Southern Pacific Lines

Coast Line Division 

“The Route of the Octopus”


General Information

Prototype Colors

  1. Naturally there were a number of "approved" paint vendors for SP freight cars who had been approved for both quality and reasonably close adherence to the standard color, but whose paint inevitably differed a little from each other and from the chip. New SP freight cars thus were certainly a little variable, but the standard seems to have remained quite consistent. The color changed a bit sometime in the 1970s. When the change was made away from solvent-based paints, DURABILITY sure changed, but the paint chip, as late as 1995, was awful close if not identical.

  2. Tony Thompson   

  3. I think it's fair to say that MOST colors used by railroads are not well documented, particularly the issue of paint purchases (or rolling stock production painting) in which someone had to decide if a particular brand, or a particular batch of a brand, was "close enough" to the standard paint chip. It's possible that the structure (and sign) paint was  originally in compliance with the standard paint chip for color no. 11 but was formulated differently for use on structures, and weathered/faded differently.

  4. Tony Thompson

Modeling Prototype Paint Color Variations

  1. The variety of freight car colors is staggering. Even among railroads there were variations as batches were painted with paint supplied from different vendors. As you extrapolate to 100 "freight car reds (browns)" you can perceive little difference, and the application to models makes it a nice exercise, but somewhat wasted. Perhaps 10 in gradient would be OK. The bottom line is even if you take the exact color match for the prototype, it will likely not look "right" on the model. And colors don't "scale".

  2. So our question to the hobby shops and distributors, as well as the hobbyist, IS THERE A NEED FOR MULTIPLE FREIGHT CAR BROWNS FOR THE SAME RAILROAD? Are there enough modelers out there who would cherish the fact they could paint 4 different browns (and the variation is notable when eyed side by side in sunlight) on their boxcars for a single railroad? OR is a generic B & O freight car brown, for example, as we have for TCP-178, enough?

  3. And this is JUST the reds and browns for freight cars. The same can be said for blacks, grays and off whites for gondolas, hoppers, etc. The alternative is to have a generic freight car red or brown for each railroad.

  4. Rick Galazzo

  5. Tru- Color Paint



  8. Color is dependent of several factors, including the environmental exposure the paint surface gets.


"Scale Lighting" Effect

  1. Paint did weather and fade. Bleached by the sun, darkened by the soot. And then there is the "scale lighting" effect - that models tend to look darker because there's less surface area to reflect the color. Indoor lighting also provides a multitude of variables. Color temperature being the most commonly known issue, but also the Color Rendition Index (CRI) of the light, especially with those energy efficient florescent lights. Fortunately, daylight balanced fluorescents with a high CRI are becoming much easier and less expensive to own. Rather than let my paint try to compensate for off-color and poor CRI lighting, I prefer to tackle that problem at the source - the lighting itself. So I want to start with a known accurate color, and then figure out an apply all the other variables (fading, weathering, "scale lighting effect") on my own.

  2. Arved Grass

  3. White can shift freight red color towards pink and use a neutral gray to get my scale effect. One should also consider the effects of a flat final coat and how the talc with give a "white" effect.

  4. Gene Deimling

Paint Chips

  1. A panel of Harriman Common Standard paint chips survives at the UP Museum, dated 1908. Common Standard No. 22 was indeed the number of the overall color list, and listed the full range of Harriman colors, including color no. 11, "metallic," along with Dark Olive and about 40 others.

  2. Tony Thompson   

  3. On page 80 of Bruce Petty's book "Southern Pacific Common Standard Plans, Volume 5", is a copy of Common Standard CSB 24 "Colors", dated April 2, 1897. The document was signed by what appears to be "E.B. Bushing", Engineer MOW of Atlantic Lines; "J. Wallace", Engineer MOW ofPacific Lines; and approved as standard by "Kruttschnitt", General Manager, who later became president of SP (1918-1920). Included are descriptions for several different colors, along with a small plastic pouch containing paint chip samples. A note indicates the paint matching chips were done by Diane Wolfgram.

  4. No. 1 Outside Body  - To be used on all buildings of the better class and, where necessary, as an inside trimming with No. 3.

  5. No. 2 Outside Trimming  - To be used in connection with colors No. 1 and No. 4.

  6. No. 3 Inside Body  - To be used for Offices, Waiting and Living Rooms.

  7. No. 4 Metallic  - To be used on the as the body color on all buildings constructed of rough lumber, on engine houses, shops and water tanks.

  8. No. 5 Pumps and Machinery    - This color to be used on such working parts of pumps and machinery.

  9. No. 6 Switch Targets and Semaphore Signal Blades

  10. If anyone is interested in a photo of the page from the book, please email me off-list.

  11. Rob Sarberenyi

  12. On page 80 of Bruce Petty's book "Southern Pacific Common Standard Plans, Volume 5 are very interesting colors, but DO NOT in all cases match the 1908 Common Standard color set, so they may not be reliable for all colors. I would say "trust but verify."

  13. Tony Thompson

  14. Not all paint was or (probably) could have been identical. But SP did have color chips, and someone in purchasing was supposed to identify "acceptably close" paints. For freight cars, for example, the builder specs would list "acceptable" paint, such as Pittsburgh Paint's "Freight Car," and I'd guess the same was done by the B&B guys. I'd personally doubt anyone went to the local hardware store (except of course in some emergency), but I'm sure paint stocks were by no means identical across divisions and across time.

  15. Tony Thompson

  1. There are  drawings and paint color samples in Arthur D. Dubin's wonderful small book "Pullman Paint and Lettering Notebook" published by Kalmbach. The book contains 43 paint color patches, and all of the colors seem very accurate.

S.P. Color Drift Cards

  1. Southern Pacific used a system of “color drift” cards, carefully prepared and stored in black envelopes intended to minimize fading from ambient light. The cards were used as a reference to get colors to match over time and from place to place, especially in the day of hand mixing of paints and finishes. It is interesting to compare drift cards from quite different eras for nominally the same color. In most cases they are indistinguishable, which either means that they have not deteriorated, or that somehow they all deteriorated the same amount despite quite different age. I’d lean toward the former interpretation.

  2. Tony Thompson

  1. Color Cards are not paint flakes chipped off buildings.

  2. John Sweetser

  3. A complete set is about 400 "cards" of different colors, some of which were modified over the years. But the great majority of the maybe 300 total are passenger interior colors, some only trim colors. For each drift cards are its envelope, giving the official SP color name and number. These were prepared for SP for decades by the Bowles Printing Corporation of San Francisco. The ones shown here all happen to be from the January 1944 color series. The colors, all from Common Standard Specification 22, are numbered 201, Colonial Yellow; 202, Light Brown; and 208, Moss Green. The 1944 SP color drift card very clearly labeled shows color no. 8 as Lark Light Gray, color no. 10 as Lark Dark Gray. SP Lark Light Gray was the same as the NYC Light Gray, but I observe that the SP color drift panels ARE labeled "Lark."

