Tuscan color

NW Modeling List nw-modeling-list at nwhs.org
Fri Jul 4 07:59:56 EDT 2014

Charlie is correct about N&W going to Shepard's for  their paint. I went to 
Shepard's myself armed with the paint code for  N&W blue which I had gotten 
off a lettering blueprint years ago. When  the clerk punched in the paint 
code I heard him say, "Hmmm... N&W  blue" as he began to mix my paint. Later 
I had him mix this number for  N&W red, DAR2831X. This is what was on the 
So, N&W Tuscan matches a 1977 Lincoln!
Richard D. Shell
ShellScale Decals

In a message dated 7/4/2014 6:50:57 A.M. Eastern Daylight Time,  
nw-modeling-list at nwhs.org writes:


This becomes a large can of worms.  I agree with  Frank and others about 
"what color is correct".

While I was working on  the Accucraft 1:32 passenger car project recently, 
Charlie Schlotthober [sp?] showed me two  different drift cards for N&W 
passenger car red used between 1949 and  1958.  They were similar, but clearly 

The information  below was extracted from my notes after multiple phone 
calls and a visit to  the Archives to meet with Charlie.

a] The original paint on these cars as  delivered in 1948-1949 was a 
non-metallic paint called N&W Passenger Car  Tuscan #4   It is a gloss 
non-metallic [no metal flake in the  pigment] paint
b] In 1955 the paint was reformulated to have essentially  the same color, 
but with metal flake added.  This color was called   N&W Passenger Car 
Tuscan  #4 metallic
c] Starting in about 1958 or 1959 N&W DISCONTINUED the use  of standard 
reference color drift cards for passenger cars.  From that  time on, The 
Roanoke car shops would simply go to Shepard's Auto Supply and  purchase DuPont 
Emron Metallic Red paint a few gallons at a time.    So... after that time, c
ars might be 'close' in color, but there was no  requirement for consistency.

Charlie said this is how he had the two NS  office cars #1 and 2, painted 
before he retired.

Charlie says the  CLOSEST paint that matches the red used in excursion 
service is "Scalecoat  N&W Red".  It contains a very small amount of powdered 
metal  flake.  He says in  a layout room it seems too dark, but in sunlight  
it is VERY close.  He recommends you purchase that paint and use it as  the 
sample color.  Be sure to have the paint shaken extremely well so  that the 
metal flake will be uniform.  He also suggested using a lighter  primer coat 
on the car which will help keep the red from appearing "too  dark".

Charlie says  that in his years of working in the passenger cars shops in 
design, painting,  and, lettering, no car maintained the SAME color for more 
than a few  months.

Also, up until 1956, all the cars were varnished after  painting.  After a 
year or so, the varnish would start to discolor  [usually a yellow cast], 
and that changed the appearance of the  cars.


Jim Stapleton
Purcellville   VA  
On 7/3/2014 7:25 PM, NW Modeling List  wrote:  
FWIW perhaps the model committee could  provide a paint chip or drift card 
to Tru-Color; I'm sure they would be glad  to add N&W Tuscan to their line 
of prototypically correct model  paints.

Jim Brewer
Glenwood MD

From:  "NW Modeling List" _<nw-modeling-list at nwhs.org>_ 
(mailto:nw-modeling-list at nwhs.org) 
To:  "NW Modeling List" _<nw-modeling-list at nwhs.org>_ 
(mailto:nw-modeling-list at nwhs.org) 
Sent:  Thursday, July 3, 2014 3:28:14 PM
Subject: RE: Tuscan  color


What both Frank and Ed are talking about  occurs in most every society. 
Having lived in Milwaukee, WI for several  years, I watched an argument between 
a pair of Milw. Rd. HS members  about the correct color orange on their 
passenger cars and other equipment.  One member argued that the second was 
wrong in that they were all painted  the same color & shade of orange. The 
second while partially agreed, he  stated that they were not all the same color 
orange, as he had seen them  come out of the paint shops is different shades 
of orange, with the  paint being ordered at the same time from the same 
paint mfgr., which  at the time was being delivered in 55 gal drums. The first 
individual  continued to tell the second he was wrong but finally realized he 
 had to quit arguing when the second told him that he was one of a half 
dozen  employees of the Milw. Road who painted their equipment fleet for a  

