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A Colour Photo of Streamlined PRR 3768

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A Colour Photo of Streamlined PRR 3768
Posted by M636C on Saturday, June 11, 2022 10:10 PM

To me, at least this colour was a mystery. It is described as "Bronze"....

This is said to be a Kodachrome of the loco at the 1939/40 World's Fair.

https://www.shorpy.com/node/26665

This could be the darker red on the window band of the "Fleet of Modernism". I'm concerned by how much darker the recently cleaned "Nose Cone" appears to be. Of course Duplex 6100 was there (separately) and it seems agreed that this was painted (very) dark green. I believe 3768 was later painted dark green as were the other streamlined K4s locomotives.

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Posted by kgbw49 on Sunday, June 12, 2022 12:21 AM

Brunswick Green is almost black. Perhaps that is what the paint color is on the engine and the nose cone is wiped off to show that but the remainder has a coating of road grime on it.

https://onlineshop.dulux.co.nz/products/brunswick-green

The Pennsylvania T1s as well as many diesels were delivered in Brunswick Green.

https://www.flickr.com/photos/33031095@N03/50925665258

https://imgur.io/gallery/NiU9kVN

And sometimes those old Kodachromes don't always show up with the exact colors, too.

Kansas City Southern's business train is Brunswick Green and the lower section of their diesel locomotoives is painted Brunswick Green, which appears in most photos as black at first glance.

https://www.thedieselshop.us/KCSpaints.HTML

Just a couple of thoughts.

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Posted by M636C on Sunday, June 12, 2022 7:12 AM

I am not sure that dark green would appear as dark brown red as the lower casing seems to be. The Kalmbach Locomotive Cyclopedia Volume 1 on page 140 reproduces what appears to be the Pennsylvania Railroad painting diagram for 3768. This specifies the base colour as "dark Bronze".

While there is a colour Bronze Green which might be similar to PRR locomotive green if dark enough, the diagram suggests Bronze. This I would exect to look like the lower panels in the photo. The locomotive was based at the world's Fair for the season and I would not expect it to acquire much road grime. However, since it only appeared in a "pageant", it is possible that it was only cleaned on the side facing the audience, which might be the side away from the photographer in this shot. I am surprised that the streamlined cover for the coupler is missing. I don't imagine that the front coupler would be needed, although it might be needed to move the dead locomotive between shows.

Peter

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Posted by Flintlock76 on Sunday, June 12, 2022 9:00 AM

That may not be a Kodachrome slide at all.  Kodachrome slide film was introduced at the 1939 NY Worlds Fair although Kodachrome movie film had been available for some time.

There was another color photo film available at the time called Dufeecolor which predated Kodachrome.  It was pretty good but not as good as the Kodak product would be.

Considering how washed-out the photograph looks I'm thinking IF it's Kodachrome or Dufeecolor it may have deteriorated due to improper storage in which case it's not to be trusted as a color reference, OR it may even be a hand-colored B&W shot.  

It's interesting just the same.

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Posted by Overmod on Sunday, June 12, 2022 12:37 PM

There is some controversy about this, much the same as for the supposed 10 'Tuscan-red-painted' K4s.

Loewy specified a very particular color for 3768, a bronze metallic color with 'metalflake' effect.  I had always thought of this as lighter and "redder" than the statuary-bronze color in the picture... but I never saw either the original or any swatches from the Loewy studio.

My understanding is that when Kodachrome fades it's the reds that go last, so there may not be color shift far away from 'original' in that picture.

It does not look green to me and I'm familiar with many nuances of DGLE.

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Posted by Flintlock76 on Sunday, June 12, 2022 1:02 PM

Overmod
Loewy specified a very particular color for 3768, a bronze metallic color with 'metalflake' effect.  I had always thought of this as lighter and "redder" than the statuary-bronze color in the picture... but I never saw either the original or any swatches from the Loewy studio.

Swatches would be a definate help, both for the rail historian and the model maker.

Just a personal experience thing, I was turning a post-war Lionel 2065 steam engine into a model of the Jersey Central's "Bullet" Pacific about two months ago.  Trying to nail down the right color was a pain!  The original color was described by various contemporary writers as "Nile Green," olive, or dark olive.  I couldn't find any 1920's era color charts showing Nile Green and the current color charts don't agree with each other.  As far as "olive" what shade of olive?  Bang Head  

So, I took a SWAG and went with Tamiya "Olive Drab 2."  You know what?  It looks good and I'm happy with it!

