Tuesday, 31 October 2017

Reefer Colors in the Acrylic Era

Finding the right color for freight car can be a real pain, and I'm not talking about the intricacies about boxcar red.

One of the worst color for me so far as been to find a correct orange reefer in acrylics. I've looked at many conversion charts and I'm certainly full of doubts, particularly for FGE and SFRD refrigerators cars of my era (late 40s-early 50s). While I've seen paint labelled as Orange Reefer, many modellers aren't convinced of their accuracy.

Actual pictures show us FGE reefers were kind of light orange closer to a dark harvest yellow than pumpkin orange. The same could be said about SFRD cars, which always have a kind of yellowish color though it seems FGE and SFRF had their own specific paint color.

Among suggested color, Microscale suggest Gunze Sangyo #109 Character Yellow as a substitute for Floquil PFE LightOrange. They even suggest Humbrol #18 Orange, which is quite a saturated orange shade a little bit over the top for SFRD reefers.

While many manufacturers now offer "Reefer Orange", I'm not that much inclined in testing a few of them only to be disappointed. Not all reefers were born equal and I'm pretty sure painting these cars is much more than just spraying some random stuff out of the bottle.

Thus, if anybody have suggestion on acrylic paints that can be airbrushed and suitable for FGE and SFRD car, feel free to comment. In the past, I wouldn't have minded and mixed my own custom color. However, as I'm building several cars at different moment, I'm not eager to have huge discrepancies among the fleet.

Edit: Reading again articles by Tony Thompson and others, it seems SP Daylight Orange would be a close match for PFE Light Orange reefers. Only need to find a correct color for the SFRD cars.

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