Vapalux paint codes

Discussion in 'Pressure Lamp Discussion Forum' started by Nevermindthedarkness, Nov 23, 2020.

  1. Nevermindthedarkness United Kingdom

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    Does anyone know of a resource with the colour codes for Vapalux lamps? I've started restoring a Vapalux 300x which was stripped of paint exccept for the base of the font, which is maroon / oxblood, I fancy repainting and was considering getting someone to colour match but that costs a fair bit more than ordering with a code, has anyone ever found these codes?

    If not sod it, Ill probably go for it when i have a few quid spare (well, 30 of them to be exact, plus shipping a font to some far flung corner of the uk), and post here fyi but but it would be a nice saving if someone had a list of codes... I saw a thread here recommending a chestnut (i think rustoleum) alternative but tbh the anal retentive in me wants as close a match as possible, its a sickness. Thanks for any help guys
     
  2. MYN

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    Well, I'm no Vapalux expert but I'm pretty certain they don't exactly use the colour codes that we are familiar with on the present day colour templates.
    The best way to get the closest match, in my opinion, is to have it done in a local auto-refinishing or paint shop. Customized, that is.
     
  3. Nevermindthedarkness United Kingdom

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    Cheers MYN, makes sense on that front. If I get it matched I'll post the code here, it would be a useful resource if there was a list of modern codes to order with. I suppose it wouldnt be perfect since it would rely on my lamp as a reference (and that thing aint in the best of nick) but its something.. Thanks again
     
  4. george United States

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    Have to keep in mind, age plays a big part here. Any lantern 60, 70-75 years old will be almost impossible to match, color wise. Auto body shop will match the current color but not the original. Anyway, it's a good start. Let them match the color on the bottom since it's exposed the least amount of time and you will come about as close as you will ever get to a good match!
    8]:thumbup:
     
  5. David Shouksmith

    David Shouksmith United Kingdom Founder Member

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    Absolutely correct, George and I'm left wondering 'who really cares, anyway'?

    Over the past 20 years, I've been to many lamp events and I've never seen a Concours d'Elegance section where lanterns are judged and prizes awarded for the closest colour match to the original shade. These aren't Ferraris worth multi-million pounds/dollars - just lanterns made up to 80 years ago (under difficult circumstances at first) that were intended to have an existence of maybe 10-15 years but have lived a life way beyond that under all sorts of conditions. It's also a well-known and recorded fact that the Vapalux paint colour shades varied during production - see Ian's book, pages 18 and 28.

    In all my years of collecting, no-one has ever remarked that any of my lanterns isn't the exact shade it ought to be. If I'm restoring something (an extremely rare occurrence!) as opposed to merely having it running, I aim to get it as near as possible back to the day it left the factory but agonising over the exact colour shade isn't part of that process - near enough is certainly good enough for me... :thumbup: :)
     
    Last edited: Nov 25, 2020
  6. MYN

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    That is certainly true. Well, let's start with the exact lamp here.
    @Nevermindthedarkness ,
    So which particular Vapalux 300X are you working on here? Some pictures might help. I'm pretty sure there are certainly, members in this forum that could identify it. And perhaps could even tell the exact age and plausibly indicate the factory of origin too. Some might even own NOS or those in relatively good nick, which happen to be produced on the same time period as yours. These would be your best working reference.
    The custom-colour mix should match as closely as possible to those. I'd say, even that wouldn't necessarily result in the exact original colour of the unit as it came when it left the factory.
    Needless to say, the customized colour would not have a specific code. Codes are only applicable to the standard/available colours corresponding to whatever pallette in use.
     
  7. David Shouksmith

    David Shouksmith United Kingdom Founder Member

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    As far as I'm aware, all British Vapalux lanterns were made by Willis and Bates or Bairstow Bros (1985) Ltd. at the Pellon Works, Reservoir Road, Halifax.

    I assume, of course, that one of the Korean lanterns won't need to be re-painted just yet - were they even still called the 300X...
     