  4. Tony Thompson


  1. The Daylight color panels were reproduced in Church's Daylight loco book. I have seen SP panels like these for sale individually at Winterail for $5 to $10 each. I know of almost a dozen individuals who have the SP cards.

  2. Tony Thompson

Color Drift

  1. This occurs when a color shifts away from its original value and becomes a new color. It becomes a gradient in a way, it starts with the original color then blends into a new color at the end.

  2. Charlie Vlk

Bowles Drift Cards

  1. Generally, SP Bowles drift cards are distinctly lighter than drift cards, but the HUE is about right.

  1. Colonial Yellow. RGB, respectively: 255, 207, 104. CMYK, respectively: 1, 19, 69, 0.

  2. Light Brown.      RGB: 179, 120, 60. CMYK: 26, 54, 88, 8.

  3. These chips will also be reproduced, along with Moss Green, in the back of Henry Bender's forthcoming book on SP depots.

  4. Tony Thompson

Paint Chips

  1. Some people have physical samples of chunks of paint carved from the surface of different SP structures, (both the yellow and the brown). Below the external surface, these chunks show internally consistent colors from paint layer to layer, and match well with drift cards. This indicates that drift card do match actual structure paint colors.

  2. Tony Thompson

Paint Chips References

  1. SPH&TS has a selection of original color drift panels for Southern Pacific and for St. Louis Southwestern from the 1940s to the 1960s, possibly later. We may have these in our collection. Various people on the Board of Directors and the passenger car committee also have drift panels, so we probably (1) have access to these specific panels or (2) ones from earlier or later years.

  2. David Coscia

  3. SPH&TS Archive Director

  1. The color chips in the back of CS Plans volume 5 belong with a drawing dated 1897, prior to Harriman Common Standards. The Harriman CS colors were adopted in 1908. Whether or not the 1897 colors match, or how closely, with the 1908 colors would be hard to know. What is reproduced in Volume 5 is the MATCH to the original chips. In general, Colors No. 1 and 2, corresponding to Colonial Yellow and Light Brown, have the same kind of hue and are certainly in the same direction as the Bowles cards and may well have been INTENDED to be the same. But both No. 1 and No. 2 in Volume 5 are darker than the existing drift cards.

  2. Tony Thompson

  1. In the PFE book, Tony Thompson included a reproduction of the drift card there. If your decals match the drift card, you should be good to go with any number of paints.

S.P. Color Diagrams

  1. All the diagrams I've seen always just say Dark Gray and Light Gray.  All the grays in 1938, 1939, 1940, and 1942 were the same.  I just can't fathom them being different. 

  2. Jeff Cauthen

Paint Codes

  1. I am compiling a list of color codes used by railroads. This is what I have for the SP if anyone has any additions or corrections please let me know. I can also provide anyone with the complete list in an excel file.

  2. Tony Thompson  

Explaining Paint Codes

  1. Dupont's brand name is for lacquer.

  2. Dulux is their brand name for enamel. “Dulux” is not a color, but actually it’s a DuPont trade name for a particular formulation of paint. All the colors in that paint line have their name prefixed by “Dulux.” Thus there would be a Dulux Daylight Orange, Dulux Daylight Red, and so on.

  3. Duco 254 and Dulux 88 are types of paint. The color number is the number after that. The number 254 or 88 is the color within the brand name.

  1. Color               Specific      Brand Name           No.    Notes

  2. Aluminum                                      DuPont 165           21                 

  3. Aluminum      SP Spec      220                                                     Centari    44716A     

  4. Aluminum      SP Spec      220                                                     Imron      45431U     

  5. Aluminum                                      Duco 254               9614                 

  6. Black                                               Dulux 88                     5      Centari      99A      1947 E7

  7. Black                                               Duco 254               2234      Lettering

  8. Black                                               Duco 254               2504      1947 E7

  9. Gray                                                Dulux 88                  586      Dulux      586D      Lettering

  10. Gray                                                Dulux 88                  586      Imron      586U      Lark Light

  11. Gray  Light                                      Dulux 88              19687                                     Lark Dark

  12. Gray  Dark                                      Dulux 88              19688     Lettering And Striping Gray Lettering, numbers, post Oct 1947

  13. Gray                                                Duco 254             54906      1947 E7 " Lettering Gray"

  14. Gray                                                Duco 254             55921      EMD      8176689      1953 F7

  15. Green Pullman                                Dulux 88              5502        PPG        81649     

  16. Green                                              Dulux 88              28281                 

  17. Orange Omaha                               Dulux 88                5452      Centari      31AH     

  18. Orange Omaha                               Dulux 88                5452      Imron        31U      Daylight

  19. Orange                                            Duco 254             35412      1947 E7   "Daylight Orange"

  20. Red Socony                                     Dulux 88                5451      Centari      35405AH      Daylight

  21. Red Socony                                     Dulux 88                5451      Imron        35405U      Lettering, numbers, post Oct 1947

  22. Red                                                 Duco 254             35405      1947 E7

  23. Red                                                 Duco 254             9089R      F3, F7  Stripes

  24. Silver, Gray                                     DuPont 95             7581

  1. The SP paint list includes a whole bunch of different colors which are all listed as Duco 254. I don't know if there were other Duco numbers which also applied to numerous colors.

  2. Tony Thompson  

Dupont Numbers

  1. The Dupont numbers are on the web site:

  2. Dupont colors are:

  3. Orange  83-0005

  4. Red     83-5452

  5. Alum-bronze  83-00021

  6. Silver-gray           83-0586


  1. Note: Aluminum; NOT SILVER. "Silver" is the name of a color, "aluminum" is a kind of paint. The specs are the same.

  2. Jeff Cauthen

  3. There was NO such thing as Golden State red. The color used is identical to Daylight red.

  4. Tony Thompson

Color Name

  1. The SP color, was merely DuPont "Socony Red," "Socony" is an acronym for "Standard Oil Company of New York" which evolved into Mobil Oil. The "Socony red" color originally was the red used for Socony's "Flying Red Horse" trademark, and the red which bedecked their red and white service stations nationwide and around the world. Socony had a large chemical and paint plant on Staten Island, Chicago, and San Leandro; paint for the Golden Gate Bridge was manufactured at the San Leandro plant for many years.

  2. The SP name for this color was "Daylight Exterior Red," CS color no. 28, and it kept that name and number long after the Daylight trains and paint schemes were history.

  3. Tony Thompson

Widths of Colors Bands

  1. There is a "Daylight" color scheme which was applied to cars originally assigned to the Coast, Shasta , etc. Daylights. 

  1. The corrugated cars had the aluminum-bronze 3/4" pinstripes on the top and bottom of the windows and Shasta cars had the aluminum-bronze 3/4" pinstripe 1 1/16" above and below the windows.

