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Cofga

Ratio GWR 4-wheel paint scheme 1934-39

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So I have picked up one each of the Ratio GWR 4-wheel coaches and am ready to paint them for use in the 1934-39 era. I know most were being converted to camping, work trains, and MOW use at the time but let’s go with some what-if modeling here. I plan to use the simplified cream and chocolate scheme with the rondel logo. By this time I understand that “Third” class lettering was removed from the coaches. The real question I have therefore is lining. Wouldn’t most coach stock of that era have had metallic gold lining at the line between the cream and brown? However most model photos I have seen of these coaches did not have lining at all. Was this an oversight, did the owners just never get around to adding it, or would the GWR simply have decided not to bother with lining on such lower class branch-line stock? Also what would the line thickness have been for that gold line?

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I suspect that a major reason for the omission of lining on models is that the Ratio kits are often a first essay in kitbuilding and, consequently, painting. For a first timer, lining is a bit daunting (I know I've never dared) and carries a perceived risk of spoiling something that, whilst not technically complete, looks OK. 

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Agree with Pat, trying to line a first effort model is a tad daunting.  I'm useless at painting lines, but did do some Ratio ex MR clerestories using HMRS lining transfers.  It came out acceptable.  There's probably a HMRS GWR lining sheet.

 

John

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35 minutes ago, Miss Prism said:

I can't remember seeing a 4-wheeler with a roundel.
 

Didn't know you were that old Miss P!:)

 

There's some in Russell's Coaches vol. 1.

e.g. fig 59, a T49 & fig 70, a V5

Both still in service. (Plain brown, of course)

Edited by melmerby
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1 minute ago, melmerby said:

There's some in Russell's Coaches vol. 1.

e.g. fig 59, a T49 & fig 70, a V5

Both still in service.

 

Ok. They would have been very rare specimens by then.

 

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Just now, Miss Prism said:

 

Ok. They would have been very rare specimens by then.

 

All the 4 wheelers in the mid 30s seem to have been plain brown, no lining, (other elderly stock still running seems to be similarly treated.)

The "Crest with GWR above" seems pretty common judging by the other photos in the book, some look like no insignia at all (or so dirty you can't see it.)

I assume (incorrectly?) that the cream was just painted out with brown as even secondary coaches still in Choc & Cream from around 1930 appear to be unlined.

 

There is also line of Holdens still in service on a miners train in 1948, again all brown.

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3 minutes ago, melmerby said:

All the 4 wheelers in the mid 30s seem to have been plain brown, no lining, (other elderly stock still running seems to be similarly treated.)

 

Agreed. There is a 1931 pic of a newly repainted (choc and cream) 4-wheeler working the Abingdon branch, but that's about the last choc and cream 4-wheeler repaint I can recall offhand. The Malmesbury rake was replaced in 1933, the Faringdon set I think lasted a bit longer (for example). Highworth, Tanat Valley and Wrington also had 4-wheelers working into the 30s, most probably remaining in their late-20s paint state.

 

Quote

The "Crest with GWR above" seems pretty common judging by the other photos in the book, some look like no insignia at all (or so dirty you can't see it.)

 

Yep. (I hadn't checked in Russell vol 1, hence my initial query about not recalling any roundels.)

 

Quote

I assume (incorrectly?) that the cream was just painted out with brown as even secondary coaches still in Choc & Cream from around 1930 appear to be unlined.

 

My feeling is that when coaches were given a brown repaint, then the whole side would have been repainted. There's a pic in GWW of a workmen's rake in unlined brown looking rather smart and shiny.

 

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Thanks for all that great info. Based on your responses and the description of the 1927-34 paint scheme on the gwr.org.uk website I think I have a better understanding of the changes during this period. First, the website says that initially no lining was applied when the cream and chocolate livery was introduced in 1927. Then they added a yellow line and that was soon changed to gold—so take your pick. The logo was initially the old garter crest which was replaced soon with the herald, the rondel was introduced in 1934–so again take your pick. This time period seems to have been one of several tweaks to the paint scheme but I think it likely that the express and main line coaches would have taken priority over the branch line stock when it came to repaints and it is even less likely they would have hauled in every car to the paint shop when each small change was made to the livery. From what I have gleaned elsewhere repaints were done on a 7-10 year schedule but a coach soon to be downgraded from passenger to MOW or camping service likely would have been ignored.