  8. rayw

    rayw United Kingdom Subscriber

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    I just finished mine recently and used ford pepper red
    Bialaddin fettling
    Sunlight makes it look a bit bright on the posts
    Here is picture today

    20201125_141428(0).jpg



    The sunlight makes the last pictures look brighter than they appear
     
  9. malcolm race

    malcolm race United Kingdom Subscriber

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    I did this Vapalux 300X recently in Vauxhall burgundy red 0482FFBF-836A-4978-857F-E0C569DFA037.jpeg
     
  10. Nevermindthedarkness United Kingdom

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    Thanks all, there are some damn fine looking lamps here. I'll grab photos in the light tomorrow but after some digging on the forums I've come to the conclusion its a Bialaddin fount (maybe, I think) with a Vapalux hood, very likely what you chaps refer to as a bitsa. In some ways the lack of a fixed 'official' red suits me down, if there was a correct shade to go for I'd feel bizarrely obliged to aim for it but if not I'll be happy enough saving a few quid and going with either of the options above, they both look really good.

    David, I take your point, life is short but thus far I haven’t found one single thing I can't obsess over if I try ;) A hint of Crufts could be just the thing for your next meeting, I can just see all the owners fussing anxiously over the brasswork with pipe cleaners and praying their baby doesn’t leak on the parade ring...
     
  11. ColinG

    ColinG United Kingdom Subscriber

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    I've used Rust-Oleum Claret Wine which is reasonably close and readily available. It needs a fuel resistant lacquer coat or any spilt paraffin will mark the surface.

    Rust-Oleum also make a colour called Chestnut which looks close to Willis & Bate's dark brown paint. You'll still need a lacquer coat though.
     
  12. Nevermindthedarkness United Kingdom

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    Hi all

    I have a few photos, the base isnt perfect but it should give an idea of the colour, I'd say that last photo looks quite red/orange compared to my eye, I'd definitely call it burgundy. Its also clear this lamp has had a rough life, at some point it may have been dropped upside down, from some height by the looks of it.

    The burner and glass are out of the lamp being cleaned but I can head to the shed if relevant (hex buttons, Bialaddin glass).

    Many thanks again for all the help

    IMG_20201127_130851.jpg

    IMG_20201127_122912.jpg

    IMG_20201127_125947.jpg

    IMG_20201127_123034.jpg

    IMG_20201127_123018.jpg
     

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  13. David Shouksmith

    David Shouksmith United Kingdom Founder Member

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    The hood is better than one I've got on an early Vapalux which appears to have been shot - it probably took a stray bullet from a passing Messerschmidt, I'd imagine... :)
     
  14. ColinG

    ColinG United Kingdom Subscriber

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    Replica enamelled caps are available on eBay at reasonable prices but not the plain angled version like the original. It would be possible to gently tap the bent brass hood back into shape or at least a little better than it's current state but it depends how far you want to go.

    I must say it looks very nice so far!
     
  15. Steve Wood

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    Two Vapalux 300X lamps on this post with what will have always though of been the first Bialaddin shape tank with pressure indicator:?:
     
  16. Nevermindthedarkness United Kingdom

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    Colin, thanks, I already love it sinfully. There is something about useful, comprehensible engineering rendered in ever more polished brass which really hits the spot, I know I'll have to paint it for my own sanity but its a wrench. Gentle tapping has commenced, this is slightly stressful but also quite satisfying in its way and things are looking a little better, good suggestion.

    David, we know for a fact that there were large quantities of Messerschmitts about the UK at one point, we know for a fact they fired a regrettable number of bullets, I'm struggling to think of a more plausible, fact-based explanation for a holed lantern. Once the pubs reopen I'll start researching my lamps history, I strongly suspect its something involving the River Kwai, possibly Everest, don't worry I'll keep you all informed...

    Steve, we are but pawns in the hands of Willis, Bates, one Messerschmitt and many, many previous owners, god only knows what motivated them all ;)
     
  17. george United States

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