Specific Colors

Simulated Stainless Steel

  1. SP "SSS" paint was little more than a satiny aluminum metallic gloss (when new) lacquer. Simulated Stainless Steel is not silver paint.  It was a metallic paint that was more gray than silver or aluminum.  SP used aluminum paint on the trucks and underbodies of the 1947 Daylight Red and Simulated Stainless Steel painted Golden State cars.

  2. In the final passenger scheme, SP left the stainless steel bare on those cars that were built with stainless steel sides, and those that weren't of stainless steel construction were painted plain old silver. Exception being the Economy baggage cars, of course.

  3. Over the years SP paint specs had aluminum,  aluminum leaf, gold leaf, pearl gray, lettering gray, and aluminum bronze, but I've never seen "silver" listed.

  4. Jeff Cauthen

Freight Car Red

  1. The SP freight car red color, from the earliest one I've seen in the Harriman era (Common Standard Color No. 11), through the 1940s color chip series, to the late 1990s ones (called "Panel No. 1), remained quite consistent. These are not, in terms of chips, different colors. The "No. 11" or "metallic" box car red color is a close match to much later SP and PFE freight car colors.

  2. Tony Thompson   

  1. SP's freight car color was browner than the one used by UP, which was more red.

  2. Bill Daniels

Socony Red

  1. Which is Daylight Red.

  2. Tony Thompson

  1. SP apparently initially chose Socony Red as its red for the 1937 Daylight consists and locomotives.

  2. Kevin Bunker

Scarlet Bloody Nose Scheme

"Equipment Orange”

  1. There never was an officially adopted SP paint called "Equipment Orange". Not in my list of SP color chips, but there was a "Fire Hydrant Orange," color no. 139, "Machinery Orange," color no. 147, and a "Motor Car Orange," color no. 95.

  2. Tony Thompson

  3. MofW was " Omaha Orange".

  4. Motor Car Orange, drift panel 95, is darker and more brown than Daylight Orange. Pantone 166C is close. My panel is dated April 1944 and is not on the 1951 list. Daylight Orange was probably used instead--pure speculation!

  5. Charles Givens

Daylight Orange

  1. SP started painting their MW equipment in the Daylight Orange color. That the color was limited to flangers, spreaders and the occasional renegade.  This does not apply to cranes, either, but there were ten diesel cranes that were given SPMW numbers and were also painted Daylight Orange. Otherwise, the standard was Light Smoke Gray (although some equipment went away still in mineral red).

  2. Ken Harrison

  1. The same orange paint use should also have applied to motor cars, trailers, related track maintenance vehicles and Burro (or similar lighter-weight MW) cranes. Don't forget Burro cranes, vehicles, and Fairmont track cars. And the detector cars and the Garbage Can 1.

  2. Kevin Bunker

SP's Lark Light Gray

  1. NYC Light Gray was correct for Pullman TTG and SP's Lark Light Gray.

  2. Tim O'Connor

  3. In Arthur D. Dubin's "Pullman Paint & Lettering Notebook" on page 127 shows a Pullman detail drawing for the Lark logo, and says "Std New York Central Grey Ena" as the background color. On page 124 is a Golden State TTG diagram that specifies

  4. "Light Grey Dulux Duponts 88-8234" and "Dark Gray Dulux 88-8235".

  5. I refuse to believe that the 1938, 1939, 1940 and 1942 paint schemes, NYC, UP, SP, Santa Fe, and Rock Island used different grays in the TTG scheme. But, for the pre-war period it just does not make any business sense that Pullman would have different shades of gray for different railroads.  I most certainly am not convinced that SP, UP , C&NW and Rock Island used different shades of grays on the sleepers and other cars assigned to the SF Overland, LA Limited,, Golden State, etc. After the 1945 divestiture, I agree that paint could have changed, but I'm convinced that SP, UP, and C&NW still used the same colors for their respective TTG cars. 

  6. Jeff Cauthen

  1. SP initially spec'd NYC Light Gray for the TTG lighter tone. This terminology later morphed into "Lark Light Gray" without any major shift in paint tint mix compounds. Modelers too often tend to slap names on things that aren't quite true to "railroadese" and here we see another example of the problem.

  2. Kevin Bunker

  3. So any Pullman Two-Tone Gray cars painted in 1939, 1940, 1941 (including the Lark) and 1942 used the same two gray colors as used by NYC. This applies to the Treasure Island Special, the Arizona Limited, the Overland route pool cars and the Golden State route pool cars.  

  4. It seems like earlier times it was grey and later it was gray. It all depends on what the definition of is is. The specs use grey and gray interchangeably.

  5. Jeff Cauthen

  1. Grey - English spelling

  2. Gray - Americana version

  3. See:                                                       

  4. Jim Lancaster

Underframe Painting When Re-built or Re-painted

  1. For new construction, the shops crews painted the underframes car color, top and bottom, just before and after flipping them over and fitting out or otherwise finishing the upper superstructure. The paint was considered essential to rust prevention.

  2. Kevin Bunker

  3. Repainting older cars was just an overall spray job of everything, after WW II. There was considerable amounts of sand, dust, oil and other grime. Overpainted cars that had gotten an in-service RIP paint job were usually *not* cleaned before paint was sprayed on, at least not on the underframes. New paint was often just applied over the old paint, which would only stick if the old surface were clean. Photos show re-painters using long handled spray guns for reaching areas under the car.

  4. They very obviously  spray-painted over whatever and however much was there. The same was true on passenger car trucks, which were spray-painted often to look better, clearly faster and easier than cleaning.

  5. Tony Thompson

Paint Colors and Age

  1. As we age, we need BRIGHTER LIGHT in our train rooms!

  2. "... at age 60, the amount of light reaching the photoreceptors is only 33% of the amount seen at age 20. By the late seventies, the amount falls to 12%." This is due to several factors, including the pupils' sensitivity to light. The pupil is supposed to open wider in dim light, but by age 80, it hardly changes aperture at all!


  4. So if things look too dark in your train room, you might want to consider doubling or even tripling the amount of artificial light!

  5. Tim O'Connor

  6. "Colors of a small model seem to be more dark than the colors of a bigger one. Scale lighting is a percentage of white color that should be added to make the exterior of the model more realistic. (The start color is the color of prototype.)

  7. Shade is always a matter of preference, but you should never use any color matched to a drift panel without pre-fading it. Actual matched colors always look too dark on a model.

  8. "One more nuance should be taken in account (especially for historical models): Use lower percentage if you wish to get the surface that seems like just-painted; Use higher percentage if you wish to get some old and fade surface."


  10. It includes a chart with recommendations for the amount of white to add to a particular color based on scale and amount of fading. Of course, a problem may occur with adopting this technique, and having a mis-match of paint where colors should be the same (such as adding a new factory painted model, or custom painting cars in an existing fleet of factory painted and custom painted darker models).

