I love the Jack Delano color images at
the Library of Congress site. They have inspired my weathering
efforts on many freight cars.
But, when we look deeper into these
images I think we need to make adjustments. The original photo
exposure takes into account the sky and background. IMHO, this
makes the freight cars underexposed.This is especially true of
the broader yard scenes in the Delano images.
I just edited the original TIF file to
focus on the freight cars nearest the UP box car. After
cropping, I adjusted the exposure and levels to produce the
The more exposed version brings out
the color for additional comparison. Note the Michigan Central
box car at the far right seems to be a closer match with the UP
car color. There weren't any color adjustments to the original
file, only exposure and levels were adjusted.
Is it proper to fool around with these
images? I think we need to do this when we are reviewing and
discussing a small portion of the larger image. YMMV.
I’ve been a bit sick so whiling away down time, and wandered
back into the Library of Congress Delano photos again. This
time, I was a bit intrigued by a note on the Utah Rails sight
that a photo showing Union Pacific freight car paint prior to
1944 might look like. The answer (I think) is documented in a
photo discussed on this list many times previously:https://www.loc.gov/item/2017878164/ which
shows UP 471087 at the Illinois Central South Water St yard in
Chicago, apparently taken April 1943. With the large Tiff
file, one can zoom in and see cars very well. So for 1943 UP
freight car colour, here’s some evidence:
What i think is useful here is the comparison
with the GNR red, the IC brown, the very dark Rock Island
brown, and the NYC/Michigan Central oxide brown colour. Very
cool. I imagine there is a pan pastel shade for that yellow
colour weathering on the far side panels?
But I was also really taken by the GN car built 6
years earlier. The painted roof seem caps, bare galvenized
roof contrasting with rust blooming through the paint on the
top end panel, dust collected on each rib on the car ends, the
black paint on the ends faded to a grimy gray-brown, the wood
sheathing worn and streaked and the reporting marks and See
America logo faded and worn. I wonder how many Resin Car
Works models of this car show this much weathering . . .
Mine is on the to do pile, and i think this will
be my inspiration.