Freight car condition in the 50's; weathering


Gatwood, Elden J SAD <Elden.J.Gatwood@...>
 

Folks;



Our recent discussions on the perceived condition of freight cars during the
steam era, weathering, and all, really got me to thinking, particularly since
I've been revisiting (and going to considerably more effort on) this subject
in my modeling recently.



I had begun to think that my weathering and treatment had become a little too
one-dimensional (or "pat"), although indeed, I wanted to evaluate the
statement by some that freight cars in the steam era were in pretty good
condition and not overly weathered or beat-up.



I went back and stared at a bunch of color photos and color guide books, in
an effort to step back and re-evaluate what I was seeing, and to make sure I
was not coloring my view with false beliefs.



I also began to think that this could also be in part due to the roads I
model, and my primary road, influencing this process.



I began a re-look at the hundreds of great color shots of cars and yards that
I have. I was immediately struck by how vastly different many of them were,
in condition. Even a given class of cars painted in the same scheme in the
same general time period might look completely different!



I also stumbled on a great photo of L&N's DeCoursey Yard, taken by John
Dziobko in 1956, in a copy of "Freight Train Cars" (pgs. 18-19), one of the
Enthusiast Color Series books, by Mike Schafer and Mike McBride. It shows
some L&N engines shifting cuts of cars around the yard, with some great
foreground subjects.



Key among these are the two gons in the immediate foreground, in hideous
condition. Honestly, they are worse than anything I have ever modeled. The
one you can only see part of is a PRR G31A, on which the only fairly
unblemished paint is on the ribs. The remainder of the car is thoroughly
rusted.



The next car is a shallow fishbelly NYC gon, which is in even worse
condition. The lettering is almost thoroughly obliterated, with NYC just
peeking through its scabrous rust. The interior is a patina of hundreds of
rust colors. A beautiful gon.



Next is a C&O radial end, in pretty good condition. Although there are large
rust colorations on the sides, the paint is pretty much intact, although the
logo is almost gone. The interior is still black.



Next is a pretty good condition Southern gon, with a somewhat rusty interior,
but otherwise in pretty good shape.



This is followed by two good condition boxes, one a NCStL yellow stripe, both
in pretty good condition, although the L&N box has lost its roof paint.



The remainder of the cars in this string look to be in pretty good condition,
although they are all weathered to some extent.



Other color yard shots of this era show similar conditions.



The point of all this is that everything is weathered to some degree. Yes,
the PRR and NYC gons are in truly horrible states. Yes, cars from other
roads are in better condition. But, not only should we include a few cars in
"just re-painted" condition, but there should also be a large number of cars
demonstrating a really broad range of weathering techniques, reflecting a
broad range of operating conditions and services. At least some should look
really horrible.



It has really inspired me to go back and keep working on making my cars more
realistic, and representative of what I see in photos. I will also try and
try to get that one car looking like that one photo, if I can do so.



Hope you can find some new inspiration, too!



Elden Gatwood


Miller, Andrew S. <asmiller@...>
 

Eldon,

You have inspired me to try something. Yes, I have developed a
"pattern" to weathering that causes all my cars to look more or less
alike. So have several other members of my club. What I am going to
propose is that several of the club members who do good weathering jobs
swap virgin cars and weather each other's cars. That way we get to
incorporate into our personal fleets the different weathering patterns
each has developed.


regards,

Andy Miller


Gatwood, Elden J SAD <Elden.J.Gatwood@...>
 

Nice idea, Andy! There are a couple of guys whose cars I would like to
host...



Elden Gatwood



________________________________

From: STMFC@... [mailto:STMFC@...] On Behalf Of
Miller, Andrew S.
Sent: Friday, August 24, 2007 9:10 AM
To: STMFC@...
Subject: RE: [STMFC] Re: Freight car condition in the 50's; weathering



Eldon,

You have inspired me to try something. Yes, I have developed a
"pattern" to weathering that causes all my cars to look more or less
alike. So have several other members of my club. What I am going to
propose is that several of the club members who do good weathering jobs
swap virgin cars and weather each other's cars. That way we get to
incorporate into our personal fleets the different weathering patterns
each has developed.

regards,

Andy Miller


Walter M. Clark
 

<Snip everything else out>
Hope you can find some new inspiration, too!



Elden Gatwood

Elden, you are so right. We all get into habits, and every now and
then need to get bumped out of our ruts. I love the color photos in
Ted's 2006 Calendar, and those from the OWI photos in World War II,
because they show we are much to gentle and mild in most of our
weathering. Unless you would take a photo with you to your club, if
you showed up with a car that matched the dirt and grime in the photos
from that era the others would laugh you out of the club, telling you
the cars never got that dirty.

