Gladiator J6 off the starting blocks

The J6 is is officially underway,
I decided to build the tender first to get a feel for things and the plan is to use the tender for the pickups so hornblocks were fitted. The good news for this plan is that there were etched cut outs for fitting them with certainly simplified things.
All the wheels are blackened but I need to stock up on steel 10ba csk screws because I haven’t enough to do the drivers.
The horn guides are Finney but I seem to have misplaced the strips for retaining the hornblocks so I used a trick borrowed from Warren Haywood and used surplus 12ba nuts and bolts from Slaters crank pins to create retainers. In fairness I could have probably just soldered strips of scrap etch across the bottom because the Slaters wheels are easy to remove.
At the minute there is a lot of side play. I plan to leave this for the moment because the finished model has to negotiate 5′ radius curves.

Gladiator J6 – Tender Chassis

Gladiator J6 – Tender Chassis

Gladiator J6 – Tender Chassis

Gladiator J6 – Tender Chassis

You will note in the last photo that I shimmed the spacers with some scrap etch I am not sure whether I really needed to but it helped to level the space with the top of the frames and to get a tighter fit with the rear spacer that goes through the frames mid way. I suspect that if I had tested it without removing the etching cusp I may not have needed it.

The next build – a Gladiator LNER/BR J6 with inside motion

With the end in sight for the J79 my thoughts have started straying to the next build which is to be an LNER/BR J6 (ex Great Northern Railway) This is to be built from a Gladiator Kit which originated in the George Norton Connoisseurs Choice range (according to the etches). Extras include full inside motion from Laurie Griffin along with a few of his detailing parts. Once it’s painted (by Warren Haywood) I will then be weathering it and adding the finishing touches.

We start with what’s in the box.

 

Gladiator GNR-LNER J6 – what’s in the box plus the extras.

First the brass castings and turnings

Gladiator GNR-LNER J6 – what’s in the box plus the extras.

Then the very cleanly cast white metal details.

Gladiator GNR-LNER J6 – what’s in the box plus the extras.

Gladiator GNR-LNER J6 – what’s in the box plus the extras.

Gladiator GNR-LNER J6 – what’s in the box plus the extras.

Then the etches, the chassis etches are quite substantial nickel silver etches but the body etches feel much thinner so I suspect that they will require a bit of careful handling until they are soldered into a rigid structure.

Gladiator GNR-LNER J6 – what’s in the box plus the extras.

Wheels and pick up’s

Gladiator GNR-LNER J6 – what’s in the box plus the extras.

Finally the extras, These are all from Laurie Griffin and were my suggestions to the gent that I am building it for to not only enhance it but to replace the vulnerable etched lamp irons.

Connoisseur J79 Final body details – the end is in sight.

A weekend at home in Wakefield for a family event has mean’t extra time to crack on with the J71 which is almost there now.
Like most classes of locomotive, the J79’s had a wealth of details over their life. a couple were Westinghouse fitted but 1662 was vacuum fitted in later life (it retained the steam brake for the loco braking) and the vacuum pipes were the under buffer plank hanging type rather than the more common upright variety.
The pipe ran down the bottom of the valance on the right had side of the engine and the mounting brackets looked quite substantial. Initially I made my usual mounts from scrap etch folded in ‘P’ shape but they just didn’t look right. After a rummage in the box that I keep all my rod and strip sections in I came up at a loss and it wasn’t until looking in a drawer for something else that I chanced upon some short lengths of bullhead rail.
They seemed perfect from an edge on view so a couple of attempts to get the right length later and I had 4 mounting brackets. To make them I drilled a hole through the web and then cut the from the back through the web like this

Connoisseur J79 final body details

I also drilled a hole in the roof and filed it square for the roof ventilator then cut a scrap of etch for the cover. To get it to sit at such a jaunty angle I popped a bit of thich scrap etch under it at one end then gripped the other with a pair of self locking tweezers. turn it over and touch the soldering iron inside the hole for the ventilator and its firmly held in place at an angle.

Connoisseur J79 final body details

The remaining whitemetal body details were then fixed in place with epoxy and thoughts returned to the chassis.

Connoisseur J79 final body details

Not included in the kit but very visible on the sides of the chassis are a couple of injectors. A search through Laurie Griffins site didn’t reveal any that looked remotely suitable so I decided to make my own from brass tube, rod and some 14BA nuts with copper wire for the pipes.

