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Chessie Enchantment Blue vs. C&O Enchantment Blue

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Chessie Enchantment Blue vs. C&O Enchantment Blue
Posted by Chess-C1223 on Friday, March 08, 2013 12:13 PM

I've asked this question on another forum before, but haven't really gotten a clear answer.  I would like to know if the blue color that Chessie System referred to as "Enchantment Blue" is in fact the same color that was used during the C&O/B&O Affiliation era?  Looking at photos, it seems to me that Chessie's blue is richer and somewhat bolder than the old C&O color and in some cases, even looks a little purplish.  After weathering and fading, however, there is virtually no distinction.

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Posted by bogp40 on Friday, March 08, 2013 12:48 PM

This is one of those questions I used to ask.  I have received so many conflicting responses.  Many discussions on the B&O yahoo group never lead me to a real conclusion. It seems that C&O had their blue (far more to the light side) prior to any affiliation w/ the B&O. The 2 RR used separate shops as well even into Chessie "merger" (I use this loosely as not until CSX). B&O ran the enchantment (extremely dark blue) early on w/ the EA all up through on units until the solid blue (dipped jobs) of the '60s. As to the actual difference of the C&O and B&O enchantment, the C&O always appeared to be that slightly lighter/ richer as you say compared to the B&O.  Early on when I did a considerable amount of painting / lettering, I used the "old" B&O enchantment in Floequil. I found very little difference in the Floequil paint between the two. As the Floequil product went through a change/ testor's it became extremely hard to find and I would scoff up as much as I could find, regardless if any just Enchantment would do. . At the time the Scalecoat dark blue was a decent stand-in for both C&O/ B&O, especially when doing a Chessie paint job. I know what you refer to as the B&O almost having a dark purple cast, but this was more evident for model paint and not for the prototype itself. All my early Stewart F units had that purple irredescent  and made any paint matching near impossible. Of coarse once weathered/ dullcoated became irrelevant as that disapeared. Maybe some others, more knowledgeable working on the prototype, especially Brakie can weigh in on this disscussion.

I hope I haven't confused you further.

Modeling B&O- Chessie  Bob K.

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Posted by dti406 on Friday, March 08, 2013 12:58 PM

Last Year I painted a Chessie 60' ACF Boxcar, and they suggested I use CSX Blue for the Chessie Blue as they were almost the same. 

Rick J

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 Chess-C1223 on Saturday, March 09, 2013 7:30 AM

One thing to keep in mind that may even further add to the confusion is that the specifications for the colors (in this case; Enchantment Blue, Federal Yellow, Vermillion) are subject to change.  Enchantment Blue, then, may simply mean any dark blue color that the company has decided to go with rather than a historically accurate rendition of the original C&O color.  In fact; isn't the "Armour Yellow" that UP uses today a different shade of yellow than the original color?

Another thing to consider is the particular batch of paint and the supplier.  I have read that there were two suppliers of Enchantment Blue and that they didn't always match so you had some blue dips that were noticeably lighter than others even before they accumulated any heavy weathering or started to fade.  But having said that, it seems to me that new locomotives delivered in Chessie paint were more consistent.  Perhaps the repainted units would get whatever was available at the shop which would likely be C&O Blue, B&O Royal Blue or maybe even a mixture.

And finally; I have always wondered that if an older blue unit's paint was determined to be in good enough shape (after washing) if the company would simply mask off the areas that were to remain blue and just add the yellow and vermillion.  I ask this because I have seen at least one C&O/Chessie unit where you could see the old "For Progress" logo poking out from behind the Chess-C on the nose.  It would also seem to be a way to reduce the cost of painting.

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Posted by BRAKIE on Saturday, March 09, 2013 8:03 AM

Let's muddle the Chessie blue more.The blues Chessie used was Royal Blue,Enchantment Blue and dark blue.If a B&O paint shop still had several hundred gallons of Royal Blue paint left what do you think the shop foreman is going to cut into his budget by ordering new paint and then having to explain that spending to his superiors or use the Royal Blue since it matches C&O's enchantment blue?

Remember every shop foreman knows what a Chessie unit would look like in 12-15 months of service as did his superiors and of course the bean counters...

Another thing to keep in mind the Chessie roads was not merged and was no real directive stating everything had to be painted in Chessie so,B&O and C&O paint shops used the paint they had on hand...








“Shut one’s eyes tight or open one’s arms wide, either way, one’s a fool.” Flemeth-the witch of the Wilds.
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Posted by CSX_road_slug on Saturday, March 09, 2013 10:13 AM

I remember reading somewhere [possibly on this forum?] where a few railfans were visiting a B&O engine terminal near Cleveland, and they saw an SW-1 switcher that had been touch-up painted.  So they asked one of the shop workers if there was an official 'spec' for the blue color.  They replied that they just drove to a nearby Sears store and picked up a dozen spray cans of something they thought was the closest match. 

-Ken in Maryland  (B&O modeler, former CSX modeler)

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Posted by Medina1128 on Saturday, March 09, 2013 10:37 AM

Paint suppliers used to use crude measuring when mixing paint. That's why colors varied from one batch to the next. So, it's not that uncommon.

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Posted by C&OFan on Tuesday, November 07, 2017 10:26 AM

As a C&O fan, I find the difference in paint to be somewha exaperating. For instance, I use Modelflex C&O Enchantment Blue..which to me seems to be the closest.  Floquil made the same named color, but it was close to the N&W dark blue.  Pollyscale made a C&O enchant. blue, but to me, it looked like the blue after it had weathered just a short time.  For my passenger cars and locos, I use the Modelflex. 1. its close enough, 2. it's airbrush ready, and it's still in production.  I use compressed CO2 as a propellant ( have a 20# tank with a regulator ) and shoot the paint between 27-30 psi. I also use a Badger 200 detail airbrush and shoot a fine mist.  Works for me.


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Posted by ACY Tom on Friday, November 24, 2017 9:06 PM

Way back in prehistory, Floquil Diesel Dark Blue was pretty close to B&O "Bando" Royal Blue. Then they changed the formula and eventually settled on a shade they called C&O Enchantment Blue, and I think that was a close match to C&O's standard color.  My color acuity isn't perfect, but the consensus was that Enchantment Blue had a purple cast, both on the prototype and in Floquil's version. B&O Bando Blue had no discernible purple cast. Many paints have been offered purporting to be Bando Blue, but I'm not convinced they are correct. For the record, B&O Bando Blue is DuPont Duco 254-35155; EMD number 8106284. I don't have the paint codes for the C&O colors. Maybe somebody does, and can provide more definitive, reliable info on correct model paint matches. I, for one, would welcome it. 


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