California's Railroad to the U.S. 1861 - 1996

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Model Train Help EBook

Black on Indoor Models

The use of Black paint on models situated primarily Indoors has been discussed often in the Model Press.

I naturally, had to find out the hard way. The color black tends to soak up a lot of light, so to speak, and doesn't show detail well, under the less than 'sunlight' that we tend to live with indoors.

To overcome this, it is best to actually paint anything black, a very dark shade of grey. When I did a lot of Custom Painting, I standardized on two shades. This is in regards to model trains - as distinct from model structures -

Anything that was above the frame I painted what I call:

  • 'Indoor Black'

    This consists of:

    • 5 parts Black,
    • and 1 part White.

As I have only ever painted diesels, this worked well for me.

Anything that was below the frame I painted what I call:

  • 'Underframe Black'

    This consists of:

    • 3 parts Black,
    • and 2 parts White.

This probably comes out very close to Floquil Grimy Black. So I only used it on Locos, the underframes and truck sideframes, of freight and passenger cars received Floquil Grimy Black.

This is the Paint mix that John Allen used to paint his Steam Locos with. It is not something that I have tried, never having had to paint a steam loco. But if John used it - well, it must be good.

  • 'Warm Black'
    • 70 percent Black
    • 25 percent White
    • 5 percent Red

This is from the Kalmbach book - 'Model Railroading with John Allen' - and goes on to say that 'John varied the ratio from engine to engine, so as to not have everything look the same.'

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Thursday, January 01, 1998 00:00:00 AM