Skip to main content

I'm restoring a Lionel Red Comet and trying to match original paint colors.  The window strip in those cars is an uncommon color that Greenberg calls off-white and the TCA book lists as cream.

I don't see a matching color on Hennings' list and I don't want to spend $24 for a single can from trainenamels.  But I can get a matching latex paint using the spectrograph at Home Depot, a sample can for $6.00.

My question is how to get the paint to adhere to the tinplate window strips.  Simply brushing it on over the old paint doesn't work.  Direct from the can it's to thick.  After thinning with a bit of water I don't get good coverage on edges.

Will an enamel spray primer make a good base ?  Should I strip all the old paint (easy to do with vinegar ?  Any other ideas.

So I'd appreciate hearing from anyone who has solved this problem.

Original Post

Replies sorted oldest to newest

I know you don’t want to hear this, but I don’t like the idea of latex paint period,….I guess you could attempt to reduce the color with whatever the paint mfr. could recommend as a reducer, but still ….it’s latex house paint,…..if I could give you a better suggestion, I’d much rather sit with some jars of model paint, and custom mix my own concoction and spray that through an airbrush long before I attempted latex house paint,…..start with basic white and add drops of yellow and brown until you come up with the cream color you desire,….cost might be 10-12 bucks??…..a bit more than 6 bucks for latex, but I’d think your results are going to be less than desired trying to make latex work like you want it to,…sorry to bust your bubble,….

Pat

Is $24 really that bad a deal? You'll have paint left for another project. The 'strip' is really an insert and the color described was used on other cars if I'm not mistaken.

Yes, it is that bad.  Problem is that it's a color I'm not likely to use much.  Also, I'm too uncertain about the match.  IT appears that Lionel used several different off-white shades during that era, and I'm trying to match the well preserved color on the back of those window strips.

@harmonyards posted:

I know you don’t want to hear this, but I don’t like the idea of latex paint period,….I guess you could attempt to reduce the color with whatever the paint mfr. could recommend as a reducer, but still ….it’s latex house paint,…..if I could give you a better suggestion, I’d much rather sit with some jars of model paint, and custom mix my own concoction and spray that through an airbrush long before I attempted latex house paint,…..start with basic white and add drops of yellow and brown until you come up with the cream color you desire,….cost might be 10-12 bucks??…..a bit more than 6 bucks for latex, but I’d think your results are going to be less than desired trying to make latex work like you want it to,…sorry to bust your bubble,….

Pat

Air brushing is a non-starter for me.  I don't want to get into the associated expense and learning curve.  Also, in my limited basement area of a two family house, there isn't room for a spraying area in my workspace.  I use spray cans in a spray booth outside my basement door (at driveway level) to avoid fumes in the house.

@harmonyards posted:

I know you don’t want to hear this, but I don’t like the idea of latex paint period,….I guess you could attempt to reduce the color with whatever the paint mfr. could recommend as a reducer, but still ….it’s latex house paint,…..if I could give you a better suggestion, I’d much rather sit with some jars of model paint, and custom mix my own concoction and spray that through an airbrush long before I attempted latex house paint,…..start with basic white and add drops of yellow and brown until you come up with the cream color you desire,….cost might be 10-12 bucks??…..a bit more than 6 bucks for latex, but I’d think your results are going to be less than desired trying to make latex work like you want it to,…sorry to bust your bubble,….

Pat

I would not consider latex paint for a car body or anything else that would be exposed to normal handling.  this case is an exception.  It's a small surface area unlikely o be touched when handling the car.  Theses two photos illustrate the situation.

IMG_6299IMG_6300

These photos show how the train looked when I began the project.c3c1

Attachments

Images (4)
  • IMG_6299
  • IMG_6300
  • c3
  • c1

I would not consider latex paint for a car body or anything else that would be exposed to normal handling.  this case is an exception.  It's a small surface area unlikely o be touched when handling the car.  Theses two photos illustrate the situation.

