Topics

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


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




Dale Kritzky
 

I play with real trains, I see very bright rust color couplers on new stuff, the older is just dirty. In my model rr I usually paint the couplers the color of the equipment being painted, after awhile the paint starts to rub of especially on the knuckles. Dale

On 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