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Baldwin paint research

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Re: Baldwin paint research

Postby Randolph Ruiz » Sun Jan 06, 2013 7:00 pm

Brian Norden wrote:In the 20th Century the firms were known to apply a gray wash or even a special paint color to obtain contrast between components and make some better stand out. Then the wash was removed or the locomotive repainted; the wash or paint may have only been applied to one side of the locomotive.

It would not surprise me if this occurred during the 19th Century.

Brian, I have heard of this before, but is it truly confirmed? The amount of labor involved seems hardly justified, especially when documenting a one-off locomotive order.

The apparent "grey" color of many 20thC engines could just as easily have occurred if the locomotive had a planished iron jacket or was actually painted green, which many of them were, despite the common assumption that almost all locomotives in the 20thC were black.

There are other possible causes of the "grey" appearance or inaccurate color value translations:
    Exposure and Contrast could be adjusted to create a more uniform and detailed image
    Early film emulsion's over sensitivity to Blue and Violet light - This would have caused parts of the locomotive reflecting the sky to appear much lighter than it would be seen by our eyes
    Color filters have long been used in B&W photography to alter how a scene will appear when translated into the greyscale of B&W

The following photo is one where many would have assumed the builder's photo showed the engine in a grey wash, not realizing that Clover Valley 4 was delivered in Baldwin's then standard Olive Green 220 style. That said, the green is probably too light here too.
CV4 revised.jpg
Clover Valley 4 Builder's Photo
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Re: Baldwin paint research

Postby James » Wed Jan 23, 2013 2:58 pm

Randolph Ruiz wrote:Brian, I have heard of this before, but is it truly confirmed? The amount of labor involved seems hardly justified, especially when documenting a one-off locomotive order.


Yes, he's right. That sort of painting with high-contrast colors (usually but not necessarily grey) was indeed used by 20th century locomotive builders. I'm not sure how often, but they definitely did it. As an unrelated side note, if you want to have a laugh sometime, look up the sort of makeup sometimes used on people during the B&W broadcasting era.

I've never read nor seen evidence that this practice was done on locomotives during the 19th century. 19th century builder's photo's typically show all the delicate hand-painted line trim which would make such an overall repainting a difficult proposition at best. However, specific parts of locomotives which might not always have had special trim, such as the outer rims of the driving wheels, could be painted in such a manner as to stand out.

In addition to green boilers which appeared during the early 20th, keep in mind that shiny bare metal boiler jackets also maintained some popularity at least into the late 1920's. These look light grey in most photographs.


As for the colored B&W photos: Randy R, that Mogul looks fantastic. If the colors aren't perfect, they're a heck of a lot closer than B&W or the fantasy colors we so often see elsewhere
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Re: Baldwin paint research

Postby Brian Norden » Wed Jan 23, 2013 7:50 pm

Randolph Ruiz wrote:Brian, I have heard of this before, but is it truly confirmed? The amount of labor involved seems hardly justified, especially when documenting a one-off locomotive order.
A few years ago there was an article about the photographer that worked at ALCo Schenectady. I cannot remember the publication. As I recall, there were two photos of the same locomotive -- one as it was prepared for the standard builder's photo and then one of it in its delivery paint. The delivery paint was much darker. The locomotive was part of an order for one of the major railroads.
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Re: Baldwin paint research

Postby Solomani » Tue Jul 08, 2014 11:08 pm

Randy, Andrew (or anyone that knows),

How would I go about going to a paint store and picking up "a gallon" of Baldwin Lake paint? What is/are the reference numbers that I would give?

We went to see the Glenbrook on the 4th (hoping she was running) and my wife likes the color of the Glenbrook tender. I am happy to indulge her with painting something a color as close to that color and sheen as I can. I am looking at some interior trim on the Virginia City house as a possible target for painting.

Best regards,
John
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Re: Baldwin paint research

Postby Randy Hees » Wed Jul 09, 2014 10:59 am

I believe that Glenbrook is "wine"... Sonoma is "lake"

The paint for Glenbrook was matched into automotive paint.

Lake was a way to make pigment, not a color. It was mostly a combination of organic and metallic components... for example sandal wood with zinc, but Carmine a bug based paint is considered a lake color. Many of the lakes were somewhat translucent, so were treated as glazes applied over a base or "ground" color.

Just to make the discussion more complicated... the chemical tests for the wine found on Glenbrook did not contain any exotic pigments... just iron oxides and maybe lamp black... the wine was really just rich dark brown, without elements of a glaze. Jim Wilke believes that Baldwin Lake was really varnished brown... I am not sure I agree, but don't disagree either... In either case this makes developing a match with modern materials easier.

For a house, I would probably look at the historic colors from Benjamin Moore. They have some of the more intense colors used by Victorians... (some of the other brands get grey when too much pigment is used) use semi gloss... the gloss does change the perception of color.
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Re: Baldwin paint research

Postby Solomani » Wed Jul 09, 2014 4:19 pm

Thanks Randy,

Benjamin Moore "Wenge" seems close. I had the App from Benjamin Moore on my phone on the 4th but it gives a number of selections depending on where in the photo you do the sample.

I had read last night that "lake" comes not from any reference to a body of water but rather to the word "lac" for "...the scarlet resinous secretion of a number of species of insects...". The differences between "wine" and "lake" baffle me which leads me to:

Is the current paint job on the Glenbrook supposed to be wine? I had thought wine was had more shades of red to it than "lake". The current Glenbrook paint looks much more brown than red.

In any case it does seem to be a varnished brown with hints of red is what I am going for. Was hoping to find "Glenbrook Brown (or red!)" at the paint store :)

thanks,
John
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Re: Baldwin paint research

Postby Thor Windbergs » Mon Sep 08, 2014 10:54 pm

Our Graphic Artist rendition of Baldwin Painting Style 285 Ivy green and gold as colorized on a B&W Builders photo. David Fletcher was consulted.

We finally hope to get this book published by a contact in California after finding the topic about one little baldwin export engine too narrow for audiences in Australia, England and Germany...
!CoverBookNo.17.JPG
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Re: Baldwin paint research

Postby Andrew Brandon » Thu Sep 11, 2014 5:57 pm

Thor,

That is a beautiful rendition and I look forward to seeing the book when it is out. I suspect it will make a useful reference for small Baldwin locomotives in general.
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Re: Baldwin paint research

Postby Andrew Brandon » Wed Nov 05, 2014 4:59 pm

John,

I have an answer to your observation about the Glenbrook. It IS the wrong shade....
When the color was matched and ordered, it was apparently done under the shop lights. As a result indoor lighting looks more accurate, but when you take it outside it becomes just "brown". It is too late now to fix it, but I am working on a color card for the primary Baldwin colors to put here on the site. In the meantime, areas of PacificNG that have the latest version of the site styling are now a more correct "Wine" shade. The previous lighter color is more akin to a "Claret" than Baldwin's "Wine."
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Re: Baldwin paint research

Postby Solomani » Tue Nov 11, 2014 1:20 pm

Thanks Andrew,

Just recently I had learned about that mistake from a wandering paint expert that was drifting down C Street in Virginia City. He claimed, as you say, that it was fine indoors but not outside. I now have a sample of the current paint used to paint the Glenbrook matched and now have my "gallon." Still need to use it though! I am not quite as particular as the "reverse graffiti artists" that haunt these parts so even under my indoor lighting I think I will be happy to say "just like the Glennbrook!" when I finally do paint something.

-John
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