NW Modeling List nw-modeling-list at
Tue Jul 24 14:04:38 EDT 2018


You are not the only one who has felt it. As long as this hobby has been around you'd think that either a model maker or a paint supplier would have tried this notion a long time ago.


Happy Connecting. Sent from my Sprint Samsung Galaxy S® 5

-------- Original message --------
From: NW Modeling List <nw-modeling-list at>
Date: 7/24/18 14:02 (GMT-05:00)
To: NW Modeling List <nw-modeling-list at>


Thanks; I understand all that and let my frustrations get the better of me. Apologies to all.

I am confident the expertise in followers of this forum will result in a formulation that meets the “can’t tell the difference at any distance greater than three feet” test.


Dave Phelps

Sent from my iPhone

On Jul 24, 2018, at 9:02 AM, NW Modeling List <nw-modeling-list at<mailto:nw-modeling-list at>> wrote:


Historically model manufacturers have been subject to having the plant in China use whatever paint the plant uses, not color, but paint type. When the company's artist specifies paint color they want used on their paint and lettering diagrams, they will typically include a Pantone color, Fed Spec ID #, drift card or something of the like.

When Plano Models first offered etched metal walkways for the Intermountain NSC 4550 cf Cylindrical Hopper, I had a friend who was the production manager at IMRC and I asked him for some touch up paint or the paint code for what the factory used and he said that I would have to buy Chinese paints sourced from the factory as he didn't have any of the original paint on hand.

That being said, ScaleTrains is the first model manufacturer to use hobbyist avaliable paints from TruColor in their plant in China. When the owners of ScaleTrains created the company, they wanted for us modelers to be able to use readily available paints that were an exact match to their models, without having to custom blend paint colors. This was a common complaint they experienced while at their previous employer.

So while Athearn's response maybe deemed non-responsive, it is truthful, even if under explained.

Russ Goodwin
Oakwood, GA

Happy Connecting. Sent from my Sprint Samsung Galaxy S® 5

-------- Original message --------
From: NW Modeling List <nw-modeling-list at<mailto:nw-modeling-list at>>
Date: 7/24/18 06:42 (GMT-05:00)
To: nw-modeling-list at<mailto:nw-modeling-list at>


I am "someone."

That may go down in the annals of history as a textbook "non-answer."

Ok I guess I'll play around with homemade paint chips until I get something acceptable.  When/if I do, I will of course share.  In the meantime if anyone else has suggestions, please let us know.


Dave Phelps

On Mon, Jul 23, 2018 at 6:48 PM NW Modeling List <nw-modeling-list at<mailto:nw-modeling-list at>> wrote:
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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