SAR Suburban car and 800/850 class colour question

 
  SAR523 Assistant Commissioner

Location: Chicago, IL
Apologies if this has been well dealt with elsewhere, but from a search of (much) older posts, I'm still a little unclear what color the suburban and 800 class cars were actually painted.  

If I look at any number of color pictures, the cars appear to be some widely varying browns.  However if I watch volume 3 of the NRM Film Collection (the Kim Bird one), they appear predominantly some sort of red which appears to have faded to almost a purple.  This appears to be quite different to the brownish red Allambi is now wearing in the NRM which I've gathered from the other threads is a pretty good match for brand new 'Regal Red' which the Suburban cars were also painted.  Allambi also appears much redder than any picture of a Red Hen that I've seen.

Am I just seeing a change in the color that was used over the years, a difference in red balancing or some just the fading of a red that was a red and green mix, which as the weaker red pigment fades may become more brown?  Or were the Suburbans just not painted 'Regal Red' and I'm down a rabbit hole?

I've tried mixing some of the color mixes I've found around the place (although I've used Pollyscale rather than Floquil); a 50:50 mix of Pollyscale Caboose Red and Boxcar red seems a pretty close match for a reddish brown under 5000k light with Oxide red for light fading and then progressively adding a light cream to the Oxide Red for a really faded (almost pink primer) look.

Reddish Brown: http://comrails.com/pic_cd/cd_p0109180.html
Faded example: http://comrails.com/pic_cd/cd_p0104226.html

Out of curiosity I ordered the Humbrol colors recommended in the modelling notes for the centenary baggage cars and 800s; a 5:4:1 mix of 9 Tan:19 Bright Red: 14 French Blue.   As might be expected, it's a pretty strong red with only a hint of brown; far redder than the above pictures.

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  allan Chief Commissioner

These cars were painted "Suburban Red" which as I understand it is the same as "Regal Red". "Regal Red" is the same as "Heritage Red" and "Colorbond Red". Variations in hue were due to weathering, age, and cleaning (washing) regimes. The SAR had a very limited palette...

Colour photos are, at best, an approximate guide to prototype colours.

OK, I've stuck my neck out. Let the discussion begin!
  M636C Minister for Railways

The SAR had a very limited palette...
allan
In 1967 I was given a set of paint samples for SAR locomotives, painted as strips on an aluminium sheet about A4 in size.

Sadly it has been long lost (of course). My recollection is that I loaned it to someone then associated with AMRM and never saw it again.

There were two samples of Regal Red. One was high gloss and the other semi-gloss.

By walking around Mile End loco depot and holding the samples up against locomotives, I checked the colours.

I think I came to the conclusion that the semi-gloss shade was the body colour for the 900 and 930 classes and the gloss colour was used for the lining on 800 and 830 class locomotives. I think the gloss colour was used on the Overland cars as well.

The colours were:

Traffic Red (500 class)

Regal Red (two samples, as above)

Tangerine (body colour 800 class)

Traffic Yellow (body colour 830 class)

There may have been another couple of colours, but it was nearly fifty years ago...
There was a light green colour used for cab interiors, possibly Eau de Nil
  allan Chief Commissioner

Tangerine was a very variable colour...

Add Blue-grey, Light Grey, Hawthorne Green, Rich Cream, and Galaxy Blue, and there's not a lot left. I'd guess that Rich Cream and Galaxy Blue came in relatively small tins.

While Traffic Yellow was a standard SAR colour, I doubt that Islington used a lot of it: the "Mustard Pot" locos were delivered in this colour (excepting the 600s and probably the 700s), and many would have still been in original paint when the SAR ceased to exist in 1978.
  denis500 Junior Train Controller

I have used Modelflex Light Tuscan Oxide for 800's, red hens and 8300's. When dullcoated it becomes a fairly faded colour that agrees with my, probably faulty,  memory of these. An overspray of a very thin Floquil grimy black made for an effective weathering.

Using photos as a guide is risky business. Old prints fade and for digital images the colour can shift with the calibration of the monitor.