  11. Arved Grass

Example of Age and Color

  1. TO MY EYE, the correct SP Light Gray looks way too dark in indoor lighting. I lighten it, NOT because it isn't the "right" color vis-a-vis the SP drift card, BUT because it looks too dark on a model. I'm not describing ALL colors as too dark, just Lark Light Gray relative to Lark Dark Gray.

  2. Tony Thompson


  1. Modifications to that scheme for a service  can likely be found at the CSRM library in its drawings, and much other information is available in SP Passenger cars, volumes 1 and 2.

  1. See page 595 in Dick Wright's "Southern Pacific Daylight, Train 98-99;  The drawing doesn't have dimensions, but you could reverse engineer it. It does show where all the stripping goes. And, remember all stripping locations were measured from top of the rail, which is shown in this drawing.

  2. Find the April 1978 issue of Prototype Modeler it has a 5 page article on Daylight painted cars by Dave Blanchard -- the last page has the dimensions for painting the stripes you are looking for and the article also has a step by step guide to painting daylight cars.

  3. Jeff Cauthen is noted in the article for supplying prototype drawings  and data.

  4. Look at Mainline Modeler May 1995 page 39 in which Bill Anderson talks about the Daylight painted cars.

  5. Ron Plies

  1. Recommend searching paint color information found on this website, which lists most of the DuPont colors EMC/EMD used to paint locomotives


Modeling Paint

  1. For paint brand preference, let color drift panels be your guide. Start with a paint that matches the color drift panel, and then lighten it to account for both the size (a phenomenon called "scale lighting" by the finescale modeling community, concerning the aging of the paint.


  1. Accuflex was offered by Badger. There were initial problems with this paint related to contaminated water. When it was first introduced they experienced problems, namely "clumping" and other nasty issues. The problems with Accuflex were eventually addressed, but the damage to its reputation was already done. The product name was changed to Modelflex, which is still offered today.

  2. That stuff was terrible.

  3. Glenn Joesten

  4. Accu-Flex could more accurately be called Accu-Crap.


  1. Accupaint is history. The exceptional qualities of Accu-Paint, plain is simple, there was no better paint offered for model railroading applications! Not Scalecoat, which is still a pretty decent paint, and definitely NOT Floquil!

  2. Accu-Paint has been pre-thinned. The Accu-Paint thinner is a mixture of acetone, methyl ethyl ketone, and a couple of other very volatile solvents. It dries very quickly to a thin, glossy finish. Thin is the operative word here, it does not cover detail. It will tend to highlight any flaws.

  3. Remember with Accu-Paint, you need to use a good metal primer on the brass cabooses.

  4. Jim Elliot

  5. Accu-Paint:

  6. Acetone, Ethanol, Methylethyl Ketone, Toluene, Propyl Alcohol, Diacetone

  7. Alcohol, Butyl Ester Acetic Acid

  8. Reading the sheet that accompanies the paint recommends a paint/thinner ratio of 60:40. The pressure are you spraying with for Accu-Paint is generally 20 psi. Straight from the bottle Accu-Paint does not airbrush well at all, so always apply around 8 to 10% thinner - whether it's generic brand lacquer thinner or Accu-Paint thinner.

  9. After use, customers complained there was almost no "paint" left in the bottle they were purchasing. Sure, the acetone thinner had evaporated. A-P's paint pigments are still "there", you simply add thinner to bring the paint consistency back.

  10. It is very important with Accu-Paint to have a surface that is completely free of any residual oil, grease, solder flux, finger prints, mould release, etc. Various cleaners can be used but avoid the dishwashing soaps as they often have an ingredient that supposedly keeps hands nice and soft. I use 409 most of the time. Metal should be primed first. Be careful of the type of masking tape used and how you remove it. You’ll have problems with Accu-Paint sprayed directly on brass and resin, so always prime them now.

  11. I always shoot AP in the 25-35psi range. It's an incredibly thin coat so as you know you have to go over and over the same area. If the Star isn't thinned like this I'd say thin and retard even more! AP is very thin and will amplify any surface defects.

  12. Tim O'Connor

  13. AP stored away, upside down so as not to dry out. Even when AP does dry out, adding a little AP thinner brings it back to life. The color pigments are still there in the bottle, only the acetone "carrier" has evaporated.

  14. Another virtue of AP was each color was exactly the same from batch-to-batch. You could buy a color a year later and it would match what you had before. Accu-Paint has been extremely high sensitivity to humidity, The high Acetone content is to blame.

  15. Arved

  16. Purchase the paint at

  17. The link is to the P-B-L site. Once there, select the online catalog. The first page will give you a pulldown menu which is for rolling stock. The gray pulldown box is where you need to look for the paint and such. Select "paint and glue" Once there, you can scroll to about the fifth page and you will see the specific paint mentioned.

  1. AP-14 NH Socony Red

  2. It is a perfect match for Daylight Red.

  3. AP-40 Aluminum

  4. One of the best metallic color paints was Accu-Paint's #40 Aluminum. Their color had the pigment consistency of smoke, yes it was that fine! Unlike those huge metallic flakes found in Floquil's Amtrak Platinum Mist, once applied, Accu-Paint looks absolutely fantastic!

  5. AP-45 New York Central Light Gray

  6. Accu-Paint NYC Light Gray was the correct color for SP two-tone gray cars, with the SP Lark Dark Gray as the other color.

  7. Tim O'Connor

  8. AP-66  SP Scarlet

  9. AP-65  SP Lark Dark Grey

  10. AP-95  SP Lettering Grey

  11. AP-96  SP Daylight Orange

  12. AP-       SP Socony Red

  13. AP-54       Rich Oxide Brown

  14. It is very similar to Metallic CS-11.

  15. Accupaint never offered Daylight Red.

  16. Tim O'Connor

  17. AP-100 Thinner

Accu-Paint Thinner

  1. Accu-Paint's thinner is very safe for most styrene -- which is not true for many types of lacquer. In fact, if you screw up, you can actually dunk your entire model (or shell) in the thinner and the paint will wash off, with no harm to your plastic model. Try THAT with a lacquer thinner.

  2. It's not necessary to use Accu-Paint thinner or make your own blend. Believe me, I have been airbrushing this paint brand since it first came out and have very successfully used a slight dilution with plain, hardware-store-bought Lacquer Thinner. This works fine on plastic with no etching. The trick is not to overthin and keep the air pressure (about 30psi) regulated. I do keep a supply of Accu-Paint thinner on hand for occasional use, but I almost never use it. I have been painting commercially by these methods for more than 25 years.

  3. Lacquer thinner is still a very compatible thinning vehicle for Accu-Paint, Floquil lacquer-base paints, Scalecoat I and Scalecoat II paints. I kid you not.

