Hornby A4 (BR Experimental dark blue)

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coachmann
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Hornby A4 (BR Experimental dark blue)

Post by coachmann » Thu Sep 05, 2019 10:42 am

If images on a box shifters website are anything to go by, Hornby's latest incarnation of their A4 in BR experimental purple-blue is far too light. It looks as if the shade has been copied off an over-exposed or bleached out photograph....
WEB BR Purple blue 1.jpg
The Hornby LMR Pacific (below) shows how it should look. In fact, I painted this model for Hornby many years ago via Alton model Railway Centre, so maybe it has been lost in the mists of time or ignored because the colour doesn't have that wow-appeal....
WEB BR Purple blue 2 jpg.jpg
Back in the 1970's, I was commissioned by the NRM via David Jenkinson to paint several 0 gauge locos and coaches for displaying some early BR experimental liveries. David discussed this with me and as usual I showed him various colour mixes, so he actually chose the shade of blue.

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Re: Hornby A4 (BR Experimental dark blue)

Post by Majormagna » Thu Sep 05, 2019 5:53 pm

I don't know, this photograph of the loco in question doesn't seem overexposed to me (though it certainly isn't of the best quality). It seems to be somewhere between the LMS Pacific model you showed and Hornbys attempt.
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coachmann
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Re: Hornby A4 (BR Experimental dark blue)

Post by coachmann » Thu Sep 05, 2019 10:52 pm

There are other photos around that portray Kings and other 8P locos more accurately in the dark blue. But one cannot simply go off colour photos alone. DJ had no doubt looked into the matter of colour thoroughly. In fact, when he discovered he had given me the wrong running number (something to do with a Tender swap), I had to renumber the model for the NRM, which left the final number slightly off-centre.

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Re: Hornby A4 (BR Experimental dark blue)

Post by JASd17 » Thu Sep 05, 2019 11:55 pm

Dear Coachmann,

Many people describe this livery as 'purple' in hue. I think this is a very tricky colour to describe.

Whilst I knew David, and we worked on 'The Big Four in Colour' together, I never saw a hue as dark as you suggest.

I must make clear I have never seen this livery first hand.

John

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Re: Hornby A4 (BR Experimental dark blue)

Post by giner » Fri Sep 06, 2019 12:13 am

I wonder if our man 'darwin4975' (haven't seen him lately) who brought us his Computer Colourised Monochrome series on this forum might be able to chime in on this.

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Re: Hornby A4 (BR Experimental dark blue)

Post by Hatfield Shed » Fri Sep 06, 2019 10:34 am

Majormagna wrote:
Thu Sep 05, 2019 5:53 pm
I don't know, this photograph of the loco in question doesn't seem overexposed to me (though it certainly isn't of the best quality)...
That's pretty close to how it is rendered in 'The Big Four in Colour', very cold, lacks red. There's a crew member leaning out of the cabside and the skin tone is a grey yellow, the rail sides are grey. Much better balanced when printed in Jane's 'Eastern Region Steam in Colour'; the skin tone is much more natural, and the rails have dirty rusty sides - like they usually do - and the livery colour while not a dark tone, is rather more purple, on the tender. The loco is much lighter in tone, not the same colour at all. (The lighting appears to be diffused daylight due to a light overcast.)

The fundamental problem here is that the original was on Ektachrome. I wasn't using Ektachrome until the 1970s and it was never very reliable in colour rendition, and has proved liable to change in the passing years since processing. Heaven's knows what circa 1950 Ektachrome was like, it won't have been better. Paint samples and memories will be a much better guide than the film.

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Re: Hornby A4 (BR Experimental dark blue)

Post by coachmann » Fri Sep 06, 2019 8:22 pm

The colour has been described at 'Deep Ultramarine Blue' in at least one publication, although we know one should be wary of names. The fact that it was described as deep or dark when the 'standard' blue eventually adopted was not perhaps gives us a clue. Maybe someone considered it was akin to Caley dark blue. Like all dark colours plus black, they can be over-exposed to look very different. Ah well.

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