Re: BLI vs. Walthers express reefers

Patrick Wider <pwider@...>

It's not apparent to me exactly what era you fellows are discussing but there are beaucoup
photos of these cars in RP Cyc Volumes 7 and 9, some even in color. Always work from a
photo or company diagram if you can. Unfortunately, B&W photos always leave you with as
many questions as they answer. IMHO: Roseman's work is not definitive. Note that his
book doesn't include a single REA Company lettering diagram with authenticated dates
and/or paint specs. Also, sorry for the plug again!!!!

Pat Wider

--- In, "Daniel J Miller" <djmiller@b...> wrote:

Thanks for pointing out the lettering color difference. The BLI car
definitely has more end lettering, and the car number only on the left
side of the door.

In message 35016 on Oct 18, 2004 Thomas Olsen provided some information
from the Roseman book and the Sunshine instructions for the wood REA
cars on the paint and lettering, which I've copied below. Scheme II
(for plug door cars) was applied beginning in 1947 and Scheme III (with
the red diamond logo) beginning in 1952/3, so Roseman doesn't
distinguish among early green schemes. I suppose that the Walthers car
would represent a WWII repaint according to Roseman, since buff
lettering saw some application during the war. However, no mention is
made of when the end lettering would have been removed and when the car
number was applied to only the left side of the door. Martin's sheet
for his kit version of these cars indicates only that the number was on
both sides. Perhaps BLI is incorrect in only placing the number on the
left? Also, Roseman states that the ends of the car should be black,
not green as on both the BLI and the Walthers cars. So, it seems like
both manufacturers have incorrect paint, with BLI perhaps having some
kind of hybrid lettering. Of course, I'm going only on the information
from Thomas' message; anyone with more information that would support
either model?

Dan Miller

From Thomas Olsen:

Scheme I - Original Painting and lettering scheme (handed down from
American Railway Express):
Body color - deep green A.K.A. Pullman Green. Lettering - Gold,
may have been (at various times
Gold Leaf), Bronze (metallic) gold paint or imitation gold paint
(buff). Lettering was 5" extended
Railroad Roman. This last color (Buff) popular during WWII as a
replacement for metallic paint
and the fragile leaf process. Roof and end color - Black.

Imitation gold colors by manufacturers such as Dupont (Dulux and
Duco lines) and Sherwin-Williams
gave a bright gold appearance, but were fade resistant. Used due to
tendency of Gold Leaf to rub off
when cleaned and bronze metallic paints tended to dull. Scheme I
was replaced in 1947 and again in
1953. Reasons for longevity was that due to fleet size, various
schemes lasted beyond introduction
dates before repainting.

In Martin Lofton's Prototype Data Sheet #27A for General American 53'
Express Reefers (Sunshine
Kits 27.1-27.2), the lettering information for those cars
specifically in REA service, agrees with the
Roseman book with some exceptions:
Specifically mentions re-positioning of the company name
"Railway Express Agency" and other
lettering beginning in 1952, rather than 1953. It states that
the earlier schemes (wood sheathed
cars only) had the company name on the letterboard, with the
words "Express Refrigerator" and
car number on the car side on both sides of the door. This is
the same location as the diagram in
the Roseman book. In 1952, the company name moved to below the
letterboard to the left of
the door with the car number below, just above the bottom of
the car side, equidistant from the
door and the ends. The word "Refrigerator" moved to the right
car side side below the letterboard
with the large herald (as described in the Roseman book)
below, also to the right of the door.
The former words "Express Refrigerator" and numbers were removed
from the lower right side.

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