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UTA 'suburban' MPD set

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If interested in such things, the unique "North Atlantic" dining car would be an amazing subject for a model.


Point of info: the one at Whitehead (No. 87) was built by the UTA, not the NCC, though to a broadly NCC-inspired design. The RPSI has it in the very attractive NCC lined maroon livery, but it's important to bear in mind that it never carried this livery, as obviously with a build date of 1951 it was UTA green from the outset.


The UTA's version of "Brunswick Green" was, as another point of information, somewhat darker than the green that BR used, though described in the same way. The exact specification is held by Jamison & Green in Belfast. The DCDR carriage, 728, is painted in a much lighter shade which is really more like CIE green.

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I have a picture dating from 1963 (which is with "Backtrack" magazine for a forthcoming article on the North Atlantics), and this shows the revised windows. My guess is that this was in fact done

at the same time as the re-seating, when it was piped for MPD working. Only an educated guess though.


The exact shade of "UTA Brunswick" green is a matter of continual debate. The nearest I have found to it is one made by Precision Paints, called 1844 Kirtley Green. BR green is I agree too light and hasn't the blue tinge the UTA one had. For my MPDs I just used Humbrol No2 Brunswick Green! But PP didn't make the Midland colour for some years and I used BR loco green on some coaches- and so far no one has actually noticed the difference in service. In fact, on Bleach Green coaches run using four different versions of the green!



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Any debate on UTA green can, happily, be definitively settled as numerous examples of actual paint exist. The most accessible is on both the "red-hand roundel" and the post-1963 "coast of arms" UTA crests in Selwyn Johnston's "Headhunters" museum in Enniskillen - the background boards in most crests in that collection are actual paint from the companies concerned. Prior to installation in Headhunters they were deliberately kept in a location away from sunlight to preserve colours.


If anyone is interested in some of the more obscure, or least verifiable, actual liveries of the past, that collection is an ideal source of reference. DUTC / CIE dark green (same thing, as CIE copied it!) can be had there too on the backgrounds of the DUTC crest and Flying Snail.


The only thing to be aware of is that colours don't translate well from actual to model, or worse still, vice versa; 461's current green is a case in point as it is not accurate CIE green, having been copied from the late Drew Donaldson's models.


Accurate UTA green may also be found on some preserved buses. Just as CIE copied DUTC green, so did the UTA copy the old N I Road Transport Board's green, though they inverted the light and dark on buses.


For the record, NCC, LMS and (post 1935) GSR maroon were the same. There is some evidence that the BCDR may have used the same stuff from time to time, but in any event their own maroon wasn't much different - maybe a very slight shade darker, son made indistinguishable by brake dust and wear 'n' tear!


Having seen your models years ago at an exhibition, they certainly look the part to me - excellent work too, most inspirational. If there is some slight in discrepancy it's such a miniscule one as to be unnoticeable.

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It's also worth bearing in mind that a 1/76 scale model painted in exactly the original colour will appear too dark, because of 'scale effect'. This concept has been out in the open since at least the days of an Ian Huntley article in a modelling mag maybe 30-40 years ago, but is explained online here:




...and that's before we get into the weathering effects of the sun/oxidization & general exposure to the elements, not to mention whether the sample in question is viewed under artificial or natural light.

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Come on, Colm, there's no such thing as GN mahogany!


EVERY coach was slightly different. You might ask Mr LIMA above how he did mine, which I think he did very well on the dozen coaches he built me about 15 years ago (a couple of them hammering round in a mixed test train upstairs, Ivor, by the way).


Apart from the effect of "scumbling", the effect of sun, rain, soot (lots of that) ensure that very quickly each coach took on its own hue.


Personally, I prefer a rather "orange" mahogany - probably because of the wonderful photos of a blue Class VS with a rake of them - who couldn't LOVe the GN?


Enjoy the hobby, it's YOUR railway, so YOUR colour is the right one?



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