Time stopped in November 1941
Walter M. Clark
Riverside, California


Schuyler Larrabee
 

--- In STMFC@..., "Miller, Andrew S." <asmiller@...> wrote:

Eldon,

You have inspired me to try something. Yes, I have developed a
"pattern" to weathering that causes all my cars to look more or less
alike. So have several other members of my club. What I am going to
propose is that several of the club members who do good weathering
jobs
swap virgin cars and weather each other's cars. That way we get to
incorporate into our personal fleets the different weathering patterns
each has developed.


regards,

Andy Miller
Andy, you're on.

SGL


Philip Dove <philip.dove@...>
 

Walter,
I found your response to Elden Gatwoods piece about the state of freight cars interesting. You saw it as saying cars should all be heavily weathered, I had read it as saying, most cars were not very beat up, although none looked immaculate. So I re read the posting, what I now see is that Elden is saying is that in 1956 there was great variety in the degree of weathering visible on cars. I guess (always a dangerous thing to do) that the Gondolas paint loss had been exacerbated by carrying steel hot enough to damage the adhesion and integrity of the paintwork. Hitting the sides with the load when they were being lifted in and out wouldn't help. the slightest touch from a few tons of swinging steel would dent the side.
To make a model of a beaten up gondola has anyone ever tried making the bracing and framework out of metal or plastic, sheathing it with heavy paper then letting the paper get wet? The theory sounds OK.
Philip Dove

] Re: Freight car condition in the 50's; weathering


<Snip everything else out>
> Hope you can find some new inspiration, too!
>
>
>
> Elden Gatwood

Elden, you are so right. We all get into habits, and every now and
then need to get bumped out of our ruts. I love the color photos in
Ted's 2006 Calendar, and those from the OWI photos in World War II,
because they show we are much to gentle and mild in most of our
weathering. Unless you would take a photo with you to your club, if
you showed up with a car that matched the dirt and grime in the photos
from that era the others would laugh you out of the club, telling you
the cars never got that dirty.

Time stopped in November 1941
Walter M. Clark
Riverside, California


Jack Burgess <jack@...>
 

Phillip suggested:
To make a model of a beaten up gondola has anyone ever tried
making the bracing and framework out of metal or plastic,
sheathing it with heavy paper then letting the paper get wet? The
theory sounds OK.
I did something similar nearly 25 years ago, scratchbuilding a C&EI gondola
from styrene. I used .010" styrene for the sides which I distressed with a
dental pick before installation to produce bulges and other typical damage;
the effect was quite convincing if I say so myself. I built it from an early
article in MR so I have no idea if it is prototypically correct or not.
Unfortunately, I now know that the YV didn't have any need for gondolas in
1939, the year that I am modeling, so it will becoming off of the layout....

Jack Burgess
www.yosemitevalleyrr.com


Kurt Laughlin <fleeta@...>
 

Note the dented 55 gal drums and gas cans here:

http://www.michtoy.com/MTSCnewSite/scenic_diorama_folder/BayardiScenics/Bayardimiscaccessories1.html

These parts (1/35 scale) are resin. He only has one mold, for "good" parts. He makes the dented ones by pulling pieces out of the mold before the resin has completely set and bending them with his fingers. I thought that if somebody wanted to make damaged sides they could make resin copies of the kit parts and do the same.

KL

----- Original Message -----
From: Philip Dove
To: STMFC@...
.
To make a model of a beaten up gondola has anyone ever tried making the bracing and framework out of metal or plastic, sheathing it with heavy paper then letting the paper get wet? The theory sounds OK.


Walter M. Clark
 

Philip,

My reference to the photos in Ted's calendar and the OWI photos was to
show my different point of view (World War II and immediately
following) to Eldon's (1956) and to make the point that not every time
frame and/or location requires the same mix of paint and weathering.

I model November 1941, which means everything has been through the
Great Depression, with minimal new purchases, minimal upgrades and
minimal maintenance, so I look for photos that show me what reality
was for my time frame. I think Eldon and I are both saying the same
thing, though he is free to step in here and disagree.

What I got out of his message and what I tried to say in mine are that
it is so easy for all of us to get into habits in anything we do,
including weathering. Look at photos of the era and location you are
modeling and do your best to have your models reflect that reality.
Trading models (or at least weathering jobs) with friends so you have
more variety in your freight car fleet is a great idea.

I have seen many articles on modeling this or that car that take you
all the way through to the finished, weathered model, without ever
showing a photo of the prototype. Our habits are hard enough to keep
in check when we DO have a photo to work from; doing it from memory is
a sure-fire way to guarantee monotony.

