Monday, February 18, 2019

Shades of Green

Well, on this turbulent day of MPs breaking away from the Labour Party and news of possible job losses as Honda considers closing its Swindon plant, I have some sage advice for everyone out there:  the Precision Paints version of British Railways Standard Green is far superior to the Railmatch equivalent. I've come to this conclusion following my attempts this past weekend to put a top coat on that Wrenn model railway locomotive I've bee restoring for the past couple of years.  Over previous weekends the body - finally stripped of the bloody awful and entirely fictitious blue and red livery it had been repainted in by a previous owner - had been given two coats of matt black. So, with the model suitably masked, I set about applying the correct green top coat to the appropriate areas.  From the moment the paint was on, it was clear that something wasn't quite right - it was far too dark.  More of a Brunswick green, in fact.  I hoped that it might lighten somewhat as it dried. But it didn't.  I tried to convince myself that it looked wrong because it hadn't yet had any lining applied.  I tried comparing it to my unrebuilt Hornby West Country, which I'd repainted many years ago, which was fully lined out.  It still looked too dark.

I then recalled that in repainting the West Country, I hadn't used the Railmatch paint, preferring another, unremembered, brand.  After some searching I found the old tin of Precision Paints Standard Green and, miraculously, discovered that there was still some paint in the tin.  So, I decided to try it out on the loco's tender, putting a coat directly over the Railmatch coat.  Even though it hasn't fully dried yet, the difference can clearly be seen.  I say clearly, in truth it is quite subtle, but there's no doubt that the Precision version of the green looks 'right'.  There isn't much in it, but it is definitely slightly lighter.  Certainly, it matches the green on the West Country.  When I've time later this week, I'll re-mask the loco body and apply the Precision green to it, (there's just about enough left in the tin to do the job).  Now, I may well be doing Railmatch a severe disservice here, as I've had the jar I tried using on the shelf, unopened, for more than ten years.  Perhaps, brand new, it is a similar shade of green to the Precision version.  Nevertheless, there's no escaping the fact that the Precision tin is even older, (I'd forgotten I even had it), yet it has retained its correct shade.  I'll have to get some more (the brand is still around, marketed by Phoenix Paints these days), as I've got another locomotive nearing completion which will need painting.  I know that none of this is terribly profound, but I still find it fascinating how such a subtle difference in the shade of paint can make such difference, not to mention how the human eye can perceive such a small difference and realise it is 'wrong'.



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