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Author Topic: B & O William Mason,  (Read 2071 times)

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« on: April 19, 2015, 08:12:13 PM »

I am trying to build up a collection of model locos that attended the B & O's centennial celebration, the Fair of the Iron Horse in 1927. I already have Lafayette, John Bull and the Dewitt Clinton and King George V (actually a King George II from another manufacturer but I have a bell and a change of name/number plates) but I am looking to expand the collection.

The most easy one I would imagine would be to Convert the Bachmann 4-4-0 American Type into the William Mason, but which one should I use?

The archive footage of the procession shows William Mason with a balloon stack (is that what you over there call what we English refer to as a spark arrestor chimney?) and a dark livery. I already have a pale grey 4-4-0 (B&0 number 27 I think) but the boiler looks too light compared with the Black and White films on YouTube. However, the dark blue B&O version has a straight chimney which would not be right. Also was the William Mason Blue? I ask because I think I've seen more recent pictures of it in green, although I have seen a postcard of it in pale grey!

As a result can someone point me to the best model to start off with and confirm what Colour I would need to paint it.

Or better still could Mr Bachmann make one ready to run!

Many thanks

Modelling the Great Western Railway in the Welsh Borders, and the Glyn Valley Tramway with a few bits from elsewhere!

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« Reply #1 on: April 19, 2015, 09:03:39 PM »

a company did do the William Mason in HO scale, however they are no longer in business. I have one and got her running very well with some work. IHC did it.

Emily C.
B&O - America's #1 Railroad.

My Collection on FB -
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« Reply #2 on: April 20, 2015, 12:04:30 PM »

Attached is a copy of the Fair of the Iron Horse program, which includes a pic of the William Mason as restored for the 1927 event.  It is obvious that she has dark paint at that time, though no color is given.  There are pics of her in the early museum years with a grey boiler and dark red trim paint.  The grey presumably was intended to represent Russian iron.  The current dark green paint I believe was applied when she was used in the filming of the "Wild, Wild West" movie.  However, it's anyone's guess almost 160 years later what she was painted originally.  Might well have been the bright kind of paint and brass that you see in old Currier and Ives prints.  See the web site for "Steam Into History" for a modern re-creation of that period.

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« Reply #3 on: April 20, 2015, 01:07:51 PM »

Here's a color pic from the 1939 World's Fair:

Boiler colors, and the brass, seem to have faded compared to ebt's pick. The cab and tender appear to be green with red trim. Early color pictures tend to make greens look darker than they actually were.

Which fits with a note I found over in the Brown University archives. Apparently the Providence & Worcester ordered a 4-4-0 from the Mason loco builders, and wanted it black overall with a red cab. What they got was green & green and had to repaint it themselves.



If at first you don't succeed, throw it in the spare parts box.

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« Reply #4 on: April 25, 2015, 11:23:13 AM »

Thanks Len & EBT. It looks as though Green might be the colour. and try to repaint/re-letter which would be interesting. The programme is also very useful.

Best wishes


Modelling the Great Western Railway in the Welsh Borders, and the Glyn Valley Tramway with a few bits from elsewhere!
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