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Does anyone know what color the Blue Goose actually was?

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Does anyone know what color the Blue Goose actually was?
Posted by Shrike Arghast on Sunday, July 3, 2022 7:44 PM

I've encountered two different "takes" on the color scheme of Santa Fe's Blue Goose 4-6-4, and I don't think they can be passed off merely as different lighting (dramatic color enrichment photographic alteration, maybe, but I don't think lighting would do this).

The first, and most common, variant is the "sand blue," with a more washed-out bottom layer:

The second is the "true blue" variant, with something closing in on a royal blue bottom, with black wheels, running gear, valves, etc:

Ive encountered a number of different models across all scales that are either one or the other, so there definitely appear to be two schools of thought on this locomotive. Does anyone know which scheme is more accurate? Were they both worn at different times, or is one just massively wrong?

(Note, this is not a model railroading question. I was doing an images search for inspiration on a project, and the models were just a good way to clearly demonstrate the discrepancy). 

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Posted by kgbw49 on Monday, July 4, 2022 4:59 PM

Shrike Arghast,

In the book "Santa Fe 1940-1971 In Color Volume 1: Chicago-Kansas City" there are two color photos on Pages 46 and 47, as well as a duplicate of the photo on Page 46 on the dust jacket.

The book is by Lloyd E. Stagner, who is one of, if not the only, definitive experts on Santa Fe steam power.

Unfortunately the 3/4 "wedge" photos do not show the tender side colors definitively, but there is a very good shot of the stainless steel Santa Fe logo with very distinctive darker blue sections in each quarter of the logo.

I may be wrong as color is in the eye of the beholder, but it appears that the correct dark blue color is the one in the top photo of your two photos.

I often wondered why the Sante Fe did not paint the whole locomotive in that color. I think it would have looked very good with the darker blue above the stainless steel band also.

Regardless, that is one opinion as to which dark blue might be the correct one.

This is one photo that I have found that is broadside and shows the darker blue on the lower panels and wheels.

https://locomotive.fandom.com/wiki/Santa_Fe_3460_class?file=Atsf3460-berthold112.jpg

Good luck in your search!

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Posted by Flintlock76 on Tuesday, July 5, 2022 3:54 PM

I don't know, by the time that broadside shot was taken the locomotive was such a mess I don't think the photo's to be trusted.  In fact depending on lighting, camera, and film sometimes a period color photo's not to be trusted 100% but it helps with a good guess.  The only way to tell for certain is to see the designer's color choices on a design studio artists rendition

Personally, I like the Hallmark Model version, but that's just me.  

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Posted by kgbw49 on Tuesday, July 5, 2022 4:58 PM

The one thing in that picture is it shows the wheels and drivers blue. The Hallmark Version has black wheels.

it sure would be nice to find a color photo showing it after a trip to the wash rack!

In their heyday they would haul the Santa Fe name trains between Chicago and La Junta - 985 miles unassisted. Quite the performance.

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Posted by Flintlock76 on Tuesday, July 5, 2022 5:07 PM

Actually look again, it's the Tenshodo model with black wheels.

But getting back to the color photo everything below the engine's centerline is so filthy I wouldn't want to guess what color it is.

From personal experience trying to research a steam locomotive color in the pre-color photography era I can tell you sometime the color references are so vauge and contradictory sometimes you just have to take a SWAG and go with it. I'm not at all surprised now that model makers colors don't jibe with each other.

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Posted by kgbw49 on Tuesday, July 5, 2022 5:12 PM

My bad - the lower model colors remind me of the small Hallmark Christmas Tree ornaments. From the photo you can tell the wheels are painted blue no matter how dirty - not black.

Santa Fe was going to have a 3765-class 4-8-4 delivered with the same shrouds but mercifully scrapped that order.

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Posted by pennytrains on Tuesday, July 5, 2022 6:53 PM

Just as long as they don't try to repaint the 611 like so many Toy train manufacturers do!  Stick out tongue

Big Smile  Same me, different spelling!  Big Smile

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Posted by Overmod on Tuesday, July 5, 2022 7:05 PM

kgbw49
Santa Fe was going to have a 3765-class 4-8-4 delivered with the same shrouds but mercifully scrapped that order..

The only reason ATSF didn't put the streamlining on the class leader was that it weighed something like 17,000lb which put the engine into a different weight class.  If you look carefully at the tender you can see the 'missing' rows of rivets where the stainless band was to go.

Personally, I think the 3765 class was appreciably faster than a 3460 in actual service, perhaps 10mph or more, so it made just as much sense to 'celebrate speed' by shrouding it.  And not as fat and dowdy, either.

