Date   

Re: Prototype coupler colors

William Uffelman
 

Great reference photos! Thanks for sharing.

Bill Uffelman 


On Wed, Jul 22, 2020 at 3:52 PM, David Olsen
<3acr.scout@...> wrote:
Tim and Todd,

I don't consider "rust" to be the bright orange color that most model
paints represent, but rather a darker color like "rail brown" in some
model paint product lines that provides a base for additional
weathering. I've occasionally seen newly replaced couplers that are
that brighter orange color, but most are various shades of grimy brown
with patches of other colors.

I model CSX in Maryland in the late '90s, so I'll provide some example
photos from freight cars and locomotives that I've photographed,
mainly in the 2000-2010 timeframe. One of the things that jumps out at
me in photos is the contrasting color between two couplers that are
linked together, something that I feel makes it important to vary the
colors of model couplers.

One compromise that I'll be making is that my Sergents all get
polished and treated with graphite - powder inside and a pencil rubbed
on the contact points - to improve operation, so that may cover up
some of the areas that might be rusty.

Here is an example of a 2-bay covered hopper with a new rusty orange
coupler on one end and a "normal" dark brown coupler on the other:

http://drolsen.rrpicturearchives.net/showPicture.aspx?id=1775253
http://drolsen.rrpicturearchives.net/showPicture.aspx?id=1775259

A newer 2-bay hopper (about twelve years old in this photo) with a
slightly lighter brown coupler compared to the darker one it is
connected to:

http://drolsen.rrpicturearchives.net/showPicture.aspx?id=396012

A 3-bay hopper with light colored dust coating the coupler (either
grain or another fine granular product):

http://drolsen.rrpicturearchives.net/showPicture.aspx?id=3450139

A 50' boxcar in general service showing a coupler splotched with rust
on the knuckle:

http://drolsen.rrpicturearchives.net/showPicture.aspx?id=1390757

A 60' boxcar showing an interesting contrast with rust on the shank
compared to the darker coupler head:

http://drolsen.rrpicturearchives.net/showPicture.aspx?id=1831312

A coal gon with "clean" rub marks on the knuckle with a patch of newer
rust in the middle:

http://drolsen.rrpicturearchives.net/showPicture.aspx?id=2647631

A 3-bay aggregate hopper showing a good example of contrasting coupler colors:

http://drolsen.rrpicturearchives.net/showPicture.aspx?id=1961186

A 3-bay coal hopper with a coupler that's mostly the same color as the
brake pad dust and other grime on the end of the car itself:

http://drolsen.rrpicturearchives.net/showPicture.aspx?id=3759619

A road slug with a decent amount of visible rust on the coupler
compared to the color of the pilot face:

http://drolsen.rrpicturearchives.net/showPicture.aspx?id=327744

Two road units (in coal service at the time) with rust visible inside
the knuckles, but generally the same color as their plows:

http://drolsen.rrpicturearchives.net/showPicture.aspx?id=3115567

An SD50 in helper service in Cumberland, Maryland with some
interesting splatterings of color on the coupler:

http://drolsen.rrpicturearchives.net/showPicture.aspx?id=1319000

Dave Olsen
Macomb, MI




Re: Prototype coupler colors

David Olsen
 

Tim and Todd,

I don't consider "rust" to be the bright orange color that most model
paints represent, but rather a darker color like "rail brown" in some
model paint product lines that provides a base for additional
weathering. I've occasionally seen newly replaced couplers that are
that brighter orange color, but most are various shades of grimy brown
with patches of other colors.

I model CSX in Maryland in the late '90s, so I'll provide some example
photos from freight cars and locomotives that I've photographed,
mainly in the 2000-2010 timeframe. One of the things that jumps out at
me in photos is the contrasting color between two couplers that are
linked together, something that I feel makes it important to vary the
colors of model couplers.

One compromise that I'll be making is that my Sergents all get
polished and treated with graphite - powder inside and a pencil rubbed
on the contact points - to improve operation, so that may cover up
some of the areas that might be rusty.

