Weathering Model Steam Locos

Yes, I would. How many real locos have you seen - in person - after they were painted recently? I've seen - or repainted myself - five in seven years. All looked black, contradicting Wolf's assertion.
You may. It's a picture, or more correctly a photograph, which we all agree doesn't accurately represent reality.
And to me it doesn't.
Reply to
mark_newton
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Folks:
I don't get that newsgroup so I couldn't view the picture, but remember that that is a PRR locomotive, which were officially not black but "Brunswick Green". The shade of this stuff is another can of worms but it usually looks like a "cool" shade of black, hence the bluish cast when it is still new.
Now, maybe this engine was repainted straight black, in which case I am a chump, but not really. I can see a freshly painted or at least still shiny engine reflecting enough sky to have a blue cast, especially at the boiler top, but the weathering style in question here seems slanted towards an old, weary paint job, where as far as I can see it rarely belongs, except perhaps on the PRR and apparently the CP. Interesting comment about red lead, by the way, Wolf. I hadn't thought of that.
It takes an awful lot of artistry to look at the prototype and then mix your paint so that, under the layout lighting, the color matches the prototype's appearance in sunlight. What a confounded nuisance! The worst part is, we have the same trouble with the colors of grass and rust...
Cordially yours, Gerard P.
Reply to
pawlowsk002
Sorry Mark, I have to disagree with you on that one.
My best example was the freshly painted N&W #611 or #1218. These bests were deep black and looked like they were waxed and polished. They were hard to photograph, as mostly you just had black and highlights. And those highlights were EVERY color, depending on their surroundings, but mostly BLUE, from the sky.
Any 'highlight', as from a shiny surface, exhibits whatever color of light it's reflecting. Outdoors, in the daytime, this will almost always be either the blue of the sky or the yellow-green of the Sun. Highlights are almost NEVER 'white'.
Likewise, outdoors, in the sunny daytime, common shadows (formed by the Sun) are normally deep BLUE, as the only 'fill' light available to them is from the sky. Such 'shallow' shadows can only be 'neutral gray' when ALL light sources in the area are pure WHITE, which is RARELY the case.
Only a truly DEEP shadow (say, the inside of a deep hole), is nearly black, as it receives almost no light of any color.
At night, with typical artificial lighting of several colors, shadows can be ANY color, but will normally have SOME explicit color, though normally dark. The shadow will often be the opposite in color of whatever light is forming it.
Experiment: Set up two lights, one red, one green, a ways apart, in a lightly painted (preferably white) room, or just a large box. Turn off all other lights in the area. The overall illumination, a mixture of red and green light, will now approximate being white. Place a sizable solid object in the area and observe the shadows produced by the two lamps. The shadow produced by the green lamp will be red, and the shadow produced by the red lamp will be green. Each shadow receives ONLY the light from the OPPOSITE lamp.
Highlights and shadow normally have distinctive COLOR, often quite strongly so. The untrained eye usually 'ignores' such effects, but they show up vividly in many photographs. The eye is a HORRIBLY inaccurate judge of either color or relative intensity.
Dan Mitchell ============
P.S. ... even the two N&W 'show' locomotives mentioned, perhaps the best presented steamers I've ever seen, recently painted and well cared for, still showed LOTS of subtle 'weathering'. This included mineral streaks, dust, soot, oil and grease leaks, condensation marks on the tender, and accumulated road grime. At every stop (frequently) they'd keep wiping such imperfections off, and five miles down the road they's mostly be back again.
Reply to
Daniel A. Mitchell
Used to take ETS up there, and wander round taking photos - I prefer CN over CP. Pity that ETS dropped their cream and red colour scheme.
Reply to
Wolf Kirchmeir
[...]
Could be you're blue/yellow colour blind. It's a rare condition (about 10% the incidence of red/green), and even more rarely diagnosed, because it doesn't have the many practical effects of red/green blindness. To me, black is a very rare colour - most blacks just aren't black, any more than most whites aren't white. For example, all paints will bne affected by the colour of the underercoat: paint the same black over red primer and grey primers and you will get different colours. A second and sometimes a third coat may be needed to eliminate the effect of the undercoat.
Glossy paint surfaces (and not just blacks) take on shades and tints from their surroundings, and high gloss surfaces will reflect actual objects, which really interferes with seeing the surface, in my experience. OTOH, that very interference of reflections and surface colours and shapes can be very interesting. BTW, I prefer dead matte photos, as I find the reflections on glossy photos interfere with my seeing the picture. I don't even like satin or pearl finishes on photos.
I think the reason I'm not as fanatical about "correct" colour shades is that I notice a lot of subtle colour differences among objects supposedly painted the same colour but exposed to different weather or seen in different light.
HTH
Reply to
Wolf Kirchmeir
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I agree. Too many of the pictures I've seen of weathered models look terrible. Airbrushed blotches of gray and brown, heavy rust everywhere. They look more like junk yard relics than working locomotives.
Locomotives were valuable pieces of equipment, and they were maintained well enough to keep on working. Even a backwoods mechanic could recognize rust, and know enough to slop oil on it to prevent further rust. An engine might get dirty, but they weren't neglected.
I'm often amused when I watch live steamers cleaning their engines. They're getting the dirt off that the indoor modelers are trying to apply.
Reply to
<wkaiser
Actually, "we" didn't "all" agree to that at all... this is not a scan of a film or slide photo, it's a digital photo. So much for the "color sensitivity" argument.
Hmm... better get your eyes examined.
Reply to
Joe Ellis
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Classic perceptual experiment: Brightly light a lump of coal and look at it through a hole in a white foreground not as well lit. The coal will be white. Take away the foreground and the coal will be black.