That being said, the N&W Red from  Scalecoat color works well, however it 
has a bit of a metallic flake to  it. There are several colors I have seen 
work fairly well, including WC  Maroon. Another color that has just come onto 
the market is from TruColor  paints, which is very similar in nature to the 
old line of Accu-Paint. They  are now offering part # TCP-276 - PRR 1948+ 
Passenger Car  Tuscan.

I am sure that somewhere in the archives there is a  Paint ID # for the 
non-metallic red, that can be shared and closely matched  with current 
commercial paints from a PPG or ICI paint dealer. I would  suggest obtaining a small 
amount of said color and try to best match that  color by primering a piece 
of styrene and top coating the commercial grade  paint, and then doing the 
same with several colors of model rr paint and  seeing which works best for 
you and you lighting situation. Keep in mind  that some clear coats will 
slightly shift the tone of the color of the  paint. Also, the color primer will 
yield different finish colors as well.  Tamyia offers both a white and mild 
grey primer paint for example. Darker  colors tend to pop more on a lighter 
base color.

Hope this  helps.

Russ Goodwin
Buford, GA

 Date: Wed, 2 Jul 2014 23:16:58 -0400
Subject: Re: Tuscan color
To: _nw-modeling-list at nwhs.org_ (mailto:nw-modeling-list at nwhs.org) 
From:  _nw-modeling-list at nwhs.org_ (mailto:nw-modeling-list at nwhs.org) 

Lee; what Ed is referring to is a "color flame war" that happens every  
time N&W Tuscan Red or Pevlar Blue shows up on this list.  FWIW,  this also 
happens on the C&O list with Enchantment Blue, the C&O  list and the NYC list 
with shades of gray, and probably just about every  other model railroad 
Hopefully someone who does a lot of painting, and is pleased with the  
result, will tell you what mix works for them, and will nicely mention that  
with lighting, etc. (the etc. is half a clinic)you may have to make  
adjustments.  With that I can't help; tuff enough for us Virginian  modelers to settle 
on workable yellows and black.  One thing I can  tell you, is that Dr. Jim 
EuDaly (he's an eye doc, so this isn't  fantasy)actually told us in a clinic 
(at a C&O meet)that color actually  varies a bit with scale, and (I hope I 
got this right)you probably need a  tad lighter mix than an HO modeler 
would.  I can also tell you that  your room lighting is probably one of the most 
important factors.  I  guess there's one other thing I should mention 
because the more experienced  painters consider it so obvious they don't mention 
it: make sure the light  where you paint is the same as the light on the 
Frank Bongiovanni

On Wed, Jul 2, 2014 at 5:48 PM, NW Modeling List  
<_nw-modeling-list at nwhs.org_ (mailto:nw-modeling-list at nwhs.org) >  wrote:

My favorite modeling list  topic!  

Ed Painter Narrows,VA living in Dahlonega,GA

On Jul 2, 2014, at 3:21 PM, NW Modeling List <_nw-modeling-list at nwhs.org_ 
(mailto:nw-modeling-list at nwhs.org) >  wrote:

I am new  member to the modeling list.  I am painting an N scale passenger  
car set and wondered what color you folks recommend to match the Tuscan  

Thank you,  

Lee  Burns

NW-Modeling-List at nwhs.org
To  change your subscription go  to
Browse the  NW-Modeling-List archives  at
-------------- next part --------------
An HTML attachment was scrubbed...
URL: <http://six.pairlist.net/pipermail/nw-modeling-list/attachments/20140704/07cc0262/attachment-0001.html>

More information about the NW-Modeling-List mailing list