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Author Topic: Russia Iron Boilers  (Read 2822 times)

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« on: October 20, 2007, 07:21:22 PM »

This is a continuation of a topic in another thread that wandered a bit!
I thought I would give it it's own topic, since its really a separate topic.
this thread:,2597.15.html

was discussing the upcoming On30 4-4-0, and its Russia Iron boiler.
(no photos of the 4-4-0 with a Russia Iron boiler have actually been seen of the Large Scale with a Russia Iron boiler are currently in the photo gallery..which IMO isnt a very good representation of Russia Iron..sorry Bachman..but its still too blue!)

As far as I know, Bachman has not said anything about the On30 4-4-0 having a Russia Iron boiler, and no pics have been seen..I think someone just confused it with the photo of the Large Scale 4-4-0.

But getting back to prototype Russia Iron..

This has been a bit of a crusade of mine lately!  Wink Cheesy
im trying to destroy the "blue myth" once and for all..
The following is a post of mine copied from another forum discussion recently:


There is a long-standing myth that "Russia Iron was Blue"! (or greenish..or reddish..but the myth mostly says blue)

it was not! not even remotely blue...Russia Iron is neutral steel grey..

the "blue myth" probably comes from the fact that a Russia Iron boiler would reflect a blue sky, like a mirror, making it *appear* blue outdoors on a clear day..but if you are going to model it, dont make it blue! because its not blue..

The MTH triplex boiler is a disaster..the absolute worst version of Russia Iron I have ever seen! its a pastel "baby blue"..absolutely terrible.  Sad

Check this page for some of the latest thinking on modeling Russia Iron, some great examples of what it should look like:

The model of the Heisler on that page is IMO one of the best examples of Russia Iron on a model that there is.

Much research has been done on 19th century locomotive paintschemes in the last few years..The National park service commissioned two replica steam engines for the "Golden Spike National Historic Site" in Utah:

They are 1:1 scale operating replicas of the two famous locos from the 1869 "Golden Spike" ceremony...At first, they didnt know what the proper colors of the historic locos should have been, so they made an educated guess..resulting in this:

The two locos are mostly red, with neutral russia iron boilers that are too dark-grey. should be lighter and shinier.

Then a few years ago Jim Wilke, a railroad historian, who has spent many years researching the actual color schemes of 19th century locos, guided the park service on the correct painting of their replica locos..*including* their Russia Iron boilers! they re-painted the locos, the result is a fabulous representation of the actual color schemes of mid to late 19th century locos..including the Russia Iron boilers..check it out:

THAT is what Russia Iron is supposed to look like!  Grin

notice how NOT blue those boilers are! Wink they are totally neutral.

The blue myth is totally dead, and has been for quite a few years now..not everyone has heard the news yet though, including many of our model train manufacturers, who still insist on clinging to the "blue myth"...and the irony is, the models would look SO much cooler if they did it right! imagine the MTH Matt H. Shay with a shiny neutral steel boiler, like the Golden Spike locos, instead of the hideous pastel baby blue it actually would look a million times better if they did it right!  Cool

Here is more on the repainting of the Golden Spike locos:


« Last Edit: October 20, 2007, 07:25:12 PM by scottychaos » Logged

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