Jump to content

Recommended Posts

I have been assured at today's DEMU show that the green applied to BR locomotives was the same no matter whether the engine in question was steam or diesel. This runs completely counter to my personal experience that BR steam engines were painted in a chrome yellow green called Brunswick Green and the diesels were painted in a blue green called loco green.

 

Can anybody help please

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

To the best of my knowledge the green used for such steam locos as were painted in it was indeed Brunswick, the same as the GW loco livery.  Diesel locos were originally black with silver bogies and white stripes, the LMS Ivatt twins' livery but including the Southern's 1Co-Co1s and 10800, and also applied to the WR's gas turbines, but the 1955 Modernisation Plan locos were turned out in Brunswick Green, whatever the railway may have called it at the time, with various types of white bands in various positions to relieve it.  Type 1s featured a 2 tone version with a lighter green on the cab fronts (but not on the 'outer' cab end of the EE Type 1), and this seems to have been adapted into an all round the body livery for Deltics and Hymeks.  in the case of the Paxman Type 1s (Teddy Bears) the whole cab was in the lighter green.  The Brush/Sulzer Type 4 (I am using the descriptions appropriate to the period) introduced another version of 2 tone green, also used on BR/Sulzer Type 2s, but the darker green of both these later liveries was the same old Brunswick.  The only locos that carried a plain green livery unrelieved by white stripes or cab surrounds apart from shunting engines were the EE Type 3 and DP2.

 

There never seems to have been a standard livery for all diesel locos until corporate 

 

Dmus carried a variety of greens, none of them Brunswick AFAiK but I would be happy to be corrected on this, and the EM1/EM2 Electrics carried steam engine liveries, as did the pre-Modernisation Plan black and silver locos when they were repainted.  EMUs were in 'electric green', or malachite on the Southern Region.

 

It is possible that your 'blue green' shade for diesel locos is in fact a result of the different way a diesel weathers, as getting dirty is more politely known.  Fuel and oil spills which get dirty and dry out are hard to clean off, and have an effect on the overall colour of the loco.

 

Being precise about colours on locos or stock outside of the paint shop is never an exact science, more an occult rite; different lighting conditions, weather, weathering, and film if you are working from photos, all play a part but it is next to impossible to quantifiably describe or measure it.  Just count yourself lucky that you are not involved in the debate surrounding LMS Crimson Lake...

 

Any BR or GW loco green will do fine for the darker green of Modernisation Plan and 'Second Generation' diesels prior to 1966 and the all encompassing march of Rail (Monastral) Blue, and of course for a good while afterwards in individual cases.

Edited by The Johnster

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Paint was hand mixed in the paint shops until the mid 60s so some slight variations would be possible although not to extent of that insipid blue green Hornby inflicted on a number of steam locos.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Agreed, but the variations for loco paint would have been very slight (you can't say the same about wagons!) and the mix was  standardised.  Any visible difference would be within the parameters I mentioned with regard to lighting, weathering etc.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I have been assured at today's DEMU show that the green applied to BR locomotives was the same no matter whether the engine in question was steam or diesel. This runs completely counter to my personal experience that BR steam engines were painted in a chrome yellow green called Brunswick Green and the diesels were painted in a blue green called loco green.

 

Can anybody help please

As far as I am aware diesels and steam* (and class 70s and 71s after their 1960s repaints) were all painted in what was supposed to be the same colour.   Known as Brunswick green and/or loco green. BR Spec. 30a

 

Edit * and the Woodhead electrics.

Edited by Clive Mortimore

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

https://www.heritagerailway.co.uk/br-locomotive-green-was-never-brunswick/

https://www.phoenix-paints.co.uk/products/14-bs224

https://www.e-paint.co.uk/Lab_values.asp?cRange=BS%20381C&cRef=BS381%20224&cDescription=Deep%20bronze%20green

 

I thank everybody for their replies but I'm still left with a doubt, sorry. I been doing a bit of digging and I find that 'Locomotive Green' was never a BS381 colour, but there are three shades of Brunswick Green in the spec ie 225/6/7. However, it seems that BR used a paint which was later incorporated into the BS224 series as Deep Bronze Green and this was later still merged into BS381C as Deep Bronze Green BS381 224, but this colour doesn't, judging from photos, seem to be the one that BR painted its steam engines but it does accord with photos of diesel locos.

