Thursday, July 1, 2010

Red, White, and Blue

The heat is on, folks, and we're rushing to get cars ready for the Fourth of July! To the right, we see 460 in the shop, in the process of being painted by contractor Jim Followell and his team.

In the morning, I did a number of miscellaneous tasks on the 319. I installed more knobs and latches on the windows in the car, painted two more in the shop, fixed the one defective seat, replaced a control pipe hose, etc. Then, after lunch, it was time for switching.

First, the 409 had to be moved over to 50th so it could be lettered. The platform is the best working facility we've got for this type of work. The lettering is being done by Ron Coy, a professional sign painter. Right now he's in between movie jobs.

Then I ran the 319 over to 50th so the Followell team could prep it for repainting. You shall observe that the 409 is painted in a much lighter shade of gray, or blue-gray, than the 319. Everyone except me thinks this is a great improvement, so I must be wrong. Jim should be able to shoot the gray on the 319 at the same time he does the 460.

And here are the two cars at the platform. Just like downtown!!!

And here we see Ron at work on the 409. He's pouncing the letters onto the letterboard; this process leaves a slight coating of graphite, somewhat like carbon paper. Once this is done, he'll letter the car by hand, just as it was done in the old days.


Zach said...

Awesome. That 409 gets prettier every time we get an update. Just gorgeous. What's the status on the 451?

An Addison Hicks Fan said...

Who gets the final say on colors? It would seem to me that with all you have done for these cars, your choice would punch the ticket.

Randall Hicks said...

No, that's OK. We went around and around on this, and there's probably no one right answer, since the colors changed over the years. We want the cars to be consistent, so I'll be glad to drop this subject once the cars are repainted. They'll look great!

David Wilkins said...

Color can be a hot-button issue in railway preservation. Memories, paint samples, and old color slides/color film often portray the "correct" color differently. Throw in the fact that paint can fade/shift color over time, even some color slide film can do the same, and you have a real problem at times trying to find the "right" color.

The modeling community isn't always the best source to go to, as some colors show up differently under layout lighting conditions. Look at the paint the 319 came in from Trolleyville, it was allegedly matched from a model article.

Besides the CA&E "Aurora Gray" color, I can think of other "hard to match" colors, including Indiana Railroad Orange, and L&N blue and cream.

Anonymous said...

As a former frequent rider of the CAE in the time period under discussion, I would say that the 319 coloring is closer to correct. Of course, you should realize that this is a matter of accessing the mind of someone under 18 through the memory of a 71 year old man. I first rode the CAE at age 8, but they were still blue and red back then.

With that caveat, I seem to remember a slight tinge of green in the famous Aurora Grey, but perhaps that was a trick of the eye in contrast to the bright red.

Edward J. Maurath