 

So here is my plan. First one car will be in the all brown scheme with the crest and GWR initials. This will likely be the brake third converted to parcels van service with the guard section removed. The coaches will be in cream and chocolate and since in 1927 no lining was used I will leave it off unless I get ambitious and go with the gold lining at the cream chocolate boundary. I will assume that for the most part the rondel was not applied to these cars and instead will leave the crest in place. I also am ordering A Shire Scenes siphon C kit for the Ratio 613 chassis to round out the group. 

 

I have already built a couple of the chassis kits and found them much less delicate and littered with flash than described on the above website. For example there was no flash at all on the coach sides and very little on the chassis parts. Did Ratio redo the molds for these since the website article was initially posted? My one disappointment was with the wheels. Although they are now metal and not plastic the metal is steel and when a coach rolls over an under track magnet placed there for coupler operation it comes to an abrupt and jerky halt.  I have ordered Hornby replacement coach wheels as a result. I also found that adding about 1.5 ounces to each car greatly improved tracking and made them run much smoother. Photos to come once I finish the paint job and the decals arrive.

Edited by Cofga

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1 hour ago, Cofga said:

 

I have already built a couple of the chassis kits and found them much less delicate and littered with flash than described on the above website. For example there was no flash at all on the coach sides and very little on the chassis parts. Did Ratio redo the molds for these since the website article was initially posted? My one disappointment was with the wheels. Although they are now metal and not plastic the metal is steel and when a coach rolls over an under track magnet placed there for coupler operation it comes to an abrupt and jerky halt.  I have ordered Hornby replacement coach wheels as a result. I also found that adding about 1.5 ounces to each car greatly improved tracking and made them run much smoother. Photos to come once I finish the paint job and the decals arrive.

I have in the last couple of years built 3 of these to go with 3 built ones I purchased cheaply, I chose to build the chassis separate, using plastic strip as stretchers, which then screws to the complete body/floor assembly.

I have also remade the second hand ones with new floors as the originals were badly curved.

I also have another unmade kit and Shirescenes siphon sides to be made up next. as well as sides for a Holden version coach.

 

The main fragility I have found are the step boards which break easily. The new kits are, as you say, fairly free of flash and no worse than many others for sale.

 

The Wheels are AFAIK Alan Gibson's Mansell pattern wheels. Their wheels are always blackened steel.

I use Kadee between the rail magnets and they don't cause a problem

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12 hours ago, Miss Prism said:

I can't remember seeing a 4-wheeler with a roundel.
 

Searching through photographs today I found two with the roundel but both were in brown livery. These are not the ones in the Russell book.

 

There is view of Llangynog by R E Tustin in 1941 with several 4 wheelers in the platform and goods yard all in “brown and cream”. The one nearest the good shed might have a roundel as no GWR is visible in the panel above; it looks circular and it does have a white roof.

Edited by tanatvalley

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8 minutes ago, tanatvalley said:

There is view of Llangynog by R E Tustin in 1941 with several 4 wheelers in the platform and goods yard all in “brown and cream”. The one nearest the good shed might have a roundel as no GWR is visible in the panel above; it looks circular and it does have a white roof.

 

Crikey. Definitely Jurassic Park.

 

Edited by Miss Prism

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On 14/09/2019 at 16:18, tanatvalley said:

Searching through photographs today I found two with the roundel but both were in brown livery. These are not the ones in the Russell book.

 

There is view of Llangynog by R E Tustin in 1941 with several 4 wheelers in the platform and goods yard all in “brown and cream”. The one nearest the good shed might have a roundel as no GWR is visible in the panel above; it looks circular and it does have a white roof.


What color was the roof on the all brown cars? 