Our perceptions of color, and practically everything else, are influenced by context and by what we expect to see. While color pictures may not be perfect, they are often a better representation of reality than what our eyes see.
Steam locomotives were black, and we see them as black, no matter what color they are.
Reply to
<wkaiser
You guys can argue away all you like.
Personally, I'm satisfied with the vast majority of my weathering jobs and I plan to keep on doing the same thing. I look at photographs of Canadian steam, in colour and B&W, and try to emulate what I see there, not what some article in a magazine tells me to do.
It goes back to my credo of modelling based on the prototype, not what I read in model railroading magazines.
-- Cheers Roger T.
Home of the Great Eastern Railway
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Reply to
Roger T.
Maybe you should write an article or two for the magazines, eh?
Reply to
Wolf Kirchmeir
I know they were mostly PAINTED with 'black' paint, but they sure do **NOT** 'look' plain black to me!
Dan Mitchell ============
Reply to
Daniel A. Mitchell
Mark, one thing that you have to remember is that everybody's eyes are a bit different. What you percieve as being gray may be blue-gray to another person. That all is a bit different than the patterns of weathering that some want to do. Weathering on a loco will be a lot less than a freight car would be because the locos are tended to while a car would just be left to it's own defenses against the crud that builds up on them. You can often see a car with rust but a loco wouldn't have any rust on it unless it si a small railroad that is having severe problems with maintaining their locos. Even back in the '30s when all of the major railroads had fininancial problems, the locos were properly maintained as to rust and so forth. Even the engineers and firemen took care of the little things to keep the locos looking better than the loads that they pulled. Leave the heavy weathering to the cars and keep the locos in a more clean state and you will be a lot more prototypical than that of those that heavily weather their locos.
-- Why do penguins walk so far to get to their nesting grounds?
Reply to
Bob May
"Boston & Maine Trackside" has numerous color photos of steamers from the 1950's. There is a shot of P4a Pacific 3712 starting a rail fan trip in 1952. Her paint is dead black, still shows a good deal of gloss, and she is clearly right off the wash rack. She is some 15 years old and will be scrapped in the next 5 years. But in this photo she looks brand new. So those of us that like that clean and 'fresh from the paint shop' look can indulge outselves and point to prototype photos to justify our models. I actually modeled this locomotive. Dispite the photo showing her as glossy black, I painted the model with dark gray auto primer, dead flat, and she looked pretty good that way and photographed beautifully. Same book has plenty more photos of steamers. A goodly number of them are dirty, show a dark gray, dead flat, no hint of gloss left in the paint.
David Starr
snipped-for-privacy@mtholyoke.edu wrote:
Reply to
David J. Starr
Excellent examples of weathered stam that don't look much like the two most recent articles on the subject.
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Tourist line. :-( I never refer to them as their locos usually receive far too much attention. :-)
Another excellent exmple of a loco weathered mainly by rain washing the drud down from the upper levels of the locomotive.
Usually, yes. But not as clean as a loco right out of the box. Even my model of the last steam engine to be shopped by my GER has a light weathering coat even though, in theory, it's only been out of the shops for a couple of days. No photo as yet on my web site I'm afraid.
-- Cheers Roger T.
Home of the Great Eastern Railway
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Reply to
Roger T.
Excellent examples of weathered stam that don't look much like the two most recent articles on the subject.
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Tourist line. :-( I never refer to them as their locos usually receive far too much attention. :-)
Another excellent exmple of a loco weathered mainly by rain washing the drud down from the upper levels of the locomotive.
Usually, yes. But not as clean as a loco right out of the box. Even my model of the last steam engine to be shopped by my GER has a light weathering coat even though, in theory, it's only been out of the shops for a couple of days. No photo as yet on my web site I'm afraid.
-- Cheers Roger T.
Home of the Great Eastern Railway
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Reply to
Roger T.
Utter nonsense, Joe. No digital camera is colour neutral. Filters, if used, further alter the colour rendering. Then there is the monitor it's displayed on - do you seriously reckon your machine displays colours identically to mine? That you're using the same colour matching, white point and gamma as I am? And you're absolutely certain the mage wasn't altered in any way with P-shop or similar??? LOL!!!
It wasn't my argument. So much for your attributions.
Had 'em done about a fortnight ago as part of my annual medical examination for work. No problems there. Better come up with a more convincing argument...
All the best,
Mark.
Reply to
mark_newton
I'm not. Just had my annual medical examination for work. The eyesight testing includes a thorough investigation of colour vision, which is a requirement for my job. I'm still on the road.
Granted. That, however is not the same as saying, as you previously did, that; "Not even a freshly-painted loco looked black: that shiny fresh paint reflected a lot of blue from the sky." Apart from anything else, my first view of a freshly-painted black loco has usually been inside the spray shed - no sky to be reflected in there.
As do I. And I don't regard myself as being "fanatical" about colours, as they weren't my primary concern when I started this thread - still aren't.
Reply to
mark_newton
So says the expert.
Well expert, where are your examples of realistic weathering of model locomotive so we can see how it should be done.
Reply to
Terry Flynn
And in the case of the engines Mark has painted, a different paint from what was used in the 1950's, hence a different colour.
Mark has a long track record of painting railway equipment in incorrect colour schemes.
Reply to
Terry Flynn
Is that right, old fruit? You're now claiming to know what paint was specified for various loco repaints that you had absolutely no involvement with? So tell me old fruit, what paint did I use?
Is that right, old fruit? You're claiming that I - a person you have repeatedly described as a broom-pusher and weekend fireman - have the final say on the choice of colour schemes on preserved stock owned by the NSW government? What an influential broom-pusher I must be, eh?
You *really* are full of it, old fruit. But tell me, what railway equipment have I painted in incorrect colours?
All the best,
Mark.
Reply to
mark_newton

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