WESTERN CLASS 52 IN CHROMATIC BLUE

Czesziafan

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Another picture taken by my late father, this time of Western Class 52 D1030 resplendent in its new livery of chromatic rail blue with small yellow panels. The location is Taplow on the GW main line, and the date 17th September 1966, when the Great Western Society held a fundraising open day at its depot there. Musketeer was the first Western to receive any kind of BR blue livery, and close inspection of other photos taken at the event showed she had a red-backed D10.jpeg aluminium 81A shed plate on the opposite end. Officially she was a Bath Road loco at this time, so why she carried an Old Oak Common plate is perplexing.
 
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Cowley

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Absolutely beautiful, But... I’m still not convinced that Chromatic Blue was any different from standard BR blue?
However I’ll wait and see what others have to say before presenting my meagre evidence..
 

Czesziafan

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You're quite right - chromatic blue was the same shade as standard BR blue. As far as I know the first few Swindon repaints were sprayed which produced a different hue when photographed in sunny conditions. This method was abandoned and later repaints were applied by more orthodox methods.
 

Taunton

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The blue does seem to be the same shade as on the van behind.

Blue was a notoriously difficult colour to get the paint pigments right, matching, and fade-resistant, right until the 1960s when the paint industry finally felt they had cracked it - more or less. It was always less common than reds or greens on trains and buses, and even cars and houses, until then. Furthermore the photo film industry long had the same issue with colour film. Add these two together and old colour photos of old blue paint schemes show considerable variability.

Kodak were felt to have cracked it first for colour film, with Kodachrome, which was a more expensive product than the standard ones, and patented so nobody else could do it, hence the expression "Kodachrome skies" about summer photos that came out on that film with nice blue sky, where others rendered it a greyish tone.
 

Cowley

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I had an interesting chat recently with the guy (who’s name I unfortunately can’t remember right now) that owns this 00 gauge Old Oak Common recreation called Seven Ash.
(Not my photos)
18AF4D13-FC0E-480E-A58F-49384DB34595.jpeg 433D8933-F07A-44F7-B387-BD6B5524865C.jpeg

He’s done a lot of research on the locos painted in BR blue (as he resprays and details them) to see if there was a difference in the colour but as others have said, it seems to be down to the type of film used, and sometimes the finish on the paintwork itself.

He showed me an interesting trick... If you cover the front of the loco and look at the bodyside it just looks standard blue. As does the Western in the first post.
The Hymek in the second photo above looks to be a different shade until you cover the cab with your hand and just look at the body also.
He said he used the same blue paint on all of them...
 

randyrippley

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You're quite right - chromatic blue was the same shade as standard BR blue. As far as I know the first few Swindon repaints were sprayed which produced a different hue when photographed in sunny conditions. This method was abandoned and later repaints were applied by more orthodox methods.
Back in those days "BR Blue" depended on so many variables.......
the paint underneath - on some Hymeks the blue was so thin the old green still showed through and gave a turquoise effect. Same effect could be seen on the ships: BR Blue on the Caesarea and Sarnia was green........
brush vs spray
lacquered or not
on top of that early fomulations of phthalocyanine blue simply weren't stable: it was the first organic blue dye (rather than an inorganic pigment) and it faded very easily, it was several years before a stable version was found.

If you combine that with the inherent inaccuracy of blue reproduction in wet photography, your chances of a photo correctly reproducing a blue tone become minimal
 

Czesziafan

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After a year of weathering and the effect of the harsh washing chemicals used the shade seemed to change, which was common to all BR blue locos and rolling stock.
 

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