Re: Weathering for Late Steam and Transition Era

Anthony Thompson <thompson@...>

Richard Hendrickson wrote:
The practice of overdoing aging and weathering dates back to the John
Allen era, and probably began with the narrow gaugers who were modeling
Colorado narrow gauge in its death throes, when dirty, weathered, and
worn-out equipment was being used up without any gestures in the
direction of maintenance. Allen then adopted advanced decrepitude and
made it fashionable because his modeling was inclined more to
quaintness and caricature than to realism (and in that respect I think
he set the hobby back at least twenty years).
Allen's caricature modeling is not open to doubt, but I think perspective is useful here. Go back to the MR's of the 1950s, and you will see that practically no one weathered anything. Indeed, Allen's engine house model, which won an MR contest, was controversial because it included pigeon droppings (and pigeons) on the roof. Allen did in many cases exaggerate weathering, but in an era when most models were severely underweathered, it can be seen as a needed corrective. And after all, RIchard, Allen's freelance railroad was supposed to be in the same throes as those Colorado roads. One can still regret, of course, that some modelers took Allen literally.

Tony Thompson Editor, Signature Press, Berkeley, CA
2906 Forest Ave., Berkeley, CA 94705
(510) 540-6538; fax, (510) 540-1937; e-mail, thompson@...
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