LNER photographic grey

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lu4472ke
LNER J94 0-6-0ST Austerity
Posts: 33
Joined: Thu Mar 15, 2018 8:17 pm

LNER photographic grey

Post by lu4472ke » Sat Jan 18, 2020 12:40 am

Has anyone got any information on the Photographic grey used by the LNER and what locos wore it?

I've seen models of A4's and some Train Sim reskins of a V2 and an Atlantic in photographic grey, is this accurate?

65447
LNER A4 4-6-2 'Streak'
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Re: LNER photographic grey

Post by 65447 » Sat Jan 18, 2020 10:52 am

Photographic grey was used for works photographs since the photographic film of the time did not clearly distinguish red and the other livery colours could have indefinite boundaries. This artificial finish gave excellent contrast and clarity of detail. Afterwards the subject was repainted into its correct livery colours.

One exception was the GE Section where, through WW1 strictures, the blue paint was unobtainable and a basic grey was substituted - a practice that continued into early LNER years.

Other stock genuinely painted a silver-grey colour, grey as it appeared in photographs, were of course certain A4s, the Silver Jubilee sets and the W1 'Hush-Hush'.

john coffin
GNR C1 4-4-2
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Re: LNER photographic grey

Post by john coffin » Sat Jan 18, 2020 11:56 am

Many railways ran in Grey during the First World War, famously the GNR. This was part of the war effort to save vital resources.
Whether it was actually effective rather than publicity, no one has yet I think proven. Rather like cast iron railings being scrapped
in WW2.

The Grey on W1 was I thought somewhat darker than photo grey. But it is true that it was used until quite late due to the
nature of the photographic emulsion, which is also apparent on early colour photos.

One wonders how long it took to paint the loco, or indeed to prepare for re-painting.

Paul

Hatfield Shed
LNER P2 2-8-2
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Re: LNER photographic grey

Post by Hatfield Shed » Sat Jan 18, 2020 12:17 pm

john coffin wrote:
Sat Jan 18, 2020 11:56 am
...One wonders how long it took to paint the loco, or indeed to prepare for re-painting...
I feel that in the context of the time, with three preparation coats and processes before the finish coats and varnish were applied; it was probably a relatively minor consideration for the paint shop to turn out the 'first of class' in photographic grey for the record photographs, and then to repaint into service livery. (The spec. I have for general external steelwork on the V2 is one coat of 'lead colour', application of enamel filling as required and rubbing down smooth, two coats of 'lead colour', two coats LNER green, three coats varnish flatted between coats. That's got to be ten working days or thereabouts just for that, if the whole job was trouble free, and that doesn't allow for the hand painting or application as appropriate of lining, numbers and lettering before the varnishing commenced.)

exile
LNER N2 0-6-2T
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Location: France

Re: LNER photographic grey

Post by exile » Sat Jan 18, 2020 4:57 pm

john coffin wrote:
Sat Jan 18, 2020 11:56 am
Many railways ran in Grey during the First World War, famously the GNR. This was part of the war effort to save vital resources.
Whether it was actually effective rather than publicity, no one has yet I think proven.

Paul
According to the British Dyestuffs history website, 80% of dyes and pigments were sourced from Germany prior to WW! and of the remaining 20% a large portion relied on raw materials again sourced from Germany.

This leads me to believe that the use of grey was driven largely by a loss of the pigments to make the historic colours. Although the British fine chemical industry could have turned its hand to making things like Prussian Blue, they were better employed in making mercury and silver fulminate.

Consequently companies using blues - and greens that relied on blue plus chrome yellow or similar - ran out of base pigment and companies changed to grey.

65447
LNER A4 4-6-2 'Streak'
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Location: Overlooking the GEML

Re: LNER photographic grey

Post by 65447 » Sat Jan 18, 2020 6:23 pm

That probably explains why there was a substantive change from naturally-occurring to synthetic pigments around that time.

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