I did learn something.  I'm not suprised rail model manufacturers colors on various models don't match each other, they probably have to take a SWAG too! 

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Posted by Overmod on Sunday, June 12, 2022 1:45 PM

The best of all the MTH 'scale' locomotive reproductions in O scale was the Bullet Pacific.  I would be surprised if the color they used was very far wrong.

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Posted by Flintlock76 on Sunday, June 12, 2022 2:46 PM

Overmod

The best of all the MTH 'scale' locomotive reproductions in O scale was the Bullet Pacific.  I would be surprised if the color they used was very far wrong.

 

MTH pretty much bends over backwards to get it right so if the color on their scale Bullet is off it's probably not off by much. At any rate there's probably no-one alive now to say it's wrong, they dropped the "green" color for basic black sometime in the 1930's, same with the Blue Comet's Pacifics.  I'll have to check my catalogs and see how close it is to the color I selected. 

Hey!  I found the MTH Bullet!  And you know what?  My SWAG was pretty good!

And I put mine together for a helluva lot less than $800!

https://mthtrains.com/20-3136-1

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Posted by M636C on Sunday, June 12, 2022 10:14 PM

I thought I might search for model photos to assess Firelock's opinion of the MTH model. In doing so this showed up.

https://www.thevintagenews.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/65/2018/06/pennsylvania-railroad-k4s-pacific-3768-i.jpg

Now this is clearly the same photo, but the locomotive appears to be dark green.

Also, the painted line on the top of the shrouding over the coupled wheels appears to be gold in colour, while the stripes on the coupler cowling appear to be stainless steel. These colours match the PRR painting diagram.

So is this more accurate, or did the guy making the adjustments "know" that it was dark green and adjust accordingly.

The guy doing the Shorpy image is not a railfan, but does that make his version more accurate? Shorpy publish a lot of Kodachromes that look reaistic to me, at least.

To address Overmod's concern about reds, the PRR painting diagram indicates that the edge of the stainless keystone on the nose and the PRR logo on it were Tuscan Red. Enlarging the Shorpy image, the Tuscan is really still visible there.

Many of the models show the coupler shroud stripes to be yellow, except fot the "running board" stripe which is specified as stainless in the PRR diagram. I'd say that all of the front end stripes are stainless, as they appear in both versions of the photo.

The photo is at the World's Fair, so must be around mid 1939 at the earliest.

Broadway Limited made HO models in both Tuscan Red and Dark Green but these showed the front shroud stripes as painted yellow (or "gold").

It is likely that the locomotive was repainted some time between appearing in 1936 and display in 1939. However, if the Shorpy version is correct, it is possible that 3768 stayed Loewy's "Bronze" and was never painted either Tuscan Red or Dark Green. I don't imagine it was repainted after 1940....

Peter

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Posted by Overmod on Monday, June 13, 2022 1:18 AM

The dim remembrance I have of 3768 was that the bronze was controversial, not particularly matching anything in FOM, and was replaced with DGLE fairly quickly -- I would have thought by the end of the '30s, so I was surprised to see it in 'any sort of brown' at the Fair.  John LeMerise, who did an N-scale kit of 3768, indicated it was repainted in 'spring 1938' for 'the World's Fair of 1938'... I have not been able to ask if that's supposed to be 1939.

Incidentally he has noted that Alclad ALC123 "Exhaust Manifold" is supposed to be a reasonably close color match... and that circa 2017 no actual color photos were known (to someone researching a $160 shell for the definitive model of the locomotive).

Are you sure the keystone is called out as 'Tuscan' or could it be the 'toluidine red' commonly used on keystones and station signs?

The greater surprise to me was that the engine was repainted in green rather than Tuscan.  I suspect this may have had something to do with how the locomotive appeared when dirty/sooty... but I have no proof.

There is probably something about all this in the surviving data at the Hagley, but I've only researched the T1, S1 and S2, V1 and 'triplex' development there... and not rigorously yet.