  4. Kevin Bunker


  1. Check out the line of metallic colors available from Alclad. Aircraft modelers rave about their metallic finishes, several different types and colors are available                             

  1. Alclad offer several different shades appropriate for painting natural metal or simulated metal colors. Their pigments as exceptionally fine, looking nothing like the hugely inferior Floquil colors.

  2. Rob Sarberenyi

  3. Make certain you apply the undercoat as directed before applying the Alclad color you're working with. Instructions are on their website.

  4. Rob Sarberenyi

Simulated Stainless Steel

  1. A fine-ground pigment aluminum color is acceptable as long as it's not one of the simulated bright chrome paints. Amtrak Platinum Mist would suffice for most models.  Find a hobby shop that deals in aircraft models, they probably carry, or can order, a metallic paint line called "Alclad". There are about six different shades of aluminum. This stuff is a pain in the a-- to use, but the finish it gives is fantastic.

  2. Paul Lyons

  3. Platinum Mist would be better than Old Silver, but it's too dark.


  1. Almost all model railroad paints will after time flake off metal handrails. Faskolor is mainly used by the model car hobbyists in painting the lexan car bodies on the inside. It works pretty well on metal though  It's flexible and that's what you need on wire handrails. Buy it at a hobby shop that caters to the car and model plane modelers.

  2. Steve Phillips


  1. Relegate use of Floquil only for weathering models. For weathering models with the (inferior) Floquil colors, it’s recommended using lacquer thinner purchased from the hardware store (much less expensive then Dio-Sol). Understanding is Dio-Sol is actually what can help cause (though not the sole reason) the "crazing" of plastic when airbrushing your models.

  2. There's a lot of variability still in Floquil colors. Add to that, the paint dries flat, so you either need to add glaze to make the paint glossy (and since glaze is not clear, it changes the color) or you need an extra step to apply a gloss clear before decaling.

  3. Properly used, Floquil gives an excellent finish. But for rolling stock, you have to wait 7 or more days for the paint to dry before it can be decaled

  4. Use Floquil for certain applications:

  5. 1. Galvanized metal (50/50 mix of reefer gray and silver)

  6. 2. Underframes (buff color for wood and black/oxide for metal parts)

  7. 3. Couplers and trucks

  8. 4. Hand painted small details

  9. 5. Structures and scenic details

  10. Floquil and other "thicker" paints tend to cover-up. But then those thicker paints cover-up and fill-in some of the details too, making your models look "flatter" and somewhat devoid of detail.

  11. Floquil's "Daylight Red" isn't even close. They once offered "Socony Red" (used by the New Haven) and it was right on.

  12. When you use Floquil's "zinc chromate" primer, cut it by 1/3rd with the addition of Testors Gloss Cote and then dilute that with lacquer thinner and start a 3-step glazing application, letting each step dry at least 6 hours. If it's a brass or die-cast model it goes into the oven set on "warm" for at least that long, or overnight.

  1. Most people have used Floquil Old Silver for the SP aluminum color in Microscale decals.

Floquil Undercoating

  1. When undercoating use Floquil as base color:

first pass

  1. FL R-130 SP Dark Gray  Lettering Gray

second pass

  1. FL R-130 SP Light Gray  Lettering Gray

Floquil paint mixes

  1. Here’s a link to various "Floquil paint mixes compiled by Bill Havrilla around 1990, on John Shaw's web site," and has four alphabetical segments to click.                  


  1. I typically only use Floquil paint colors for weathering, not as a primary color application. Rick Blanchard has a listing of SP paint colors you may want to reference for Floquil and other manufacturers.


  3. See the Testors website regarding acrylic colors that may suit your needs


  5. Rob Sarberenyi

  6. That site isn't very useful for Floquil enamel and Poly Scale. Testors uses a completely different product number than what is listed. The current Floquil don't look anything like the paint Jimmy Booth matched to an official drift panel.

  7. Gene Deimling

Floquil Alternatives Paint Chart

  1. Microscale Industries put together a cross reference chart to identify substitute paint colors from alternate paint manufacturers to Testors' Floquil line. Here is the link:      

  2. Bob Chaparro

  1. This is an exceptional resource for many brands of model paints.


    There are many advocates and detractors of Badger's ModelFlex. See Andy Harman's solution:


  1. Modelflex 16-65 GN Green

  2. Badger Modelflex 16-65 GN Green and Empire Green are not the right colors for Espee head-end and passenger equipment painted SP Dark Olive Green. The Star Brand color is what you want!

  3. Rob Sarberenyi

Model Master

  1. Chris Palomarez came up with the following using Model Master paints:

  2. SP Lark Dark Gray (New Unit) MM 1791 Navy Gloss Gray

  3. SP Lark Dark Grey matching Athearn SD45T-2 MM 1788 Euro I Gray FS36081

  4. SP Scarlet (New Unit) MM 2733 Ford Engine Red

  5. SP Scarlet Red (Faded) MM 2127 Marker Red


  1. SP Daylight Orange  -  The color matches "Daylight Exterior Orange" (Drift Card #29).

Polly Scale

  1. The current Testors brand Pollyscale has no relation to the the original but the name.

  2. Pollyscale is water based. The Pollyscale line has been discontinued. But Testors still have the colors.

    If using Poly Scale for structures , you will have decent success. It does brush ok over a primed surface .


  1. Scalecoat (one word) is a very good paint, but it is NOT the same as Accu-Paint! Scalecoat works, especially when painting brass models and then baking the colors on. Scalecoat needs no primer, it goes right on bare brass. This means one less coat of paint.

  2. See my article in RMC May 2004 issue. I like Scalecoat in that it dries in gloss so it will be ready for the decals.

  3. Rusty Ron

  4. For brush painting, use Scalecoat or Model Master enamels.

  5. Arved Grass

  6. A good metal primer on the brass is Not as necessary with Scale-Coat I as other paints

  7. Jim Elliot

  8. I prefer Scalecoat as it shoots very well (diluted 40% with regular paint thinner) and bakes to a nice glossy surface.  I painted all of my brass with Scalecoat and a number of plastic cars (not baked) as well.

  9. Lou Adler

  10. Scalecoat I  are all solvent based Lacquers.

  11. Scalecoat II is not water based. It was simply formulated for the modeler to paint on plastics.

  12. Scalecoat:

  13. Xylene, Benzine, Butanone Oxime, and Petroleum Distillates

  14. Here is a link to Scalecoat:

  15. S3 Graphite & Oil

  16. This gives a nice dull silver look when sprayed and a possible match to Microscale silver decals.

  17. Thom Anderson

  18. S13 Box Car Red

  19. Color is pretty close, and use it for detail touch up on Red Caboose SP F-70-7 flat cars.

  20. Scalecoat offers, in both I and II, Box Car Red and Box Car Red #2 and Box Car Red # 3. # 2 is the closest match to Accu-Paint AC-12 which is very close to the color panel in the PFE Book by Thompson and Church.

