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  • Prototype Moder Q&A 02/80

    Prototype Modeler - February 1980 - Page 65 width=

    by the Prototype Modeler Staff


       I am currently preparing to paint a Southern Pacific M4 Mogul manufactured by Pacific Fast Mail. Can you tell me which locomotive of the class this model represents and what is its original color scheme? My intention is to paint the model as if it were now owned by a preservation society and, as such , it would be in immaculate condition.

    Brett Payne, New Zealand

       This may be a difficult question to answer but I'll give you what I can. First of all, I can only assume that your model is of the Texas & New Orleans version of an M-4 as were all of those imported excepting for the last batch. I compared my T&NO photos and compared them with a similar model owned by fellow Espee devotee Duane Leetzow and came up with the following answer in conjunction with Duane.

       Those locomotives closest to your model were the No. 420 in 1942, the No. 430 in 1938, the No. 432 in 1941, the No. 454 in 1942, and No. 458 in 1942. These M-4 's have in common with your model the long boiler tube pilot, high mounted headlight, piston valve cylinders, the original smoke box front with a fifteen lug door (eight of them being later additions). The pilot on the model is not long enough but unless you want to change it it is fairly acceptable. The headlight is not totally correct either, although it is supposed to be a rebuild from an arc or acetylene gas light, and no one has produced an exact brass casting of this type. Likewise, the stack is not 100% for any of the locomotives mentioned but as with headlights and other appliances these things were often changed with alarming regularity so I would not be overly concerned; what was seen on a certain month may have been completely different shortly before that time - or in the month following the one in which the photo was taken.

       Engines No. 430 and No. 454 still had the small windows in the front section of the cab sides when they were photographed and while most of them had them blanked out over the years some windows remained to the late 1950's when the last M-4 's were scrapped.

       Your model is also equipped with a Westinghouse cross compound air pump, however, both the No. 420 and No. 458 which I have left and right hand views of show the New York Duplex type pump, yet I hasten to remark once more that these items were changed as deemed necessary; along these same lines, tenders were swapped around very frequently so that we found only one loco of this group that had a 70-C-2 Vanderbilt unit when photographed which was No. 458. Do not hesitate to use the tender with whatever number you choose. 458's tender was the only one that we found in the group that had the back-up light, I might add, and which was used on this model. None of the T&NO locomotives seemed to have had head light visors or blow down spreaders applied so you can be releived of the need to purchase these parts before painting.

       The word "painting" brings that phase of modeling to mind so let's examine it for a moment as it regards the M-4 bearing in mind that the same color scheme may be applied to nearly any Espee steam loco that you have. The T&NO M-4 class spanned Numbers 410 through 459 and, while I do not have photographs of all the units, my collection covers far more than half of them, some at different times, a few showing both sides, and all were taken between 1937 and 1955.

       Prewar paint jobs indicate that the whole smoke box and stack were silver. A few remained as such as late as 1954 but most post-War II photographs show the graphite smokebox and stack with the silver confined only to the front for safety purposes; that is to say they could be spotted by other crews and personnel easier than could a darker color. Remaining portions of the locomotive and tender should be done in black of course; the lettering was white.

       Incidentally, the word "Lines" on the tender was still in evidence on the T&NO as late as 1949 in a few cases but had officially been removed in June of 1946.

       I have said nothing about weathering your model since a preserved locomotive, even one in use frequently, would show little or no dirt or oil streaks due to the efforts of those involved in restoration and continued operation. I also suggest that you avoid white paint on the edges of the running boards and wheel tires. The Southern Pacific did not normally dress up their locomotives to that extent and, byond that, I've always felt that this feature is tough to duplicate on the model and have it look right.

    Southern Pacific No. 616544 built by Greenville Steel Car, in storage at Mt. Pleasant, Texas, on March 25, '78. - Photo by Tom Cobb
    Prototype Modeler - February 1980 - Page 66 width=

       It is difficult to come up with this type of information which is needed by those of you who live half way around the world and as much as I would like to send photos to everyone interested in this kind of thing it just isn't practical, some are commercially available. If you want to start a collection or merely need a series of photographs for detailing a Southern Pacific model (or any other model for that matter) I recommend that you send a SSAE (stamped, self addressed envelope) to Harold K. Vollrath, 8938 Maple Drive, Shawnee Mission, Kansas 66207. Try to describe some of the details that I have mentioned and Mr. Vollrath will attempt to supply you with views that will be of greatest value towards completion of your project as he is also a modeler and is aware of our needs and desires. I hasten to add here that there are other people who have photos, perhaps some that Mr. Vollrath does not possess, but I am giving his name as one who has probably the biggest collection of negatives to draw from than some of the others, plus the fact that he is in business to sell prints from them; many do so only to select customers and only when they have the time and the inclination to fill orders.