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Posted by M636C on Monday, June 13, 2022 3:16 AM

Are you sure the keystone is called out as 'Tuscan' or could it be the 'toluidine red' commonly used on keystones and station signs?

The full wording, above the front elevation of the locomotive on the diagram, reads:

"Stainless steel keystone and wings, Tuscan Red border and logo"

The colour is clearly visible in the enlarged Shorpy version of the photo. It looks like the "Dark Tuscan Red" used on the window band of "Fleet of Modernism" cars.

Having seen the alternative rendering showing dark green as the locomotive colour, I'm happy to accept that version, although I think that in reality it would have been more black and less green than that version shows. The colours of the baggage car behind the 4-4-0 look much the same in each version.

One thing to note is that there appears to be an additional stainless steel stripe along the side above the removable panels over the coupled wheels. This doesn't appear on the PRR paint diagram (presumably dated 1936). It is clearly absent on a number of B&W photos, possibly taken before the "1938" repaint. The break was always visible, starting at the "aerofoil" vent for the cylinder relief valves. I assume that these panels were removed fairly often and the stainless stripe might have avoided minor paint chips. The stainless stripes all appear to be added metal strips, rather than paint. Late photos show the loco running without these in photos dated as late as 1946. At some time the plate on top of the "skyline casing" was removed. The four later sreamlined locomotives never carried this, so it might have been found not to assist smoke lifting.

However even if the exact colour is unclear, a photo of this clarity with some link to actual colours can only be useful. I'm sure MTH wouldn't have painted their model with "gold" stripes if they had seen this view, in either colour version.

Peter

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Posted by pennytrains on Monday, June 13, 2022 5:40 PM

Photoshop autofix.

Big Smile  Same me, different spelling!  Big Smile

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Posted by Flintlock76 on Monday, June 13, 2022 6:57 PM

pennytrains

Photoshop autofix.

 

Ah, now THAT would explain a lot! Someone repairing a deteriorated image and making guesses. 

In a way, it reminds me of trying to replicate the colors of Civil War era steam engines using old Currier and Ives prints.  Maybe  the colorists got it right, maybe they didn't.  Unless the artists and colorists saw the engines up-close-and-personal, and there's no way to know that, we can't be sure.  

I took another look at that Shorpy image.  Anyone besides me notice the boiler streamlining looks black, but everything below it looks "bronzie-brownie?"  I'm sure you all have.

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Posted by M636C on Monday, June 13, 2022 8:46 PM

 Anyone besides me notice the boiler streamlining looks black, but everything below it looks "bronzie-brownie?"

That was one of the first things I noticed. However in normal lighting, a flat surface will reflect more light in a given direction than a curved surface, and a virtually hemispherical surface will reflect even less. Of course the nose has been cleaned and the side panels have not. I've mentioned before that I think we are looking at the side of 3768 that was away from the audience, so it may have days or weeks of dirt built up. On the other hand, it has been confined to the World's Fair for the season....

The Shorpy webmaster indicates that the colours have faded in the discussion below the photo. That might suggest that he hasn't tried to restore it to anything like the original.

So if you assume the dirt on the flat surface is coal dust and (lubricating) oil, it could add a noticeable reddish colour to what was otherwise dark green.

I assume you have checked out the smaller "modified" version in my second link. The first thing that struck me was that the "gold" stripe looked yellow but the "stainless" stripes still looked silver. That convinced me that the green shade of the locomotive body could also be correct, particularly since the yellow baggage car still looked reasonable.

But the rounded nose might always be expected to appear darker.

Peter

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Posted by Flintlock76 on Tuesday, June 14, 2022 9:23 AM

M636C
I assume you have checked out the smaller "modified" version in my second link. The first thing that struck me was that the "gold" stripe looked yellow but the "stainless" stripes still looked silver. That convinced me that the green shade of the locomotive body could also be correct, particularly since the yellow baggage car still looked reasonable.

Yes I did, and the modified photo makes more sense than the Shorpy image. The engine does have a greenish cast to it which reminds me of the applied "patina" on bronze artworks.  The stainless striping makes sense as well.

I found this color film clip of the Railroad Pageant at the 1939 World's Fair.  Color quality's excellent, the pageant starts at :30 and our Pennsy streamliner shows up towards the end.  

