Re: Why don't we ... ?

Charles Happel

Twenty years of working on locomotives was one of the dirtiest jobs I ever had.  Had to keep clothes specially for work, and a separate washing machine to clean them.  Some lubricant and carbon stains never came out, even using gasoline to clean them.  Despite having a place to clean up, there was no getting carbon dust out of my hands other than waiting for it to wear off.

Chuck Happel

"I never said half the crap people said I did."

Albert Einstein

--- On Fri, 6/14/13, Al and Patricia Westerfield <> wrote:

From: Al and Patricia Westerfield <>
Subject: Re: [STMFC] Why don't we ... ?
Date: Friday, June 14, 2013, 2:28 PM


Jim – My first job was in a dye factory. We worked in mechanic’s uniforms with no place to clean up at the end of the day. I would come home with blue face and hands. So you can prototypically do some of your figures as zombies. – Al Westerfield

From: Jim

Sent: Friday, June 14, 2013 10:14 AM


Subject: [STMFC] Why don't we ... ?


The thread about weathering our freight cars - and my

looking at a photo of a model caboose with a crew member

on the platform - got me to thinking (always a dangerous

thing!) ...

I had jobs back in the 50's. I never worked for a

railroad but several of my early jobs would be candidates

for the TV series "Dirty Jobs". Each day I would go to

work in clean clothes ... and come home covered in

dirt, grass stains (worked for a gardener), grime,

fish stains (worked in a salmon cannery), the seat of

my pants dirty (from where I sat on something to eat

my lunch) ... etc., etc., etc.

So why is it that most guys do not "weather" their


Yes, there should be areas of the clothes that should

be essentially "fresh from the last time they went thru

the wringer washer" ... but there should also be some

dirt on the knees, cuffs, arms, ... etc.

About the only figures who should be "relatively clean"

would be passenger train crews and maybe the engineer or

conductor of a freight.

- Jim

P.S. I tend not to model "the crew" ... I certainly don't

do so as often as they would be present on the

models. For me I have to balance the desire to have

a crew on/around a freight train ... with the fact

that because they are "static" they tend to not "feel

right/prototypical". That brakeman walking the

back on that GP-7 is great the first time I see him -

and then a few times later it starts to "grate on my

sense of reality" ... *SIGH!* ... it seems like I can

never achieve "perfection" ... whoops, that's one of

the BEST things about this hobby!

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