Correct Colors for Copper Range Baldwins

The Discussion Board: Modeling Michigan Railroads: Correct Colors for Copper Range Baldwins
By Jeremy Jordan on Wednesday, September 19, 2001 - 11:46 am:

Does anybody know of correct (Or Close) paint to use when modeling the Copper Range Diesels? Do you know of any Decals that may make the detailing process a bit easier?

By Paul Meier on Friday, September 21, 2001 - 10:58 pm:

Reds and greys are very subseptable to fading and weathering. The colors for COPR Baldwins varied with age. I am just completing a pair that I am portraying as nearly new so I used Scalecoat CPR grey and Floquil Soo Line red. For a unit as it was in the '60's, I would be inclined to use SP lettering grey and a red "faded" by adding yellow (don't use white, you get pink). Peter Ouilette of Ripley, MI offered a custom set about 10 years ago that fit the Athearn model, it is maybe time for us to pester him to rerun it with more stripes to fit the Stewart's. Hopefully, Stewart will come out with a DS-4-4-1000 now that I have modified their VO. Good luck and enjoy.
Paul Meier

By Brad Bourbina on Tuesday, September 25, 2001 - 10:01 pm:

If you want to work off photographs, to me (alert: Opinion only!) the COPR Baldwin colors look rather close to CP Rail's original grey and maroon with yellow stripes. Maroon is probably too dark, but again, IMHO, Soo red is a little too red. I'd suggest SP Scarlet for the red, darkened a little.

By Jim Fisher on Monday, October 01, 2001 - 12:13 pm:

The gray stayed the same to my eye whereas the red definitely changed, being a sort of Tuscan red or CP maroon- sort of color to a Caboose (or even brighter) red. These were definitely different colors and of course fading added to the variety. According to the dates of my slides, the color was Tuscan or maroon in the late 40's and fifties and sort of evolved to red over time but the reality is probably not that simple - may have just depended on what paint they had on hand at any given time. Also, I think the configuration of the stripes and railings changed somewhat thru the years.

By Paul Meier on Monday, October 01, 2001 - 7:22 pm:

Old slides add another wrinkle. Not only do we have the actual paint changing over time, but we also have the dyes on the film changing. Almost any slide other than well preserved Kodachrome is subject to change. Even then the lighting conditions have a big effect. This is not to say anyone of us is correct or incorrect, it is just that these colors are a moving target. The COPR may have changed them also. There is a true story down here about the Bloomington, IL shop forces on the GM&O being so embarassed about the condition of one of the F-3's that they went to Sears and bought red barn paint. The only true answer will be in the as-built paint spec's. If someone can get them, the "new" colors will be known. In the mean time go with what you remember and like, and be prepared for some questions.

By Jim Fisher on Tuesday, October 02, 2001 - 12:29 am:

It is true that the eye is a very poor judge of color- what we see is seldom what we get. This reminds me of the C&H's orange wood rock cars. The first of the repainted cars weathered very fast to a vivid pink. a string of them was unforgettable. This was very embarrassing to C&H as the whole episode coincided with "The Great Pink Fad" of 1953 when everything fashionable, from cars to tuxedos was pink. The result was litigation and a financial settlement from the paint company and all the cars were quickly repainted with a more durable orange. The exact same phenomenon can be seen presently, on the orange doors of the Public Storage chain storage units.

By Jeremy Jordan on Monday, October 08, 2001 - 5:43 pm:

While not on the exact topic, I stumbled upon a person who makes decals for two Copper Range cars. The site is He make decals for Copper Range box 161 and refer 953. These decals are printed from builders photos. Great stuff.

By Harry Vitek ( on Friday, October 04, 2002 - 10:30 am:

Having just completed a reading of all the posts at the "YooperRails" web site I find a posting by Peter Ouillette offering for sale his remaining sets of Copper Range Baldwin engine decals. Maybe it's time we pestered him. His address is: Peter Ouillette 2404 Parkview Ln. S.E. Rochester, Mn. 55904 Phone: (507) 282-1401

By Paul Meier ( on Friday, October 04, 2002 - 5:54 pm:

OK Harry, how 'bout giving us a link to "YooperRails".

