Floquil Railroad Colors Lacquer and Enamel Paint Survey

Discussion in 'Studio Scale Models' started by -... . .- --.., May 24, 2015.

  1. -... . .- --..

    -... . .- --.. Sr Member

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    - - - Updated - - -

    More to come...
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Oct 4, 2016
  2. moffeaton

    moffeaton Master Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    I love you.
     
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  3. stonky

    stonky Sr Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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  4. PHArchivist

    PHArchivist Master Member

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    Great resource!
     
  5. Voodoocaster

    Voodoocaster Well-Known Member

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    Thank you!!
     
  6. imurme

    imurme Active Member

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    These are exactly what I needed! If possible can you take your color corrected shots from strait on with the paint samples rather than at an angle, which causes to much glare across the sample. You could lay out each set flat with the color checker below (we could color correct them on our side as every system is set up differently)...and then shoot strait from above (you don't really need to worry about putting the bottles in there, just list what each one is in the post or label/number them)...Thank you for doing this, most of us do not have access to these much needed colors and this is perfect for finding replacements.

    Thank you! Thank you! Thank you!
     
    Last edited: May 25, 2015
  7. imurme

    imurme Active Member

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    FYI, please correct me if I am wrong, in the first image with all of the colors together (I love this image!) in the top row, second color set (the yellows) it appears the colors are reversed compared to the later image with the yellow color chips and bottles...

    ...also what is the green between BNSF HERITAGE GREEN and SOUTHERN GREEN? Is that PULLMAN GREEN?
     
  8. emojo5

    emojo5 Well-Known Member

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    Beaz!!

    Your back! What a great day.

    -emojo5
     
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  9. -... . .- --..

    -... . .- --.. Sr Member

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    I'm back, Ed! And you get one guess at what I'm working on... ;)
     
  10. VFX Freak

    VFX Freak Well-Known Member

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    You are my hero! I was just getting my (significantly smaller collection of) Floquil paints out to do something very much like this. You're providing a fantastic resource and you're doing a much more thorough job than I would have managed.

    I was going to scan my chip charts as well to avoid the problems inherent in photographing anything as a reference color. Here's an older test I did using Reefer Gray and Aged Concrete:

    Floquil Chart 001.jpg

    From left to right are Floquil Reefer Gray Enamel, Polly Scale Reefer Gray, and Model Master Reefer Gray. Then comes Floquil Aged Concrete Enamel, Polly Scale Aged Concrete, and Model Master Aged Concrete.

    Scanning the image gives you a nice flat, even tone with zero reflections. The ambient light is always the same, and with the color chart and reference for setting the black point, white point, and mid-tone, I figured everyone should be able to get a satisfactory representation of the colors on their system.

    It sounds like you're doing something similar?

    Thanks again!

    Dave
     
  11. VFX Freak

    VFX Freak Well-Known Member

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    That sounds fantastic! As I suspected, you're doing a much better job than I would have.

    I think the details you're going to add, and your methodology sound great. I have a couple of questions:

    I'm guessing you'll include answers to these questions in the section on background and methodology, but here goes:

    Did you brush or spray the colors?
    If airbrushed what was your mix?
    Did you use primer?
    What is the material/surface you painted the colors on?

    I'm also curious to know how old some of the paints are. I know that some of the colors changed a lot over the years. I found this comparison online while researching this.

    Floquil 70s_90s.jpg

    It shows the two colors from the 70s, 80s, and 90s: top to bottom. This explains why my Reefer Gray (the oldest bottle I have is from 1994) is so much darker than I expected it to be. But I noticed in your first post in this thread that your Reefer Gray looked much lighter than mine. Do you have some paint that is as old as ILM itself?

    I think the way you're setting this up will allow everyone to get an accurate representation of the colors on a calibrated monitor, but does anyone have a good idea how to match the colors with new paint? Say I want to duplicate Reefer Yellow in Vallejo acrylics. Is the process going to require mixing by eye from the monitor, painting a test chip, scanning it, adjusting it using your settings (we all have different scanners etc. so I don't know how this would work) and then checking them side by side on the monitor? Or do we print out your chip charts on a calibrated printer and match to that?