  21. Jim Elliot

  22. A recommendation from Clyde King is to use a 50-50 mix of Scalecoat Box Car Red and Pennsy Freight Car Color (a light oxide red).

  23. S # Box Car Red

  24. S #20312  Daylight Red

  1. S_ Aluminum

  2. This gives a nice dull silver look when sprayed and a possible match to Microscale silver decals.

  3. Lou Adler

  1. S__ UP Harbor Mist Light Gray

  1. Both the pair of Scalecoat colors (Dark and Light Gray) and the Floquil pair (back in the day) really are pretty close matches to the SP color chips, and in sunlight look okay. But in indoor light, the two pairs of grays are FAR too similar to look right--they look like Dark Gray and Almost As Dark Gray. I have lightened the "Lark Light Gray" with some SP Lettering Gray, but Ron's suggestion of Harbor Mist Gray sounds good too. Then the MODEL looks like a good combination of dark and light gray, even though not actually matching the outdoor colors used by SP, and can have the appearance we see in prototype photos.

  2. Tony Thompson

  1. S  #10652  NYC Light Gray

  2. S  Dark Olive Green Mix Formula

  3. A 50-50 mix of Scalecoat Pullman Green and Coach Green will give you a resonable Dark Olive for passenger cars. Overshoot them with a very diluted weathered black to give the cars some aging.

  4. Lou Adler

Weaver Models  (Joe Donato & Missy Soltis)


  1. We are distributors for Scalecoat Model paint.  This paint is often hard to find and many hobby shops do not carry it. We stock the entire line and there are several SP Colors that they do make, include SP Dark Grey, SP Scarlet and SP Daylight Orange. We do carry their full line and offer a discount of 20% off the SRP of their items plus shipping.

  2. These are the products in the line

  3. Scalecoat I or II Paints

  4. $3.99 for 1 oz

  5. $5.99 for 2 oz

  6. Scalecoat I or II Thinner

  7. 2 oz $3.99

  8. 8 oz. $7.99

  9. 1 Quart $14.95

  10. Flat Glaze 2 oz $5.99

  11. Gloss Glaze 1 oz $3.99

  12. Gloss Glaze 2 oz $5.99

  13. Sanding Sealer 1 oz $3.99

  14. Sanding Sealer 2 oz $5.99

  15. 16oz Paint Remover $2.25

  16. Sanding Sealer Thinner 2 oz $3.99

  17. Paint Touch Up Pens $5.29

Star Brand

  1. Star Brands paint have been matched to the color drift panels. The paints are available directly from either Hi-Tech Details or P-B-L. Use exclusively Star Brand paints for painting all your SP models. Their paint finish properties far exceed those of Scalecoat and Floquil.

  2. Star Brand is a lacquer-based paint that is best applied with an airbrush using the Star Brand thinner. Tony Thompson was a great help to get an accurate color based upon railroad drift panels. Star Brands paint have been matched to the color drift panels.

  3. For those you who have not experienced the joy of painting with Star Brand lacquers you will enjoy how smoothly it goes on. It produces a smooth eggshell/stain finish that can accept decals directly. They can be painted on brass but the surface must be very clean and a high quality auto primer used. The primer must have a very smooth finish or the grain will show through the lacquer cover coat. The base color will very much influence the final color.

  4. Star Brand paint is a similar (if not identical) formulation as is Accu-Paint. Star Brand gives you more color per bottle, but you need to add thinner.)

  5. Star Brand sprays the same way as Accu-Paint. Use a 60/40 thinner/paint mix with Star @ 20 lbs. and you will get excellent results. The coverage for dark colors is excellent and the coating is extremely thin. PBL recommends thinning 1/3 paint to 2/3 of star brand thinner and spray @ 30 PSI.

  1. For Star Brand's, use a retarder. Thinning the paint with MEK or Lacquer thinner avoids the problem-causing acetone. You can partially control the rate of volatilization yourself by using a less volatile solvent than either acetone or MEK (a.k.a. 2-butanone) to thin the paint.

  1. Note: Star Brand says on the bottle, "Not Recommended for Brushing". Star Brand can be brushed on wood if the parts are primed first. Added retarder and their thinner to allow the paint to flow.  

  2. Gene Deimling

  1. Remember with Star brand (PBL), you need to use a good metal primer on the brass cabooses.

  2. Jim Elliot


  1. Star Brand doesn't have as glossy a finish. Some of the Star Brand paints produce a "satin" finish which may end up being rather flat as I have observed. You can add clear gloss lacquer to the paint and it will produce a glossy finish. I have added a retarder to it when I found that it was drying to a dead flat finish. Star sells both products as well.

  2. Gene Deimling

  3. For a good gloss finish with PBL Star Brand, use 3/4 paint to 1/4 retarder and mix the paint together. Then add your thinner (I use 50% lacquer thinner and 50% MEK) until it is thin enough to shoot at about 25 psi. You will notice that different colors or runs of PBL will have various levels of initial viscosity, thus requiring a custom amount of thinner for each mix.

  4. Scott Inman

  5. If you spray it so it goes on almost dry, it is flat. If it goes on a bit wet, it is glossy when dry. I have had satisfactory results either way.

  6. Tony Thompson

  7. See their website.

  8. STR- 07      RGS /Rio Grande Southern Depot Buff

  9. The closest match to the Colonial Yellow color is the Star Brand paint,

  10. Tony Thompson

  11. STR-13     Cab Interior/Roof Green (if you paint your loco interiors)

  12. STR-22     Freight Car Red (metallic oxide)

  13. The color also is a good match to the PFE "box car red" color, originally CS 11 and by the 1950s denoted as "PFE Panel No. 3," which was reprinted as a color panel in the PFE book, page 419.

  14. Tony Thompson  

  15. STR-25     SP Scarlet

  16. The Star scarlet red is for diesel noses not the traditional Daylight red.

  17. Gene Deimling

  18. STR-26    SP Dark Grey

  19. STR-27    SP Daylight Orange

  20. STR-        SP Daylight Red

  21. Star Brand’s bottle of Socony Red (aka Daylight Red). Star Brand bottles a paint which is essentially identical to Accu-Paint.

  22. STR-29   SP/UP/Rio Grande Dark Olive Green

  23. Star Brand got the color spot-on for painting SP heavyweight passenger cars !

  24. Rob Sarberenyi

  25. STR-      SP Lark Light Orange

  26. STR-30  SP / UP Freight Car Red

  27. SP's freight car color was browner than the one used by UP, which was more red.

  28. Bill Daniels

  29. The Star color is more brown and lacks the richness shown in the PFE book.

  30. Gene Deimling

  31. STR-31  SP Sunburnt Red

  32. It represent a faded version of the standard freight car red (#11 Metallic Oxide). It gives a modeler a nice contrast to their standard color (STR-30). It represents a shade that has seen years of sunlight and abrasive dust.

