|All five of the Canadian National boxcars visible in this photo are the same color - CN Red #11 - aren't they?|
The one thing that survey revealed was the overwhelming majority of boxcars running through town, and therefore along the line I'm modeling, were Canadian National. I do have a fair number of CN boxcars, but figured I could always add more to the mix. I'll do a separate post at some point on the specific makeup of my CN boxcar fleet, but that's not the point of this post.
A number of years ago some knowledgeable CN experts, notably Stafford Swain, researched the colors of paint used as "standards" on the CN system. The result of this study indicated "CN Red #11" is the "standard color." You can get it from several model paint manufacturers (for the record, my preferred brand for this color is Scalecoat, but TruColor and Badger both market "CN Freight Car Red" paints.)
But having the "standard" color is nothing but a starting point - a benchmark.
Note the photo above - all of these boxcars (every one of them) was painted at some point a variation of "CN Red #11."
See how they all look alike?