Blackout!! (...hoods that is.)

This forum is dedicated to Riding Scale Railroading with propulsion using other than steam (Hydraulics, diesel engines, gas engines, electric motors, hybrid etc.)

Moderators: Harold_V, WJH

Post Reply
mattmason
Posts: 518
Joined: Tue Jan 17, 2006 7:37 pm
Location: Sacramento, CA

Blackout!! (...hoods that is.)

Post by mattmason » Sat Apr 03, 2010 11:25 am

Something I don't see modeled at all are WWII blackout hoods. These were special visors that went over headlights to keep light down and keep Japanese bombers from knowing they made landfall on the west coast.

So during my rebuild of my West Valley Live Steamers B-W steeple cab, I wanted to add 'em. These were made from .015" brass, and will be attached with 0-80 hex head screws. I will also make a set of marker lamps with blackout shades as well.

Of course I took pictures for a future article in HRJ, and wanted to post some here.
Attachments
IMG_4612.JPG
Final shades.
IMG_4579.JPG
Using my lathe to turn wood for a form for the brass sheet.
IMG_4584.JPG
Final product as will be used on the lights.
IMG_4589.JPG
I made a few test shades before settling on the length, amount of taper, and thickness of the sheet. Here is the final product in the foreground and the test shade on the headlight. You can see I was quite loose with my attention to perfection on the test
Matt Mason

User avatar
Benjamin Maggi
Posts: 1113
Joined: Wed Apr 25, 2007 10:38 pm
Location: Albany, NY

Post by Benjamin Maggi » Mon Apr 05, 2010 1:06 pm

Interesting looking. Very well done and an interesting accessory to boot.
"One cannot learn to swim without getting his feet wet." - Benjamin Maggi
- Building: 7.25" gauge "Sweet Pea" named "Catherine"

Rwilliams
Posts: 874
Joined: Thu Dec 22, 2005 2:45 pm
Location: Central California

Post by Rwilliams » Wed Apr 07, 2010 4:55 pm

We need a scale Zero with pilot to report back if they were actually visible to the enemy on a recon flight after dark.

mattmason
Posts: 518
Joined: Tue Jan 17, 2006 7:37 pm
Location: Sacramento, CA

Post by mattmason » Thu Apr 08, 2010 12:32 am

I have always wondered what the difference really was on these. Now that I have my own, I had to try it out. I got it inside so I could see how much light went up and how much light was affected forward.

The results were that there was no real difference forward, or to the ground. As expected, the light going up to the ceiling was prevented from going upward quite impressively. I think the main thing that it would do is to prevent a bare bulb (or its reflection) from going skyward. Another effect of the hood is that light shining on canyon walls would be diminished--think about when you see a train heading up the Feather River Canyon and the headlights will light up the entire mountainside.

Not really sure if all this would have made a difference in an actual attack, but there are people would would know so much better than I. My grandfather was a block warden for blackout raids in San Francisco during the war, I wish I could ask him.
Matt Mason

Rwilliams
Posts: 874
Joined: Thu Dec 22, 2005 2:45 pm
Location: Central California

Post by Rwilliams » Thu Apr 08, 2010 9:41 am

Interesting report on evading the airborne enemy with a historical replication. I look forward to seeing the special blackout hood at the Spring Meet. Do you plan to try it out after dark on a night run?

Robert

mattmason
Posts: 518
Joined: Tue Jan 17, 2006 7:37 pm
Location: Sacramento, CA

Post by mattmason » Thu Apr 08, 2010 3:18 pm

I'm not sure which day I am going to bring the electric out. I may not even bring it out. I am still playing with my new 1" stuff and plan on bringing GP9s and all of the freight cars out (it will take me two trips). If the headlights are not installed, I will bring one out. I may bring the electric out for Friday's night run if they are installed, which I'll leave for display Saturday in that case.
Matt Mason

10 Wheeler Rob
Posts: 1428
Joined: Tue Mar 21, 2006 2:44 pm
Location: East Hartford, CT

There May not be zerros, but?

Post by 10 Wheeler Rob » Thu Apr 08, 2010 5:45 pm

There may not be zeros flying around, but tell how well it works on reducing the bug attraction?

Rob

Rwilliams
Posts: 874
Joined: Thu Dec 22, 2005 2:45 pm
Location: Central California

Re: Blackout!! (...hoods that is.)

Post by Rwilliams » Mon Apr 19, 2010 9:16 pm

Matt and everyone, I recently had a chance to pick up a nice image of an SP Mikado all dressed up for World War II complete with a headlight shield or blackout hood. Date on the back of the photo was June 6, 1942. Rules were back then that no photos were to be taken of trains until the end of hostilities. Good thing a few ignored the rules, took a few photos and kept quiet about it.

Enjoy,

Robert
Attachments
SP 3228 in Tracy June 6, 1942.jpg

mattmason
Posts: 518
Joined: Tue Jan 17, 2006 7:37 pm
Location: Sacramento, CA

Re: Blackout!! (...hoods that is.)

Post by mattmason » Tue Apr 20, 2010 10:48 am

As a side note, I just found a picture in the 2010 Logging, Mining, and Industrial Annual of the Diamond and Caldor #8 with a blackout hood on the tender. I knew that interurbans, shortlines, and mainlines had them, but had no idea that logging railroads did as well. Weird to see it on a shay...
Matt Mason

Post Reply