UP Pre 1944 Boxcar red & GN 1937 cars


Robert kirkham
 

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.

Rob


Eric Hansmann
 

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 attached image.

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.


Eric Hansmann
Murfreesboro, TN


On 05/10/2022 10:49 PM Robert kirkham <rdkirkham@...> wrote:


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.

Rob



Claus Schlund &#92;(HGM&#92;)
 

HI Eric and List Members,


I think Eric brings a legitimate point to the discussion. But I feel that in the greater overview of color and how we perceive it, in the end it will be a matter of personal taste and preference rather than a matter of objective certainty or measurable correctness.


All this being said, the yellow-ochre-tan stain on the side of the UP boxcar is still there and fully visible - I love it!


Claus Schlund


On 11-May-22 09:57, Eric Hansmann wrote:

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 attached image.

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.


Eric Hansmann
Murfreesboro, TN


On 05/10/2022 10:49 PM Robert kirkham <rdkirkham@...> wrote:


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.

Rob



Robert kirkham
 

In the end, all the factors we've discussed here (that effect reproduction of colour) leave me not too focused on the exact colour in the image, and more on the approximate relationships.   That said, I keep trying various image adjustments as you can see things that hint toward a more “natural” colour.   But its pretty subjective.   For me this image has too much yellow in the foreground grime and rails; not enough dark brown/reds.  But I find the images very hard to manipulate compared to more modern colour process images.  I have been looking for images that include PRR cars, since if you tweak the image to look more like FCC, you might be doing something right . . .  maybe.  LOL.  

But to me this image of the UP and GN cars are much more interesting for the weathering.   The grime accumulated on the GN car in 6 years - and this is only into year 2 after Pearl Harbor - is incredible.

Rob


On May 11, 2022, at 6:57 AM, Eric Hansmann <eric@...> wrote:

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 attached image.

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.


Eric Hansmann
Murfreesboro, TN


On 05/10/2022 10:49 PM Robert kirkham <rdkirkham@...> wrote:


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.

Rob


<UP_xm_fromDelano_1a34781u.jpg>


Tim O'Connor
 

Rob

I think all I can say about that UP box car is that it is extremely filthy!

UP box cars were painted a brighter shade of oxide red than what many other railroads used and
that continued at least into the 1950's.

Contrast the color of the SP box car with the UP box car in this photo. The UP car is a bit dusty but
it's still clearly a brighter color than the SP's car.

Tim O'Connor


On 5/11/2022 12:49 AM, Robert kirkham wrote:

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:

--
Tim O'Connor
Sterling, Massachusetts


Robert kirkham
 

That’s a useful shot Tim.   Comparing with the Delano shot, i see the remaining paint as consistent with your conclusion that the colour is very light compared ot other RRs.  Also applies to the Michigan Central car. 

Black and white photos seem almost as useful as colour for relative differences between different RRs.   

I am uninformed on one point that makes me wonder: with the different black and white processes, my impression is that the conversion of colour to black and white is capable of changing relative “value” in the image.  Not sure.  Whether that matters in a single photo of multiple reddish brown cars - well, probably not?  But i’m not very confident about that.

Rob   

On May 11, 2022, at 9:37 AM, Tim O'Connor <timboconnor@...> wrote:

Rob

I think all I can say about that UP box car is that it is extremely filthy!

UP box cars were painted a brighter shade of oxide red than what many other railroads used and
that continued at least into the 1950's.

Contrast the color of the SP box car with the UP box car in this photo. The UP car is a bit dusty but
it's still clearly a brighter color than the SP's car.

Tim O'Connor


On 5/11/2022 12:49 AM, Robert kirkham wrote:
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:

--
Tim O'Connor
Sterling, Massachusetts <UP 181185 B-50-17 rebuilt steel sheathed box car.jpg>


Dennis Storzek <dennis@...>
 

On Wed, May 11, 2022 at 10:22 AM, Robert kirkham wrote:
I am uninformed on one point that makes me wonder: with the different black and white processes, my impression is that the conversion of colour to black and white is capable of changing relative “value” in the image.  Not sure.  Whether that matters in a single photo of multiple reddish brown cars - well, probably not?  But i’m not very confident about that.
It certainly does, because orthochromatic film will turn the yellow sides and FCR ends of a reefer the exact same shade of gray. Here is what a photography web site says about the issue:


Orthochromatic film is simply made with silver halide crystals, which are naturally blue-sensitive. First produced in 1873, early film photos and movies used orthochromatic film, which is the reason why skies in early photographs are almost always white: being blue, they overexposed easily. The orthochromatic film couldn’t see a red light, so anything red would turn black.

