Single Status Update
That's a beauty, Brassnut. The livery is a unique one only carried by this locomotive and no other. She is one of a class built by the MGWR (who ordered the first of two batches of them) and the GSR and introduced into traffic between 1925 and 1930. Mostly withdrawn in the 1950s, a couple lasted in use into the very early 1960s.
They were colloquially known as "Woolwichs" because they were built from kits of parts brought in from the SECR in England. Officially they were K1a class (NOT "N" class as sometimes misquoted; these were the narrower-gauged similar locos in Britain!).
They were to be seen on the Dublin - Galway, Dublin - Cork, and Cork - Mallow - Waterford - Rosslare routes in particular. They were too big for branch lines and never went north.
That one you have, 388, was painted thus for a few short years in the late 1950s specially for the Cork - Rosslare line, in particular the "Rosslare Express". It left Cork in the early morning, and returned from Rosslare in the late afternoon.
All of the class entered traffic initially in all over grey, and several of the 26 (?) were never painted any other way. Most became lined green from 1945 onwards, though at least one, I believe, was painted plain black in the late fifties too.
In this form, therefore, its historically correct surrounding would be late 1950s CIE, with a mix of old GSWR wooden coaches, possibly a then-brand-new Park Royal or laminate, and the odd Bredin or 1951-3 era CIE coach....
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I think, Brassnut, it depends on whether you want to run just that one locomotive, or others with it. Obviously, if you want others, you'd need to get them - probably on ebay as I think they're otherwise "out of print".
It also depends whether you want your layout to operate prototypically, or "anything goes". If its the latter, well, you can run anything with anything, and paint it tartan and bright pink if you like it that way! I shudder to think of my early teen efforts on a bedroom 6ft x 4ft layout.... However, if accuracy is your thing, here are a few pointers.
The way your model is painted relates specifically to late 1950s on the Cork - Mallow - Waterford - Rosslare route. The type of coaching stock she wpould have hauled was (dirty, badly weathered!) "silver" laminates, and green ones too - also Park Royals, 1953 CIE stock, some old wooden carriages, generally of GSWR origin, and Bredins. This was just before orange and black came in, before many main line diesels, and before Craven carriages. Appropriate companion diesels would be silver or light green "A", "C" or "B101" classes. None of the American locos had yet been delivered, though when Murphy Models release their grey / yellow 121 next year, you could allow a bit of "poetic licence" and have one of those thrown into the mix.
Wagons - no bogies at that stage, no brown! All grey. If you buy Hornby or Bachmann ones, paint the wagon and chassis as well - black chassis, despite appearing on som many layouts so often, never ran in Ireland. Brown wagon - brown chassis. Grey wagon - grey chassis (and roof). In your time period, everything's grey; brown wouldn't start appearing until about 1970. Mostly a mix of wooden and corrugated-sided open wagons, and plain parcel vans ("H" vans - see Provincial Models website and email Leslie on this page).
Station buildings normally had green painted door frames, if wooden buildings cream background, and white window frames. There were, however, a few with other colours, e.g. light blue here and there in the Dublin area, and red and cream on a few stations in West Cork. In your area - green, cream, as above.
Have a look at some of the colour books that are about - the RPSI usually has a good stock of them, especially on the May tour. I am on that every year, and while its five months away, do remember and approach me on it at one of the stops and I'll keep you right.
If you have any specific questions, or there is anything particular you want to know when planning your layout, please just ask.