Connoisseur J79 Scracth built Injectors

Connoisseur J79 Scracth built Injectors

And of course the photo has revealed that I need to nudge one of the nuts to close the gap…
Finally a shot with a 5p coin to show how big they aren’t

Connoisseur J79 Scracth built Injectors – size indicator

Connoisseur J79 More Body Details

Steady progress this week has seen more details added to the body.

The buffers all needed drilling out for the bolt heads – because I had them I used some of the rather nice Scale Hardware items

Connoisseur Models J79 – More Body details

I also added the front lamp irons (Laurie Griffin castings) and the bracket on the front buffer plank which is visible in the photos that I have and Yeadon speculates that it was used for shunting locos/tenders when separated from each other. This was made from scrap nickel etch soldered together with 295 degree solder so it stayed together when I used 145 to add it to the buffer plank. – again a few more Scale Hardware items to finish it. – The eagle eyed amongst you will note that one went missing while washing it too…

Connoisseur Models J79 – More Body details

The hand rail on the fireman’s side has a fitting that incorporates the support for the end of the handrail on the smokebox this was made up using some small bore tube, a disk of scrap etch and a 14BA nut. The tube sealed with the scrap etch was slid onto a stub of handrail protruding forward of the hand rail knob with the nut at the other side and all soldered in place. It’s not strictly accurate but it will pass muster once painted and is better than just a plain handrail knob.

Connoisseur Models J79 – More Body details

It was discretely pointed out that the coal rails were plated right to the bottom and it for me it was a wood and trees moment because all my photos show it but it hadn’t sunk in.

Remedying it involved taking the rails off again because try as I might I couldn’t get the extra strip to stay in place while I soldered it while it was in situ.

The same discussion concluded that being vacuum fitted it probably had an upper rear lamp iron too. Scrap etch to the rescue. This was the second attempt because having made a lovely job of the first which was made from conveniently shaped bit of etch I realised that I had the slope rising up above the horizontal rather than below it as it should be.

Connoisseur Models J79 – Backhead details

As a bit of a distraction while painting other bit’s and pieces, I primed and topcoated the Backhead. Over the weekend I picked out the details and added a bit of weathering.
Although I am not sure that the photos do the quality of Jim’s little backhead for this loco, justice  – what you see is all cast on the backhead with no additional pipework or castings. I was so impressed that I thought it would pass muster inside a closed cab without resorting to removing and re-adding details as I might have done with other backhead castings.

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Connoisseur J79 – A few more body details

A session last night saw further details added to the body.
The coal rails were fitted and a plated infill added. My reading on the subject has revealed that they were plated over right from being built. Jim supplies them as open rails. A piece of scrap etch provided the infill.

J79 – Plated in Coal rails.

Handrails both sides were fitted but they needed bushing with a bit of tube over the base of the handrail knob to fill the slightly oversized holes  – of course I then had to enlarge the holes again to get them to fit with the tube in place.

In the instructions (like many of his kits) Jim suggests the use of split pins instead of handrail knobs. For the J79, looking at the photos I have, it seems that handrail knobs are a better fit to the real thing than split pins would be.

J79 Handrails fitted.

Finally the piano front was fitted after filing a piece of rod in the Dremel to make the quite visible knob for it.

J79 Piano Front

Parkside SR/BR Brake Van

A slight diversion in the form of a complete foreigner to me – a Parkside SR Brake Van.
It’s ultimately destined for the small ads but it has made a change which has resparked my interest.
This is as far as I got in a couple of sessions over the weekend.

Parkside 7mm Diag 1579 SR Brake Van

It’s just posed for the photo at the minute

Parkside 7mm Diag 1579 SR Brake Van

Parkside 7mm Diag 1579 SR Brake Van

As you can see the brakes are not fixed yet.

Parkside 7mm Diag 1579 SR Brake Van

I found an interior shot which showed a couple of small seats below the lookouts. There was also a separate box/locker with a lid which I may or may not model. I say that because when the lid is one there isn’t much visible inside…. Although once the interior is painted a bit more may be seen.

Parkside 7mm Diag 1579 SR Brake Van

I have planked over the tops of the verandas which I appreciate isn’t visible when looking at it from above but it does enhance it as a model.

