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I have my first set of loco  crew hopefully on its way to me (a white metal Monty's set from Dart Castings to add a little bit more weight into my lightweight 47xx).  And I have just realised that I havent a clue what colour they should be painted.  

 

I am used to seeing preserved steam where the crew are wearing the generic blue overalls that you see in engineering workshops everywhere in modern times.  I have looked at the GWR Uniform Colours page on GWR.org, but while there is lots of details for the c19 uniforms it all pretty much stops at 1902 (and the only mention on drivers is the end of the white coats in 1855 (and not what replaced them).

 

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I happen to be rereading the D&C reprint of the book created from the GWR centenary celebratory issue of The Times in 1935. It mentions a cab ride with the driver wearing blue overalls. There is also a reference to the fireman having his braces over his jacket, "to free up his arms".

But I have found several errors in the book!

Jonathan

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Dark blue headwear - not black  "grease-top" hats like you see now on every preserve railway.

 

Overalls of various shades of blue depending how many times they had been boil washed.

 

Black boots.

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Any advice on shades of blue to use?  I had a look earlier and I have nothing in the way of blues from my preferred Vallejo range (and only a couple of shades of Phoenix (BR Blue / Regional Railways / NSE) none of which are likely to be of any use. 

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I think I asked a similar question a few years ago and was told they were denim ie cotton.  But from the way they hang I would say thinner than jean material.  Two piece not overalls and I know I have seen a picture of a bibbed set with a pale shirt and once a crew member with a tie, I do not know if it was posed.

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On 10/02/2021 at 15:25, The Fatadder said:

Any advice on shades of blue to use?  I had a look earlier and I have nothing in the way of blues from my preferred Vallejo range (and only a couple of shades of Phoenix (BR Blue / Regional Railways / NSE) none of which are likely to be of any use. 

That depends on how new they were. You start with clean blue overalls and they quickly start to bleach with the hot washes to get them clean. They would of course of gradually got marks in them that just will not come out.. 

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On 11/02/2021 at 09:18, GWR_Modeller said:

I think I asked a similar question a few years ago and was told they were denim ie cotton.  But from the way they hang I would say thinner than jean material.  Two piece not overalls and I know I have seen a picture of a bibbed set with a pale shirt and once a crew member with a tie, I do not know if it was posed.

The material continued to be used into the BR period and was officialy described as 'denim' but wasn't like the stuff jeans were made out of (although at one stage the jacket was referred to in stores catalogues as 'a jean jacket'

 

I've seena colour picture somewhere ofa GWR Driver wearing new issue clothing - probably post war - and the colour was little different from the new issue BR colour on the denime/jean material unifprms - i.e. a dark blue.  But as 'Blandford  1969' has already noted it faded pretty rapidly due to the habit of washing it in a bucket with plenty of washing soda and using the pep pipe to provide a supply of very hot water.   Thus depending on how old the clothing was the colour varied from new issue dark blue right through to a sort of almost white pale grey with a barely a hint hint of blue.   If later clothing issues are any guide the blue washes out in ordinary modern washing powders fairly rapidly   -   as the photo below shows my boiler suit was a sort of pale bluish grey colour with just ordinary machine washing over several years (only the trouser part shows in this picture, I was wearing a darkish blue anorak jacket over the top part of it).

 

And note too that footplate uniform style seems to have altered a bit at some time between the early 1930s and the post-war period

 

28024269_7029atCoates160587.jpg.931863cb92a58abb226c75de0d154ebd.jpg

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On 10/02/2021 at 15:25, The Fatadder said:

Any advice on shades of blue to use?  I had a look earlier and I have nothing in the way of blues from my preferred Vallejo range (and only a couple of shades of Phoenix (BR Blue / Regional Railways / NSE) none of which are likely to be of any use. 

I always put a blob of navy in a kiplings pie tray plus white or a light grey (eg humbrol primer) and just mix a little of the blue in randomly.

 

Finish with a wash of dirt - for me nothing looks worse than a shiny even mid blue when its supposed to be grubby and faded material 

 

 

 

Edited by Hal Nail
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On 10/02/2021 at 13:10, M.I.B said:

Dark blue headwear - not black  "grease-top" hats like you see now on every preserve railway.

 

Overalls of various shades of blue depending how many times they had been boil washed.

 

Black boots.

Don't be so sure on the grease top - I have a very old one stamped GWR Swindon 1946- not that it gets much use anymore. 

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9 hours ago, Blandford1969 said:

Don't be so sure on the grease top - I have a very old one stamped GWR Swindon 1946- not that it gets much use anymore. 

 

Yes. Grease tops were very much 1940s onward.

 

But as with many things crews probably kept their favourite cap. Especially if the issued item wasn't popular as I believe grease tops were unpopular with some.

 

Or there was a policy of using up the stocks of old ones before issuing the new.

 

 

 

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8 hours ago, Steamport Southport said:

 

Yes. Grease tops were very much 1940s onward.

 

But as with many things crews probably kept their favourite cap. Especially if the issued item wasn't popular as I believe grease tops were unpopular with some.

 

Or there was a policy of using up the stocks of old ones before issuing the new.

 

 

 

One of my friends who was a fireman at Rose Grove always threw them away and just wore a knotted hanky, even now when he comes on the footplate he does the same

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