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=btMXoUqXyxI

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Posted by pennytrains on Tuesday, June 14, 2022 6:50 PM

Road grime at a world's fair?  Doubtful.

Big Smile  Same me, different spelling!  Big Smile

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Posted by Flintlock76 on Tuesday, June 14, 2022 7:10 PM

*

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Posted by Flintlock76 on Tuesday, June 14, 2022 7:11 PM

pennytrains

Road grime at a world's fair?  Doubtful.

 

Certainly.  They might have been dirty when they got there, but if that film clip's any indication they were all slicked-up and shiny when they were on stage.  They probably had crews working overtime with Simoniz or Turtle Wax.  Or something.

Personally, I think the Dreyfuss is a LOT more impressive than the PRR engine!

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Posted by BEAUSABRE on Wednesday, June 15, 2022 9:42 AM

Flintlock76
Personally, I think the Dreyfuss is a LOT more impressive than the PRR engine!

Verily, thy taste is in thy mouth. And prostrate yourself in the direction of Altoona when you say the sacred name "PRR"

This is what proceeded the other railroad's shrouded Baltic 

https://akronrrclub.files.wordpress.com/2018/01/nyc-mercury-2.jpg

Truly hideous

And if you insist upon a streamlined 4-6-4, I give you

https://www.flickr.com/photos/alcomike/50408472018

Which was on the rails in 1937 and was copied by the other railroad in 1938

 

 

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Posted by Flintlock76 on Wednesday, June 15, 2022 11:02 AM

BEAUSABRE
Verily, thy taste is in thy mouth. And prostrate yourself in the direction of Altoona when you say the sacred name "PRR"

Can't do that.  If I was going to prostrate myself in the direction of anywhere it'd be in the direction of Jersey City and the ghosts of the Erie and the Jersey Central!

But I can see what you mean about the "Bathtub."  Shudders!

And certainly that New Haven I-5 WAS a looker!  

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Posted by daveklepper on Wednesday, June 15, 2022 2:43 PM

Yes

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Posted by pennytrains on Wednesday, June 15, 2022 5:38 PM

Hey Now!  I'm from Cleveland ya know and the Mercury was OUR streamliner!  SoapBoxWink

Big Smile  Same me, different spelling!  Big Smile

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Posted by Flintlock76 on Wednesday, June 15, 2022 6:54 PM

pennytrains

Hey Now!  I'm from Cleveland ya know and the Mercury was OUR streamliner!  SoapBoxWink

 

Oh my, that's right!  My apologies!

Can we pick on the "Commodore Vanderbilt?"  That thing was weird-lookin'!

https://railmodel.com/blogs/nyc-streamlined-5344-commodore-vanderbilt

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Posted by zugmann on Wednesday, June 15, 2022 7:01 PM

All those things are ugly.  Where are the boxcabs?

  

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Posted by Flintlock76 on Wednesday, June 15, 2022 7:04 PM

zugmann

All those things are ugly.  Where are the boxcabs?

Here ya go!

http://www.rrpicturearchives.net/showPicture.aspx?id=1502284

 

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Posted by zugmann on Wednesday, June 15, 2022 7:07 PM

"Pa, come quick, one of the boxcars is running away!"

  

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Posted by Overmod on Friday, June 17, 2022 9:05 AM

zugmann
"Pa, come quick, one of the boxcars is running away..."

... "and it's on fire!"

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Posted by BaltACD on Saturday, June 18, 2022 6:31 PM

Overmod
 
zugmann
"Pa, come quick, one of the boxcars is running away..." 

... "and it's on fire!"

Doubt it spewed flames, however, I suspect it could be accused of smoking!

Never too old to have a happy childhood!

              

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Posted by Overmod on Monday, June 20, 2022 1:22 PM

Show me a boxcar vomiting smoke as it runs away and tell me there isn't fire somewhere.

Not to mention the stink... that's C.F. Adams' dread oil cars right there!

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Posted by kgbw49 on Wednesday, July 6, 2022 7:57 PM

Here is Broadway Limited Imports's version of 3768 as delivered in 1936 with bronze paint. You can buy one yet in HO gauge:

https://www.broadway-limited.com/paragon3prrstreamlinedk4s.aspx

 

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