All the running gear was apparently that medium blue.  I think it was delivered with some of it in black, Baldwin perhaps thinking it would be easier to maintain an oil-fired engine painted that way, but relatively quickly was painted blue.  I don't know whether ATSF regularly painted over the 'dirty bits' the same way they sprayed aluminum around on the diesels and passenger trucks...

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Posted by Flintlock76 on Tuesday, July 5, 2022 7:21 PM

pennytrains

Just as long as they don't try to repaint the 611 like so many Toy train manufacturers do!  Stick out tongue

 

MTH did a good job with their versions of 611, but Lionel always seems to have a problem with N&W's "Tuscan Red."  Jeez, I've seen one Lionel N&W passenger car that was darn near purple!  It's on display at the River City 3-Railers club here in Richmond.  Weird looking!

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Posted by BigJim on Wednesday, July 6, 2022 8:50 AM

FWIW, the top photo (Hallmark) is the more pleasing of the two!

.

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Posted by pennytrains on Wednesday, July 6, 2022 4:58 PM

Flintlock76

 

 
pennytrains

Just as long as they don't try to repaint the 611 like so many Toy train manufacturers do!  Stick out tongue

 

 

 

MTH did a good job with their versions of 611, but Lionel always seems to have a problem with N&W's "Tuscan Red."  Jeez, I've seen one Lionel N&W passenger car that was darn near purple!  It's on display at the River City 3-Railers club here in Richmond.  Weird looking!

 

I was thinking of the WBB J Goose.  Wink

Big Smile  Same me, different spelling!  Big Smile

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Posted by Flintlock76 on Wednesday, July 6, 2022 5:11 PM

pennytrains
I was thinking of the WBB J Goose. 

Oh yeah, Williams by Bachman's "Variations On A J."  Quite clever if not exactly prototypical!  

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Posted by kgbw49 on Wednesday, July 6, 2022 7:56 PM

Here is Broadway Imports Limited's interpretation of the Blue Goose as delivered in 1938. You can get your own HO model at this web site:

https://www.broadway-limited.com/7351ATSFBlueGoose3460As-Deliveredw/out3460onsideoftenderPar.aspx

And here is their interpretation of the Blue Goose 1951-1953 appearance:

https://www.broadway-limited.com/7355ATSFBlueGoose34601951-1953AppearanceParagon4Sound/DC/DCC.aspx

 If you click on "View Larger Image" you will see a fairly detailed rendition of each one.

It looks like the Blue Goose may have indeed been delivered with black drivers and wheels and may have finished up with blue drivers and wheels.

 

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Posted by pennytrains on Thursday, July 7, 2022 7:17 PM

Those are the shades of blue I always believed were correct.

Big Smile  Same me, different spelling!  Big Smile

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Posted by pennytrains on Thursday, July 7, 2022 7:19 PM

Flintlock76

 

 
pennytrains
I was thinking of the WBB J Goose. 

 

Oh yeah, Williams by Bachman's "Variations On A J."  Quite clever if not exactly prototypical!  

 

I can't say too much.  I'm guilty of borrowing 49er skirting to create a streamlined yard goat!  Wink

Big Smile  Same me, different spelling!  Big Smile

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Posted by Flintlock76 on Friday, July 8, 2022 9:00 AM

pennytrains
I can't say too much.  I'm guilty of borrowing 49er skirting to create a streamlined yard goat!

That's cool. I took some liberties creating my Jersey Central "Bullet" and NYO&W passenger cars.  Sometimes you gotta do what you gotta do!

Speaking of the "Blue Goose" this nice young man has an impressive example!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Bjx0DqmAzLI  

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Posted by kgbw49 on Friday, July 8, 2022 8:37 PM

Here is an interestimg take on The Blue Goose - a lot of very good pictures albeit mainly in black and white.

They are set to music - the first selection is okay but the other three may be a bit annoying depending on your taste in music.

Blue Goose Volume 1

https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=t_rM30ihMZY

Blue Goose Volume 2 (more color)

https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=WXZioTEh3tY

Blue Goose Volune 3 (short film at the end)

https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=m25lYzk6qfA

Blue Goose Volume 4 (longest of the three - more film including cab ride footage)

https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=pj3GI-1Fx0Y

 

 

 

 

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Posted by selector on Saturday, July 9, 2022 9:59 PM

Early in the last video, they show a colour photo with the drivers and running gear distinctly turquoise, or something much closer to turquoise than the running board fascia directly above it.

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Posted by Overmod on Sunday, July 10, 2022 10:15 AM

'Turquoise' is a well-recognized color on ATSF: they made the 'Turquoise Room' one of the most famed amenities in passenger railroading.

The problem is that the otherwise-amazing person who did these videos says he tinkered, sometimes aggressively, with the coloration.

"they have all been Heavily Modified & many have been Colored by Myself, my Colored ones are my Modified Copyright © one example of my many Colored pictures is the very first picture at 0:09

I don't know if the running gear below the skirting was the shade of darker blue shown, but it would make sense. Presumably the part of the tender trucks that might be seen would be the same color?

