This is a story about the value of sharing the progress of your work with a community of modellers. On June 21, I posted a couple of shots of my progress on these models, which prompted Dan Dell’Unto to offer this feedback:
Sharp units! You may want to look into the interior cab colour though – when repainted into action red, CP was repainting the cabs with a beige interior colour (often seen in many of the interior shots of FP7/9′s posted on the interwebs).
As well, the datasheets for the GM SW units (DS8, 9,12) show the as-delivered (maroon & grey) interior colour as being “Suede grey enamel” rather than green that many 1st generation units had.
A short while later, Dan sent me this image of the interior of a CP RS18u.
This was good information for me because I was guessing about the interior colour of these switchers, but there was still a gap in my knowledge. While Dan’s photo clearly shows the interior of a CP unit, it’s not an SW1200RS, and it’s an MLW product, not GMD. Furthermore, this is probably not the builder’s paint because the locomotive was extensively rebuilt by CP. Regradless, Dan’s information was very helpful in pointing out an area where I could improve the accuracy of my model.
A plea to some friends at the WRMRC for interior shots of an SW1200RS prompted my friend Justin to offer a link to this photo:
The shot was one a series of images taken by Carson Wiebe, presumably during a cab ride on the Grand River Railway. The locomotive is confirmed to be an SW1200RS by the road number stencilled on the ceiling above the engineer’s head. Also, having read George W. Roth’s book, I knew that these locomotives were staples on the GRR.
I was initially disappointed because someone had shifted the tint on the image, and it didn’t look like I was going to be able to definitively conclude whether the colour was grey or green. I know very little about digital photo processing, but I naively assumed that if someone shifted the tint on the image, I could go into iPhoto and shift it back. Here’s the result of my dumb luck:
I don’t know how close this is to the original tint, but the engineer’s skin tone looks about right. Before I changed the tint on the original photo, I would have guessed that the engineer’s shirt was white. I was surprised to see it come up as yellow. I’m also not sure of the colour balance on my iMac computer screen, but in my processed version of the photo, compare the colour of the throttle stand with the colour of the wall ahead and to the right of the engineer. Proximity and lighting can significantly change the shade of the grey I’m trying to match.
I’m not going to get too worked up about finer points. I’m just pointing it out because lighting always affects our perception of colour. Armed with this new information, I’m going back to the models to repaint their interiors with a colour that looks good to my eyes. Stay tuned for some new photos of the models with an interior colour that probably represents a more accurate colour match, thanks to the collaborative efforts a number of different people.