Weathering Model Steam Locos

Wolf Kirchmeir wrote:
> What it comes down to is that people have different experiences. I > take it you are involved with a preservation group, ie, you take care
> to keep your locos looking good. That means they won't show the > effects of the kind of end-of-steam era neglect that Pryke is > depicting, and (I admit) exaggerating for artistic effect. > > I've noticed you're the type of modeller who isn't happy if he's > aware of any departure from he what knows (or believes) to be > prototype practice. That's OK, it's your style of practicing the art > of model railroading/railroad modelling (the Ben King school of > modelling.) I've seen wonderful work done by people at your end of > the modelling spectrum. Other practitioners prefer a more > impressionistic style, and I've seen wonderful work done by them too > (the John Allen school.) I tend to be more middle of the road. >
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Wolf Kirchmeir wrote:
> What it comes down to is that people have different experiences. I > take it you are involved with a preservation group, ie, you take care > to keep your locos looking good.
In recent years, yes. Prior to that, I worked with steam locomotives in everyday, regular service - locos that weren't kept particularly clean. Even in preservation, our locos got very dirty very quickly, especially if we were running a lengthy trip over a couple of days or longer. When you're away from home, keeping the things spotlessly clean is not a high priority. I've also had the good fortune to have seen regular steam operations in places like India and China. Keeping the things clean was not a high priority in those countries, either.
> That means they won't show the effects of the kind of end-of-steam > era neglect that Pryke is depicting, and (I admit) exaggerating for > artistic effect.
It's not so much the exaggeration, it's the spurious justification for the exaggeration that bothers me.
> I've noticed you're the type of modeller who isn't happy if he's > aware of any departure from he what knows (or believes) to be > prototype practice.
Wolf, I try to stick to things that I know to be prototypical, either from my own experience, or from by research. How other people do their modelling is their own affair. It's the dissemination of "factoids" and model railroad urban myths that make me unhappy.
All the best,
Mark.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
snipped-for-privacy@gannon.edu wrote:
> Sir: > > To be fair to John Pryke, I don't know if his models look better > under his layout lighting, and the mineral and rust streaks are good > if not heavy-handed. Perhaps the base color is too cool a shade. > Steam locomotives look black, unless they are belong to Union > Pacific.
Sorry Gerard, I should have made myself clearer - I was mainly referring to unrealistic weathering *patterns*, rather than colours. But, yes, I would agree that starting out with a warmer black would yield more realistic-looking results.
All the best,
Mark.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
"mark_newton"

[snip colour photo references]

My sentiments exactly. Too many model railroaders model other peoples' model railroads. Weathering steam is a good case in point. Most steam locos don't weather the way the most recent articles on steam loco weather demonstrate.
Best advice, is as you suggested, weather your steam from colour photos of the real thing, not from articles in the model press. Use those for weathering technique tips only.
-- Cheers Roger T.
Home of the Great Eastern Railway http://www.highspeedplus.com/~rogertra /
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Pyke is one of the "artist" modelers and thus tends to overdoo the weathering way too much. A loco fresh and ready to take a train will have almost no weathering on it, usually just a slight dullness from what it was from the last painting. On an old paint job, there may be a ghost of a whitnenging from the pops and whistle but that is something that needs to be just a ghost of a wash. Coming in from a run, there may be a bit of dusting of the lower parts of the loco but that is usually just another ghosting of a dusting rather than anything significiant. Stuff liike the heavy deposits from steam are something only seen on locos that use a lot (abusive lot) of water conditioning chemicals and just came in from a run where the loco was basically abused by the road crew - there is basically no reason why a pop valve should go off at all.
-- Why do penguins walk so far to get to their nesting grounds?
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
"Bob May"

