Red. No: Grey! No: …

You know what they say about the word “assume”…

In consulting with friends and checking various colour photos of CNR water tanks, I decided to paint my model of the Lynn Valley tank with CN #11 Red, available from the Canadian National Railways Historical Association*.

And it looked pretty good:

Tank in (the wrong) colour.

But then – even before sharing photos – some friends said to me, “Hey – you’re doing the Lynn Valley tank. Did you see the colour photo from…?” And of course I hadn’t remembered it.

Naturally, this means that I got the colour wrong.

Here is the only colour photo I’ve seen of the tank (used in this instance as the cover for Railway Recollections Part 5 from GPS Video*.) It’s from the correct, mid-1950s time period for my layout. And what d’ya know: The water tank is grey:

Lyn Valley tank - DVD photo GPS-Vol5-Cover
(Click on the image to find out more about this video.)

I’ve repainted the tank. It now looks like this:

Tank - in grey - aisle view.

In addition to the paint job, I’ve done some weathering – adding white along the bottom of the tank to represent scale or mineral deposits leaching through the wood, some green on one quadrant of the tank and base to represent moss, and some grey-black along the track side of the tank to represent soot. A bit of silver on the base gives the timbers an aged look, too. As a final step, I added a light dusting of CN #11 Red to the tank. It warms up the tone, and suggests that the tank might have been painted red at one time… many, many years ago.

And I’m going to spend more time checking my library for useful prototype photos before I pick up the airbrush!

(*Check the “Links” section on this blog’s home page for the most up-to-date links)

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