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Colour for the lines on a 1954 fuel tank

charlottevictoria

Active Website User
Non-VOC Member
Dear all,

I am looking for the exact colour of the goden line on a 1954 fuel tank. Perhaps there is an existing colour of a car? What should I have to do to mix the right colour?

Does anybody konow, how wide the line should be?

Thanks for all informations.
Best regards
Peter

p.s. is there any Vincent driver in the surroundings of Mainz-Bingen?
 

clevtrev

Well Known and Active Website User
VOC Member
Dear all,

I am looking for the exact colour of the goden line on a 1954 fuel tank. Perhaps there is an existing colour of a car? What should I have to do to mix the right colour?

Does anybody konow, how wide the line should be?

Thanks for all informations.
Best regards
Peter

p.s. is there any Vincent driver in the surroundings of Mainz-Bingen?

Gold, and the width depends on how hard the liner (person, not ship) pressed his dagger on that day.
 

Somer

Well Known and Active Website User
VOC Member
I have several original tanks.They have gold paint on them.The gold paint was then "cleared over" just the stripe and the decal(s).
When you use sizing,it gives a different effect and is much more labor intensive.
 

bmetcalf

Well Known and Active Website User
VOC Member
I thought it was gospel that gold leaf was used?

I have several original tanks.They have gold paint on them.The gold paint was then "cleared over" just the stripe and the decal(s).
When you use sizing,it gives a different effect and is much more labor intensive.
 

clevtrev

Well Known and Active Website User
VOC Member
I have several original tanks.They have gold paint on them.The gold paint was then "cleared over" just the stripe and the decal(s).
When you use sizing,it gives a different effect and is much more labor intensive.
How does one tell Gold paint from Gold leaf, under a clearcoat ?
 

Somer

Well Known and Active Website User
VOC Member
Gold leaf will have a wavy effect.Kind of like foil (well it is a foil).
paint goes on even.
I have a paint man who does lots of gold leaf.
I'll see if I can get some pix so people can see the difference.
 

yugdab

Website User
VOC Member
Smooth gold

I have read the various comments about gold lining on Vincent tanks and have some observations that may be of interest.

First however I shall point out that amongst other things I sell my services as a professional Gilder. So I do not come to this conversation as a mere spectator or speculator.


FACT: The gold lines on factory original Vincent tanks were achieved using Gold Leaf.

FACT: The Gold Leaf was laid down on Gold Size, this being a product made from aged linseed oil ( I will not digress into explaining here how it is made, maybe another time).

FACT: Gold size is not petrol resistant and Gold Leaf is easily damaged by abrasion; for these reasons the gold line on tanks and the transfers, which originally were all applied using Gold Size, were all varnished over to protect them.
Sadly this varnish coat reduces the natural lustre of the gold but this has to be accepted.

Somer explains that he can tell Gold Leaf from paint as paint is smooth and Gold leaf is wavy.
All I can say to this is that when ever Somer sees Gold Leaf that is wavy it is because it has been carried out by a person lacking the necessary skills and experience to do it properly.

Properly applied Gold Leaf lays as smoothly as good paint.
What mainly determines this is the smoothness of the Gold Size coat beneath it. Most inexperienced gilders have great trouble in applying Gold Size well, often putting it down too thickly and not knowing when to apply the leaf. Or amateurs will often be gulled into using modern gold size substitutes that do not achieve the required results.

The application of Gold Size lines on a tank is carried out using lining brushes known as Daggers or Swords. To do this well and quickly takes many years of experience.

The application of the varnish coat is another source of peril for the inexperienced. Too thickly applied or over brushed and ripples will result.

Now not wishing to offend or to sound foolishly jingoistic, but having read several N.American publications on Gold Leafing, I am yet to find one that explains the technique of traditional leafing correctly. Possibly this is why Somer sees wavy Gold Leafing about and thinks that it is normal?

Learning to Gold Line is a very satisfactory experience and I have known several Vincent Owners who have had a go. They may take fifty times longer to do it than the original Stevenage boys and their lines may be a bit shaky but they look better than paint and the satisfaction level is high. And if you mess it up wipe it off and start again. We all have to start somewhere.

The original question of this thread was: What is the correct colour?
Well Clever Trevor’s answer made it sound a little more straight forward than it is.

Pure, 24 carat Gold is always the same colour. However few gilders use 24c leaf (personally I do) preferring to use 23c or 22c. The loss of purity brings a change of colour. To reduce the cost and make the leaf harder the Gold is alloyed with other metals, most commonly Copper, and often Silver, plus other trace metals. These amalgamation variations are many and result in numerous ‘colours’ of leaf. Common 23c and 22c are different from pure Gold but under varnish it would take a very expert eye to decern which is which if they are not side by side.
Added to this is the fact that the choice of over varnish will again influence the colour and in time all traditional varnishes change in colour due to the ageing effect of ultraviolet light.

Gold paint sadly never looks like real Gold but non the less there are some good ones out there and they seem to produce better ones as time goes on.
There are also some good but expensive gold line tapes, the best of which are a good colour match for Gold. These are relatively easy to apply, they do require to be varnished over. However many people do not like the fact that they sit higher off the surface than Gold Leaf.

There are traditional ways to combine fine genuine Gold powder with a varnish medium, and these used over an appropriate coloured paint line can be very effective but in truth this technique requires as much skill and know how to get right as Gold Leafing, and even then these mixtures don’t have the lustre of leaf.

Go buy some Gold leaf and have a play, its not as expensive as you think and you might just get hooked!
 
Last edited:

david bowen

Well Known and Active Website User
Non-VOC Member
gold leaf

Somer all vincent tanks at the factory were done gold leaf one mans full time job the gold leaf come straight out of a folder in stripes he use to size the tank first then leave for a short time the place on gold leaf then I think after a while another coat of size.
 

Somer

Well Known and Active Website User
VOC Member
Live and learn. Thanks for the edification.
Time to go finish my breakfast of crow..:cool:

Thanks to David for providing club members first hand knowledge of what went on at the works.
 

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