Agreed. Excessive smoke and safety valves lifting are indicative of poor locomotive handling by the crew. Heavy smoke is somewhat understandable on a heavy grade with a heavily working loco but not on a generally flat profile.
I try to vary the weathering on my locos. Some are almost pristine, some are weathered over all and some, usually freight only locos, are somewhat heavily weathered. Engines usually assigned to passenger service, those with the white trim, are usually in a somewhat cleaner condition.
Notice I'm being vague as it depends on what I feel at the time when I'm weathering the locos.
-- Cheers Roger T.
Home of the Great Eastern Railway http://www.highspeedplus.com/~rogertra /
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
I find the statements in this post & the one by Baob May a great slur on the many thousands of enginemen around the world who worked on steam in their particular country. As a fireman in the last 8 years of regular steam in NSW I have had first hand experience, & enough practice to have an idea of what I am talking about. During that time, & following the demise of regular workings I also worked several tour trains, during the 1970's.
It is easy to make statements such as this, based upon the theory of steam locomotive driving & fireing. The reality is that in so many cases the reality & theory were poles apart. Many engines did not have the amount of attention that the preserved one of today have, in fact I would suggest that they may have had the same amount over a year that the preserved ones get after each trip.
Yes, the theory of fireing stated, that blowing off was a waste of steam & water, as was the emittion of black smoke considered poor firing practice. However, with some engines, it was remarkable to get them towards a full head of steam, let alone blowing off. Many elements were at play when working on steam, not the least coal quality, & even water quality played a large part.
Likewise the statement Stuff liike the heavy deposits from steam are something only seen on locos that use a lot (abusive lot) of water conditioning chemicals and just came in from a run where the loco was basically abused by the road crew
Another offensive remark, how can a crew abuse an engine when prevailing water conditions are not in the control of enginemen. Depots in bad water areas had additives to protect the internals of the boiler, but often at great expense of the external condition of the engine. I would suggest that not only are the comments a slur, but totally slap at the face of ignorance in reality. Or perhaps it may well be to the benefit of the writers, to understand that different conditions operate in different countries.
Likewise different conditions operate in the same country, one only has to look at China today & view the steam situation there. In most railroads the crews take a lot of pride in their engines but others look worse than anything I can remember here in NSW. Crews have their own engines in many cases, & its part of their employment conditons to clean them during breaks in work. This I have witnessed at Pingdingshan, Meihekou, Tiefa At Daban there were cleaners doing the duties, of wiping down the engines following being coaled.
Having read this sort of thing I wonder what real experience the writers have had in the real world of locomotive operation.
I would share with you some examples, that I was involved in, on 3 different lines radiating out of Sydney. & one of them was not an uncommon plite on some engines.
Working out of Broadmeadow depot one had the benefit of the best steaming coal supplied to locomotives, one problem however often croppped up with garratts, & that was obtaining sufficient ash bed on the grate area. Being such a volatile coal, if you had small dusty coal it was impossible, & it was not uncommon for an engine to "stick up" owing to a black bed of unburnt coal.
When starting out of Broadmeadow with a full load, there was a need with these engines to have an intense fire, to ensure all parts of the firebox was hot, for the standing start, on the heavy grade. It was not uncommon to stop mid way where there was a levelling out of the grade, to blow up before proceeding on. In fact it was rare day indeed that no train did not stop to blow up.
A consequence of the Northern coal on garratts meant that you almost certainly had a good deal of black smoke, for without it, you would not make the grade. On one occassion I had a tender full of very powdery coal, good on the hills, but very smoky, However on the last leg of steaming before reaching Gosford, as I began to build the fire up, the driver opened the regulator very sharply, & without any any warning to me.
At the particular spot, all decent drivers, would check with you to ensure everything was ok, especially with the quality of coal we had. This bloke didn't, as a consequence, he lifted all of the front half of the fire out the stack, despite asking him 5 times to stop & get things in order, he refused, & finally we stopped after the air pump stopped for lack of steam, & we had no lights as the dynamo also stopped.
Checking then there was no water in sight in the gauge glasses & we stopped there for around 30minutes getting steam & water to continue. I copped a huge amount of abuse from him, but he copped the final blame owing to his refusal to stop. Instead of 5 minutes lost time after the first request, & we would have up the time lost. The 2nd time was during what was called steams indian summer on the south from sydney. The regular driver I was rostered with was a driver not a drover like the afore mentioned one. On this particular night we had a 36 cl on the intial opening of the regulator to start our train from Enfield yard a roar came from the firebox, upon hearing this, we got the fitters to check it out, & they advised that there may be some problem with the elements, but the engine was ok to continue.
