Trucks, and even couplers, in this era were frequently painted. I go by the photographic evidence. Later on, this would not have been the case, and unpainted (rust-covered) couplers are quite obvious in most photos, as are truck sideframes if the light is correct. That's what I'm trying to match. The newer truck sideframe dies have had a much more realistic texture to them than the older ones, but still the shine of unpainted "engineering plastic", to use MR's famous term, and machined wheels, has to go before I put a car in service.
I paint the entire truck, then go back with a mix of black and rail brown and sometimes other colors to paint the wheel faces by hand. The weathering comes later, since I tend to airbrush rusty or dirty colors in groups of several cars. There is a stretch of track on the layout that I use to roll wheels back and forth, but I'm not overly concerned with getting the paint off of the wheel faces right away. It wears off quite nicely over time. The stretch of track that I use to wear the paint off does get a bright-boy treatment after I do this.
Most of what I'm modeling hadn't been painted since the mid-fifties at least, and in no-count branch lines there are a lot of cars lying around that aren't necessarily fully compliant as well as cars that no longer are legal in interchange service, so I often look to earlier iterations of current practice as opposed to the mid-sixties when the application of NDE began to be more rigorously applied.
--- In STMFC@..., "Brian J Carlson" <prrk41361@...> wrote: