September 19, 2011

A Colour Blind Spot.

Readers of the Blog will know one of the challenges I have faced is ascertaining colour in this era before widespread colour photography. I have made it a bit of a passion to try to the best of my ability to render all aspects of "Glenburn" whether it be Swing Door stock, buildings, people's clothes or anything else. I have researched and coloured to try and best replicate how things may have looked. However I have recently discovered one rather large oversight. Wagons. A long time ago when I built "Cudgewa" a colour was recommended to me for goods rollingstock of the very late VR era which I was then modelling. It worked well and I used it thoroughly. When I started "Glenburn", it did'nt occur to me to check whether goods wagon stock was a different colour. References in old literature to "wagon red" did'nt challenge my assumption, nor did the lack of VR paint records for the period. However there are colour pictures around at the early end of colour recording (generally early 1950s) that show quite a different colour to that of the later era. I saw many of these but it never registered. It was a modelling blind spot for me. Funny really, given the effort I went to to ascertain every other colour! Recently the penny started to drop and I corresponded with a couple of experts on the matter who very kindly and comprehensively advised on what colour the stock should be. The colour is Deep Indian Red, weathering fairly quickly to a mid chocolate brown. So, I have started the long process of repainting 36 goods wagons into variations somewhere between the relatively newly painted stock that looks like this:

To a more weathered colour like this:
 There will be variations in between these two colours (and perhaps one or two more weathered) because in that era before the good colour holding paints we have today, paints really did'nt hold colour as well.

To illustrate the difference, here are two examples in the previous (incorrect) livery:

So, the process begins, and slowly the pictures in the "Rollingstock" page will be replaced with the new versions. And while I'm there, it's opportune to upgrade the stock where necessary such as the removal of those oversize handrails on some of my early builds - an example if one were needed of how our modelling improves, and we push ourselves to better standards, these were Ok several years ago.