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GWR cab plate lining

Discussion in 'Steam Traction' started by flying scotsman123, Aug 12, 2018.

  1. flying scotsman123

    flying scotsman123 Part of the furniture

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    I've been asked to "correct" the colour of some orange lining on a GWR cabside numberplate (a Grange one) and make it red. I was under the impression that orange was correct (done one like that before) but the owner of the plate says he has many more in his possession that are definitely lined in red. Can anyone enlighten me on what was what please?
     
  2. Robin

    Robin Member

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    There is a useful article on BR-era GWR liveries here.

    http://www.gwr.org.uk/liveriesloco1948.html

    Collett era express passenger livery included a single orange line on number plates, so the article suggests that plates from such locos could have remained with orange lining. Granges would have been unlined as built.

    The BR-era 'mixed-traffic and secondary passenger' lined livery had red lining. The article suggests only two Granges received the mixed-traffic livery with others being unlined, so no lining could be the correct answer!
     
  3. flying scotsman123

    flying scotsman123 Part of the furniture

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    Thanks very much, very helpful.
     
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  4. huochemi

    huochemi Well-Known Member Friend

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    I am not sure if you are being asked to paint over an existing line, but perusal of various cabside plates on the usual auction sites suggests that even the BR painted ones were not entirely consistent in their location or the radii, and there are some shockers where people have done their own repainting.
     

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  5. K14

    K14 Member

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    According to Ian Rathbone's site, cabsides were lined with 1/4" red after 1952.

    http://www.ianrathbonemodelpainting.co.uk/br-western-region-locomotive-liveries.php

    GW plates were lined 1/8" Orange Chrome, as were BR-era plates on the 'express' classes. GW Orange Chrome seems to have been a lighter, more yellow, shade than the BR version - add orange chrome to gold colour until you get a shade close to Sainsbury's Orange (for BR, orange straight out of the tin).

    Pete S.
     
  6. Reading General

    Reading General Part of the furniture

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    as a general rule , I'd have thought most plates would be better left as they are
     
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  7. huochemi

    huochemi Well-Known Member Friend

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    The lining on ex-loco (i.e. not repainted) GWR/WR cabsides is in my experience 1/8" (as on the image of 6841 I posted), whatever the type of loco. 1/4" would look very heavy.
     
  8. Robin

    Robin Member

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    I’d tend to agree, but on the assumption that orange lining is incorrect and has been added in preservation, then it really falls to the owner of the plate to decide what to do. Leave it in that state if that was how it was acquired, re-line it in red as it would not be totally inauthentic and would match the other plates, or remove the lining as the most likely state in which it was withdrawn. Owner’s prerogative, as always.
     
  9. K14

    K14 Member

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    Apologies, forgot to say that the 1/4" applies to MT lined black only. I agree it would look overly heavy, but haven't seen a real one to confirm or deny the assertion - it works on nameplate upstands, but there's more space to play with there.

    Agree that if the loco was green then the cabside plate was lined nominally 1/8" orange (depending on the brush/paint/weather/hangover etc.)

    P.
     
  10. huochemi

    huochemi Well-Known Member Friend

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    Difficult to disagree in general but it is not always a straightforward decision. I attach an image of a portion of a cast cabside plate from a 4575 class. As shown by this discussion of lining, what is left of the original lining is actually very valuable as a guide to width and colour (and the fact that the plate was lined at all), but it is not a thing of beauty in this condition, with several layers of paint and heat damage caused when removing the bolts. I think the solution is to leave as is and if you want a nice shiny one, buy another plate.
    Not sure I understand that. 1. Authentic lining is rather narrower than 1/4" on nameplates. I attach an example of Swindon lining in BR days, which as can be seen is around 5/32". My sense is that Swindon lining was generally nearer 1/8" (confirmed by one example). If you look at Burridge's book on nameplates, you can see how dainty the lining generally is, with the exception of Saint Peter's Hall. It will have varied as I imagine it was done by hand and may have become a bit more variable in BR days. It is often too wide on restored nameplates, which may give a false impression of the original thickness. 2. Lining on tank engine cabsides is in my experience of similar width too (e.g. see the image of the 4575 plate already referenced, the lining being very close to 1/8" wide, plus one of 6681).
     