    Gordon Mills, SP Editor


       Did the ex-Lackawanna Fairbanks Morse H-24-66 locomotives stay in service long enough after the Erie-Lackawanna merger to have the new E-L color scheme applied?

    Robert Dorr

       Yes, there were several ex-DL&W H-24-66's which received the last standard Erie-Lackawanna paint scheme of grey, maroon, and yellow. We don't have a definate tally, but it is known that No. 1860 and No. 1861 had the grey, maroon, and yellow paint job as did some of the older units. Engines No. 1862 and No. 1863 were the last E-L Train-Masters and the newest. They stayed on the roster the longest because their equipment trust certificates had not yet run out. However, they were used very little during their last years.

       By the way, it has been mistakenly reported elsewhere that some of the E-L Train-Masters went to the CH-P in Mexico. Not so. Those units were H-16-44's, not Train-Masters.

    Larry DeYoung, Erie Railfan Society

    St. Louis Southwestern No. 65047 built by Pullman Standard, stored at Mt. Pleasant, Texas, March 25, '78. - Photo by Tom Cobb
    Prototype Modeler - February 1980 - Page 67 width=


       Does the Espee have any 86' "Hy-Cube" box cars that have smooth sides and what is the number series assigned?

    Markus Bitz, West Germany

       Here are two photos of different smooth-sided Espee/Cotton Belt 86'-6" (inside length) "Hy-Cube" auto parts box cars. Cotton Belt's four-door car is in series 65041-65090, Class B-100-16, AAR mechanical designation XP. The SSW 65047 was built in December, 1967, at Pullman Standard's Bessemer, AL, plant. This welded panel car is painted in Espee scarlet with the arrows in Espee Lark Grey. Note the large Espee logo on the double doors.

       The eight door Espee "Hy-Cube" has riveted panel construction. The Espee car is in series 616532-616553, Class B-70-54, AAR mechanical designation XL. Car 616544 was built by Greenville Steel Car in February, 1970. Note the deep side sills on this Greenville design.

       HO scale "Hy-Cube" models produced in wood, plastic, and brass are available from several manufacturers. Quality Craft Models produced a four door "Hy-Cube" to be painted and lettered for Penn-Central, based on a Pullman Standard design of 1964. This craftsman kit is a close match for the Cotton Belt car illustrated.

       A contemporary railroad model layout would be expected to have a few "Hy-Cubes" on the property. Yet, their extreme length and excess height, even when reduced to HO scale, tends to cause them to dominate most model scenes. They are at home only on the largest layouts. A way out for moderns is to select some railroad area to model which is located away from the auto parts traffc. The Houston, TX, area is an excellent example of a location of major Espee activity where one seldom sees a ninety foot "Hy-Cube." The auto parts traffic by-passes Houston on the busy Corsicana to San Antonio main. Cotton Belt provides another possible way to handle "Hy-Cubes:" at its Mt. Pleasant yard, they are spotted on the rearmost track awaiting a date with the Pine Bluff shops.

    Tom Cobb, SP Freight Car Editor


       I have several questions concerning the Great Northern on their passenger and freight paint schemes. They are:

    1. When the SDP-40's were in their green and orange paint did they have a separating band of gold or silver between the colors?

    2. During what period of the Empire Builder lightweights was the lettering gold?

    3. In Charles R. Wood's Lines West on page 16 there is a picture of a flat car - what would be the color and is there a decal set available which would probably fit the car?

    4. Continuing in Lines West, page 52 shows some four-wheel waycars - what would be their color and lettering?

    5. Lastly, in Lines West page 65, what was the color of the new "Oil-Electric 5100" and Billy's background color?

    Adrian Hann

       To answer your questions in order: No, there was no gold or silver separating stripe on the SDP-40's.

    2. Lettering on the Empire Builder lightweight cars was always in Dulux Gold, as was the striping; silver was never used on these cars.

    3. The color on the flat car would have been Mineral Red. The lettering on the car in my copy is impossible to see but the car was probably lettered for the St.P,M&M; a predecessor of the GN. It would be a pretty easy job of decaling by using railroad roman alphabet set and following the photos that appear in Wood's new book: The Great Northern Railway. Note also in this photo the link and pin couplers and outside brake beams.

    4. The four-wheel waycars were, in all probability, Mineral Red with Black window frames. They would be lettered in the same scheme as the four-wheeler shown several pages earlier in the same book. Note the car number is slightly concealed behind the heads of the men.

    5. The color of the "Oil-Electric 5100" was black; the background color of the goat herald was red though I can't definately confirm this. I hope the foregoing answers your questions satisfactorily. Exact color mixtures in model railroad paints are not available that I am aware of.

    Dave Schumacher

    Article Details

    • Original Author Prototype Modeler Staff
    • Source Prototype Modeler
    • Publication Date February 1980

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