As technology and chemistry evolved, Panchromatic film was introduced around 1906 a was created with sensitizing dyes to extend the silver halide crystal sensitivity into the green and red portions of the spectrum. Panchromatic, meaning wide color, is now the popularly used film, capturing a wider spectrum of light, rending B&W tones close to what we see in everyday life.

While panchromatic film was invented in 1906, orthochromatic film continued in use for another two or three decades because of the extremely fine grain structure, so many builders photos were made using this film. We discussed the misrepresentation of color by this film in a discussion of some Baby Ruth reefers within the last year or so. I can't find a good railroad example, but here is how the Union Jack is rendered by orthochromatic film:
https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/3/36/Northernparty.png

Dennis Storzek

 
 


Robert kirkham
 

Great example of value shift within a single image. Thanks Dennis.  

Rob

On May 11, 2022, at 11:24 AM, Dennis Storzek <dennis@...> wrote:

On Wed, May 11, 2022 at 10:22 AM, Robert kirkham wrote:
I am uninformed on one point that makes me wonder: with the different black and white processes, my impression is that the conversion of colour to black and white is capable of changing relative “value” in the image.  Not sure.  Whether that matters in a single photo of multiple reddish brown cars - well, probably not?  But i’m not very confident about that.
It certainly does, because orthochromatic film will turn the yellow sides and FCR ends of a reefer the exact same shade of gray. Here is what a photography web site says about the issue:


Orthochromatic film is simply made with silver halide crystals, which are naturally blue-sensitive. First produced in 1873, early film photos and movies used orthochromatic film, which is the reason why skies in early photographs are almost always white: being blue, they overexposed easily. The orthochromatic film couldn’t see a red light, so anything red would turn black.

As technology and chemistry evolved, Panchromatic film was introduced around 1906 a was created with sensitizing dyes to extend the silver halide crystal sensitivity into the green and red portions of the spectrum. Panchromatic, meaning wide color, is now the popularly used film, capturing a wider spectrum of light, rending B&W tones close to what we see in everyday life.

While panchromatic film was invented in 1906, orthochromatic film continued in use for another two or three decades because of the extremely fine grain structure, so many builders photos were made using this film. We discussed the misrepresentation of color by this film in a discussion of some Baby Ruth reefers within the last year or so. I can't find a good railroad example, but here is how the Union Jack is rendered by orthochromatic film:
https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/3/36/Northernparty.png

Dennis Storzek

 
 


Bruce Smith
 

Eric, Rob,

Two other critical issues. One is color distortion by the film. Given that blue sky, I'm going to guess that it was Kodachrome 25 film, and as Paul Simon said, "it makes all the world a sunny day". The reds and yellows are enhanced by the film and are not true to color. In addition, these cars are beautifully weathered, and so any supposition as to the original color is probably not going to be too accurate.

This photo is among those that Richard Hendrickson used to support that steam era freight cars got really dirty. Not run-down abused, but DIRTY. Most steam era modelers do not weather enough.

Regards,
Bruce
Bruce Smith
Auburn, AL

From: main@RealSTMFC.groups.io <main@RealSTMFC.groups.io> on behalf of Eric Hansmann <eric@...>
Sent: Wednesday, May 11, 2022 8:57 AM
To: main@RealSTMFC.groups.io <main@RealSTMFC.groups.io>
Subject: [EXT] Re: [RealSTMFC] UP Pre 1944 Boxcar red & GN 1937 cars
 
CAUTION: Email Originated Outside of Auburn.
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 attached image.

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.


Eric Hansmann
Murfreesboro, TN


On 05/10/2022 10:49 PM Robert kirkham <rdkirkham@...> wrote:


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.

Rob



Hudson Leighton
 

Are the colors right or wrong.  Yes.

-Hudson


Bill McClure
 

Delano used the very first Kodachrome, ASA 5 with its own color "palette". Every subsequent version of Kodachrome, from ISO(ASA) 10 to 25 to 200 had its own color palette and degree of saturation. There was a bias towards reds, whereas the various Ektachromes had a bias towards blues. And Fujifilm is a whole 'nother issue. Drawing conclusions about "real" color from slide films is dicey, more so when the original has been scanned, as in the Delano slides. We know nothing of the scanning process.

Best approach is to view relative color values against known hues, such as UP oxide red or PRR FCR.

Having said that, I love the color palette of all Delano images, whether "accurate" or not.

Bill


Robert kirkham
 

I wonder whether filters were a regular art of Delano’s style?  If yes, it would be useful to know what he might have used and the effect it had on the film.

Rob   

On May 11, 2022, at 6:44 PM, Hudson Leighton <hudsonl@...> wrote:

Are the colors right or wrong.  Yes.