IMG_6299IMG_6300

These photos show how the train looked when I began the project.c3c1

You do what you want, they’re your trains, ….all of us are just trying to stop you from being very disappointed with the lousy results and longevity you’ll get from using latex paints where they’re not intended,….Krylon has a bunch of shades of white, off white, and cream colors,…how about this?…they call it Ivory??…

Pat D348C78D-A7B2-4CF2-AE10-068C9476473F

Attachments

Images (1)
  • D348C78D-A7B2-4CF2-AE10-068C9476473F
@harmonyards posted:

You do what you want, they’re your trains, ….all of us are just trying to stop you from being very disappointed with the lousy results and longevity you’ll get from using latex paints where they’re not intended,….Krylon has a bunch of shades of white, off white, and cream colors,…how about this?…they call it Ivory??…

Pat D348C78D-A7B2-4CF2-AE10-068C9476473F

They looks interesting.  I'll try to find it and see how good the match is.

@Rob English posted :

For the red Comet, the color is Ivory. For the other red 603-604 / 607-608 sets it cream.

My thanks to Pat from Harmon and Rob English for solving my problem.  Yesterday I bought the Krylon ivory and did a test on one of the inserts.  It's a perfect match to the color on the inside - problem solved !!!   Hurrah for the O Gauge forum !!!

This was a difficult matching problem because the outside and inside of the insert seemed like different shades.  Now it looks as if the outside was darkened by exposure to light dirt and handling while the inside retained (I hope) the original shade.

Meanwhile, The tender is done and I'm now reassembling the locomotive ad completing the electrical work  I'll post photos as soon as all is done.  I'm working top have the Red Comet running on the display ovals at the 9/12 NETCA train meet.

My thanks to Pat from Harmon and Rob English for solving my problem.  Yesterday I bought the Krylon ivory and did a test on one of the inserts.  It's a perfect match to the color on the inside - problem solved !!!   Hurrah for the O Gauge forum !!!

This was a difficult matching problem because the outside and inside of the insert seemed like different shades.  Now it looks as if the outside was darkened by exposure to light dirt and handling while the inside retained (I hope) the original shade.

Meanwhile, The tender is done and I'm now reassembling the locomotive ad completing the electrical work  I'll post photos as soon as all is done.  I'm working top have the Red Comet running on the display ovals at the 9/12 NETCA train meet.

I've finished the first car of my Red Comet restoration. 

IMG_6438IMG_6439

The colors are trainenamels #517 light red, which is an exact match, and Krylon Ivory, thanks to suggestions from PAt and rob.

I used S&W dry transfers.  You can see in both photos that I'm still learning the process.  One of the Lionel Lines decals isn't aligned right on the letterboard and two L's in PULLMAN don't look right.   Dry transfer is a lot of work, and I'm not sure it's enough better than waterslide decals to be worth the effort.

Attachments

Images (2)
  • IMG_6438
  • IMG_6439

I've finished the first car of my Red Comet restoration.

IMG_6438IMG_6439

The colors are trainenamels #517 light red, which is an exact match, and Krylon Ivory, thanks to suggestions from PAt and rob.

I used S&W dry transfers.  You can see in both photos that I'm still learning the process.  One of the Lionel Lines decals isn't aligned right on the letterboard and two L's in PULLMAN don't look right.   Dry transfer is a lot of work, and I'm not sure it's enough better than waterslide decals to be worth the effort.

I’ve seen plenty of factory tinplate with minor errors,  crooked lettering, and mis-stamps,….your cars look great,….result!..

Pat

Home Depot sells a kit called a Preval Sprayer, basically a spray can with a bottle on the bottom. I use these  a lot to spray colors not available in a can. You mix the paint and some solvent (ratio varies based on the paint type). I've successfully sprayed both solvent and water based paints (Collector Color, and the Tru-Color line for example as well as Scalecoat). The sprayer, if cleaned out after use, will get me several sessions of painting. The kit costs about $5, and you can get a replacement aerosol top for $4.  They are usually tucked away on a shelf near the spray cans.

Sprays very nice.

Jim

Add Reply

Post
OGR Publishing, Inc., 1310 Eastside Centre Ct, Suite 6, Mountain Home, AR 72653
330-757-3020

www.ogaugerr.com
×
×
×
×
Link copied to your clipboard.
×
×