  1. Socony Red

  2. There is no Socony Red in the Star Brand line.

  1. STR-90   Thinner

Star Brand thinner

  1. You can use hardware store lacquer thinners. You can regular lacquer thinners on occasion in order to attempt to give the paint a little more "bite" to the plastic, but keep going back to the original thinner for best results. The paint should be thinned with their special thinner to a ratio of 60% thinner to 40% paint. It’s advised against using lacquer thinner. Buy the Star Brand thinner as it is much cheaper than stripping paint that didn't set up properly (or whatever a bad thinner reaction would produce).

  2. The pressure are you spraying with for the Star Brand label says a MINIMUM of 10-20 psi. Use around 20 to 25 pounds pressure to apply the paint. Use a retarder to slow drying time if you want as this is a fast drying paint!The paint can be cured more quickly by using an ordinary hair dryer to aid in the evaporation of the solvent.


  1. Gunze Sangyo and Tamiya brand paints (both from Japan) are excellent paints! In fact they're water based acrylics with many superb qualities. Gunze has ceased shipping paint to the US. Even Tamiya paint has been somewhat difficult to get recently since they changed to a new factory/supplier.

  2. Rob Sarberenyi

  3. These are superb paints, however they don't offer railroad colors, only military. There colors come from the military side of modeling but may prove useful. They go on smoothly and leave little brush stroke. The coat may be a little think with brush application.

  4. Ken Adams

  1. XC 9 Hull Red     A good standby for "boxcar red'. But maybe a little too red.

  2. XF64 Red Brown

  3. XF68 NATO Brown

  4. XF 69 NATO Black     It is an off black with a hint of grey.

Testors Model Master Paint

  1. For weathering, try Testors Model Master flats well diluted and/or suspended in thinned Dull Cote as a vehicle and binder, and Bragdon's chalk powders as a final weathering in specific spots.

  1. There will be 16 colors moving over to the Model Master Acrylic line from Polly Scale. They will be color matched to the Polly Scale line, but not guaranteed to be exact matches, as the formulations are different. They will be in 1/2 ounce bottles and retail for $3.69. They are all flat colors.

  2. 704 – 4873 Reefer White

  3. 704 – 4874 Aged White

  4. 704 – 4875 Aged Concrete

  5. 704 – 4876 Concrete

  6. 704 – 4877 Earth

  7. 704 – 4878 Depot Buff

  8. 704 – 4879 Reefer Yellow

  9. 704 – 4880 Caboose Red

  10. 704 – 4881 Boxcar Red

  11. 704 – 4882 Oxide Red

  12. 704 – 4883 Signal Green

  13. 704 – 4884 Roof Brown

  14. 704 – 4885 Railroad Tie Brown

  15. 704 – 4886 Reefer Gray

  16. 704 – 4887 Grimy Black

  17. 704 – 4888 Engine Black

  18. Jeff Smith

  19. RailMaster Hobbies Inc

Tru Color

  1. The paints are available directly from either Hi-Tech Details or P-B-L. Tru-Color uses the same supplier, and thus should have the same paint matches, but are pre-thinned to airbrush ready consistency. These are the same formula as the old SMP Accu-paint line, which are noteworthy for being extremely thin and not hiding any detail (or mistakes!). Trucolor is consistently closer in 99% of its prototypes' matches and easier to apply and dries very, very fast.

  2. Tru-Color has to have a base coat when painting brass. Paint the brass with a thin (but completely covered) coat of Scalecoat first, then go over it with the Tru-Color.

  3. Ed Hall

  1. You may need to thin Tru-color paint as well, in order to get it to flow more smoothly through your airbrush.

  2. The paint applies just like Accu-Paint.

  3. Gene Deimling

  1. Remember with Tru-Color you need to use a good metal primer on the brass cabooses.

  2. Jim Elliot

  1. Tru-Color Paint

  2. P. O. Box 74524

  3. Phoenix, AZ 85087-4524

  4. 714-488-9779

  5. here is the


  7. TCP-1__  Socony Red

  1. TCP-11  1945-1960s, Freight Car Red

  1. TCP-65  SP Lark Dark Gray

  1. TCP-66  SP Scarlet Red

  1. TCP-106  SP Daylight Red

  2. The Daylight colors TCP makes is close to both the BLI and MTH color. It is like the old Accupaint formula (solvent based), and looks right.

  3. Ed Hall

  1. TCP-107  SP Daylight Orange

  2. The Daylight colors TCP makes is close to both the BLI and MTH color.

  3. Compare to "Daylight Exterior Orange" (Drift Card #29).

  4. It should match the orange colored decals in MS 87-71 or 87-1223.

  1. TCP-134  SP Lark Light Gray

  2. SP Lark Light Gray #TCP-134 is a dead-on match for the SP color drift panel. In my opinion it's much easier to start with a correct color and lighten it for model viewing purposes as needed than if you have an incorrect color and have to guess at the result.

  3. Charles Givens

  4. TCP-135  SP Olive Green

  1. TCP-151 U.S. Navy Battleship Gray

  2. TCP-152 U.S. Army Desert Camo

  3. TCP-153 Southern Pacific Colonial Yellow – Depot Color .

  4. (also used by Union Pacific).

  5. TCP-154 Southern Pacific Moss Green – Depot Color

  6. (also used by Union Pacific).

  1. TCP-163  Southern Pacific Trim Brown

  1. TCP-         SP Dark Green

  1. There has long been debate (and modeling effort) about how to model SP standard structure colors (Colonial Yellow, Common Standard color 201; Light Brown, CS color 202; and Moss Green for shingles, CS color 208). Tru-Color Paint is now offering model paints for these colors. Paint matches sent to me by modelers Peter Hall and Gary Ray, checked out against my Bowles drift panels. have already made brush samples, which compared VERY well, but I want to verify the same for the airbrushI have written about all this in my blog, and for those interested, you can see the post at this link:    


  3. Tony Thompson

Vallejo Paints of Spain

  1. Micro-Mark commissioned Acrylicos Vallejo of Spain to formulate the colors in their new MicroLux line. The MicroLux paints and Vallejo Model Air provide a direct cross-reference to many of the popular PollyScale Colors.

  2. MicroLux is sold in 2-ounce bottles that are thin enough to be airbrush-ready, but can also be brushed easily. The colors available are Roof Brown, Roof Red, Engine Black, Grimy Black, Aged Concrete, Rust, Reefer White, Railroad Tie Brown, Rail Brown, and Clear Flat Finish.