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Posted by charlie hebdo on Sunday, July 10, 2022 3:23 PM

Relying on color prints, slides or movies from long ago is difficult because the dyes are unstable and tend to fade and become more orangish. Better are good, official paint chips or formulas, if available.  Afficionados of WW2 armor and aircraft argue these points interminably!

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Posted by Flintlock76 on Sunday, July 10, 2022 4:02 PM

charlie hebdo
Afficionados of WW2 armor and aircraft argue these points interminably!

Yes, and the kicker is sometimes the 100% correct color paint and finish doesn't look "right" on the model!  I used to do modeling myself years ago and saw this discussed in modeler's magazines quite often.  I won't even get into weathering.

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Posted by Erik_Mag on Sunday, July 10, 2022 4:39 PM

Flintlock76

Yes, and the kicker is sometimes the 100% correct color paint and finish doesn't look "right" on the model!

Disney had the same problem when painting buildings at Disney World to match the colors at Disneyland. They started off using the exact colors used at Disneyland, but the resulting paint jobs looked wrong. Turned out that "daylight" in Florida was a slightly different color than "daylight" in California due to differences in latitude and atmospheric conditions (humidity, dust, air pollution, etc).

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Posted by kgbw49 on Sunday, July 10, 2022 5:17 PM

Just for comparison purposes, here is what was under The Blue Goose shroud, courtesy of Dr. Richard Leonard. Power and speed embodied in one brawny-yet-elegant machine.

The picture in the "4 Volumes" that grabbed my attention was the going-away shot of The Chief around the curve with an unidentified 4-6-4 on the head end far in the distance.

https://www.railarchive.net/randomsteam/atsf3462.htm

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Posted by Overmod on Monday, July 11, 2022 8:53 AM

One of the early things that came out of 'colorized' versions of black-and-white movies was that the methods could often be used to adjust for known 'fading' effects in various emulsions.  It could be surprising how much original color could be reconstructed by tinkering with this algorithmically.

Of course, just as with colorization, the actual color values are determined by the skill and taste of the 'operator', not by what was originally developed -- remember that Technicolor was its own business, with its own sometimes very complicated chemistry.  In the present case, we're looking for precisely what analysis can't reliably give us: the precise color of the unweathered original.

As part of expanding the hardware business in Louisiana, I bought a spectrophotometer color matching system, which nominally controlled the amount of colorant to mix a paint match using our particular colorants.  This worked beautifully with a 'swatch' because the system nominally adjusted for the difference between 'wet' and dry color.  But it didn't work as well when the clients got the paint home and it looked different on the wall.

We fixed this by loading the software on a laptop, taking both the swatches and the spectrophotometer system to the client's premises, and measured the swatch in the precise site the paint would go, using ambient light rather than the calibrated spectrophotometer light source.  This fooled the mixing system into making the desired shade for the client's chosen swatch.

One of those things I have yet to 'reconstruct' is a color Inigo Jones used in a house in a part of Britain where it's usually gray and stormy.  It was a particular, very carefully mixed, color of pale yellow that precisely reflected the light of a gray day as if sunlight were shining on a white wall.  Jones did it by eye, and apparently I was the first one in the historic-preservation community to recognize just what he had done...

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Posted by Flintlock76 on Monday, July 11, 2022 8:56 AM

kgbw49
Just for comparison purposes, here is what was under The Blue Goose shroud

You know what?  I think it's a hell of a lot more impressive with the shroud OFF.

Man, what a formidable-looking beast that locomotive is! Wow!  Like an unstoppable force of nature!

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Posted by Overmod on Monday, July 11, 2022 9:14 AM

.

I see the defaults are leading to duplicate posts again.  

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Posted by Overmod on Monday, July 11, 2022 9:17 AM

.

Tiresome when this happens over and over, isn't it?

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Posted by BEAUSABRE on Monday, July 11, 2022 11:22 AM

OK, let me throw this out. Has anybody contacted the AT&SF historical society - such groups usually have the paint specifications, chips or drift cards available. It would sure beat all of the guessing going on....

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Posted by Flintlock76 on Monday, July 11, 2022 12:50 PM

BEAUSABRE

OK, let me throw this out. Has anybody contacted the AT&SF historical society - such groups usually have the paint specifications, chips or drift cards available. It would sure beat all of the guessing going on....

 

I haven't, because honestly I'm not that interested.  But I'd be VERY surprised if the various model makers didn't do so.

And if they did, then maybe the Society's as much in the dark about this as everyone else.

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Posted by pennytrains on Thursday, July 14, 2022 12:12 PM

Big Smile  Same me, different spelling!  Big Smile

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