Time stopped in November 1941
Walter M. Clark
Riverside, California

--- In STMFC@..., "Philip Dove" <philip.dove@...> wrote:

Walter,
I found your response to Elden Gatwoods piece about the state of
freight cars interesting. You saw it as saying cars should all be
heavily weathered, I had read it as saying, most cars were not very
beat up, although none looked immaculate. So I re read the posting,
what I now see is that Elden is saying is that in 1956 there was great
variety in the degree of weathering visible on cars. I guess (always a
dangerous thing to do) that the Gondolas paint loss had been
exacerbated by carrying steel hot enough to damage the adhesion and
integrity of the paintwork. Hitting the sides with the load when they
were being lifted in and out wouldn't help. the slightest touch from a
few tons of swinging steel would dent the side.
To make a model of a beaten up gondola has anyone ever tried making
the bracing and framework out of metal or plastic, sheathing it with
heavy paper then letting the paper get wet? The theory sounds OK.
Philip Dove

] Re: Freight car condition in the 50's; weathering


<Snip everything else out>
> Hope you can find some new inspiration, too!
>
>
>
> Elden Gatwood

Elden, you are so right. We all get into habits, and every now and
then need to get bumped out of our ruts. I love the color photos in
Ted's 2006 Calendar, and those from the OWI photos in World War II,
because they show we are much to gentle and mild in most of our
weathering. Unless you would take a photo with you to your club, if
you showed up with a car that matched the dirt and grime in the photos
from that era the others would laugh you out of the club, telling you
the cars never got that dirty.

Time stopped in November 1941
Walter M. Clark
Riverside, California






[Non-text portions of this message have been removed]


Richard Hendrickson
 

On Aug 25, 2007, at 7:33 PM, wmcclark1980 wrote:

My reference to the photos in Ted's calendar and the OWI photos was to
show my different point of view (World War II and immediately
following) to Eldon's (1956) and to make the point that not every time
frame and/or location requires the same mix of paint and weathering.

I model November 1941, which means everything has been through the
Great Depression, with minimal new purchases, minimal upgrades and
minimal maintenance, so I look for photos that show me what reality
was for my time frame. I think Eldon and I are both saying the same
thing, though he is free to step in here and disagree.

What I got out of his message and what I tried to say in mine are that
it is so easy for all of us to get into habits in anything we do,
including weathering. Look at photos of the era and location you are
modeling and do your best to have your models reflect that reality.
Trading models (or at least weathering jobs) with friends so you have
more variety in your freight car fleet is a great idea.

I have seen many articles on modeling this or that car that take you
all the way through to the finished, weathered model, without ever
showing a photo of the prototype. Our habits are hard enough to keep
in check when we DO have a photo to work from; doing it from memory is
a sure-fire way to guarantee monotony.
I couldn't agree more, Walter, and speculation about how to weather
models is pointless when there is so much photographic evidence.
Granted, there weren't a whole lot of color photos being taken in the
1940s, but there were enough to provide some useful guidance. I have a
set of 70+ color slides shot by Jack Maxwell on the D&RGW standard
gauge in Colorado in 1941 which are priceless in this regard, and
richly confirm your observations about the prevailing grime and
deferred maintenance. Then along came World War II and more of same.
I model October, 1947, and by that time new cars were beginning to
appear in significant numbers and many railroads were beginning to
catch up on maintenance and repainting. Even so, the photos from that
era show a lot of very dirty freight cars. The important thing is
that, in any era, weathering should not look the same on all the cars.

Richard Hendrickson


Miller, Andrew S. <asmiller@...>
 

Schuyler,

I just finished up a RC X29 in Merchandise Service paint. It kept me
from having to watch television in my motel room in Altus OK ;-) I
will save the weathering on that for you.

I would love to get JohnnyMac in this too. He has a great chalk
weathering scheme. Is he on this list?

regards,

Andy Miller

-----Original Message-----
From: STMFC@... [mailto:STMFC@...] On Behalf Of
angus502001
Sent: Friday, August 24, 2007 9:25 PM
To: STMFC@...
Subject: [STMFC] Re: Freight car condition in the 50's; weathering

--- In STMFC@..., "Miller, Andrew S." <asmiller@...> wrote:

Eldon,

You have inspired me to try something. Yes, I have developed a
"pattern" to weathering that causes all my cars to look more or less
alike. So have several other members of my club. What I am going to
propose is that several of the club members who do good weathering
jobs
swap virgin cars and weather each other's cars. That way we get to
incorporate into our personal fleets the different weathering
patterns
each has developed.


regards,

Andy Miller
Andy, you're on.

