Sunday, July 29, 2012

The Right Red (Finally!)

This is a long-winded tale that has come full circle. It starts back when I first got Clarabelle and was searching for the right colour to paint her. I took a fleck of the original paint to a hardware store that offered a colour-matching service and they came up with Capsicum Red as being a close match. So I promptly purchased four litres and started slapping it on Clarabelle.

The result can be seen in this pic of Clarabelle during the loading for the move in 2005. The section below the windows has been painted Capsicum Red and the result is – well at the time, it looked too red! Neither Abbie or I were happy with the colour match and resorted to a cheaper bulk acrylic colour marketed as Heritage Red which seemed to be a better match.

As time went on I realised that there were actually two reds involved in the colour scheme of these types of carriages and I did find a good match for the trim red on the droplights as Deep Indian Red. But the Heritage Red, being cheaper, didn’t hold the colour very well and turned a more brown-red – but I had 20 litres of the stuff and so it was good enough as a first attempt to cover and protect the carriage sides. 

Now that I’ve run out of Heritage Red the search has been on to find a better match in a better quality paint to bring the outsides up to scratch. I’ve blogged about this before and haven’t had much success. On arrival in Adelaide I set about trying to find the right red again even going to the lengths of buying a small tin of modellers paint in Tuscan Red (the official colour given by QR for their red carriages) and, when I went to get a colour match at the hardware store, that came up as Indian Red and the colour marketed as Tuscan Red by the paint companies bore no resemblance to the red I was after!

So the latest attempt has been to take out a variety of those little swatches of colour you can get from the hardware store and try to get a match against the only remaining piece of original paint work still attached to Clarabelle (the eastern end). This was still compromised by fading of the original paint and worn-in grime and dirt but I finally got what looked like a good match and it was – Capsicum Red!

6 panels painted in Capsicum Red with Deep Indian Red droplights. Needs some tidying up but I think I've finally got the colour scheme right after all these years!

So, being cautious, I bought just one litre and last weekend got to slap some around. Low an behold, it was the right colour all along! Now it’s back to the paint store for more and soon (hopefully!) Clarabelle will be restored to the right colour for the first time in 20 years!

Sister carriage 1074 as preserved in Ipswich for comparison. And is that a third readdy-brown I see lining the windows and doors? AAAARRRRGGGGHHHHHHH!

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