By Harry Vitek ( on Friday, October 11, 2002 - 11:19 pm:

Sorry about that its a yahoo group @ \topurl{,} his posting # 354. I have ordered 2 sets from Pete one for a Athearn S-12 & one for a Stewart DS-4-4-1000. He said the stripes are of different widths. I'm told the color yellow in his stripes is to brite, but if we can't get the paint colors right why worry about the stripes. Another suggestion is using the stripes as supplied in Microscale decal set # MC-4098, Lehigh Valley pre war switchers 1937-45. I'm told the color is closer & the style is the same.

By Josh Baakko ( on Tuesday, June 03, 2003 - 12:23 pm:

Well, even though this is late after the last post, I've been interested in making the Baldwins, I've even gotten lucky by waiting until now to start, I'll be able to get them all from Stewart. I was just going to ask about the paint, & here's this long post about it, any advances in the area of paint? Maybe anyone out there now with decals made for them? I'll be back in a month or so, after I've gotten the locomotives in the mail, thanks. Fellow yooper stuck in California, Josh

By Jerry Roy ( on Friday, July 25, 2003 - 10:54 pm:

I also am looking for the correct red and grey for the CPRR diesels. Any help would be appreciated. The microscale decal set for Lehigh Valley prewar switchers is available in both O an HO sets. The LV switcher scheme seems to be a dead ringer for the CPRR locos.

By Kevin Musser ( on Tuesday, July 29, 2003 - 6:19 am:

The CR ordered the exact color that the LV used. If you search for LV decals I am sure you could find those yellow stripes as well. You might also look for a copy of Mainline Modeler, November 1997 as it contains a very good article on modeling U.P. Baldwins.

By Jerry Roy ( on Thursday, August 07, 2003 - 11:08 pm:

I am still playing with colors for the Copper Range locos, but it looks like Floquil gray primer will work well for the gray. Possibly Santa Fe red or SP scarlet will work well for the CR red. I will keep you posted as to which color and paint manufacturer I use. The same color can vary a lot depending on who makes it, ie:Floquil,Modelflex or Scalecoat. May need to add just a bit of blue to the reds. I am trying lots of samples. Also, in addition to the CR Baldwin,I am also doing a DSS&A RS unit and trying to find the right green and yellow. Anyone done one of these and had good luck with a color match? I think the DSS&A unit will be a nice compliment to the CR unit. DSS&A decals are available from the Soo Line Historical Society in HO, I am hoping they can make me some in O. I believe that I mentioned before that Microscale has LV decals in both HO & O that will work for the CR scheme. Thats it for now. If you have any questions, feel free to e-mail me. Jerry

By Tim Lab (Tlab) ( on Sunday, November 02, 2003 - 9:25 pm:

Though not modeling at present, I too would like to know the correct colors for the CRR Baldwins. A story told to me by Charly Sincock, was that after the first two Baldwin switchers had been ordered, Baldwin contacted the Copper Range to ask what the color scheme would be and the CRR responded with "just like your demonstrators"! Several other roads did the same. This means that Baldwin Historical records may contain the answer. Also, since other roads use the same stripe configuration, then they should work for the CRR, too. When I first saw them in 1966 they appeared be a faded red. Also, I was shown a color print that showed them new and I remember it as being a shiny dark red. So, what say you?

By Paul Meier ( on Monday, November 10, 2003 - 6:24 pm:

Robert Anderson"s article and Pictures in CLASSIC TRAINS provides some good clues as to what was going on with the red. If one studies the photos he will see many different reds on the loco. The red on the cab's appears faily bright but the hood seems to have weathered towards the dark side. I suspect the dark weathering is a combination of diesel soot, oil, and fine road dirt which would been derived from the poor rock ballast. In those pre-Imron days, red normally weathers to a lighter shade, but on the COPR, once the chalking began, it probably provided enough "tooth" for the dark weathering agents to adhere. Check out the shot of 101 on the turntable where the paint is burnt off around the stacks!

