Bachmann Message Board

Discussion Boards => General Discussion => Topic started by: sedfred on September 15, 2017, 03:30:01 AM



Title: 1800s locomotive color schemes
Post by: sedfred on September 15, 2017, 03:30:01 AM
I am going to buy an ho sound value 4-4-0 and I would like to do a custom paint job. But I want it to be realistic, what colours would a 4-4-0 have been painted in the the 1850s-80s? All the preserved 4-4-0s now are usually painted in nice colourful bright schemes but I don't think the paint was as good back in the 19th century. What would a locomotive in the 1800s look like in terms of paint job?


Title: Re: 1800s locomotive color schemes
Post by: Len on September 15, 2017, 12:35:23 PM
Colors were all over the place during that time period, depending on the railroad, manufacturer, or in some cases what the engineer wanted. Some were very colorful, using red, blue, gold, etc. Others were more sedate, with overall green, black, etc.

Len


Title: Re: 1800s locomotive color schemes
Post by: ebtnut on September 15, 2017, 12:49:17 PM
Here is one good source:  http://www.pacificng.com/template.php?page=/ref/color/index.php


Title: Re: 1800s locomotive color schemes
Post by: Trainman203 on September 15, 2017, 01:58:18 PM
You are right about the paint back in those days.    A lot of boiler jackets were unpainted "Russia iron."

Lots of wood buildings went unpainted.


Title: Re: 1800s locomotive color schemes
Post by: ebtnut on September 15, 2017, 02:46:06 PM
Steam locomotives were the "space shuttles" of the mid-19th century, and were generally treated as such.  It was partly Victorian style, partly pride of ownership, and partly pride of craftsmanship that resulted in the various colorful schemes.  This practice lasted into the last quarter of the 1800's, but began fading as railroads consolidated, became more uniform in their practices, and looked to economize by not spending money on the labor needed to apply and maintain the more elaborate finishes. Black was sort of the default finish becuase it was durable and compatible with the black cinders they rained down on the equipment. The use of "Russia Iron"  appears to have lasted into the early 20th century with some roads.  Vestiges of special decoration lasted almost to the end of steam - witness the striping patterns on the Pennsylvania RR's passenger locos, the Southern Railway's apple green locos, and the B&O's President class Pacifics.  The finishes you see today on locos such as the Golden Spike replicas, the narrow-gauge "Eureka", and the "York" at the Steaming into History operation near York, PA are pretty accurate to the time and place they represent.