SGL


Philip Dove <philip.dove@...>
 

Walter thanks for the clarification, we are in agreement. On my models I've still got to get around to making most of the model freight cars let alone paint and weathering!

----- Original Message -----
From: wmcclark1980
To: STMFC@...
Sent: 26 August 2007 03:33
Subject: [STMFC] Re: Freight car condition in the 50's; weathering


Philip,

My reference to the photos in Ted's calendar and the OWI photos was to
show my different point of view (World War II and immediately
following) to Eldon's (1956) and to make the point that not every time
frame and/or location requires the same mix of paint and weathering.

I model November 1941, which means everything has been through the
Great Depression, with minimal new purchases, minimal upgrades and
minimal maintenance, so I look for photos that show me what reality
was for my time frame. I think Eldon and I are both saying the same
thing, though he is free to step in here and disagree.

What I got out of his message and what I tried to say in mine are that
it is so easy for all of us to get into habits in anything we do,
including weathering. Look at photos of the era and location you are
modeling and do your best to have your models reflect that reality.
Trading models (or at least weathering jobs) with friends so you have
more variety in your freight car fleet is a great idea.

I have seen many articles on modeling this or that car that take you
all the way through to the finished, weathered model, without ever
showing a photo of the prototype. Our habits are hard enough to keep
in check when we DO have a photo to work from; doing it from memory is
a sure-fire way to guarantee monotony.

Time stopped in November 1941
Walter M. Clark
Riverside, California

--- In STMFC@..., "Philip Dove" <philip.dove@...> wrote:
>
> Walter,
> I found your response to Elden Gatwoods piece about the state of
freight cars interesting. You saw it as saying cars should all be
heavily weathered, I had read it as saying, most cars were not very
beat up, although none looked immaculate. So I re read the posting,
what I now see is that Elden is saying is that in 1956 there was great
variety in the degree of weathering visible on cars. I guess (always a
dangerous thing to do) that the Gondolas paint loss had been
exacerbated by carrying steel hot enough to damage the adhesion and
integrity of the paintwork. Hitting the sides with the load when they
were being lifted in and out wouldn't help. the slightest touch from a
few tons of swinging steel would dent the side.
> To make a model of a beaten up gondola has anyone ever tried making
the bracing and framework out of metal or plastic, sheathing it with
heavy paper then letting the paper get wet? The theory sounds OK.
> Philip Dove
>
> ] Re: Freight car condition in the 50's; weathering
>
>
> <Snip everything else out>
> > Hope you can find some new inspiration, too!
> >
> >
> >
> > Elden Gatwood
>
> Elden, you are so right. We all get into habits, and every now and
> then need to get bumped out of our ruts. I love the color photos in
> Ted's 2006 Calendar, and those from the OWI photos in World War II,
> because they show we are much to gentle and mild in most of our
> weathering. Unless you would take a photo with you to your club, if
> you showed up with a car that matched the dirt and grime in the photos
> from that era the others would laugh you out of the club, telling you
> the cars never got that dirty.
>
> Time stopped in November 1941
> Walter M. Clark
> Riverside, California
>
>
>
>
>
>
>
>


Lawrence Rast
 

I thought I was the only one who toted kits and tools with me when I
traveled! I'd become so sick of traveling that I finally put together a
traveling tool kit that allows me to work wherever I may roam.

Best,
Lawrence Rast

On 8/27/07, Miller, Andrew S. <asmiller@...> wrote:

Schuyler,

I just finished up a RC X29 in Merchandise Service paint. It kept me
from having to watch television in my motel room in Altus OK ;-) I
will save the weathering on that for you.

I would love to get JohnnyMac in this too. He has a great chalk
weathering scheme. Is he on this list?

regards,

Andy Miller

-----Original Message-----
From: STMFC@... <STMFC%40yahoogroups.com> [mailto:
STMFC@... <STMFC%40yahoogroups.com>] On Behalf Of
angus502001
Sent: Friday, August 24, 2007 9:25 PM
To: STMFC@... <STMFC%40yahoogroups.com>
Subject: [STMFC] Re: Freight car condition in the 50's; weathering

--- In STMFC@... <STMFC%40yahoogroups.com>, "Miller, Andrew
S." <asmiller@...> wrote:

Eldon,

You have inspired me to try something. Yes, I have developed a
"pattern" to weathering that causes all my cars to look more or less
alike. So have several other members of my club. What I am going to
propose is that several of the club members who do good weathering
jobs
swap virgin cars and weather each other's cars. That way we get to
incorporate into our personal fleets the different weathering
patterns
each has developed.


regards,

Andy Miller
Andy, you're on.

