spelled) is the older gray with dark green trim.
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 10, 2008
  4. john

    john Supporter

    Seeing all Karl's depot plan posts got me interested in looking back through my 1950's standard plans book. The depots in it are all small replacement type structures and I don't know if any were ever built to these plans. I notice that the plans do have a color paint schedule if anyone is still interested.

    1958 paint schedule: Exterior - all paints Pittsburgh Plate Glass Co.

    Roof 2 coats Green 8-22
    Walls-Doors 2 coats Gray 8-5
    Wdw & Dr. Trim 2 coats White 1-352
    Eaves & Verge 2 coats White 1-352
  5. Iantha_Branch

    Iantha_Branch Member

    I looked at pictures of some of the larger towns in my area. Looks like Golden city has some sort of a light blue color. Lamar and Lockwood I think are also in the light blue category. But Iantha's depot is a light shade of Olive green. :confused:
  6. w3hodoug (Doug Hughes RIP 03/24/2021)

    w3hodoug (Doug Hughes RIP 03/24/2021) 2008 Engineer of the Year Supporter

    Dixon, MO from a Don Wirth negative posted under stations here on

    The gray has a touch of blue, which makes it quite attractive. The white trim is striking against it.


    Attached Files:

  7. JamesP

    JamesP James Pekarek

    What about interior colors? I think the only color interior picture I've seen appeared to be white. Any fancy trim or unusual features for the interior?

    - James
  8. john

    john Supporter

    1958 Interior

    Ceilings - 2 coats 1/2 white 27-109, 1/2 ivory 25-175
    Walls - 2 coats Ivory 25-175
    Drs & Woodwork - 2 coats Dk Oak 3-26
  9. JamesP

    JamesP James Pekarek

    Thank you!

    - James
  10. FriscoFriend (Bob Hoover RIP 4/12/2018)

    FriscoFriend (Bob Hoover RIP 4/12/2018) Passed Away April 12, 2018 Supporter

    What model paints have any of you used to replicate these colors? I would prefer to use acrylics if possible. Of course I would assume the white is a no brainer, Reefer White.
  11. Oldguy

    Oldguy Member Supporter

    Roof paint??? Hmmm. Looks as from the above photos, that was a local color option as well.

    And a million thanks to John for the interior color palatte.
  12. TAG1014 (Tom Galbraith RIP 7/15/2020)

    TAG1014 (Tom Galbraith RIP 7/15/2020) Passed Away July 15, 2020 Supporter

    Would they PAINT a roof?? Or would it be some color of roofing material??

    Tom G.
  13. frisco1522

    frisco1522 Staff Member Staff Member

    I always just used Floquil Reefer Gray and white trim, or earlier like my Newburg depots Reefer Gray and dark gray auto primer.
  14. renapper (Richard Napper RIP 3/8/2013)

    renapper (Richard Napper RIP 3/8/2013) Passed away March 8, 2013

    Most depot roofs that I have seen were green ashfault shingles. I do not know of any that were painted green. But I am sure there is always an exception.
  15. Coonskin

    Coonskin Member

    Seeing as this thread has been revived: Anyone know what colors were used when the depots were originally built during the 1880's? Many depot pics from that era appear to be a dark color... oxide red? There were also some white or gray ones in the 1890's?

    Any info would be appreciated.


  16. yardmaster

    yardmaster Administrator Staff Member Administrator Supporter

    Tom, I'm pretty confident I read somewhere that a type of green fire-resistant paint was applied to depot roofs at some point. However, I've tried searching online and even have reviewed a vintage 1953 "Fire Insurance Inspection and Underwriting" guide that I have at work, and can't locate anything that would confirm.

    Some of the 1906 Standard Depot plans that Karl has posted (for instance: seem to indicate wood shingles. I can't zoom in enough to read the print, but if wood shingles adjacent to steam-burning locomotives were the case, I'd suspect that it would be prudent to slather a fire-resistant/retardant paint on, as a loss prevention measure.

    If this is the case, the question still remains: why green?

    Best Regards,

    SAFN SAAP Member

    Green is both light and heat reflecting yet softer and easier than white to individuals. Maintenance is also easier.
  18. yardmaster

    yardmaster Administrator Staff Member Administrator Supporter

    Some additional information from "Standard Depots of the Southern Division" by Ron Williams, as published in FMIG Newsletter #31, (September 1981):

    "...most of the depots were originally 'shingles.' I can't tell you what type of material was used, but making some assumptions I would say that depending on the era, they would range from wood to asphalt to tile.

    We know that certain depots in other parts of the system used tin and tile in addition to other materials. Tile roofs became popular in the late '20's when several depots underwent heavy renovation which included stuccoing the exteriors to reflect the Santa Fe's influence.

    Later, based on pictures we've seen, roofs were repaired using rolled or tar paper material. No doubt for economy reasons.

    As to colors used, Arthur Johnson, recently retired Frisco employee, who has provided those excellent roster shots of steam locomotives, tells me most depots are gray with either white or dark green trim. You might like to try Floquil's SP Lettering Gray, white or Pullman or Brunswick Green. The Pullman is probably more suitable since Arthur says it was very similar to the passenger cars."
    Best Regards,

    SAFN SAAP Member

    I've been using the pictures above as a guide and have been experimenting with Americana Acrylic Paint found in Hobby Lobby, Michaels, or on-line at various retailers and I have found so far that DA281 Slate Green is very, very close in comparison.

    Edit: Oops. Got the interior and exterior threads confused. This post actually belongs in the interior thread.

Share This Page