    Just trying to wrap my head around this. I'm sure there's a simple explanation, no matter how complex it is. :D

    Thanks again and sorry for all the questions. I'm happy to help any way I can.

    Thanks again!

    Dave
     
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  12. imurme

    imurme Active Member

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    Wow...I mean, WOW!

    You have become my official hero, this is going to be the best resource ever on the Floquil paints...You are going above and beyond all expectation, the ability to download the hi-res versions is awesome and the additional info you want to add is just...cool!
     
  13. Vacformedhero

    Vacformedhero Sr Member

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    Yeah all we need now is the. Next time someone shoots the falcons hold up the colour checker in the background
     
  14. imurme

    imurme Active Member

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    That's strange Zenwalker, I did the same steps as you did above (download TIFF, opened in Photoshop, color sampled Caboose Red, chose Pantone Solid Coated in color library) and I got a different result?? Instead of Solid 201C I get Solid 1797C...I kept trying different areas and sample sizes and could not get your result...until...I took a screen shot of the web page and opened that in Photoshop, then I got the Solid 201C off the Caboose Red...Why is that?
     
  15. Zenwalker

    Zenwalker Sr Member

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    Hmmm. Not sure. Are you on a Mac or PC? Check the file info. on the downloaded file and make sure it is in TIFF format maybe.

    I got the same result every time.

    OK, I see, you should have got 1807 EC, but that is a different Pantone color set called 'color bridge cmyk ec' than what I used. Not sure why your PS calls it 'Pantone solid coated'? I used the 'Pantone solid coated' color set.
     
    Last edited: May 27, 2015
  16. imurme

    imurme Active Member

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    ok, now I'm getting confused...first off I am on a PC, Photoshop CC (64Bit)...and yes the file is the TIF (although I get the same results with the JPG)...I dont know what the 'color bridge cmyk ec' set is, don't see it in my color library list at all? Confusing...it is.



    UPDATE: I re-downloaded the files and now they seem to match up with yours...maybe they were updated after I originally downloaded them??? but anyway it is better now...(just the universe playing tricks on me I guess)

    Thanks for taking the time to help Zenwalker!
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 8, 2018
  17. VFX Freak

    VFX Freak Well-Known Member

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    For what it's worth I got Pantone 201 C without doing any color correction as well, but I had to up the sample size of the eye-dropper tool to 31x31 pixels before it was consistent.

    And the result is a Pantone color that's too different from the original to suit our purposes, IMHO.

    I'm still thinking of the best workflow to make it easy to match the original colors. Any thoughts anyone?
     
  18. Zenwalker

    Zenwalker Sr Member

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    Your welcome.:)
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 8, 2018
  19. Zenwalker

    Zenwalker Sr Member

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    I think the Pantone system is the only way to get close to the original Floquil colors. There were some other Pantone color sets in PS that were closer to the original Floquil Caboose Red than the 'solid coated ' one. I am not sure how those ones work or what they are for. I will do some more checking.
     
  20. stonky

    stonky Sr Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    I'm not sure if the red paint chips have been corrected but the chart doesn't seem to have been - here's a corrected one (srgb):

    ColorChecker_sRGB_from_Avg.jpg
     
  21. Zenwalker

    Zenwalker Sr Member

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    I believe the color checker chart needs to be scanned or photographed together with the color you are matching for it to work.
     
  22. VFX Freak

    VFX Freak Well-Known Member

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    I agree. I think it would be easiest if the color checker were in the scan with every paint-chip chart. I color corrected the X-Rite color checker using a Curves layer and the black, grey, and white-point sampler tools. But it's not easy in Photoshop to copy that correction to the image of the paint tests. It can be done as an action, but it would be simplest, I think, and more bullet-proof to have the reference in every scan.

    Oops, I spoke too soon. You can copy the adjustment layer from the corrected color chart to the paint image pretty easily:

    With the adjustment layer active, go to Layer > Duplicate Layer and in the Destination > Document : drop down, choose the 'other' image file and click OK.