SGL


Charles Hladik
 

Walter,
Sheesh, if you didn't "buy" the kits, think how much more money you
could save!
Chuck Hladik



************************************** Get a sneak peek of the all-new AOL at
http://discover.aol.com/memed/aolcom30tour


Walter M. Clark
 

Philip,

Actually BUILD the things? Preposterous! I can spend all my modeling
time here and never make any mistakes in car building, painting,
lettering or (horrors) weathering. Everything is perfect in my mind's
eye. No money for layout and no negotiating for space for the layout
either. I just buy the kits, not build them.

Time stopped in November 1941
Walter M. Clark
Riverside, California

--- In STMFC@..., "Philip Dove" <philip.dove@...> wrote:

Walter thanks for the clarification, we are in agreement. On my
models I've still got to get around to making most of the model
freight cars let alone paint and weathering!
----- Original Message -----
From: wmcclark1980
To: STMFC@...
Sent: 26 August 2007 03:33
Subject: [STMFC] Re: Freight car condition in the 50's; weathering


Philip,

My reference to the photos in Ted's calendar and the OWI photos was to
show my different point of view (World War II and immediately
following) to Eldon's (1956) and to make the point that not every time
frame and/or location requires the same mix of paint and weathering.

I model November 1941, which means everything has been through the
Great Depression, with minimal new purchases, minimal upgrades and
minimal maintenance, so I look for photos that show me what reality
was for my time frame. I think Eldon and I are both saying the same
thing, though he is free to step in here and disagree.

What I got out of his message and what I tried to say in mine are that
it is so easy for all of us to get into habits in anything we do,
including weathering. Look at photos of the era and location you are
modeling and do your best to have your models reflect that reality.
Trading models (or at least weathering jobs) with friends so you have
more variety in your freight car fleet is a great idea.

I have seen many articles on modeling this or that car that take you
all the way through to the finished, weathered model, without ever
showing a photo of the prototype. Our habits are hard enough to keep
in check when we DO have a photo to work from; doing it from memory is
a sure-fire way to guarantee monotony.

Time stopped in November 1941
Walter M. Clark
Riverside, California

--- In STMFC@..., "Philip Dove" <philip.dove@> wrote:
>
> Walter,
> I found your response to Elden Gatwoods piece about the state of
freight cars interesting. You saw it as saying cars should all be
heavily weathered, I had read it as saying, most cars were not very
beat up, although none looked immaculate. So I re read the posting,
what I now see is that Elden is saying is that in 1956 there was great
variety in the degree of weathering visible on cars. I guess (always a
dangerous thing to do) that the Gondolas paint loss had been
exacerbated by carrying steel hot enough to damage the adhesion and
integrity of the paintwork. Hitting the sides with the load when they
were being lifted in and out wouldn't help. the slightest touch from a
few tons of swinging steel would dent the side.
> To make a model of a beaten up gondola has anyone ever tried making
the bracing and framework out of metal or plastic, sheathing it with
heavy paper then letting the paper get wet? The theory sounds OK.
> Philip Dove
>
> ] Re: Freight car condition in the 50's; weathering
>
>
> <Snip everything else out>
> > Hope you can find some new inspiration, too!
> >
> >
> >
> > Elden Gatwood
>
> Elden, you are so right. We all get into habits, and every now and
> then need to get bumped out of our ruts. I love the color photos in
> Ted's 2006 Calendar, and those from the OWI photos in World War II,
> because they show we are much to gentle and mild in most of our
> weathering. Unless you would take a photo with you to your club, if
> you showed up with a car that matched the dirt and grime in the
photos
> from that era the others would laugh you out of the club,
telling you
> the cars never got that dirty.
>
> Time stopped in November 1941
> Walter M. Clark
> Riverside, California
>
>
>
>
>
>
>
>






[Non-text portions of this message have been removed]


Philip Dove <philip.dove@...>
 

Chuck
If you don't even buy the kits, the dreams of the perfect railroad aren't as vivid, Catalogues are no substitute. Buying the kits and reading the essays of Mr Westerfield is a prime way of learning about Freight cars.
Regards Philip Dove

----- Original Message -----
From: RUTLANDRS@...
To: STMFC@...
Sent: 29 August 2007 04:09
Subject: Re: [STMFC] Re: Freight car condition in the 50's; weathering


Walter,
Sheesh, if you didn't "buy" the kits, think how much more money you
could save!
Chuck Hladik

************************************** Get a sneak peek of the all-new AOL at
http://discover.aol.com/memed/aolcom30tour