  1. Also Light Sea Blue, Steel Blue, Reefer Yellow, Depot Buff, Flat Aluminum, Dirt, Reefer Gray, Earth, Tarnished Black, Signal Green, Signal Red, Caboose Red, Clear Satin Finish, Dark Green, Aged White, Boxcar Red, Clear Gloss Finish, Undercoat Light Gray, Steam Power Black, and Concrete.

Painting Procedures

How to Paint

  1. As often discussed among modelers, the problem then facing those painting a model will be the "correct" amount of lightening the paint (or weathering) to make the model, under indoor light, look like the prototype under the intensity of sunlight. That, of course, is a matter of art. But at least you have a sound starting point.

  2. Tony Thompson    

  3. Of course dark colors tend to look too dark on models, but the amount of needed lightening to look "right" in indoor light, along with appropriate weathering, is an individual artistic decision for each modeler.

  4. Tony Thompson  

Layout Lighting

  1. What color should MODELS be painted? There can be NO general answer, as it depends on lighting conditions for the models as well as on individual preferences and perceptions of model appearance. I believe most DARK prototype colors are way too dark in the model setting and need to be lightened. I see no reason to think otherwise about Dark Olive Green.

  2. Tony Thompson

  3. For my comparisons, I always check in daylight as well as in my layout room, which has a mixture of incandescent and fluorescent lighting. Some colors, especially warmer ones, can look pretty different in different lights, but in my experience this is less true for dark colors.

  4. Tony Thompson

  1. If you're not using 5500k 91 CRI (full spectrum light) indoors then you should be! Most colors look terrible under ordinary house lights (typically 2000-2500k).

  2. Tim O'Connor


  1. Master painters prefer to mask and paint the wings or use decals. Mask the nose ... for some it is easier and quicker to mask ... time was $$$  Best result was "xeroxing" the wing decal and using it as a template to cut masking tape for painting the silver and orange wings, which you then cover with one set of Microscale to get a crisp separation line. Sequence is: spray silver, mask, spray orange, mask, spray black, mask, spray red stripe .... then decal.


  1. Always used the paint manufacturer's thinner.

Paint Recipes

Southern Pacific Model Paint Color

  1. These are Floquil recipes found on Richard Percy's website, in this case look under "Data Index":

  1. It's more than 10-years old, but some of the stuff listed there is still relevant.

  2. Rob Sarberenyi,_.

  1. The specific link to Rick Blanchard's pages for SP colors is here:


91% alcohol

  1. Strip paint from plastics using 91% alcohol purchased from the local drug store. The 91% alcohol works well on Athearn, Atlas, Proto 2000 and some other painted plastic models, but it won't make a dent on a painted brass model, particularly one where the paint has been baked on.

  2. Rob Sarberenyi

  1. 91% is available over the counter, at least in California. The standard "rubbing alcohol" is 76%.

brake fluid

  1. I would not use the brake fluid on any shell as it drys the shells out.

  2. Charles Nelson

Easy Off Oven Cleaner

  1. I use easy off oven cleaner to strip my models. You need to get the yellow can not the blue as the yellow can is stronger.

  2. Charles Nelson

  1. With easy off oven cleaner just put the shell in a gallon freezer bag and spray the crap out of the shell. Just make sure that the windows, and number boards are out of the unit before you spray the shell. Let it set for a day and then it should be ready to strip. When you strip it use an old tooth brush and dish soap under warm water and you will watch the paint just run off. I don't know if this will work on Kato units as I have not tried it on one as of yet.

  2. Charles Nelson

Jasco Premium Paint and Epoxy Remover.

  1. Be sure and prime a stripped brass model before repainting.

  2. Jim Elliot

Klean-Strip KS-3 Premium Stripper

  1. Purchased at Orchard Supply Hardware. It is really strong stuff so you absolutely MUST wear rubber gloves! I strongly recommend using a respirator mask as well!  Leave it on for a few moments, you'll see the paint come right off! Rinse with water and allow the model to dry thoroughly. It won't leave any residue; you have a clean surface ready for painting.

  2. Rob Sarberenyi

Polly S Easy Lift Off decal and paint remover

  1. This decal and paint remover takes away the factory lettering. Since Polly S Easy Lift Off may be hard to find, another option is to soften the lettering with a piece of paper towel that is soaked with 91% rubbing alcohol place on the car side for about 10 minutes.

Scalecoat stripper

  1. Use it for paint removal. Get something long enough to lay the car into. Let it soak a little and scrub it with an old tooth brush.

  2. Ed

  3. Be careful in case a Walthers manufacturer has used PVC rather than styrene for the carbody. PVC gets brittle when soaked in Scalecoat paint remover.

  4. For fairly short soaks under 8 hours, make up a PVC (thick wall) household drain pipe tube with end caps - one glued in place, the other loose, into which you put the car body then fill the tube with remover solution. Soak with the tube standing upright, and you’ll get good results. Then give the car body a good water and household cleanser bath.

  5. For PVC tubing, go to Lowe's. Home Depot and any good plumbing supply shop should have the same stuff.

Scalecoat II Wash Away Paint Remover

  1. Takes off decals on Athearn.

Tal-Strip automotive paint stripper

  1. I would suggest using Tal-Strip automotive paint stripper for Precision Scale factory paint. Use the extra strength version available from most auto parts stores. It has worked wonderfully on about a dozen passenger cars needing new paint. After frustration with alcohol, lacquer thinner, and carburetor cleaner on PSC, the ether based Tal-Strip took the paint off in about 30 seconds!

  2. Make sure to wash off the residue with comet and hot water. Then prime the brass with a thin coat of zinc chromate.

  3. Scott Inman

Storage of Paint

  1. Keep Accu-Paint "fresh" by storing the bottles upside down You’ll find there is little to no evaporation over time.

  2. Rob Sarberenyi

Modeling Weathered SP Equipment

  1. The weathering was done with artists oils and washes. I find that the very low surface tension of the turpentine thinners allows for softer edges when using the washes. In addition, unless really left to dry, anything done using the oils can be largely undone, so if you find too much has been applied, it can be removed and the process re-started.

  2. Photos of the painted and weathered model are here:


  4. Elizabeth Allen

  1. The best weathering I have seen...or done, has always been a mix ot all of the techniques. Flat finish, followed by water based weathering paints, followed by chalks, dry brushing, more flat coat to seal & protect. Vary the order of techniques to suit yourself

  2. If your chalks disappear try Bragdons or any other brand which has the pressure activated adhesive mixed with the pigment. They stay on when oversprayed. If you don't like those, try Blicks chalks. They seem to have denser pigments and stay where you put them a little better than the cheap stuff.

  3. Alan Houtz

Southern Pacific Lines
S. P. Paint
General Info
Prototype Colors
Paint Variations
Paint Chips
Drift Cards
Paint Codes
Specific Colors
Underframe Painting

Modeling Paint
Painting Procedures
Modeling Weathered Eqpt