 

I shall be going to the NRM in August, I'll see if they have any specimen painted panels, but I suspect that BR's nomenclature was so vague that it really won't solve anything.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

https://www.heritagerailway.co.uk/br-locomotive-green-was-never-brunswick/

https://www.phoenix-paints.co.uk/products/14-bs224

https://www.e-paint.co.uk/Lab_values.asp?cRange=BS%20381C&cRef=BS381%20224&cDescription=Deep%20bronze%20green

 

I thank everybody for their replies but I'm still left with a doubt, sorry. I been doing a bit of digging and I find that 'Locomotive Green' was never a BS381 colour, but there are three shades of Brunswick Green in the spec ie 225/6/7. However, it seems that BR used a paint which was later incorporated into the BS224 series as Deep Bronze Green and this was later still merged into BS381C as Deep Bronze Green BS381 224, but this colour doesn't, judging from photos, seem to be the one that BR painted its steam engines but it does accord with photos of diesel locos.

 

I shall be going to the NRM in August, I'll see if they have any specimen painted panels, but I suspect that BR's nomenclature was so vague that it really won't solve anything.

 

Having attended numerous 'Derby Open Days' in the 1960s, and seen ex-works steam locos immediately adjacent to ex-works, brand new diesel locos, I can state without a shadow of a doubt that the shade of green was identical.

 

What did produce a perception issue, though, was that the lining, if any, applied to most diesels was quite different from that applied to steam locos - with the honourable exceptions of of the early prototypes.

 

This is how 'fake news' / railway myths arise - someone challenges the facts known to those who were there at the time, and saw things with their own eyes.

 

Regards,

John Isherwood.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

.......... class 70s and 71s ...........

That's proper class 70s ....... not to be confused with today's impostors, of course ! ( Any resemblance - i.e. number of wheels - is purely coincidental ! )

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Having attended numerous 'Derby Open Days' in the 1960s, and seen ex-works steam locos immediately adjacent to ex-works, brand new diesel locos, I can state without a shadow of a doubt that the shade of green was identical.

 

What did produce a perception issue, though, was that the lining, if any, applied to most diesels was quite different from that applied to steam locos - with the honourable exceptions of of the early prototypes.

 

This is how 'fake news' / railway myths arise - someone challenges the facts known to those who were there at the time, and saw things with their own eyes.

 

Regards,

John Isherwood.

 

There is some idea that the green changed in the mid-fifties (possibly about the time it started being called bronze green??), but my young eyes could see no difference. It's also true that most things were coated in a layer of filth, so the actual colour was guesswork. Steam locomotives are dirty machines, but coal being burnt as domestic and industrial fuel certainly didn't help. The Clean Air Act helped immensely with cleaning things up*. It became worthwhile to clean public buildings - they weren't black after all! Coats of varnish and lining also affect the perceived colour.

 

* I can remember walking to school in Bristol in thick fog (50s) - almost the proverbial "I can't see my hand in front of my face". It's never happened since. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Am I right in saying the loco green was also applied to DMU’s as well?

Michael

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Am I right in saying the loco green was also applied to DMU’s as well?

Michael

 

Now you're getting into VERY deep water - and I'm not qualified to say anything more than there was more than one shade of DMU green!   .... and then there was EMU green(s?).

 

Regards,

John Isherwood.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Funny how the memory becomes hazy over time. If they couldn't get the Brunswick to match on WR diesels of the same era, what chance of a mismatch between steam and diesel.

 

Oh no it's that pic again!

 

6224561458_aa842ffcb7_b.jpgD7027 & D7003, at Worcester by Geoff Dowling, on Flickr

 

 

Shades of brunswick, shades of maroon, shades of wagon grey. Don't get hung up about it. There were painting instructions and standards that should and occasionally were followed and then there was the reality. The reality that the increasing number of colour photographs taken during 1950's and 60's coming to "light" show. 