Here is an example of a 2-bay covered hopper with a new rusty orange
coupler on one end and a "normal" dark brown coupler on the other:

http://drolsen.rrpicturearchives.net/showPicture.aspx?id=1775253
http://drolsen.rrpicturearchives.net/showPicture.aspx?id=1775259

A newer 2-bay hopper (about twelve years old in this photo) with a
slightly lighter brown coupler compared to the darker one it is
connected to:

http://drolsen.rrpicturearchives.net/showPicture.aspx?id=396012

A 3-bay hopper with light colored dust coating the coupler (either
grain or another fine granular product):

http://drolsen.rrpicturearchives.net/showPicture.aspx?id=3450139

A 50' boxcar in general service showing a coupler splotched with rust
on the knuckle:

http://drolsen.rrpicturearchives.net/showPicture.aspx?id=1390757

A 60' boxcar showing an interesting contrast with rust on the shank
compared to the darker coupler head:

http://drolsen.rrpicturearchives.net/showPicture.aspx?id=1831312

A coal gon with "clean" rub marks on the knuckle with a patch of newer
rust in the middle:

http://drolsen.rrpicturearchives.net/showPicture.aspx?id=2647631

A 3-bay aggregate hopper showing a good example of contrasting coupler colors:

http://drolsen.rrpicturearchives.net/showPicture.aspx?id=1961186

A 3-bay coal hopper with a coupler that's mostly the same color as the
brake pad dust and other grime on the end of the car itself:

http://drolsen.rrpicturearchives.net/showPicture.aspx?id=3759619

A road slug with a decent amount of visible rust on the coupler
compared to the color of the pilot face:

http://drolsen.rrpicturearchives.net/showPicture.aspx?id=327744

Two road units (in coal service at the time) with rust visible inside
the knuckles, but generally the same color as their plows:

http://drolsen.rrpicturearchives.net/showPicture.aspx?id=3115567

An SD50 in helper service in Cumberland, Maryland with some
interesting splatterings of color on the coupler:

http://drolsen.rrpicturearchives.net/showPicture.aspx?id=1319000

Dave Olsen
Macomb, MI


Re: Well, that was quick...

William Uffelman
 

Proto couplers are not painted so you can see cracks.

Bill Uffelman



On Wed, Jul 22, 2020 at 3:13 PM, Tim L
<tim@...> wrote:
Why do people paint their couplers rusty? While I don't know of any US
freight wagon photo galleries to study a cursory image search seem to
suggest that while a few do appear rusty most seem to just be dirty with
road grime. I imagine that while a railroad themselves may not paint the
coupler in some instances they would be painted ex factory anyway.

Just seems strange to see all those wagons I've seen with Sergents have
"bright" rusty couplers in contrast to the rest of the weathering but I
suppose that could come from the practice that couplers are painted the
same colour as the end sill / underframe here and weather the same as
rest of the wagon. But I digress...

I don't know if it's been mentioned here or not before but while looking
at coupler pics I stumbled across this. Someone is offering 3D printed
dummy Sergents (E and H). It may be of use to someone.

https://www.ho3dim.com/ho-scale-couplers

- Tim


On 22/07/2020 23:04, David Olsen wrote:
> Thanks for the feedback, James. I was always concerned that Rustoleum
> from the can had the potential to go on too heavy and gum up the
> works, but if that hasn't been a problem for you, I'll give it a shot.
> My airbrush stuff isn't set up yet since our recent move - need to
> find everything! It would be great to get some couplers painted in the
> meantime.
>
> Dave Olsen
> Macomb, MI
>




Re: Well, that was quick... / prototype coupler colors

Todd Sullivan
 

Hi Tim,

The color of prototype couplers depends on a variety of things such as the era of the car, the time since the car was built/refurbished/repainted/repaired, the prevailing weather in the area the car operated, the commodities typically carried and the amount of use the car saw.  In earlier eras, painters could overspray couplers when they painted cars, but later (and I don't know the date) that was prohibited along with painting car wheels.  The change had to do with crack detection in the castings. 

I find a good source for U.S. prototype photos are the Morning Sun Color Guide books.  The photos are usually clear and well lit by sunlight, and the color reproduction is generally superior, except for the earliest books.  I often use my small collection of Color Guides to check various aspects of freight car weathering, including couplers.

All that being said, often, couplers on 1930s-1950s U.S. freight cars are just rusty, and weather to a hue that is close to the red-brown of most U.S. freight cars.  On a weathered car, it can be hard to tell whether the coupler was painted or not.  In most cases, they would not be painted.  If you move up to the 1970s, '80s and beyond, other factors come into play, such as commodities that have spilled over the exterior of the car and colored nearly everything.  Kaolin covered hoppers are a good example of this - even the couplers are mostly white.  Also, freight cars of this later era were not affected by soot and cinders from steam locomotives and industries which darkened and corroded everything.