As for colour cards produced using the actual paint. Well that is for the mix used at the time and will depend on how well the paint was shaken before it is used. Then a new supply 12 months later is likely to vary. Then paint compounds have changed with the removal of lead, chrome yellow etc. all of which infulence the colour and the fade. Prototype colours do not tend to scale down very well and often look too dark on a model.

I don't think using mixes for Floquil thinner based paints will work well with the water based versions - different compounds etc. I did buy the recommended humbrol colours to do the mix but have never got round to actually doing it and of course each time you mix you will get a different colour. The Floquil thinner based line had two caboose reds and two tuscan reds with one of the caboose reds being rather close to a tuscan red.

At the end of the day it is your model and the colour that you are happy with is the best colour. For the club I am in here in Melbourne I am the only SAR modeller so no one knows anyway! Chicago IL is even further away.

Cheers
Denis
  M636C Minister for Railways

Tangerine was a very variable colour...

Add Blue-grey, Light Grey, Hawthorne Green, Rich Cream, and Galaxy Blue, and there's not a lot left. I'd guess that Rich Cream and Galaxy Blue came in relatively small tins.

While Traffic Yellow was a standard SAR colour, I doubt that Islington used a lot of it: the "Mustard Pot" locos were delivered in this colour (excepting the 600s and probably the 700s), and many would have still been in original paint when the SAR ceased to exist in 1978.
allan
The 800s were definitely Tangerine when I checked the sample.
This was 1967, so they had probably been repainted at least once.
Some 800s were painted shades of yellow later, possibly in ANR days.

The 830s I checked were definitely traffic yellow. At Mile End, these were broad Gauge units, but I think those on the Broken Hill line were the same. I didn't get to Port Lincoln in that era.
I think the last six units (standard gauge) 847-849, 868-870 came from Goodwin in a colour close to Tangerine but a bit lighter.

The 600s were a mystery. It might have been Traffic Red or or Goodwin's interpretation of it.
My colour slides have faded. But all of them were the same colour new, the first two and the later five...
And it was nothing like either Regal Red...

All the 700s were delivered in a pretty convincing Regal Red (the semi-gloss version).

The 600s and 700s appear to have been repainted in Traffic Yellow and Regal Red, at least some by the SAR, but I didn't see much of them in those colours (I did see a couple of 600s on a really dull day in Port Kembla....)

M636C
  xdford Chief Train Controller

All the 600's were painted by late 1975 as they were being fitted with sound proofing before the 700's were started. 703 was first in that October and was also the first unit across the Crystal Brook bridge before being dragged backwards copping a bit of underframe damage on its maiden run towards Pt Pirie. The other two were delayed with the painting as three locos (703 868(?) and 874 (which should have been written off but was not) were off the gauge and made things a bit tight! 705 was done before October 76 so they were all done by the SAR.

The 600's were initially painted in what was considered to be "reverse Commonwealth Railways" colours although the l to me at least appeared to be slightly darker than the CR Maroon colours, according to urban legend partly because they were funded by the Commonwealth as part of standardisation.

The Regal Red was applied to the 900's and 930's and Red Hens, Overland Cars and the Vice Regal Car. I can only assume that it was applied to End Loaders and 820's but I do not recall any one of those being overhauled when I was at Islington 71-74 and a week in 75 before going to Peterborough. On the locos, the newness of the red seemed to only last a month or so before starting to darken and some Redhens looked positively brown in some lights!

Hope this helps

Trevor
  Aaron The Ghost of George Stephenson

Location: University of Adelaide SA
Apologies if this has been well dealt with elsewhere, but from a search of (much) older posts, I'm still a little unclear what color the suburban and 800 class cars were actually painted.  
SAR523
Can you get paint colour matched? There's enough of us that could probably mail you a paint swatch of the base colour for you to get matched, and then you can adjust for weather from that.

Incidentally, I won a trivia night a few weeks back because I was the only person in the room that knew that Springfield was the capital of IL

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