MODELERS' NOTE BOOK by the Santa Fe Modelers Staff
All FT's were delivered from EMD printed as shown on the styling
diagrams. As mentioned on the diagram and in the text, the yellow
paint used was a lighter, creamier yellow than the chrome yellow
paint used on the Santa Fe's E-units of the same time period. In
fact, the chrome yellow remained relatively constant until the late
The creamy yellow paint was manufactured by Dupont and bore the
trade name Duco. Duco was a nitrocellulose lacquer developed in
1924 and was one of the first paints formulated for spray guns.
Efforts to obtain a paint chip of this creamy yellow paint (Duco
246-32564) were unsuccessful because Dupont"s archives do not contain
any paint samples earlier than 1955!
SFMO member Andy Sperandeo, editor of Model Railroader magazine,
experimented with available model paints and compared them to color
slides made in the 1940's and early 50's. He determined that using
either Floquil or Scalecoat Erie-Lackawanna Yellow and 10% to 20
% Reefer White will yield as correct a color for the creamy yellow
as we can realistically expect. Given the lighting conditions under
which a model is viewed and all other "unknowns," further attempts
to exactly match a prototype paint chip are probably fruitless (not
to mention the personal preference of the modeler).
The biggest problem in using the "new" color to available decals.
Paint chips prepared using the paint formula above will be sent
to Champ, Micorscale and Accu-Paint with the suggestion they re-formulate
their products to match the prototype color. We have received enthusiastic
response from all three decal makers and expect this change (and
a few others) to be in effect within a reasonable time. In the interim,
aggressive modelers should consider spray-masking the "catwiskers."
The creamy yellow paint was replaced in March 1952 on 200-class
units delivered from EMD, Duco number 254-373 (possible the same
color as 254-31423). -the chrome yellow became standard. We might
assume that any FT's repainted by the Santa Fe at that time were
repainted with that color. However, research indicates the "cigar
band" paint scheme was not introduced on new models from EMD until
October 1953, Therefore it is generally accepted that all FT's that
carried the "catwisker" paint scheme used the creamy yellow paint.
After 1953 all repaints of FT locomotives followed the Santa Fe
standard "cigar band" scheme as shown on the F-7 freight styling
diagram. The red separating stripe was probably abbreviated on the
first repaint by the railroad around 1947 as Santa Fe painting documents
show it still "as delivered" as late as August 1945. It was eliminated
altogether around 1951. These dates are based on the EMD styling
diagrams, Santa Fe documents in our collection and photographic
evidence. They may well be speculation but should serve as a general
guide until (if ever) additional facts surface.
The all blue experimental paint scheme was suggested by Santa
Fe painting documents in January 1951 for both FT's and 200 class
units. Units 102, 120, 133, 142, 155, 158, 170,195, 199, and 405
are known to have carried the paint scheme. -Jay Miller
One of the biggest surprises in researching the painting and lettering
was our discovery of the details for the Santa Fe nose medallion
(badge) that appeared on the FT's-and the 200 class F-7's. EMD graciously
provided us with drawings of the badge plate and what we found was