Edited by Porcy Mane
  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Having attended numerous 'Derby Open Days' in the 1960s, and seen ex-works steam locos immediately adjacent to ex-works, brand new diesel locos, I can state without a shadow of a doubt that the shade of green was identical.

 

What did produce a perception issue, though, was that the lining, if any, applied to most diesels was quite different from that applied to steam locos - with the honourable exceptions of of the early prototypes.

 

This is how 'fake news' / railway myths arise - someone challenges the facts known to those who were there at the time, and saw things with their own eyes.

 

Regards,

John Isherwood.

With respect, John, I too was there and had lots of opportunities to compare colours and my perception was that steam and diesels were painted in different shades of green. This is reinforced nowadays when I visit heritage lines and see engines in Dark Brunswick Green for steam and Dark Bronze Green for diesel. This accords with my recollection of the era 1954-68.

I’m going to the NRM to check in August.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Funny how the memory becomes hazy over time. If they couldn't get the Brunswick to match on WR diesels of the same era, what chance of a mismatch between steam and diesel.

 

Oh no it's that pic again!

 

6224561458_aa842ffcb7_b.jpgD7027 & D7003, at Worcester by Geoff Dowling, on Flickr

 

 

Shades of brunswick, shades of maroon, shades of wagon grey. Don't get hung up about it. There were painting instructions and standards that should and occasionally were followed and then there was the reality. The reality that the increasing number of colour photographs taken during 1950's and 60's coming to "light" show. 

 

I see nothing there to indicate different shades of loco green - just different degrees of weathering.

 

Take a model finished in matt or satin and apply coats of Klear - the base colour doesn't change, but the perception of shade certainly does.

 

Regards,

John Isherwood.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

With respect, John, I too was there and had lots of opportunities to compare colours and my perception was that steam and diesels were painted in different shades of green. This is reinforced nowadays when I visit heritage lines and see engines in Dark Brunswick Green for steam and Dark Bronze Green for diesel. This accords with my recollection of the era 1954-68.

I’m going to the NRM to check in August.

 

What happens today on heritage lines bears no relation whatsoever to what happene in the British Railways era; see http://www.preserved-diesels.co.uk/pdf3/viewtopic.php?f=20&t=2323.

 

Is there any evidence whatsoever that BR ever used the terms 'Dark Brunswick Green' and 'Dark Bronze Green'?

 

Regards,

John Isherwood.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Discussions about colours always go the same way. There are those who argue that one or other colour is right and those who say that colours varied and you can be as flexible as you like.

 

There are those who say that you can't trust colour photos and those who say that paint starts to change first time it is out in the daylight.

 

And nobody ever comes to any firm conclusion!

 

All I will say is that the GWR didn't call their livery Brunswick Green. They called it "Middle Chrome Green" although the shade they used changed around 1928.

 

BR called their green "Dark Green" or "Dark Locomotive Green" and issued a specification under BS224 (which is a spec for a colour referred to elsewhere as Deep Bronze Green) and a web search under that number brings up samples that look just like BR Green.

 

Calling GWR or BR livery "Brunswick Green" is an error that happened some time in the past, according to one web source it may have been when the only close available paint for modellers was Humbrol Brunswick Green. People started using that paint and the name stuck.

 

The only railway I know of which really used Brunswick Green was the GCR, which used "Middle Brunswick Green" for some of its existence. There may be other pre-group liveries that used Brunswick Green but not the GWR or BR.

 

A web search came up with this, which looks a pretty good colour for BR Green to my eyes anyway!

 

https://paintman.co.uk/shop/land-rover-deep-bronze-green-lrc001/

Edited by t-b-g

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I see nothing there to indicate different shades of loco green - just different degrees of weathering.

 

 

No doubt you'll have as many reasons for different shades of green, than there were different shades of green.

 

I can think of dozens of reasons why there are different brunswick shades in these images. Main one being, there existed different shades of Brunswick.

