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Stocking up on paint, what colors will I need the most?

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Stocking up on paint, what colors will I need the most?
Posted by TractionAction1700 on Thursday, January 30, 2020 1:31 PM

As a Gen Z working a seasonal job and balancing school, I don’t have much money outside of the college fund. I do however plan on saving for a big paint stock this March so I was wondering what any master airbrushers would call essential colors or coats to stock up on so I don’t spend money on paint I will never use and end up missing a common color. both enamel or acrylic will do!

Tags: Airbrush , Painting
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Posted by mbinsewi on Thursday, January 30, 2020 1:58 PM

What are you going to be painting?  I have lots of paint, but I don't consider any of them, "must have" or "common color".

Actually, I've never heard of a "common color",  but, i'm not a "master airbrusher" either.

Actually, the last thing I painted was equipment yellow, from a can of spray paint, I use a straw to transfer it to a air brush bottle.

I have a mthod figured out so that I do not end up with a mess, during the transfer.  I've done this alot.

There is a member in here who does lots of painting, he has a fleet of box cars painted in whatever the popular box car red or brown is.

So, I ask again, what do you think your going to be painting?

Mike.

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Posted by BigDaddy on Thursday, January 30, 2020 2:13 PM
  • Grimy black
  • Engine black
  • Rail tie brown
  • Rust
  • Earth or dust
  • White
  • Brunt Umber
  • Box car Red
  • Caboose Red
  • Reefer Gray
  • Pullman Green (if it is era appropriate)
  • Flesh tone (assuming you will painting people)

 

Henry

COB Potomac & Northern

By the Chesapeake Bay

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Posted by RR_Mel on Thursday, January 30, 2020 2:13 PM

It depends on what you’re planning on painting.  Locomotives would be the colors of the road name, steam primarily black, rolling stock dozens of colors.  Structures, scenery and figures, hundreds.
 
I have approximately 300 Acrylic crafters paint colors and still have to get more quite often.
 
 
 
Mel
 
 
 
My Model Railroad   
 
Bakersfield, California
 
I'm beginning to realize that aging is not for wimps.
 
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Posted by mbinsewi on Thursday, January 30, 2020 2:25 PM

I use some off Henry's list, but for weathering.  Never used any of them in an air brush, but everyone is different, and what is the OP going to be painting?

A guy like Kevin probably has a specific list of paint to have on hand.

I'm working on a passenger train, and I'll buy the paint, when I figure out what I want to use.  All of the paint I have accumulated over the years, is from buying what I need for a specific project.

I never had a "go to" list of "common colors"

If such a list excist, I think it would be different for everyone.

Mike.

PS.  Actually, I'll take some of that back, I do use the earth or dust color, along with flat white, in an air brush, for a fading effect.  Maybe a touch of gray in there, too.

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Posted by TractionAction1700 on Thursday, January 30, 2020 2:50 PM

mostly locomotives

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Posted by mbinsewi on Thursday, January 30, 2020 3:01 PM

Then the colors you'll need is what ever your locomotive color scheme will be, along with some of Henry's list for weathering and fading, if your into that.

Mike.

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Posted by MisterBeasley on Thursday, January 30, 2020 5:38 PM

Are you ready to begin painting?

I would avoid buying paint, particularly on a "maybe I'll need this" basis, until you really are ready for it.  Paint does not have an infinite shelf life.  You will kick yourself in a year if you open a supposedly new jar, only to find that it's dried out.

It takes an iron man to play with a toy iron horse. 

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Posted by cowman on Thursday, January 30, 2020 6:47 PM

Mr B - Amen!  Been there and did that.

If you are going to do many brick buildings a couple of different brands of red auto primer, colors vary slightly by brand, would be  useful.

Good luck,

Richard

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Posted by dti406 on Thursday, January 30, 2020 9:18 PM

If you are going to do any covered hoppers, you need either UP Covered Hopper Gray or MOW Gray. Reading Green is a usefull color for many different green colored cars which I use for the DT&I, Reading, MKT and Green Bay and Western. Also another Dark Green Color, I have used Hunter Green, C&NW Green, NP Dark Green among others. Big Sky Blue and BN Cascade Green are used by many IPD Boxcars. Also for my era PRR Red and PC Green are used a lot.

Rick Jesionowski

Rule 1: This is my railroad.

Rule 2: I make the rules.

Rule 3: Illuminating discussion of prototype history, equipment and operating practices is always welcome, but in the event of visitor-perceived anacronisms, detail descrepancies or operating errors, consult RULE 1!

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Posted by RR_Mel on Thursday, January 30, 2020 9:56 PM

I model the early to mid 1950s Southern Pacific and they had 9 diesel color schemes for that era plus the steam.  I stock 13 SP colors for that era in Solvent based paint and more in Acrylic Crafters paint.
 
I rarely use Acrylic paint in my airbrush and airbrush with True-Color Paint.  I also use True-Color flat and gloss clear and two colors of primers, light and dark.
 
The SP had three color schemes in passenger service, six more colors plus white, light grey and silver (aluminum) trim.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Mel
 
 
 
My Model Railroad   
 
Bakersfield, California
 
I'm beginning to realize that aging is not for wimps.
 
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Posted by BigDaddy on Thursday, January 30, 2020 10:14 PM

MisterBeasley
I would avoid buying paint, particularly on a "maybe I'll need this" basis, until you really are ready for it.

Does the OP live in a place where there is a LHS?   I do, at least for now, at it's a 10-15 minute drive, so I've been there, just to buy paint, a half dozen times in the last year.  I buy what I need when I need it.