Despite this problem we encountered no problems until we reached the 2nd watering point & where the fire was cleaned. After leaving that location thee engine died on us, no mater what we did, we could not make steam with the injectors going, both of us took turns in fireing & working both injectors, to try & keep going, after about 15 miles whilst I was fireing the engine blew off, & I was given the thumbs up & felt quite proud until, my driver said look at the water. The amount showing in the gauge was below half full, & a visual showed the injector had dropped off, & none was getting to the boiler, upon resetting the injector the steam dropped very quickly, & we then proceeded on a stop start situation. Alternating steam getting & water getting in momentum.
The 3rd occassion was working another garratt over the blue mountains on a tour train. The coal on the engine was from a mine near Sydney, good steaming, heavier, & with a higher ash content than northern. On the main 1/33 grade, a good head of steam at around 80% of boiler pressure was maintained with a low to medium level of smoke working against one injector. This was sufficient steam for the train as it was relatively short, but owing to the load being the full goods load for a garrat, close attention was needed on the steam & water.
There were several spots where the 2 injectors were required, & that required the stoke to be turned up, to feed more coal, thus black smoke was unnavoidable.
These are a very small smaple of my experiences, & no doubt others would have had more dramatic ones. Engines ex workshops that were in pristine condition, were hard not to stop them from blowing off.
Re colours: One thing to note regarding black. Black is not a colour, black is what is deemed as being devoid of any colour. Check out graphic, & media points in this regard.
NSWGR railways, generally used what was called "Engine Black" from Eveleigh & Cardif workshops, this was also used in depots such as Enfield when they painted engines after vaious workshop type overhauls, & tone ups Broadmeadow, usually only painted the smokeboxes on engines they overhauled & toned up. Chullora used a different paint, which was more in keeping with a commercial gloss paint.
Engine black, was a very thin paint, especially designed for steam loco's. The one big exception to this was on 3823 when it received a class 3 overhaul at Enfield. Upon near completion, there was no engine black in store to paint before being released for sevice. The DLE Enfield obtained permission to purchase locally sufficient DULUX High Gloss enamel paint, which was sprayed on very generously. The engine looked pristine, the best I have ever seen painted.
Whe we think of weathering steam loco's, the thrust of the weathering, is very dependant on the region where the engine worked, & in many cases the service it/they received. Water stains, were very evident, from areas, where steam leaks came from, regulator glands, safety valves, whistles, compressor exhausts, injector clack valves & spindle assemblies. Ash was in evidence in the areas from the ash pans. Many tenders had water leaks from the under the main tender walls & ran down over the frame.
There was often a wash mark over the tenders, even those with overflow holes, as they often could not cope with the amount of water coming out of the column. Now before there is another slur on this, about the waste & ineficient enginemen, many coloumns were very difficult to open & close, especially those that did not have a lot of use. drains holes also were often blocked with coal that had manged to get washed down, or fall off the tender when in transit. Rust was common in the corners & on the edges of the tank filling area. As a result of coal, & cinder build up in this region the absorbed & held in the water, not just from the overflow of the tender being filled, but from the deck hose being used to wet the coal in transit.
The wash over tenders, etc. was very evident of garrats, as water overflow was unavoidable woing to the need to fill both tanks. The balancing act of the water going through the expansion hoses, mostly could not cope with the amount of flow from the column. This meant a lot of patience, in watering these engines, when on a grade, with the water tank leading, a slow flow allowed the both tanks to fill at a nice rate. Usually the driver would check the tender & see how the flow was comming through, if the hatch was open, you could get a better flow, but could waste more water. It was very common to see water washing out of the front tank after a fill, & this left a distinctive wash affect.
Another point of weathering that was often seen was, coal wash down the side of the tender. All depots that had the large coal stages, & were in proximity to residential houses, were required to have water running over the coal as tenders were filled. Thus there was a a sludge like overflow og water, & fine coal from the top of the tender down. One other thing often missed is, coal peieces stuck in the tender had rails, also coal spilt on the back of the tender.
What about some cinders, on the front beam left over from the smokebox clean out.?
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
[ Snip ]

