Thursday, August 06, 2009

Blue is the colour

Blue Garratt
Originally uploaded by Phil_Parker
How do you decide on the colour a model locomotive should be painted ? Normally it's easy enough - look at the photos of the real thing and copy them. Sadly, the real thing is currently painted in a sort of mustardy brown, a shade it never wore during it's working life.

According to those who know, when the Garratt worked, it was blue. Probably dark blue. Or black. That's why I painted the last one I produced S&D blue. Personally I think it's too dark, it may be right but in model form doesn't suit the engine (IMHO). A bit of weathering helps but unless you chuck lots of light at it, the paint looks gloomy. Now on the stand there is a nice spotlight to brighten things up but the new model is destined for display in a church in a case, which means there will be less light.

So, the decision has been made to go for a lighter shade of blue. Humbrol No.25. To my eye, it's not a bad match for NCB blue and certainly sits well on the locomotive. Fresh from the airbrush the colour is a bit flat, it is a matt paint after all, but give it a coat of satin varnish and this give it life.

Mind you, there is a long way to go. Quite a lot of this model is black and that's a hand painting job.

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