 

http://www.railpictures.net/photo/78425/

 

http://dieselimagegallery.com/detail/600-Class-08;08;D3729;08562;Green-Livery;G;on-shed;stabled;Gateshead;Gateshead-MPD;1960s;D3729-1-S;1986.html

 

P

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

BR Locomotive Green was the same out of the can whether applied to steam or diesel What made the shades look different after application were the amounts of varnish used in the finishing process, steam locomotives sometimes having up to three coats of varnish to preserve the lining out. Depending on where they were painted some diesels were not varnished, especially at a depot, and the effects of the heavy chemicals in washing plants used to remove brake block embedded particles tended to take the top layer of paint off after two or three years. Steam locomotives were cleaned by hand with paraffin oil and the paint lustre became darkened.

Also different paint manufacturers did not always come up with the exact shade of paint that you could safely use as a reliable match and BR used several suppliers for the same supposedly specification. 

I had been involved with procurement of refinishing paints for buses for over 35 years and it was a bit of a minefield with some suppliers, especially latterly where they have had to make the product more user friendly. Today's paint is vastly different from what was used in the steam era but because of the resins now in use it can be a lot more durable thus making the need for protective varnishes un-necessary. Thankfully BR didn't adopt bright red as a livery during the steam/diesel transitional period!

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Just compare the noses of the two green Hymeks in the shade. To my eyes that is the same shade of green. The sides are in direct sunlight, which will vary the perceived tint due to the layer of dirt dulling the finish. Photographic film sees the world very differently to our eyes. At the time each make of film would produce a different result from the same scene. (even Kodak's Ektachrome (my preference) was different from their Kodachrome).

 

With today's electronic cameras, we forget the collection of light meters, colour temperature meters, filters etc. that we used to carry around with us (and still take lousy photographs - at least in my case!).

 

On another point, note the colour of the track ballast on the shed roads and the lack of weeds.

 

I understood that the post war term for locomotive green was 'Brunswick Green'. Just to not let on that BR was committing the sin (to LMS eyes - everyone knows the truth of the statement below) of suggesting they were using anything Great Western :)  (cf. 'LMS Crimson' becoming 'Maroon')

 

Humbrol Brunswick green is indeed a good match -  I can remember touching up a chip on my (1953 gloss finish)  Dublo Montose's tender), but is really too glossy. Their GWR Green was/is better, being semi-matt (apart from a period around 1970 when they had a batch in an awful blue-green :( ).

 

Even today, you are advised to buy all the paint for a job in one go.

Edited by Il Grifone

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

No doubt you'll have as many reasons for different shades of green, than there were different shades of green.

 

I can think of dozens of reasons why there are different brunswick shades in these images. Main one being, there existed different shades of Brunswick.

 

http://www.railpictures.net/photo/78425/

 

http://dieselimagegallery.com/detail/600-Class-08;08;D3729;08562;Green-Livery;G;on-shed;stabled;Gateshead;Gateshead-MPD;1960s;D3729-1-S;1986.html

 

P

 

Not to disagree, but the linked photos do not compare like for like. The Class 20 clearly has a different quantity of varnish applied (none?) and the 08 has a tgenerous patina of dirt (note the state of the lion emblem).

 

I have seen a denial of the alleged change in GWR paint in 1928. Possibly a change in varnish? It remained 'Middle Chrome Green' certainly. (My pre-1928 locomotives will remain in their slightly darker shade!)

Edited by Il Grifone

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

No doubt you'll have as many reasons for different shades of green, than there were different shades of green.

 

I can think of dozens of reasons why there are different brunswick shades in these images. Main one being, there existed different shades of Brunswick.

 

http://www.railpictures.net/photo/78425/

 

http://dieselimagegallery.com/detail/600-Class-08;08;D3729;08562;Green-Livery;G;on-shed;stabled;Gateshead;Gateshead-MPD;1960s;D3729-1-S;1986.html

 

P

Hi Porcy

 

I fully agree that it appeared that no two locos were in the same green, that is why I never worry about the shades being different between RTR manufacturers and paint suppliers as long as the colour matches my poor memory.

