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jhb171achill

The Secret Life of "Snails"

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Following a couple of conversations I had, it was suggested to me that I delve into the Catacombs to list colours of "flying snails" here and there.

So here goes.

UNLINED WHITE

Railway wagons, PW equipment. Note to modellers: weather instantly! One trip in use made them off white very rapidly - same with white anything on a railway. Pristine A4 paper white will always look unrealistic on a layout for that reason. Never any locos.

YELLOW, LINED

New 121 class locos and grey / yellow buses. Never locos.

PALE GREEN, UNLINED

Pre-1955-ish - some wagons, often horse boxes, cattle trucks and old vans. Not more modern goods stock - these were white. After 1955, while wagons are gaining white snails, once the lighter green carriage livery came in, unlined eau-de-nil (and even lighter green) appears on carriage sides. In addition, older lined ones are used - see next:

PALE GREEN, OR "EAU-DE-NIL", LINED IN GOLD

Carriages in 1945-55 darker ("bus / loco") green. After the lighter green appeared in 1955, some older stock like six-wheelers had the lighter green, but lined snails. All buses carried this lined light green version 1945* to 1962, as did any steam loco tenders which carried a snail at all, which was most of them. A right-handed version was available too, which was applied to the offside of buses (i.e. driver's side) and tenders, only. This lined version was also on road freight vehicles. They never carried the unlined ones, so beloved of model lorry and bus manufacturers - nor did buses!

All steam locos, whether lined green, normal grey, or black. Tank engines never had logos - they were only applied to tenders, and even at that, quite a few tenders didn't have them.

 

That's all I can think of for now - I hope it's of interest!

Edited by jhb171achill
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A bit belated I know, but thanks for that.

Could you expand a bit on 'some wagons' having green snails pre -1955?

My interest is mainly narrow gauge, so elderly wagons and vans pre -1955 or so - the darker grey I assume, snails I have assumed white (from b&w photos of weathered stock), but should some be green?

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Hi John

Youre safe enough with white. No certain data exists to my knowledge, but I have seen but two colour pics only showing light green snail and / or numeral on C & L stock, and several more showing BG wagons like that - and, yes, the darker grey.

Once the stencilled snails started appearing, which seems to be mid 1950s, it was all white.

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43 minutes ago, jhb171achill said:

Hi John

Youre safe enough with white. No certain data exists to my knowledge, but I have seen but two colour pics only showing light green snail and / or numeral on C & L stock, and several more showing BG wagons like that - and, yes, the darker grey.

Once the stencilled snails started appearing, which seems to be mid 1950s, it was all white.

Thanks for a helpful reply. Wouldn't it be easier if the transfers were produced rather less white - a sort of weathered off-white.

Incidentally do you recall what C&L stock had the green snails, that line being of particular interest to me?

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I'll look it up, John. I think it might have been a frame in a video! 

Yes, off white is much more realistic, and I raised the issue myself. But the prevailing view of many experienced modellers here is that weathering of a "pristine" whiteoght do a better job.....

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