    And when I'd done all that I got Pantone 484C for Caboose Red, which is even further off than the original. Hummph.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 9, 2018
  23. imurme

    imurme Active Member

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    Yes, Zenwalker is correct...as I understand it, the color chart must be scanned with the exact same scanner and the same scan settings as the original paint chips, then the two are color adjusted together in order to match the colors properly.
     
  24. imurme

    imurme Active Member

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    After color adjusting the paint chips using the color checker I also get Pantone 484C for Caboose Red...just as VFX Freak is getting, so at least we are adjusting correctly ;)
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 9, 2018
  25. imurme

    imurme Active Member

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    When I go thru all of the color libraries to find the nearest match for each color I get much better matches using the TRUMATCH or sometimes the FOCOLTONE systems, does anyone have experience with these color systems? I think the PANTONE system is rather limited, just not enough color variation to get a proper match.

    I guess if your system was completely color calibrated and your printer also color calibrated to your system, you could (in theory) then print high quality photos of the color samples and use those to find paint matches.
     
  26. VFX Freak

    VFX Freak Well-Known Member

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    My system is completely calibrated (Gretag MacBeth system to calibrate the monitor and printer and generate custom printing profiles for each type of paper.) and I printed out the red paint chart with my Epson 3800 on Epson matte and luster paper. The luster looked a lot better and the next step is for me to paint a test chip with the Floquil Caboose Red and see how close it is to the print out.

    Like Imurme I got a much better color match in the Trumatch color library, but I don't know anything about Trumatch so it's time for Google...
     
  27. Zenwalker

    Zenwalker Sr Member

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    Wow! Great work on this.

    I think you are the right track and these color chips will be indispensable to a lot of us who are after accurate colors for their builds.

    Color corrected scans of the paint chips and color chart in the same scan for each set seems to the way to go.

    Thanks very much for doing these! And great paint collection you have there!
     
  28. VFX Freak

    VFX Freak Well-Known Member

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    Thanks, -... . .- --..

    Great to have all that information! And I have severe workbench envy. So much real estate! I've got pretty much the same tools, materials, and methods, so that should make it easier to match colors.

    So just to clarify, the Floquil paints, up until the time Testors bought them, were all Lacquer based? (That would explain some of my headaches as a kid and the resulting lost brain cells!) I've been using Testors enamel thinner with Floquil's retarder to thin my Floquil paints and it's worked well, but I have some Mr. Color Leveling thinner and will have to give it a shot.

    I'll put in another vote for uncorrected scans with the color chart in each scan. No need for you to do any more work than you're already doing that way, and we all know what we're getting.

    Again, well done and thank you!
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 8, 2018
  29. Zenwalker

    Zenwalker Sr Member

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    ^^ Agreed.
     
  30. dirtydave

    dirtydave Sr Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    Thanks for sharing.:thumbsup


    Dave
     
  31. imurme

    imurme Active Member

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    This works absolutely perfectly!! It could not be better done, and I know everyone is going to find these super useful for finding Floquil color matches and what ever they may need samples of these colors for...

    For my part in this endeavor I would like to give a little tutorial on how best to color correct these using Adobe Photoshop or Lightroom (but the same techniques could also be adapted to other programs)...

    [EDIT] This technique is not ideal, for a MUCH better way to color correct see the following posts by stonky


    First in Photoshop:

    Open the image showing the color chips and X-rite ColorChecker you wish to adjust.

    Create an adjustment layer above the image layer.

    Then using the Curves Set Gray Point sample picker (the center one between the black and white pickers) sample a neutral gray point on the ColorChecker (I marked them in the image below)...you need to use a neutral gray to get the white balance for the image correct (don't use the white or black as they may cause the image to be too blown out)

    curves.jpg

    ...And that should do it!!


    The same thing can be done using a Levels adjustment layer instead of the Curves if you so desire...you follow the same procedure as before using the Levels Set Gray Point picker...

    levels.jpg




    Now using Adobe Lightroom...it's pretty much the same thing, just that you are now going to use the White Balance Selector located in the Basic options tab, then pick the neutral gray point...

    lightroom.jpg


    Then you can use the images as needed knowing that the image is now color correct...Pretty easy stuff!