 

The photo of the locos being delivered from English Electric has been used by many to suggest the Electro-diesel is in electric blue and the AL6 is in corporate blue despite them both looking the same colour, but until you mentioned the green I have never heard anyone say "Hold on those green un's is different".

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

No doubt you'll have as many reasons for different shades of green, than there were different shades of green.

 

I can think of dozens of reasons why there are different brunswick shades in these images. Main one being, there existed different shades of Brunswick.

 

http://www.railpictures.net/photo/78425/

 

......

 

P

 

I think that you will find that the EE Type 1 is mounted on accommodation bogies; ie. it is incomplete. It certainly doesn't carry its finished paint / varnish coats.

 

Regards,

John Isherwood.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Having attended numerous 'Derby Open Days' in the 1960s, and seen ex-works steam locos immediately adjacent to ex-works, brand new diesel locos, I can state without a shadow of a doubt that the shade of green was identical.

 

What did produce a perception issue, though, was that the lining, if any, applied to most diesels was quite different from that applied to steam locos - with the honourable exceptions of of the early prototypes.

 

This is how 'fake news' / railway myths arise - someone challenges the facts known to those who were there at the time, and saw things with their own eyes.

 

Regards,

John Isherwood.

 

 

 

Also, we have to remember that on viewing the sides of a main line diesel loco we are looking at something with an almost flat surface at 90 deg to the vertical (i.e. the lightest part of the sky); whereas most people looking at a similar sized steam loco would see a boiler which is curved and presents all manner of angles to the sky, thus reflecting the light differently. 

 

We are used to seeing this effect in real life because we live with it 24/7/365; but on an indoor model it is a far more complex lighting effect to re-create. 

 

Here is a photo of Raveningham Hall looking very smart in the sunshine - but compare the colour of the boiler top to the lower parts visible. 

Would anyone attempt that on a model?

 

post-4474-0-11800700-1528281342_thumb.jpg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It was always clear to me in the 60s that Swindon carried on using 'Brunswick Green' on 'its' diesels but the WR locos built by NB used the much darker 'Bronze Green' as did the engines built by other BR workshops. Oddly, it seems that all BR shunters were in 'Brunswick Green' not the 'Bronze Green'.

 

Judging from photos the 'Bronze Green' faded quite quickly.

 

I haven't yet found any evidence of what BR called the shades of green used on its locos, steam or diesel, but then I haven't yet looked. The terms I used are those of the BSI which I think are more modern (and certainly the current) terms used for these paints. As I mentioned in an earlier post, BR seems to have been very vague in its terminology but I might be doing it a dis-service.

 

It is very noticeable that all, literally all, reference books on steam locos in the BR period by Essery, Jenkinson, Jennison and others use the term 'Brunswick Green' not 'Locomotive Green'.

 

I'll try to get myself down to Kew next week to do a bit of research. If anybody could give me a heads-up on the location of BR era records in the filing system I'd be grateful, it would save some time.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

In an earlier post I gave the BR specification for the green used on locomotives it was BR Spec 30a.

 

In the past I have commented on a article in Backtrack written by David Jenkinson about colour. Two things from this article which I think are very important. First David Jenkinson when curator of the NRM commented about an old fellow saying to his wife how the Compound in its Crimson Lake livery was better than the Western in its Maroon livery. Both locos were painted at the same time from the same batch of dark red paint. He went on to say that they looked different because of their shapes and one had a lot of contrasting black and was lined.

 

The other thing from the article concerned the days when the paint was mixed by the railways. He interviewed one of the paint shop guys from Swindon who mixed the paint. It went something on the lines of "If I had had a good night with the wife and came to work happy, everything was carefully measured as I mixed it. If she had given me a good nagging before I left home it was just thrown in."

 

If you wish to see BR spec 30a as two colours, one for steam and one for diesel and Swindon done its own thing then that is up to you.

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

×
×
  • Create New...

Important Information

We have placed cookies on your device to help make this website better. You can adjust your cookie settings, otherwise we'll assume you're okay to continue.