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.
--
Bill Kaiser
snipped-for-privacy@mtholyoke.edu
  Click to see the full signature.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
"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:

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Excellent examples of weathered stam that don't look much like the two most recent articles on the subject.

http://abpr2.railfan.net/abprphoto.cgi?july05/07-16-05/TSSR0300_2005_0312_142300AAbf_KossuthTX.jpg
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 http://www.highspeedplus.com/~rogertra /
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Excellent examples of weathered stam that don't look much like the two most recent articles on the subject.

http://abpr2.railfan.net/abprphoto.cgi?july05/07-16-05/TSSR0300_2005_0312_142300AAbf_KossuthTX.jpg
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 http://www.highspeedplus.com/~rogertra /
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

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.
--
Terry Flynn


http://angelfire.com/clone/rail/index.html
  Click to see the full signature.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Terry Flynn wrote:
> Well expert, where are your examples of realistic weathering of model > locomotive so we can see how it should be done.
Old fruit, we all defer to your superior skills and expertise when it comes to weathering. Nothing comes close to your innovative use of real dust, real cobwebs and real birdshit to weather your models.
All the best,
Expert Newton.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
wrote:

How interesting. I too had some experience using real bird droppings on some of my models this year during our Northern Hemisphere Spring. I can't say that I was all that enthused about it though. I discovered the "presents" in my workshop and noted that some "deposits" had been made on several of my model locos and some cars. Alas, I, in my ignorance, was unaware of the use of this substance for weathering, so I cleaned everything and forgot about it. Someone must have left the door open and a bird had got in, I thought. Two days later - - more deposits had been made to the account. Again, cleaned up. Next afternoon - - more deposits. What the hell is going on here?
The next day was a 'work in the workshop all day' day, and it was then that the mystery was solved. It seems that a pair of wrens had been he-ing and she-ing in the vicinity and had decided to set up housekeeping in my workshop. Somehow they had discovered that they could come and go by wriggling under the door and around the rubber threshold that makes the weather seal, and had built a nest up high on top of some cabinetry that is over my workbench.
Well, I didn't like the idea of them using the door that way, since the cat likes to camp out at that spot, and I was certain that she would ruin their day sooner or later. Entry and exit by such a method is blind, as the threshold is a piece of thick rubber that is contained in a shoe with weather stripping to keep it from drafting. You go through on faith, not knowing what lurks on the opposite side until you are through, very dangerous if you happen to be a bird and there is a cat on the other side.
So, I blocked the bottom of the door, and opened the upper sash of a window about two inches and pegged it so that it wouldn't move. The "couple" quickly discovered the new entry and began using it instead. After that I did not observe the birds trying to use the door. They were happier with the window arrangement. I moved stuff around to make them a flyway so that they wouldn't crap on my models any more and we were all happy until the chicks were fledged. Chicks left home, "mom & pop" split and I cleaned up the nest. Not that I don't like birds, mind you, but I am going to have to figure out a way to prevent them from moving back in next year. Putting up a birdhouse is not the answer, since the more houses you build, the more birds you attract. I'm thinking, maybe I can figure out a way to hire one of the owls that live in the area to set up camp in plain sight of the door. Or maybe one of the Red-tailed hawks that live over at the edge of the wood near my property line.
Froggy,
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
wrote:

Too bad you couldn't get them to work on the railroad. (G) You don't have to have a live owl to scare the birds away. I have seen plastic owls at the local garden center. Just put one on the roof of your house and it should keep the birds away.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Stopped by a gas station up in the Orange County area and saw that they had 4 of the plastic owls on the canopy. On top of one of them was a seagull just sitting there!
-- Why do penguins walk so far to get to their nesting grounds?
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
--

"mark_newton" <mark snipped-for-privacy@optusnet.com.au> wrote in message
news: snipped-for-privacy@optusnet.com.au...
  Click to see the full signature.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Terry Flynn wrote:
> Again show us your US models, "correctly" weathered expert.
Why waste my time? You know sweet FA about US steam.
> No models weathered means no expertise on the subject.
You said it! You have no properly weathered models, so by your own admission you have no expertise. Come back and join the discussion when you have.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

And how the hell do you know he doesn't have any weathered US models, do you have a crystal ball do you.Once again your peddling crap again.
Nathan
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
On Wed, 05 Oct 2005 22:10:46 +1000, mark_newton

Personally , I like what looks good. Many things in our models are overdone , wrong color , not prototypical , too large . too small. After many years of conventions and touring layouts it seems as though the 'purists' and rivet counters have the least to show for their efforts. Just my opinion.
Ken Day
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Polytechforum.com is a website by engineers for engineers. It is not affiliated with any of manufacturers or vendors discussed here. All logos and trade names are the property of their respective owners.