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I know there has been a lot of discussion on rmweb about GWR roof colors, particularly the prewar white. I was hoping that @tanatvalley might be able to tell from the photos he mentioned above what the roof color on those brown coaches looked like but I guess he ahs dropped out of sight for now. So I have scouted around and found a little evidence that they were likely grey (gray) either on purpose or as a result of chemical reactions of the lead in the white paint with sulfur(sulphur) in the atmosphere. So before I crank up the airbrush and started blowing paint there is a little time for more comments on this thread. Thanks—Larry

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I've definitely seen a photo of one of the Tanat Valley tanks with a GWR Roundel pulling a pair of freshly painted chocolate and cream four wheelers. Can't remember where though.

 

 

 

Jason

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On 07/10/2019 at 03:07, Cofga said:


What color was the roof on the all brown cars? 

Dirty! Sorry I cannot be more precise.

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17 minutes ago, tanatvalley said:

Dirty! Sorry I cannot be more precise.

Ok, gray it is! Thanks

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17 hours ago, Steamport Southport said:

I've definitely seen a photo of one of the Tanat Valley tanks with a GWR Roundel pulling a pair of freshly painted chocolate and cream four wheelers. Can't remember where though.

 

 

 

Jason

 

There are several photos of various Tanat Valley tank locos with passenger trains formed of a pair of very presentable looking 4w GWR carriages in chocolate and cream from the mid 30’s. 

 

The latest dated one one I can see is an Ifor Higgon photo of 1196 complete with monogram at Oswestry with the end compartment of a clean looking four wheeler attached dated October 1938 in Green’s Cambrian Album.

 

There are photos of four wheelers, in plain brown and with the GWR monogram taken as late as 1951 in the Oakwood Press book on the Burry Port & Gwendreath Valley Railway.

 

Andrew

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Thanks Andrew. Here in the States we argue about whether the color of our Southern Railway steam loco cab roofs were red, green, or black (they were green or black). So I am always sensitive to getting the whole paint scheme correct. After reading a  couple long threads on the GWR passenger roof color I think that very dirty gray is the way to go so I will start with white and weather up. The all brown cars just seem ot beg for medium gray. I always find it interesting that folks do document the body color of cars and locos but rarely pay attention to the roofs, possibly because they cannot see them all that well from ground level.

Edited by Cofga

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Pretty much anything horizontal(ish) that spent time in the vicinity of steam locos and wasn't cleaned on a daily basis would develop a general coating of soot. A coach roof would be rinsed a bit each time it rained, so would be unlikely to end up a true soot black, but would certainly become a streaky, mottled grey, darkening over time, regardless of original colour or any chemical reactions of white lead.

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There never seems to be an end to the questions these coaches bring up. I now have the cream paint on the side panels and am ready to start with the brown paint. However in looking at various photos and my Hornby corridor and B coaches there appears to be a dark band at or under the roofline. On some models it is black and others it is brown and of course in some it is not there at all. The liveries pages on the HWR modeling website doesn’t mention this band although it is present on several of the models shown there. So I turn to you for more of your sage advice on these models. Should it be included on the 4-wheel coaches? Should it be black or brown? How wide should it be? Here are photos of models showing the band under the roofline and a couple without.

 

 

 

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3025D01B-41E0-4F07-847E-3F23F49A1BE5.jpeg

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For non-elliptical roof stock, nothing was specified post-1927 at the top of the side, because such stock does not have a cantrail.
 

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OK @Miss Prism the coaches are almost complete with red (mahogany) sashes, dirty grey roofs, and gold/black lines delineating the cream/brown boundary.  However as I was finishing off the decals I ran into a conundrum. Since GWR abolished 2nd class in 1910 and one coach was designed as a composite I need to know how to proceed with decaling that car for the 1930s. Would the previously designated 2nd class compartments have been downgraded to 3rd or upgraded to 1st? Also would the change have resulted in any exterior alterations?  Right now I have just applied the 1st class labels and left the 2nd/3rd class blank which may be accurate as they are. As always, thank you for your advice.

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10 minutes ago, Cofga said:

Would the previously designated 2nd class compartments have been downgraded to 3rd or upgraded to 1st?

 

3rd.

 

Quote

Also would the change have resulted in any exterior alterations?  Right now I have just applied the 1st class labels and left the 2nd/3rd class blank which may be accurate as they are. As always, thank you for your advice.

 

From 1932 to 1937, 3rd class compartments were longer labelled 'Third'. Lettering remained on firsts and guards compartments.

 

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