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Shades of Maroon


Ben Alder

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Following my musings on "adjusting" coaches to suit my needs, the question of what shade of maroon was correct arose. An interesting point, and very subjective. From my memories maroon coaches were generally quite well kept, certainly compared to parcel vans and the suchlike, although the last survivors,c 1969/70 as I saw them, the shade was faded and more matt than previously. As far as my stock goes, they fall into various camps, being a mixture of Comet LMS sides on Airfix donors, Bachmann Mk1's, Ian Kirk Gresleys and some strays that have been looked at here and elsewhere. There is also a rake of Mk1's- Comets on Kitmaster that are not at presentin current running order. The finish on all of these is various, with the bulk of the LMS coaches finished with Halford's Burgundy Red acrylic spray and the Kitmasters with a cellulouse, the specs. of which have been lost in time.

 

This is one of the perils of my approach to the hobby- drifting along, taking years to sometimes finish a project and then not keeping a record of the work done. It is something I have belatedly been doing, and advocate as essential if your progress is as mine, ie. keep referrable notes. It does make life easier, I can assure you.

 

Anyway, my various batches have differing finishes, but there are enough to keep together in similar groups. The cellulouse ones have quite a glossy look, wheras the Halfords are a bit less, but to my eye they are acceptable compared to images from the time. The Bachmann ones I have had mixed results with; the factory finish is too dull, and attempts at glossing up have been mixed. I tried a satin varnish that worked some times, and T-cutting removed the lining, although it did make an improvement, but I am still some distance from an answer on these.

 

Some photos to try and show the differences- they don't always catch the actual finish, but hopefully give an idea of what I have.

 

Two shots of a varnished Bachmann that came out OK.

 

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Then two pics of the Hornby and Comet/ Airfix's.

 

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I prefer the spray finish to the buffed up Hornby, although when the only two Hornby's are running together they look alright.

 

One of the unused Comet/ Kitmasters- the high gloss isn't too obvious to the eye.

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I suppose the moral of the story is to strip and spray all your coaching needs at one time and with the same finish, but modelling life just ain't that easy I have found.

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The thumbnails, as I have discovered, are leftovers that I had uploaded but not used. They are the varnished Bachmann and a shot of the Hornby coach alongside it, both of which I had decided not to use, but they are here now :unsure:

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Thanks very much for doing that Richard, you've certainly saved me a couple of evening's work - time which is in short supply at the moment.

 

I think you've went a long way to resolving my way forward - I ought to get some practice in with the lining transfers.

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I know it isn't easy to get hold of nowadays but I have recently varnished a couple of Bachmann Mark 1s with Johnson's Klear, just brushed on with a wide, flat brush. It really seems to have given the colour a "lift" and the varnished carriages have now taken their place in a rake of kit built carriages and they no longer stick out like sore thumbs. I have been involved in a lot of discussions about BR maroon carriage liveries lately. It is a difficult colour to get "just right" but having looked at lots of photos and videos, it is quite surprising just how shiny the maroon carriages were, right through to the end of steam, when everything else was filthy. I am currently using Railmatch BR Maroon, finished with Klear. A decent gloss finish is not out of place at all and in some respects, a good gloss finish seems, to me at least, to enhance the livery rather than spoil it.

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I know it isn't easy to get hold of nowadays but I have recently varnished a couple of Bachmann Mark 1s with Johnson's Klear, just brushed on with a wide, flat brush. It really seems to have given the colour a "lift" and the varnished carriages have now taken their place in a rake of kit built carriages and they no longer stick out like sore thumbs. I have been involved in a lot of discussions about BR maroon carriage liveries lately. It is a difficult colour to get "just right" but having looked at lots of photos and videos, it is quite surprising just how shiny the maroon carriages were, right through to the end of steam, when everything else was filthy. I am currently using Railmatch BR Maroon, finished with Klear. A decent gloss finish is not out of place at all and in some respects, a good gloss finish seems, to me at least, to enhance the livery rather than spoil it.

 

 

I never managed to get a hold of Klear- I'm a long way from the nearest Asda- but I did try one Bachmann with Humbrol Clear Coat, but wasn't happy with the finish(brush) and never got round to spraying a coat on as I was OK with the finish I had got from the Halfords and the cellulouse aerosols. It mightn't be too obvious in the images,but they are a glossy finish. any lining or transfers were applied on top of this and left unvarnished. So far I've had no problems with them lifting.

As you say, maroon coaches had, at least from where I saw them, kept a glossy finish all through the sixties. The last few I came across- c1970ish did tend to have a faded air about them, but for my era, they are clean and don't look out of place at that.

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