I have been buying more Vallejo lately because that is what they stock the most. 

But since my Floquil and Poly all turned lumpy after 20+ years is storage, I also have a mix of Scalecoat, Tru scale, Model Master, enamel and acrylic.  I don't view having multiple paint manufacturers on my shelf an advantage.  Every paint is different and I would prefer to stick to just one brand.

Henry

COB Potomac & Northern

By the Chesapeake Bay

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Posted by doctorwayne on Friday, January 31, 2020 12:39 AM

TractionAction1700
...I was wondering what any master airbrushers would call essential colors or coats to stock up on....

It very much depends on what you're painting.  F'rinstance, I'm modelling the late '30s, so many of my freight cars are boxcar red (of some sort), while my locomotives (all steam) are painted in various versions of "black".  The "black" is from a bottle of black paint, but "various versions" have some other colour(s) added.  They include white, grey, red,...actually whatever colour is needed to create the colour and tone I want.  Ditto for the freight cars, too, as having all locomotives the same plain black and all the boxcars, regardless of road or age or service, all the same "boxcar red", would not be at all realistic.  Even cars from the same road and of the same supposed age will not necessarily be the exact same shade of "boxcar red".

Of course, I also have reefers, some orange, some yellow, some white, some red, some green...well you probably get the picture.  My paint colours suit my modelling era, but if your era is different, your paint needs will be similarly different.

Don't forget, too, that if you're planning to have structures on your layout, painting them will often call for non-railroad colours. 

I very seldom use a colour without altering it somewhat, and if you learn to mix the colours you need, it may allow you to buy less paint.  On the other hand, having a lot of colours available can be good for matching specific colours. 

You'll often see folks here asking what paint to use to match some specific prototype, and while there may be many different answers, mine is almost always the same:  if you have seen the colour on the real one, in-person or in a photo, and can't find that colour, then learn how to mix it by combining other suitable colours (you can, of course, use suitable colors, too Smile, Wink & Grin).

Wayne

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Posted by SeeYou190 on Friday, January 31, 2020 6:28 AM

TractionAction1700
As a Gen Z

.

Oh no, the Zombie Generation has arrived!

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You know the color pallette of your railroad, or the models you will be painting.

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I doubt anyone's answer would truly know your needs.

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I have been stocking up on paint since I was your age. Back then we were called "Boomer's Babies", I don't know exactly when the term "Generation X" came to be.

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There are probably a few pots of paint in here that date back to when I was your age.

.

.

.

.

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-Kevin

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Wink Happily modeling my STRATTON & GILLETTE RAILROAD. A Class A line located in a personal fantasy world of semi-plausible nonsense on Tuesday, August 3rd, 1954.

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Posted by snjroy on Friday, January 31, 2020 7:13 AM

The only paints I stock up on is the inexpensive craft paints. And yes, you can airbrush them using a good acrylics thinner. I used them on buildings and brush painting details. The only reason I can find for stocking up on other paints would be to save on transportation time and cost. In other words, unless you are hours away from a hobby shop, save your money for other stuff...

Simon

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Posted by mbinsewi on Friday, January 31, 2020 7:35 AM

I think one of the things that the OP could stock up on is the different thinners, cleaners and solvents that would be suitable for a variety of paint, acrylic or solvent based.

I know when I get out the air brush, I set up what I'm going to be using for the color, and, just as important, cleaning, after I'm through.

It doesn't take long for paint, of any type, to cause a mess in the air brush, so immediate cleaning is important.

Acrylic thinners can be as simple as alcohol and/or distilled water, or any of the products out there made for thinning.

There is also a variety of acrylic thinners that can be mixed using different ingredients.  One formula calls for using cheap vodka as part of mix.

Mike.

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Posted by SeeYou190 on Friday, January 31, 2020 8:06 AM

snjroy
The only reason I can find for stocking up on other paints would be to save on transportation time and cost.

.

If you have ever been caught when a company discontinues a key color you need...

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Like when Partha Paints stopped making "RED FIRE".

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Angry Angry Angry Angry Angry Angry Angry Angry Angry Angry Angry Angry

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Now stocking up becomes a good idea.

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I have at least ten bottles of  Scalecote 2014 Caboose Red (or as I call it, STRATTON AND GILLETTE freight car red).

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I think I have 20+ cans of Testors #1260 Dullcoate, and buy it out every time I see it.

.

-Kevin

.

Wink Happily modeling my STRATTON & GILLETTE RAILROAD. A Class A line located in a personal fantasy world of semi-plausible nonsense on Tuesday, August 3rd, 1954.

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Posted by snjroy on Friday, January 31, 2020 8:15 AM

Good point Kevin, but my response is in the context of someone with a tight budget. Maybe my assumption is wrong.

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Posted by jjdamnit on Friday, February 7, 2020 6:34 PM

Hello All,

Red, Yellow, Blue, White & Black.

From these three primary colors you can create any color you wish.

With the white and black you can make tints and shades of the colors.

TractionAction1700
(B)oth enamel or acrylic will do!

Your choice on the solvent; enamel- -spirit-based, acrylic- -water-based.

One requires turpentine or mineral spirits to thin and clean and emits noxious fumes, the other is water-based and thins and cleans with water and the fumes are not noxious.

Get a color wheel, available at most craft stores, and learn to mix your own.

Hope this helps.

"Uhh...I didn’t know it was 'impossible' I just made it work...sorry"

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