-Hudson <1a35342u.preview4x5 Kodachrome transparency by Alfred Palmer.jpg>


Robert kirkham
 

Bruce and Bill - appreciate the thoughts on the film used. 

Agreed, they are inspiring even if not “right”. 

Rob      

On May 11, 2022, at 7:03 PM, Bill McClure <virginianbill@...> wrote:

Delano used the very first Kodachrome, ASA 5 with its own color "palette". Every subsequent version of Kodachrome, from ISO(ASA) 10 to 25 to 200 had its own color palette and degree of saturation. There was a bias towards reds, whereas the various Ektachromes had a bias towards blues. And Fujifilm is a whole 'nother issue. Drawing conclusions about "real" color from slide films is dicey, more so when the original has been scanned, as in the Delano slides. We know nothing of the scanning process.

Best approach is to view relative color values against known hues, such as UP oxide red or PRR FCR.

Having said that, I love the color palette of all Delano images, whether "accurate" or not.

Bill


Hudson Leighton
 

The 85A is usually used for shooting tungsten type A film in daylight.
It is a salmon colored filter

-Hudson


Jim Betz
 

Rob/all,

  The GN car has the older Rocky logo - called the Forward Facing Goat (as opposed
to the more modern Side Facing Goat).  I have not researched the car number but 
the amount of weathering is definitely 'consistent' with a car that has gone thru the
war years with minimum maintenance - required mechanical maintenance but rarely
washed, and most likely not repainted, etc., etc., etc.

  But I agree with you that the weathering in this image - and most of the Delano
images - is worthy of study/imitation.
  I also agree that the rails in the foreground make me question the color of the
overall image ... but it is still worthy of copying just as it is in terms of the cars.

  The trick, for me at least, is to not "fall in love" with a particular type -nor- level of
weathering.  I like to think that my yard looks like the one in this image ... at first
glance all the cars look alike but when you study just a little bit you see that each
car is different and showing different types and levels of weathering.
                                                                                                              - Jim in the PNW


Robert kirkham
 

hi Jim,

There’s a nice brief car history for the GN cars at this Resin Car Works link.   http://resincarworks.com/extras/instructions_kit11_pt1.pdf

It's part of 100 cars built in 1937, the first of an order of 8000 cars for the GN.  So, assuming the year of the photo is called out correctly by the LofC, 6 years old when photographed. 

Rob

On May 11, 2022, at 7:30 PM, Jim Betz <jimbetz@...> wrote:

Rob/all,

  The GN car has the older Rocky logo - called the Forward Facing Goat (as opposed
to the more modern Side Facing Goat).  I have not researched the car number but 
the amount of weathering is definitely 'consistent' with a car that has gone thru the
war years with minimum maintenance - required mechanical maintenance but rarely
washed, and most likely not repainted, etc., etc., etc.

  But I agree with you that the weathering in this image - and most of the Delano
images - is worthy of study/imitation.
  I also agree that the rails in the foreground make me question the color of the
overall image ... but it is still worthy of copying just as it is in terms of the cars.

  The trick, for me at least, is to not "fall in love" with a particular type -nor- level of
weathering.  I like to think that my yard looks like the one in this image ... at first
glance all the cars look alike but when you study just a little bit you see that each
car is different and showing different types and levels of weathering.
                                                                                                              - Jim in the PNW


Robert kirkham
 

typo - meant 1000 cars in the first lot.
Rob

On May 11, 2022, at 7:37 PM, Robert kirkham <rdkirkham@...> wrote:

hi Jim,

There’s a nice brief car history for the GN cars at this Resin Car Works link.   http://resincarworks.com/extras/instructions_kit11_pt1.pdf

It's part of 100 cars built in 1937, the first of an order of 8000 cars for the GN.  So, assuming the year of the photo is called out correctly by the LofC, 6 years old when photographed. 

Rob

On May 11, 2022, at 7:30 PM, Jim Betz <jimbetz@...> wrote:

Rob/all,

  The GN car has the older Rocky logo - called the Forward Facing Goat (as opposed
to the more modern Side Facing Goat).  I have not researched the car number but 
the amount of weathering is definitely 'consistent' with a car that has gone thru the
war years with minimum maintenance - required mechanical maintenance but rarely
washed, and most likely not repainted, etc., etc., etc.

  But I agree with you that the weathering in this image - and most of the Delano
images - is worthy of study/imitation.
  I also agree that the rails in the foreground make me question the color of the
overall image ... but it is still worthy of copying just as it is in terms of the cars.

  The trick, for me at least, is to not "fall in love" with a particular type -nor- level of
weathering.  I like to think that my yard looks like the one in this image ... at first
glance all the cars look alike but when you study just a little bit you see that each
car is different and showing different types and levels of weathering.
                                                                                                              - Jim in the PNW