By Harry Vitek ( on Thursday, November 13, 2003 - 11:57 am:

During the recent "South Shore" Div. of the SLH&TS convention in Superior/Duluth this Oct. I had the pleasure of working on the Copper Range 200 getting it ready of plainting. While I was removing the mid-handrail and toe plates along the walkways (Not used while in CORP service) and aware of this color discussion, I removed some of the dirt and grime build-up at the bottom of the hood at the walkway. The color red above the grime line was the chalk red as discussed above, but behind the grime was a brite red. Iam sure this was the original color and I would discribe it as a S.P. scarlet. Not knowing the L.V. cornell red but viewing a Lionel L.V. painted SW at a local hobby shop it's a close match. To match it to Soo Line red is hard. I would have to have a color chart in hand and using a solvent cleaner and car wax after, I then could cast a vote.

By Jerry Roy ( on Tuesday, December 09, 2003 - 10:56 pm:

In my testing,I have found that Floquil signal red is a close match for the CR locos, I made a paint sample sheet of many different reds and I think this may be the closest match. SP scarlet seemd to be a bit to orange for my taste, but it does seem to look very close in some photos. LV Cornell red is not a true red, but more of a maroon. This color wasapplied to LV units after the red and grey scheme. I guess it boils down to using whatever red looks right to you. I am still waiting for Weaver to ship me my VO1000 which I am going to convert to a DS 4-4-1000, CR 100 or 101. when the project is finished I will be sending photos to this site. I hope anyone else doing the CR baldwins will send in some shots also. Jerry

By Kevin Musser ( on Tuesday, December 09, 2003 - 11:36 pm:

Looking forward to seeing it Jerry.

By Michael Ostertag ( on Saturday, December 18, 2004 - 4:47 am:

Hi there guy's! I know that this is over a year from the last posting on this topic, but has anyone pinned down the proper colors for the CR's Baldwins. i have a DS4-4-1000 that I need to paint for a friend of mine here in Green Bay and want to get it as close to correct as possible for him. Also, how about decals, anyone know of any available . I have talked to Dan Manlick, owner of DM Decals in Manitowoc, WI and he and I are going to get together after the first of the year and put togethr a Copper Range Diesel set if none are currently available. These are going to be based on the current Stewart offerings and are going to be in the $5-6 range depending on how many we need to make. He has to make a minimum of 25 sets each time he makes them. If we do need to make them I will make sure that all the stripping is included. there will also be numbers 100 - 101 - 200 included with the set. Each set will only make 1 unit though. Anyone interested at all in this? Michael Ostertag Green Bay, WI \mail{,}

By Harry Vitek ( on Monday, December 27, 2004 - 10:39 pm:

As stated before, during our inspection of the #200 now in Duluth, the red we found under all the grease & oil I have to agree matches Floquil Signal Red. The gray matches Floquil Primer Gray. I now have one Stewart DS-4-4-1000 & two Athearn S-12's, one with plow & starting one without plow in the above colors. About the decals. I have just had made up 12 sets of decals. They include enough striping, cab lettering & all three numbers to do all three engines. I'm asking $5.00 per set. I also have been in touch with Peter Ouillette who has made up sets in the past & as soon as he gets settled in after his move he will again start furnishing sets.

By jbaakko ( on Sunday, January 29, 2006 - 5:20 pm:

Harry, any chance I can get 3 of those decal sets? email me, josh*AT*blockchoice*DOT*com

By Josh Baakko ( on Saturday, February 04, 2006 - 5:32 pm:

After viewing the Floquil colors, I couldn't decide between EL red & Signal red, but I think signal red will look better, after weathering.

By Jerry Roy ( on Monday, March 06, 2006 - 8:02 pm:

I used Floquil Santa Fe red.In most photos of the CR units the paint on the hood is badly discolored, but the color right underneath the cab looks fairly good and the SF red is a good match. For the gray, I used Floquil reefer white with 4-5 drops of loco black added to a full bottle of white. This results in a very nice soft gray. Microscale offers decals for the Lehigh Valley early scheme,which the CR units were painted. of course, you will need to make your own lettering for the cab. Jerry

By Josh Baakko ( on Wednesday, May 31, 2006 - 2:25 am:

So I ended up going with Floquil Signal Red, its slightly better looking to me then the EL Red, however, I will be weathing the unit more, with white & black chalks once I decal it. For the grey I just used Testors Primer! I figured the white chalk, or white artists oil (the paint in Wal*Mart's crafts section) thinned out, will faid it well enough to match the CRRR grey. I'm modeling my units as they looked after MU was added.

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