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Santa Fe Coach Green

Santa Fe Heavyweight cars were painted Santa Fe Coach Green, which was similar to but not the same as Pullman Green. The Santa Fe color has more yellow in it. A number of formulas have been given to achieve this color of paint. One must remember that cars weather and fade with sunlight and use. Therefore there may be variations from car to car. Oversprays of Dullcoat or Glosscoat will also change the appearance of the color. An excellent example of the variations can be seen in a color photograph on page 16 of the 1st Quarter 2001 Warbonnet. This 1964 Del Mar race train is made up primarily of heavyweight coaches that include 2-3 different greens along with green, black, and silver roofs.

Larry Brasher added a special note: "The 1936 consists of the original heavyweight Super Chief, all cars, Santa Fe or Pullman, were painted to present a uniform appearance. This was a result of a deliberate policy. In 1935, plans had been drawn up and paint was purchased to finish the entire consist in a color scheme matching Diesel Locomotive 1, Unit A and Unit B. This plan was dropped and all cars were finished in standard Pullman Green. As it later happened, the original basic body color, Super Chief Golden Olive, of Diesel Locomotive 1, was changed to Tan, sometimes referred to as "Pink," after the units were rebuilt in late 1935. This was before the inaugural run of the Super Chief in May 1936.

"The first car to regularly appear in the consist to vary from this standard green was the later, November 1936 addition of the lightweight Pullman, Forward. The exact colors of this car are not known to me. My research for my book, The One-Spot Twins, indicated that most probably the Forward was in a Pullman Gray, with yellow and black details. The close up Otto Perry photo of her and other distance photos in train seem to bear this out. Perhaps Tom Madden's website may shed more accurate information.

"After November 1936, photos indicate that some of the Santa Fe owned equipment may have been a different Green but this would not have been so for the original consist."

The Santa Fe Railway Painting and Lettering Guide (1990) gives the formula of Bill Messecar, using Floquil paint, as
5 parts RR-31, Reefer Yellow
4 parts RR-45, Pullman Green
3 parts RR-74, Box Car Red
1 part RR-10, Engine Black.

Floquil has since changed their formula and this is said to no longer work.

In order to decal the Floquil, Gary Gable suggests adding 11 parts of Glaze to this mix.

Using Scalecoat paint, he suggests
5 parts #16, Reefer Yellow
4 parts #17, Pullman Green
3 parts #13, Box Car Red
1 part #10, Black.

John Miller also uses Scalecoat and suggests a simpler mix of 50/50 Pullman Green and Coach Green.

Rick Blanchard reports, "The dark olive of Pullman Green still looks like dark olive even in dim light. The ATSF version of this color is slightly lighter with a little less olive in it. Only an expert can tell the difference and then only if the colors are side by side. I don't know anyone with this level of expertise, including me, and I have painted several Pullman and Santa Fe heavyweight passenger cars in the 12 years I was GM at the railroad museum at Campo."

"As for model paints, I believe Scalecoat has the best Pullman green. It is very close to my DuPont sample. The Floquil version is a little lighter but looks good in typical "model perspective." I think the Floquil Pullman Green is closer to ATSF coach green. To end all arguments, a little fading makes Pullman Green and ATSF Green look the same in a train. Floquil is the best to get this look but the difference is lint pick minuscule."

Keith Jordan adds, "I've been using a 50/50 mix of ModelFlex GN Builder Green and CN No.11 Green for my Santa Fe heavyweights. It matches the old Messecar Floquil mix , which you can no longer duplicate because of paint formula changes. It also matches some "paint chips" from extant equipment (carefully removed from obscure places where fading hasn't occurred)."

Russell Straw says, "If you are not into mixing paint, a very close match to what is believed to be Santa Fe Coach Green is Badger ModelFlex 16-65 GN Green. I have been using this on all my cars lately and find little difference between them and my older cars painted using the old Floquil mix."

Thomas Thompson chimed in, "CY SF coach green is different than the Pecos River Brass SF coach green and of course they are both different than the paint I like to use which is Accu paint CN Green (102-30) for SF coach green. But not to worry as I was informed by a well know SF authority as follows: 'Besides, each ATSF paint shop mixed their own paint by blending other colors, plus Pullman repaired sleepers and used their own paint, plus some cars were weathered or washed more than others so there are lots of possibilities.' "

Andy Sperandeo uses Polyscale exclusively and mixes 4 parts Great Northern Empire Green with 1 part Reefer Yellow.

Steve Sandifer takes a different approach. Since Walthers has so many heavyweight and head end cars in Pullman green, he decided to use Walthers' colors as his standard. To match Walther's Pullman green he uses:
Floquil: 1 part Pullman Green and 1 part Railtie Brown.
Pollyscale Pullman Green is much lighter, and he has not found an equivalent.

To match the coach green on the Walthers Santa Fe coaches, he uses:
Floquil: 4 parts Pullman Green, 1 part Reefer Yellow, 1 part Reefer Gray.
Polyscale: 4 parts Pullman Green, 1 part Reefer Yellow, 2 parts Grimy Black.

The above colors match well in direct sun. When seen in normal room light, one can hardly tell the difference. The color also changes as you overspray the car with dullcoat or glosscoat.

So, are you confused yet?


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