Why does my Terra Cotta look orange and related musings

I bought some Terra Cotta to paint my work caboose to match my 810 crane. (Collector Color) It looks much brighter like an orange 813 than my 810. Does anyone know why? Do the older paints age a darker color? How can I buy paints that actually match? Should I just "rub some dirt on it"?

George

Original Post

George I think you have to ask yourself is where did they get there color sample from? Very hard to match up an existing color like the one on your 810 crane. Different factors can affect colors of old tinplate pieces. Age,where it was stored did it sit by a window with sun?  I think to get the only true match is to have a body shop or another source mix and match the paint exactly to your work caboose.   You can always paint the crane to match the caboose color you already have. 

      

Chris.

 

Home of the C.L.&M railroad

 

 

 

 

  

Chris Lonero posted:

George I think you have to ask yourself is where did they get there color sample from? Very hard to match up an existing color like the one on your 810 crane. Different factors can affect colors of old tinplate pieces. Age,where it was stored did it sit by a window with sun?  I think to get the only true match is to have a body shop or another source mix and match the paint exactly to your work caboose.   You always can paint the crane to match the caboose color you already have. 

That makes sense Chris. I think other colors are easier to match, too. Terra Cotta seems to vary more. My Terra Cotta is actually for the 515 Terra Cotta tank car. I assume Lionel used the same color on the 810 crane, but I don't really know. 

It is drying a little darker. Once I get it assembled I will match it to the crane and the MTH 820 spotlight car to see how the variations look.

Some parts may need a second coat as this paint is a little thin and hard to hand brush. My rails fell over while drying, ruining my paint job. I now remember that I fashioned a little hanging rack last time I did this. That would have helped.

George

George S,

   The Terra Cotta paint color on the 810 Crane Car is very difficult to match, for this reason I have been looking for an original in Pristine shape, with not much success.

Your custom restorations look fantastic, if I ever run across the exacting original Lionel TC paint color, off the shelf, I will let you know.  So far I have not been able to match it exactly.  However you might be able to take a pristine original Terra Cotta Lionel 810 into your local NAPA store, and have them mix some matching custom paint, in a spray can for you.  I have been thinking about doing this myself.

PCRR/Dave

I like custom Crane Cars a bunch!

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Never worry about what other people think, be strong and walk in the way of the Lord.

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If you look at the picture in the Weekend Tinplate Photos topic, you will see it did dry darker, but not as dark at the crane. However, I looked at the crane, and the base, which is under the cab and not often exposed to light, is a much lighter shade than the cab but still a little darker than my paint. I also think the 813 orange paint that I was comparing to aged darker. This is interesting to me.

 

George

George,

As you noted paint oxidizes with age and changes its vibrancy. If you want to match everything you may have to paint the crane too. 800 series cars left under a florescent light will loose their color as well.

I just picked up a couple of 810 cranes for cheap at York with the burgundy roofs. I will be restoring them as well.

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TCA Number 16-71884

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J Daddy,

   Do you have a closer picture of the cars, from this photo they look like the original O Gauge Blue on Blue with Lionel yellow Trim, Blue Comet Passenger Coaches, with the original 12 wheel Trucks.  Real beautiful add on Passenger Car Set, which included the Observation Tail Car, all with doors that Open & Shut, and real nice Latch Type Couplers, for the Original Blue Comet Work Train.

Does the Observation Tail Car have a Rear Door that opens and closes?

PCRR/Dave

Never worry about what other people think, be strong and walk in the way of the Lord.

J Daddy posted:

I have never seen so many good deals on prewar O at York before.

 

You guys are killing me.  Twenty minutes away and I had to work again.  Sigh - maybe I can squeeze a day or two off in the fall.

May God Bless us all.

Hi guys !!  

   Our "Collector Color" paint line was taken from Brand new 'OLD STOCK'  Lionel pieces that the Shaw brothers let me borrow from the Madison Hardware collection. I went to Toy Fair one year after I had bought the old Estes Hobbies line of spray paint called 'Collector Color'.  The lacquer paint was not a really good match, so I contacted Lou Shaw on one of my trips to Madison Hardware and made arrangements to look over some "NEW, BOXED' items that the brothers had in some rooms above the store. Lou allowed me to borrow a lot of roofs, a gun metal #385 tender floor,( which I still have)., and quite a few 'odds & ends to get the other colors.  I took the time to have the colors matched, sprayed on a glossy color sheet and tucked away for future match ups if questions arose about the colors we produced.  Years later, we converted to Enamel paint, as our supplier would not offer the lacquer any longer.  This is when we went to 1/2 pint cans, and used the glossy color sheets for matches.  We have not been able to find an aerosol packer for less than 500 cans of a color. I am very confident of our colors matching Lionel's. If exposed to the air, the colors will darken.  If exposed to incandescent lighting, they can very well lighten also.  We originally had 35 colors, and we are now pushing 80 some as of this week.  Thank you for your use of our paint and MEW wheels & parts.  The Old Man  

"THE OLD MAN"

Henning's Trains - Celebrating 75 Years, 1939 - 2014

Hi Harry,

Great meeting you in person at York on Friday!

That's very helpful regarding the source of the color. I'm not complaining here, just trying to understand, and it seems I have already learned a few things. When I first sprayed the paint on, it was very bright orange. I should have known it would dry darker. Also, my crane must have really aged over the last 80 years. It was a "played with" train, not boxed up like the Madison Hardware stock.

I like knowing about these things so I can explain when I am asked. I am happy with how it turned out.

George

Jim P,

  Last I checked Ace Hardware here in Murrysville, Pa did not have that Terra Cotta Spray Paint any more, however you are absolutely correct, it was the closest to the original Lionel Terra Codda color that I was able to purchase.  I may talk to the MGR and see if he can get it back into the store, for us Tin Plate guys to use.

PCRR/Dave

Never worry about what other people think, be strong and walk in the way of the Lord.

You know they named it Terra Cotta because nothing rhymes with Orange.....

Age does affect color and the shading can go either way. Also, when you repaint, your new paint in being mixed XX number of years after the original was, so even if the formula was the exact same one, its going to be different. Further, on some thinner colors, like red, your primer color affects the shade of the finished coat. White primer will give a lighter end coat than a dark grey primer and so forth.

Tin

 

LionelTin,

   You are absolutely correct, for this exact reason I used a Black Rust-Oleum under coat when restoring our last 817 Caboose.  Then I painted several coats of final High Gloss Black over it, to give the Black and Gold 817 the black color I actually wanted to achieve, at final out come.

Using the same color under coating, if you can find it, really does help achieve final color out come.

PCRR/Dave

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Never worry about what other people think, be strong and walk in the way of the Lord.

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Rob English posted:

Try collector color TC over a grey primer (or red oxide) that should bring it down a bit.....

I used a grey primer. I wonder what it would look like over black primer as Dave suggested? I will experiment before I use it again. 

The Collector Color did produce a very nice tinplate glossy shine. I thinned with Naptha. It took a little longer to dry than I would like. It did allow the paint to self-level very nicely.

George

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