Model Paint Summary 2022

Discussion in 'General' started by Iantha_Branch, Jan 10, 2022 at 8:14 PM.

  1. Iantha_Branch

    Iantha_Branch Member

    As I mentioned in a recent thread, I finally have an airbrush to use. I found it was a bit difficult to figure out what paint to use and where to locate it. A big reason for that is the landscape for model railroad paint has changed and changed again quite a bit over the past several years. The days of floquil are long gone. Testors model master is apparently out of production as well. The options we have today appear to be Badger Modelflex and Vallejo. While we do have some information about paint recommendations on the forum, its scattered around, and most of it is out dated now with the change up in availability. My goal here is to make a comprehensive, up to date list of what works well for acrylic air brush paints for Frisco modelers.

    Someone wrote a nice guide a while back that includes a table to help match old floquil colors, however it includes the now defunct Testors Model Master. It is handy though.

    I think my main paint source will end up being Badger. They have a nice color chart on their website. Chart Images/Railroad Colors.gif

    I recently received my first for vials of paint and managed to put together a couple test subjects. While its easy enough to pick out a basic black or white color, the "perfect" Frisco Orange/White is always difficult to pin down, and to an extent, the gold color used on the B/Y diesels is as well. I'm going to create separate replies to address both of these schemes.
    Last edited: Jan 10, 2022 at 8:50 PM
  2. Iantha_Branch

    Iantha_Branch Member

    Lets start with what I see most often discussed: what to use for the red/orange color for diesels wearing the O/W scheme. A common recommendation is SP daylight red. Badger does offer this color in their modelflex line and I was able to get some to try. Badger also offers a "Frisco Orange". I started with a base coat of Reefer white, and then divided the shell in half and masked off areas to leave white stripes.

    Picture one is of the test shell outside in the natural light.

    Picture two is with an Athearn GP40-2 and SD45

    Picture three is with an Atlas U30B and whats left of an old Athearn GP40-2 that was painted with some automotive paint I picked up a while back that is supposed to be an exact match to the original Chevy Engine Block Orange-Red from back in the day, which is what the Frisco used.

    As always, its tough to get an exact match. It also depends on how weathered the locomotive is that you are looking at. Naturally red paint doesn't stay the same for very long out in the sun. Combine that with all the various dirt and road grime that accumulates, and you will find that different hues will work best for different looks.

    My thoughts on the two options I have so far is that the Frisco Orange is pretty close, but a little too vibrant. The SP Daylight right is also really close, but may actually be a bit too dark orange. I am considering making a blend of the two to test out. Next chance I have, I plan to do three full locomotive shells: One of each color and another with a 50/50 blend. Stay tuned for more.

    Attached Files:

    Last edited: Jan 13, 2022 at 8:57 PM
  3. Iantha_Branch

    Iantha_Branch Member

    Next up, lets look at some options for the yellow used in the black and yellow scheme diesels. Much like the red/orange color, there's a lot of debate around what is correct for a yellow color. Once again, the amount of time out in the elements does have an impact on what shade the yellow looks like. Looking a photos of different models and repaints, its as possible that the color its self varied some through the years. On my first order I couldn't come up with any thing that closely resembles the "light" yellow you see in some photographs. I did find a couple good options on kind of a middle yellow that I think a lot of us would think is closest to correct, and for good reason. Badger Modelflex offers a B&O Dulux gold and I think it will look excellent for most B/Y models. There is another option for that darker shade of yellow that some photos show: Badger Railbox Yellow.

    Picture one is of the shell out in natural light

    Picture two is of the side with the B&O dulux gold up against an old Stewart F3 that is painted what I would describe as the "light" yellow, and a recent Athearn F3 that some considered to have too dark of a yellow.

    Picture three is is of the side with the Railbox Yellow up against the same pair of F3s.

    I plan on using the Dulux gold on my models in the future.

    Attached Files:

  4. klrwhizkid

    klrwhizkid Administrator Staff Member Administrator Supporter

    Ethan, the longer a red paint is exposed to natural UV light, the more the color shifts towards either orange or pink shades depending on the original color, thus most of the discussion about the Frisco red (Chevrolet Engine Red) being more orange than red.
    Ayerox and modeltruckshop like this.
  5. In the archives here there a few pictures that show this well because units have doors from other units installed after servicing. It shows how the color would change with time and exposure.
  6. Iantha_Branch

    Iantha_Branch Member

    Good catch, I will correct my error.
  7. klrwhizkid

    klrwhizkid Administrator Staff Member Administrator Supporter

    My first response was solely focused on red, when I should have addressed yellows or "golds" as well. The yellow color on the Athearn Genesis Fs and GPs would be more consistent with relatively new units (as delivered). Over time the yellow would lose its darker components due to UV and would result in much lighter tints of yellow, and depending on the original paint, possibly even nearly lemon colors (when not covered with diesel or oil grime).
    modeltruckshop and geep07 like this.

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