    Hope that is helpful to others for getting the white balance (color) corrected images on there system ;)

    Thank you again for taking the effort to put these on here for us all to gain from!!

    curves.jpg

    levels.jpg

    lightroom.jpg
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 8, 2018
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  32. stonky

    stonky Sr Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    Hmmmm..... using a single square to correct for a "grey point" won't necessarily make any adjustment to and correct for the input device's native response curve, will it? If I had my druthers, I'd love to get a raw (ie. NEF, CRW) photograph perpendicular to the paint samples alongside the chart under flat light conditions. Short of that, I'd use curves to correct each grey square against their accepted (debatable) SRGB values until they all fall into line.
     
  33. Vacformedhero

    Vacformedhero Sr Member

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    F*** laymens terms, DO YOU SPEAK ENGLISH ?
     
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  34. Zenwalker

    Zenwalker Sr Member

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    If someone can give us a 1,2,3... step process in PS on how to color correct this that would be ideal.
     
  35. imurme

    imurme Active Member

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    Hey there stonky, I am the first to admit that I do not know all of the in's & out's of color correction, but what we need is a simple way to color correct the TIFF images that are being offered (lets assume that this is all we can get for now)...so what would be the best step by step way to correct these images, as is? I am open to any better way, I was just trying to show a simple way that worked for me...

    You mentioned correcting each of the grey squares against their accepted SRGB values until they fall in line with those, so how can we do that exactly? Do you have these SRGB values? Let's agree on some simple repeatable procedure that we all can use, then we can all be sure to be getting the same results.

    Also, not to be argumentative, just to understand this better, is not scanning these paint chips and color chart about as close to perpendicular you can get? I mean it is sitting on a perfectly flat surface directly facing the scan head, yes? And I would think that using the scanners white spectrum LED's that move across the surface of the image evenly as about as flat a light source as you can achieve? Am I totally off here?
     
    Last edited: Jun 14, 2015
  36. stonky

    stonky Sr Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    Not to you I don't.

    Yeah, the scanner gives us a nice perpendicular angle to the colors but the images aren't in a raw format - most of the software tools that'll let us make a profile automatically want raw images for their fidelity, etc. One of the main purposes of the chart is to allow you to "profile" the input device (scanner, in this case), otherwise you could just use a grey card if you only want to correct for white balance. We're using the chart to remove whatever secret sauce the scanner is using to record and interpret the colors when it takes the picture. :)

    There's a bunch of resources online that take a bunch of charts and averages their colors to try to eliminate even the slight differences between charts, here's one:

    ColorChecker_sRGB_from_Avg.jpg

    Here are the RGB values for each of the "grey" square in the above image, dark to light:

    50 50 51
    83 85 85
    120 121 121
    161 161 162
    201 202 202
    245 245 240

    So if you're doing this manually probably the best way to do it is to use photoshop's curves to match each greyscale square's values. Here's what I got after some quick fiddling:

    floquil-rr-colors-card-01-scan_corrected.jpg

    If you open the curves tool you'll see an icon that looks like a hand with up and down arrows:

    curves_hand.jpg

    Press it - this will allow you to eyedrop over the color square in the chart image that you want to change, click and hold, and drag up and down until the new "Output" value in the curves window matches what you want it to be:

    output.jpg

    You'll see that after you get to the value that you want and you let go that there'll be a new point on the curve, in a new position. You have to do red, green, and blue separately, and do all the squares. I went through and did all the red, then all the green, and then all the blue, probably the quickest way - just change the "Channel" option in the curves window to red, make your corrections, then to green, make your corrections, and so on. Here' s what the curves looked like when I was done:

    curves.jpg

    If anyone has a better way, great, please share. :) That said, I'm happy to do them all and then post my results as -... . .- --.. continues to kindly post scans. :)

    Thanks again -... . .- --.., you rock!
     
    Last edited: Jun 14, 2015
  37. Vacformedhero

    Vacformedhero Sr Member

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    Tut tut, you didn't get the sci-fi joke........Event Horizon
     
  38. stonky

    stonky Sr Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    Yeah I guess I missed that one. :)
     
  39. -... . .- --..

    -... . .- --.. Sr Member

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    Thanks guys, again more than happy to help.