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  11. flying scotsman123

    flying scotsman123 Part of the furniture

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    It's turned into a bit of a minefield this!

    So to check I've grasped this:

    -In GWR days locos that were lined out had orange lined cab plates.
    -In BR days lined locomotives in black had red lined cab plates.
    -In BR days lined locomotives in green had orange lined cab plates (but it may ave been a slightly different shade of orange).

    The owner of this plate says he has several other plates with red lining including castle class plates, which confuses me if the above is true, as Castles were never black?

    I get the feeling the owner will want it red to match the res of his regardless, but I'd rather he was fully informed before I blithely put a brush to it!
    Oh, by the way, this grange nameplate is green round the outer edge, not black. No idea about these Castle ones allegedly with red lining.
     
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  12. Jimc

    Jimc Part of the furniture

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    Oranges and reds aren't always the stablest of colours, so what the colour is now may have only a passing resemblance to what it was when new.
     
  13. huochemi

    huochemi Well-Known Member Friend

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    I suspect it is difficult to be dogmatic. As you say, it really depends on what he wants. To me, the thickness and position/shape of the line are more important. An ex-loco Castle cabside can be seen at https://www.gwra.co.uk/auctions/gwr-cabside-numberplate-5075-ex-4-6-0-castle-class-2014nov-0279.html . When you say the nameplate (cabside plate?) is green around the outer edge, is this a plate that has already been repainted since coming off the loco, or is it ex-loco? If the plate and the orange line is original, then it seems a shame to destroy that originality, but if it has already been "restored", then it does not matter much.
     
  14. flying scotsman123

    flying scotsman123 Part of the furniture

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    The current orange line looks 1/8" to me, if we decide to go for red I shall simply paint over the orange. It's hard to say if it's original or not, it's got some chips in it. Did I say nameplate somewhere? Sorry for confusion, only meant number plate. Looking at that castle photo, it certainly looks redder than the one I've been looking at.

    I think what I shall probably do is go over it in red, which is a thin colour anyway, which should certainly deepen the colour and make it match that Castle plate, which I suppose is more red than orange.

    Thanks for the help folks!
     
  15. Andy Williams

    Andy Williams Member

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    I have never seen or heard of ex GWR locos in BR mixed traffic livery having red lining on the cabside plates. For that livery, it was the norm to have the entire background to the numbplate painted red.

    All orange lining on ex GWR locos was nominally 1/8 inch, but could be marginally narrower or wider depending on the individual signwriter and/or the lining brush he happened to be using at the time.

    The orange lines could easily take on a reddish hue in time if certain types of Copal varnish were used as a final coat. It is also important to remember that paints were mixed by weight to a 'recipe' with the pigment being natural rather than synthetic, thus one batch of natural orange chrome pigment could quite easily be lighter or darker than another, dependent on where and when it was sourced.

    Andy

    PS I have been lining and signwriting locos for 48 years
     
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  16. michaelh

    michaelh Part of the furniture

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    Alex - I think you could take this as reliable guidance.
     
  17. Reading General

    Reading General Part of the furniture

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    a minefield but it pales into insignificance compared to the lining issues on Cavan And Leitrim Railway No8 which went from "Queen Victoria" to being "the Sein Fein engine" by subtle changes to the lining and the plates disappearing.
     
  18. flying scotsman123

    flying scotsman123 Part of the furniture

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    Thank you. Sounds like the rest of his plates are simply a much redder orange than this Grange one which is definitely rather light in comparison. I shall fiddle around d with mixing red and orange until I get something that looks more red than orange (probably ending up with about 2 gallons by the end! :) )
     
  19. huochemi

    huochemi Well-Known Member Friend

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    Thank you for that. If you were lining a GWR cabside, how would you do it - by holding the brush in such a way that you can run your thumb or finger(s) along the rim?
     
  20. Andy Williams

    Andy Williams Member

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    Yes, that is how I would do it for the vertical and horizontal lines (using a lining brush held between thumb and fore-finger whilst using the other fingers to follow the rim). I would then finish off the corners with a different brush, given that they have a fairly tight radius.

    Andy
     
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