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1927 livery change... how quickly would repainting have happened?


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For my sins I have picked 1929 as the year that I model, 2 years after the switch from the fully lined livery to the simpler, but still elegant dual tone.

 

I am in the middle of building a set of the the 1925 Articulated coaches (the Restaurant / Kitchen triplet).

 

As built in 1925, they were in the magnificent fully lined livery. And there are photos in Russel of a set in 1936 in the new Roundel livery. 

 

Does anybody know how frequently coaches that would have been main-line and reasonably prestige, would have been repainted? Would 1925 stock have stayed fully lined for a decade? Or would they have been repainted after about 5 years in the interim livery? In Russel there are a few wonderful photos of some of the older stock such as H19 and H26 repainted in 1930/31, but I cannot find any photos of the articulated stock in this period. My gut feel is that 4 year old stock would not have been repainted so quickly and they would have focused on the older carriages that needed work. For instance there is a great photo I have taken in Millbay of H20 and a Clerestory and both are repainted and unlined.

 

What do you all think?

Edited by vonmarshall
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Many thanks that is excellent.

 

From the link...

 

"In general, a coach livery pre-WWI was expected to last approximately 10–12 years before repainting was necessary. From 1922 onward, with the re-introduction of the brown and cream body colours, it seems less varnishing was applied, and the repainting interval for non-express stock dropped to approximately 7 years. For express stock, the pace of repainting seems to have accelerated during the mid- to late-1920s as a result of the GWR Board voting for extra funds to be made available to hasten the repainting program. As a consequence, it was rare to see a crimson lake corridor coach after 1927/8, and rare to find a fully-lined (pre-1927) corridor coach after c 1930.

Assessing what livery a coach should be in a particular era, especially when the official livery was changing quite rapidly (throughout the 1920s, and post-1948) is therefore difficult, and some intelligent guesswork needs to be applied using the build date of a coach. As always, good contemporary pictures help considerably."

 

I think that I could go either then for a 1925 set as they would have been in 1929. I do have a photo of one of the Ocean Mails (M15 I think) vans in 1929 in full lining so maybe I will keep that as a single fully lined option for variation.

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For anybody interested, I found a photo on Didcot’s FB of a 1925 built articulated coach set at Weymouth in August 1929 and you can clearly see the fake panelling has been replaced with the simpler post 1927 livery already so it lasted less than 4 years.

 

https://www.facebook.com/DidcotRailwayCentre/photos/a.210517012308528/3770424132984447/?type=3

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1 hour ago, vonmarshall said:

For anybody interested, I found a photo on Didcot’s FB of a 1925 built articulated coach set at Weymouth in August 1929 and you can clearly see the fake panelling has been replaced with the simpler post 1927 livery already so it lasted less than 4 years.

 

https://www.facebook.com/DidcotRailwayCentre/photos/a.210517012308528/3770424132984447/?type=3

As is usually the case, one shouldn't take the captioned date as being the gospel truth. There are too many photos around where someone once had a (not unreasonable) stab at a date and that date has since become established as the assumed actual date even though it was originally no more than an informed (or even not so informed) guess. In this case it is unlikely to have been before 1929 as the vessel was built with a dummy second funnel which was only removed in 1928. The mass of road vehicles present would be more typical of the 20s than the 30s and that would suggest that, even if the 1929 date isn't correct, it is only a year or so out, which doesn't affect the premise that the stock livery was updated ahead of its normal repainting schedule. The clothing styles visible also support that dating window.

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  • 3 weeks later...

Sorry for a rather belated response.

 

It is helpful to understand that there is a distinction between, on the one hand, complete repainting, (i.e. stripping down to bear wood or metal, sanding it down, applying primer again and then building up the paint layer by layer, plus lettering and final varnishing), which I understand was infrequent, and on the other hand, a rather less thoroughgoing refurbishment of the paintwork, involving no more than rubbing down the topmost layer of  paint and varnish, which would also remove the lettering and lining, and simply applying another topcoat of paint, fresh lettering and lining, and a coat of varnish.  I believe the GWR would give their coaches this lighter cosmetic treatment at roughly two-yearly intervals, but this would have resulted in the coaching stock being returned to service displaying the latest livery, even though this had not been a total repaint.

 

It follows that new livery details and revised insignia would appear on coaches over a period of no more than two years or so after a livery change was first introduced.  So the plain 1927 coach livery would have been universally applied no later than 1929.

 

One other point of interest.  The 1927 coach livery was very plain indeed, with only a single thin black line separating the cream upper panels with the brown lower panels.  By 1928, the powers that be at Swindon had decided that there should be a gold [yellow] and back line along the waist.  So by 1930, this further alteration would have been universally applied to coaches, followed a short time afterwards (and I can’t remember exactly when) by a second line of yellow and black on what would originally have been the lower waist moulding (although, not on suburban stock, so far as I am aware).

 

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