Going back to the 1950s, which I model, I often see that the inner faces of couplers and the outer faces of the knuckles have  a more orange-ish hue due to routine chafing of the parts against one another as the cars are hauled about and switched.  As you probably know, newer rust is more orange than older rust which moves progressively to reddish, then brownish, then nearly black colors.  Often, couplers on little used maintenance equipment are nearly black or a slightly blueish black from lack of use.

I hope this helps.

BTW, you didn't state the scale, era or geographic area of your modeling.  Letting us know that might generate some more specific responses.

Todd Sullivan


Re: Well, that was quick...

Tim L
 

Why do people paint their couplers rusty? While I don't know of any US freight wagon photo galleries to study a cursory image search seem to suggest that while a few do appear rusty most seem to just be dirty with road grime. I imagine that while a railroad themselves may not paint the coupler in some instances they would be painted ex factory anyway.

Just seems strange to see all those wagons I've seen with Sergents have "bright" rusty couplers in contrast to the rest of the weathering but I suppose that could come from the practice that couplers are painted the same colour as the end sill / underframe here and weather the same as rest of the wagon. But I digress...

I don't know if it's been mentioned here or not before but while looking at coupler pics I stumbled across this. Someone is offering 3D printed dummy Sergents (E and H). It may be of use to someone.

https://www.ho3dim.com/ho-scale-couplers

- Tim

On 22/07/2020 23:04, David Olsen wrote:
Thanks for the feedback, James. I was always concerned that Rustoleum
from the can had the potential to go on too heavy and gum up the
works, but if that hasn't been a problem for you, I'll give it a shot.
My airbrush stuff isn't set up yet since our recent move - need to
find everything! It would be great to get some couplers painted in the
meantime.
Dave Olsen
Macomb, MI


Re: Membership

Neil Erickson
 

Come visit Hawaii. During the 14 day quarantine I’ll buy you a beer, or 100 or so ... 


Re: Well, that was quick...

David Olsen
 

Thanks for the feedback, James. I was always concerned that Rustoleum
from the can had the potential to go on too heavy and gum up the
works, but if that hasn't been a problem for you, I'll give it a shot.
My airbrush stuff isn't set up yet since our recent move - need to
find everything! It would be great to get some couplers painted in the
meantime.

Dave Olsen
Macomb, MI


Re: Well, that was quick...

James Wall
 

Dave,

I use the Rustoleum paint rust color primer to paint my couplers.  I paint them all before assembly so I can clean them up as needed.
I take the three parts of the coupler and put them on a strip of masking tape to hold them, so none go flying away as I use the 
spray paint from the can.  I generally let the paint dry over 48 hours before handling the parts.  Then is assembly as normal.

James Wall
Rural Hall, NC


Re: Well, that was quick...

David Olsen
 

Ryan, what's your preferred method for painting the couplers as you
assemble them? I got started with the original unassembled pewter
colored Sergents way back in the day, but I never actually painted
them because I was still testing them out in different applications.
Then I got lazy and bought some of the pre-painted, assembled
couplers. I'm ready to paint some of the new ones but want to ensure
they operate smoothly. Thanks!

Dave Olsen
Macomb, MI

On Tue, Jul 21, 2020 at 2:04 PM Ryan Harris <ryan.harris@sbcglobal.net> wrote:

No worries Dave! I'm glad you got one. You'll go through it quick I can promise you that.

This just goes to show how much pent up demand there is for these things. I'd really love to have F and SE couplers again, too.
--
Ryan Harris
Fort Worth, Texas


Re: Well, that was quick...

Ryan Harris
 

No worries Dave! I'm glad you got one. You'll go through it quick I can promise you that.

This just goes to show how much pent up demand there is for these things. I'd really love to have F and SE couplers again, too.
--
Ryan Harris
Fort Worth, Texas


Re: Membership

John Niemeyer
 

Huhh!  Where’s that beer I told you to get me? Mug
 
John
 
 
You're welcome but more thanks to John Niemeyer, basically the founder of the original Yahoo list.  I am but his faithful servant here .... 😉
 
Mike Conder
 
 
Gotcha. This akin to the old bulletin board style forums. Not my favorite but still has a place. I like that we can #Mike Conder to say thanks!
 
Neil Erickson
 
 
Also we as owners approve these first messages so we can screen out scammers and the like.
 
