NW Modeling List nw-modeling-list at nwhs.org
Mon Jul 23 18:34:25 EDT 2018

A while back someone besides me was wondering how to match the metallic red
paint of the Athearn Redbird GP9. Here's the response I got from Athearn. 

I guess when you consider how red paint weathers, their response of find one
close to theirs will work to match prototypes. 

-Phil Miller


From: Athearn Help
Sent: Monday, July 23, 2018 1:38 PM
To: Phil Miller




            Thank you for your inquiry, the paint we used was a dark
metallic red however we don't have a useable color code or know of any other
paints that can be used to match it. The paint applied to our models at the
factory is totally different than scale model paint purchased at hobby
stores. It is similar to paint used on home appliances, and the texture is
completely different rendering an exact color match impossible. One thing to
keep in mind is when we select colors for our models we use photographs of
the prototype to create the pantones, and quite often have original paint
chips available. In the real world, we have found railroads' paint varied
depending on when the paint was ordered and the vendor that sold it to them.
Color photograph reproductions are notoriously variable depending upon the
age of the locomotive at the time, service type, time of day, angle to the
subject and lighting, weather and cloud conditions, reflected light and
background colors, and the age of the medium. All of these variables make
precise color matching impossible, and our best suggestion is to match our
color or weather the model as best you can, or match your model to a
favorite prototype photo!


-Athearn help


From: Phil Miller
Sent: Saturday, July 21, 2018 8:30 AM
To: Athearn Help


Good morning,


I have one of your new Norfolk and Western GP9 passenger engine models in
the dark red metallic paint. The model is fantastic. 

I wondered if you can please offer any suggestions on paints to match or
come close to matching that dark red metallic of the model you produced? 

I have one of these models in blue and some 30 year old Athearn GP9 models
that I would like to repaint the same metallic red color. 


The models have been a hit. The N&W Historical Society had a lot of
conversation back and forth on people trying to find these models
(especially red) as they sold out in just a few days. 


Everyone's hoping you'll do another run soon. 

I hope you can answer my paint question. Thank you.



Phil Miller

Fredericksburg, VA

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