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Weathering Murphy Models 121 Class Locomotives With Mick Bonwick

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Our friend Mick Bonwick purchased one of these first release 121 Class locomotives and kindly sent us a weathering guide. Mick is a vastly experienced modeller and has done weathering classes for modellers with Pendon Museum in the UK for a number of years now. Check out his step-by-step guide on our website on how to dirty up your 121!  

Read all about it here: https://irishrailwaymodels.com/blogs/announcements/weathering-murphy-models-121-class-locomotives-with-mick-bonwick

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Wonderful photos. The 121s really bridged the end of the transition from steam of the 50s to the 1960s when GM helped modernise Ireland's railways along with the re-engined A classes and AEC sets. My memory is they got grubby but never to the extent of the IE era almost scrape line state they let their 121s get into. As a child I really liked the look of them, they looked military and almost threatening. Like something from a 1930's sci-fi movie. "The Day the EMD ghost loco swallowed the afternoon branch train from little bunnion west"

Superb looking job by Mick Bonwick on MM B121

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2 hours ago, StevieB said:

Locos and rolling stock getting dirty is an everyday fact of life but there was a stage when cleaning seemed to be a no-no. Did the 121’s get that dirty when first introduced?

Stephen

I've seen pictures of them looking very dirty. The light grey, never mind the yellow, was a most impractical colour scheme to keep clean. The black'n'tan fared MUCH better.

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The original B121 gray and yellow scheme looks very close to the livery worn by the Clinchfield Railroad & Louisville and Nashville Railroad first generation diesel locomotives.

The Clinchfield was a heavy duty Appalachian coal hauling railroad with steep grades and long tunnels which painted its second generation locos and surviving first generation locos in a black and yellow scheme.

Ironically a version of the (Confederate?)grey scheme was revived when the Clinchfield became part of the "Family Lines" system in the mid 1970s and CSX Corporation during the 1980s. 

http://www.rrpicturearchives.net/showPicture.aspx?id=4840568

http://www.rrpicturearchives.net/showPicture.aspx?id=414271

http://www.trainweb.org/csxphotos/photos/SW1500/1101CSX-yg.jpg

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2 hours ago, Mayner said:

The original B121 gray and yellow scheme looks very close to the livery worn by the Clinchfield Railroad & Louisville and Nashville Railroad first generation diesel locomotives.

Provided that these preservation-era pics are correctly done (not always a "given"!), it would appear to be the same grey.

I wonder if EMD had supplied large numbers of locos to these two companies by the time the 121s were being built?

It would not be without precedent for manufacturer-originated liveries to become standard on the railway of a customer. Right back at the start of railways, manufacturers like Bury, Curtis & Kennedy, would supply locomotives painted their way, and the railway companies would just "run" with that.

There seems no obvious reason why a CIE system so wedded to the colours green and dark grey - on absolutely EVERYTHING - would switch to what in fact was a very impractical livery of light shades for a working railway vehicle. Indeed, with existing Crossley diesels proving to be even more filthy than neglected steam engines, they could have been forgiven for ordering them in plain black.

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2 hours ago, jhb171achill said:

Indeed, with existing Crossley diesels proving to be even more filthy than neglected steam engines, they could have been forgiven for ordering them in plain black.

From the CIE publicity; silver Metrovicks, unpainted "silver" rolling stock and a brief flirtation with the Silver Princess coach it looks like they were attempting to make a break from dowdy green and have (at least superficially) modern space-age rolling stock, only for the oil and smoke sputtering Crossley power plants putting paid to that.

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3 hours ago, jhb171achill said:

There seems no obvious reason why a CIE system so wedded to the colours green and dark grey - on absolutely EVERYTHING - would switch to what in fact was a very impractical livery of light shades for a working railway vehicle. Indeed, with existing Crossley diesels proving to be even more filthy than neglected steam engines, they could have been forgiven for ordering them in plain black.

@jhb171achill

Anthony MacDonald (RIP) of the IRRS had related to me some time back the story of the Gray livery 121, unfortunately this cannot be confirmed now, but Anthony was an encyclopaedia of info on the 121 (consulting with Mr Murphy on the development of the 121 model);-

'' The manufactures painted the loco in their choice of livery as CIE were hesitant to confirm the livery required! The manufactures made the decision on grey & yellow to stay on program''

Eoin

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2 hours ago, murrayec said:

@jhb171achill

Anthony MacDonald (RIP) of the IRRS had related to me some time back the story of the Gray livery 121, unfortunately this cannot be confirmed now, but Anthony was an encyclopaedia of info on the 121 (consulting with Mr Murphy on the development of the 121 model);-

'' The manufactures painted the loco in their choice of livery as CIE were hesitant to confirm the livery required! The manufactures made the decision on grey & yellow to stay on program''

Eoin

Confirms my suspicions!

And then CIE copied this grey and yellow on some touring buses.............

If we try to put on the heads of CIE people at the time, the "silver" had clearly been a monumental disaster, and both locos and rolling stock which entered traffic that way were being repainted in green at as fast a rate of knots as could be attained. 

Thus, had GM not painted them at all, it is probable that they would have entered traffic in plain green, the way the A, C and B101 classes were being painted at the time. One for a modeller, some time? It certainly would not look any worse than a grubby grey and yellow one!

The 1960s black and tan, and 1990s "tippex" liveries were, in my humble opinion, the most attractive on these.

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