    And please do keep posting this kind of technical detail about how you're color-correcting these on your systems. It helps me a ton because it lets me be a bit lazy about that aspect of this stuff now, but when I do get some time to tweak these on my own system it'll be easier knowing I can use the same techniques that you guys have.

    And stonky, your color-corrected version of my first red card actually looks really good on my system...much, much better than my own ham-handed attempts at color-correcting these. For example, the Zinc Chromate Primer looks more "brown" to my eye on the card I painted, but looks a bit more "red" when I scan it. Your color corrected version looks much closer to what I'm seeing with my own eyes. Thanks!
     
    Last edited: Jun 14, 2015
  40. stonky

    stonky Sr Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    Great, glad to hear it! Like I said, I'm happy to post my results. :)
     
  41. imurme

    imurme Active Member

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    stonky, thank you for posting the information on how to color adjust these...very helpful...I will need to remove my comparatively lame advice ;)

    So now I wonder, is it possible to scan in a raw format? If that's ideal, maybe we can get them that way strait off the scanner? (I looked a bit into it, but only saw a way using a program called Vuescan to get 'unprocessed' scan data into RAW format)

    But this way of processing the TIF's is fairly simple and works well, so I'm satisfied that we are able to get pretty good color correct images.

    I think we could move forward with the scans whenever -... . .- --.. is able, again thanks to you -... . .- --.. (not easy to type that name,lol) for being so generous by painting/scanning these!
     
  42. stonky

    stonky Sr Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    Agreed, on all fronts! I'm looking forward to Grime and Reefer White, amongst others. :)
     
  43. VFX Freak

    VFX Freak Well-Known Member

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    Nice work being done here, guys! I will have to give Stonky's color correction method a shot. Thank you all for making this happen.
     
  44. MonsieurTox

    MonsieurTox Master Member

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    It's BEAZ in morse :D

    Thank you very much guys, very interesting thread; great resources !
     
  45. Darth Humorous

    Darth Humorous Well-Known Member

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  46. stonky

    stonky Sr Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    Thanks, good resource!

    The trouble is I guess that we don't know how they arrived at their values so we can't reverse engineer them. As a comparison, here's our "corrected" caboose red on the left beside their caboose red, on the right:

    caboose_red_comparison.jpg

    Big difference. :)
     
  47. imurme

    imurme Active Member

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    As for the accuracy of www.art-paints colors, well although a few do seem to match 'ok', their caboose red looks way off, even if you adjust for the brightness it is either too brown or to pink, IMHO...I believe we are getting our colors much closer to the actual paint colors...

    caboose_adjusted.jpg

    I have used that site before, I also have used a few others for paint color comparisons...another good one is The Scale Modeler Paint Finder it has the Floquil / Pollyscale colors in there data base as well as many other brands, you can find color matches across brands too...

    http://paintfinder.ehaltom.com/load_colors.php?line=47

    Another useful source is an app for the iphone/ipod/ipad called imodelkit it also has the Floquil / Pollyscale colors and lets you mix colors to try and match a color, very useful, it can do a few other things as well...I just use the free version (its the same with ads)...one cool thing is you can edit the color data base and add your own colors.

    http://www.id6.ch
     
    Last edited: Jun 16, 2015
  48. Zenwalker

    Zenwalker Sr Member

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    Admins. maybe this should become a stuck thread?
     
  49. Darth Humorous

    Darth Humorous Well-Known Member

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    I wonder how many of the www.art-paints colors are off. Maybe it is only a few. Perhaps some incorrect ones are actually correct for other incorrect ones, as if the data didn’t get put with the right names…like a clerical error. It makes sense since they try to tackle an enormous amount of paints.

    Have errors been noticed in the data for the The Scale Modeler Paint Finder site?

    Mark
     
  50. Darth Humorous

    Darth Humorous Well-Known Member

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    Then there is the Floquil Color Chart by micro scale industries. For convenience, it can be downloaded from…

    https://www.microscale.com/Merchant2/merchant.mvc?Screen=Resource

    …though they admit the colors won’t be dead on. Interestingly, their color sample of Caboose Red seems to look like the one from www.art-paints. Hmm… perhaps one outfit made the error and was copied by the other outfit.

    Mark
     

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