Kevin’s Komments 05/06/2021

Painting Schemes

I reached the point where I will be applying some coats of paint to Cincinnati Northern #2791. I started second guessing a fancy blue & white paint scheme for a loco with almost no shrouding and all of it’s appliances showing. Usually, the fancy named trains were pulled by streamlined or heavily shrouded steam locos – painted to match the train. They tended to look clean with most of the appliances hidden under the shrouding. So would it have been prototypical to paint a fancy scheme on a loco with a bunch of exposed appliances and piping? Time for some research!

This is Western Maryland Scenic RR #734, also known as “Mountain Thunder”. Not an unusually fancy paint scheme, but a few extras like pin stripes and a nice logo.

And, no hiding of the piping and appliances. The paint is kept clean and shiny. #734 is a preserved class SC-1, 2-8-0, built by Baldwin in 1916 for the Lake Superior & Ishpeming RR as a dock switcher.

So it was originally a work horse loco that has been preserved and painted up for excursion service (not an exact comparison to the idea behind #2791, but…)

Southern RWY had a great scheme for their passenger locos – the green with white stripes and white smoke box & fire box, and gold pin stripes and lettering.

This is SOU #4501, a 2-8-2, painted up for excursion service in 1986. Again, it’s an old work horse loco that’s been preserved. But the paint scheme is typical of what Southern used on its passenger locos.

This is SOU #722, a class Ks-1 2-8-0 built by Baldwin in 1904. Again, an old work horse loco that has been restored and painted up with a classic Southern paint scheme for excursion service. The value of this pic is that it shows what happens to the nice shiny paint after a good run. Most of the paint still holds a nice sheen – so, recently washed. But look at the ash that’s collected on the smoke box. And check out the fire box (also typically painted white).

Finally a Pacific – SOU #1401 restored passenger loco – fresh from the paint shop. It’s got a feedwater heater over the smoke box, generator in front of the cab, air tanks and all the air piping down the sides, and a nice injector below the cab – no attempt has been made to shroud the appliances.

This is Reading # 2102, a 4-8-4, painted up for excursion service. It has some shrouding – a turret cover and shrouding/guards around the two air pumps over the pilot beam. It also looks like they shrouded over the compressed air pipes above the fire box. But 4-8-4’s were typically more shrouded than the older Pacifics – even ones like this that lacked the common streamlining of the larger more modern steam.

I was trying to show locos without shrouding… Canadian Pacific #2816, 4-6-4, has a touch of shrouding, but still sports an exposed feedwater heater, generator, and an injector below the cab.  The air tanks and lines appear to be hidden under the shrouding.  I like this pic – you can see the bright green interior of the cab.  Most steam loco cabs had a green or light gray interior – but you can never see it.  I’ve painted a few cab interiors green – but it’s not a detail you can easily see.

CP #2317, a light Pacific, has a similar look to the CP Hudson.

I ran into this photo and wanted to throw it for detailing. Again, CP Pacific #2317, but an up close look at a “polished” loco after typical use. The crew member is polishing the bell for the next run. The generator (left) seems to pick up dust along with the pop valves (right). The control valve below where the crew member is working, appears to be the steam inlet for the generator. It appears to be leaking some rusty/muddy condensation from the steam. I especially like the look of the diamond plate side boards. There are some nice diamond plate products for modelers – I’ve always been tempted to remove the smooth side boards and replace with some diamond plate. The heavier pipe coming up diagonally from below the side board is likely the water line running from the injector (below the cab) to the front side or top of the boiler.

CP #1201 – another Pacific – has a slighter different paint scheme: Gray boiler with black smoke box and gold lettering. I’m not sure if this was an older scheme, or just done up differently.

“The Blue Comet” was a Central RR of NJ train that ran from 1929 to 1941. It was pulled by a heavy Pacific – painted in a blue CNJ scheme.

There was no hiding the appliances on this loco – outside of different manufacturer’s and locations of the appliances, this is similar to what #2791 will look like. And it’s a close representation of the story we’ll have behind #2791.

How about the B&O “President Washington”? – This is a classic heavy Pacific built in 1927.  Nice paint scheme with no shrouding.

“Before the Storm” is one of my favorite renovated excursion locomotives. A Reading & Northern light Pacific, #425, it’s said to be one of the loudest steam locomotives in the US. I’m looking at paint schemes – not sound, but it’s a pretty “loud” paint scheme also. And it’s showing off all of its appliances. This pic was taken in 2020.

…So it looks like we’re on for Cincinnati Northern #2791 to get the blue and white paint scheme!  Even though most of these are modern photos, there’s enough representation of what was happening during the golden years of steam, it seems clear that the streamlined and shrouded steam weren’t the only locos that got the signature paint schemes.



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