Mike Conder


Re: Membership

Mike Conder
 

You're w lcome but more thanks to Jihn Niemeyer, basically the founder of the original Yahoo list.  I am but his faithful servant here .... 😉

Mike Conder

On Mon, Jul 20, 2020 at 8:34 PM Neil Erickson via groups.io <neil_c_e=yahoo.com@groups.io> wrote:
Gotcha. This akin to the old bulletin board style forums. Not my favorite but still has a place. I like that we can #Mike Conder to say thanks!

Neil Erickson 




On Sunday, July 19, 2020, 12:01 PM, Mike Conder <vulturenest1@...> wrote:

Also we as owners approve these first messages so we can screen out scammers and the like. 

Mike Conder 


Re: Membership

Neil Erickson
 

Gotcha. This akin to the old bulletin board style forums. Not my favorite but still has a place. I like that we can #Mike Conder to say thanks!

Neil Erickson 




On Sunday, July 19, 2020, 12:01 PM, Mike Conder <vulturenest1@...> wrote:

Also we as owners approve these first messages so we can screen out scammers and the like. 

Mike Conder 


Re: Well, that was quick...

David Olsen
 

Sorry, Ryan, I was responsible for one of those SBE bulk packs. It was
actually the first bulk pack that I've ever ordered, and it was my
first Sergent purchase in 5 years. I wish I had bought a lot more
before Frank's production started to wind down, but I wasn't making
much progress with my modeling and had put off ordering expensive
couplers that I thought I wasn't going to use for a while. I have only
a couple dozen of the precious Type F and H couplers that will have to
last me until they are (hopefully) available again in the future.

Dave Olsen
Macomb, MI

On Mon, Jul 20, 2020 at 3:58 PM Ryan Harris <ryan.harris@sbcglobal.net> wrote:

144

--
Ryan Harris
Fort Worth, Texas


Re: Well, that was quick...

Ryan Harris
 

144

--
Ryan Harris
Fort Worth, Texas


Re: Well, that was quick...

Paul Dallard
 

How many are in a bulk pack? 

An insincere and evil friend is more to be feared than a wild beast; a wild beast may wound your body, but an evil friend will wound your mind. - Buddha



On Jul 20, 2020, at 15:03, Ryan Harris <ryan.harris@...> wrote:

And just like that, they're gone again. 

I beat the drum for a restock of SBE bulk packs and finally they showed up a couple weeks ago. Just as I was ready to pull the trigger and order one I had to replace the injectors on my truck, so there went all the fun money. Well, I've recovered from that and I went to the Sergent page today to order them and they are gone again. Even the individual packs are gone, expected in again in October.

Hopefully I can catch them the next time they're in stock. If I don't buy another freight car between now and October I could almost go through an entire bulk pack just installing couplers on cars that still have Kadees. I'll probably need two bulk packs by then.

--
Ryan Harris
Fort Worth, Texas


Well, that was quick...

Ryan Harris
 

And just like that, they're gone again. 

I beat the drum for a restock of SBE bulk packs and finally they showed up a couple weeks ago. Just as I was ready to pull the trigger and order one I had to replace the injectors on my truck, so there went all the fun money. Well, I've recovered from that and I went to the Sergent page today to order them and they are gone again. Even the individual packs are gone, expected in again in October.

Hopefully I can catch them the next time they're in stock. If I don't buy another freight car between now and October I could almost go through an entire bulk pack just installing couplers on cars that still have Kadees. I'll probably need two bulk packs by then.

--
Ryan Harris
Fort Worth, Texas


Re: Membership

Mike Conder
 

Also we as owners approve these first messages so we can screen out scammers and the like. 

Mike Conder 


Re: Membership

John Niemeyer
 

I should set the record straight as well.
 
Mike Conder and I are the owners/moderators of this group.
Chris Zurek and I are the owners/administrator for the Facebook group
 
John Niemeyer
 

Actually, to set the record straight as one of the owners I can confirm that Chris Zurek is NOT the moderator of this Sergent Engineering group.  John Niemeyer & I are owners, and I don't remember the other owners (if any or moderators (again, if any.)

Mike Conder


Re: Membership

Todd Sullivan
 

Hi Neil,

I don't think your introduction was overboard.  Actually, it was quite interesting, and I enjoy learning about other modelers' interests.  I suspect many others do, too, and it they don't want to read a message, there's always the delete button.  (And I don't mean that in any disrespectful way.) 

So, welcome to the group.  If you are interested in corresponding to other S scale modelers, I think a few of them hang out on the Steam Era Freight Car list (MainSTMFC on groups.io).

Todd Sullivan

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