Thanks to the Railway Modellers Ireland Facebook group and Jonathan Beaumont in particular I have received the following information:
JB – Originally olive green – quite dark, and with lining. No actual details of the lining survive but perusal of early photos suggest black and white. The letters “S L N C R” were in shaded gold or yellow on the tank sides. It is not known what colour the nameplates were, though during the “black” era (probably about 1910/15 onwards) these were variously black with red writing, or red with polished writing.
MB – There is a photo of classmate “Lurganboy” on the smugmug website, with “SL&NCR” lettering on the tank sides, but the rest of the loco looks to be unlined. Would this lettering have been carried in the olive green days with the lining?
JB – Yes.
JB – After they started painting them unlined black I believe, but cannot be certain, that the lettering continued for a while (on the unlined black background). Connecting rods are often seen (copied) on models as red. Evidently they were not – they were black or more likely, unpainted.