Parkside 7mm Diag 1579 SR Brake Van

Some were made to slightly different diagram in that they had additional windows added adjacent to the doors in each end. many others had them fitted later in their lives. I found a couple of photos where they survived intact without so I decided to leave them as is.
It will be finished to represent a BR liveried example so I won’t be fitting the sand boxes although having said that I am very tempted to model this one
Or this one as being something quite different. I am not sure what the time frame for it being fitted with the cylinders on the end platform though – I want to appeal to as wide an audience as possible.
[url=https://flic.kr/p/7DQE2L][img]https://farm3.staticflickr.com/2775/4366344270_2c9d84c784_b.jpg[/img][/url][url=https://flic.kr/p/7DQE2L]S49000  SR  BRAKE VAN[/url] by [url=https://www.flickr.com/photos/linda_chen/]Linda Chen[/url], on Flickr

Connoisseur J79 more body detailing going on

The last couple of evenings have seen more details added to the body of the J79
It now sports Clack valves, the safety valve bonnet, a front lamp iron on the smokebox and finally a connection and pipe to the tops of the firebox.  I am not certain what this is exactly but noticed it on a recent photo posted by Mick Roffe of the preserved J72 too.

Connoisseur Models J79 – Body details

Connoisseur Models J79 – Body details

Connoisseur Models J79 – Body details

In the box were a nice pair of brass brake standards, one for the loco one for the spares box – the spares box has been heavily raided for this build.

Connoisseur Models J79 – Body details

Connoisseur Models J79 – Body details

Further work on the Connoisseur Models J79

A weekend at home has seen much progress on the J79.
The chimney and safety valve cover are just posed for the photo I want add more detail before fixing them in place.

Connoisseur Models J79 – loco body

Connoisseur Models J79 – loco body

The cab is still loose at this point too.

Connoisseur Models J79 – Cab Back

This is the reason that it’s still loose, although at an oblique angle one of the photos that I have seems to show bars on over the rear windows which I have added – suitably distressed too.

Connoisseur Models J79 – Cab Back

Connoisseur Models J79 – loco body

Since taking this shot on Sunday morning I have made up the vacuum ejector pipe and soldered the rear of the cab in place.

Connoisseur Models J79 – loco body

There is a lot going on for such a diminutive little loco

Connoisseur J79, Upper works progressing nicely.

Work has progressed a little this week with me adding the cab beading and fitting the cab/bunker/tank sides to the footplate. I took a bit of care to make sure that I got the sides to the outer edge of the etched slots in the footplate – this is an older kit and some of the slots are slightly over etched.
I then looked to fit the bunker rear and found that there is a slight gap at one side so I am probably going to have to adjust the left hand side as you view it from the rear. that may mean that I need to fill a small gap in the footplate top time will tell.

Connoisseur Models J79 – Bunker rear

Connoisseur Models J79 – Cab and tank sides

Connoisseur Models J79 – Cab and tank sides

It was getting late by the time I discovered that so I moved onto something a little easier for my last 15 minutes or so. Namely the cab roof. I am quite impressed by Jim’s design for this because it’s usually a bit of a fiddle to get it to sit square and be retained in the cab. Jim’s answer is a nifty fold up etch.

Connoisseur Models J79 – Cab roof

A note to anyone building one of these, there are half etched curves in the roof for locating the rain strips (the idea is that you solder in a length of thin wire and it becomes a half round rain strip). when rolling, the roof has a tendency to fold rather than roll smoothly. Backing it with a bit of card as it goes through the rollers would probably help with this.
Having none to hand I didn’t bother,  I just stopped passing it through the rollers right to the ends of the roof and effectively just rolled the middle section. I also replaced the wire with some small square section rod that I had in stock.

Connoisseur Models J79 – Cab roof

Lastly in true Blue Peter fashion,  here’s a bit that I did earlier. I had previously added the spacers and the boiler bands to the boiler but had popped it back in the kit box so missed taking any photos of it when I took the photos that I shared the other day.

Connoisseur Models J79 – Boiler

Connoisseur Models J79 – Boiler

Making A Start on a Connoisseur Models J79 Tank Engine

Now that the B16/1 is finished I thought I would share with a you a little distraction that I had a couple of weeks ago.

I had a few days off after my birthday and wanted to spend it working on something for me. I really should have spent the time working on my MOK 8F kit but I didn’t instead I made a good start on the J79.
 
Jim’s kits are great in that you can build them as supplied and have a lovely model or you can go to town and have an even better model. I chose to not only raid the spares box but to do some scratch building as well.
 
This is where I got to during the 4 days that I spent on it.
 
First of all I built the chassis. I decided I wanted something a little more 3D for the loco springs and after raiding a few of my kit stock to see if I could borrow anything that might be suitable I ended up making some from scrap etch, nickel rod and some 12ba nuts
 

Connoisseur Models J79 – Chassis

Connoisseur Models J79 – Chassis

The centre axle holes have been elongated downwards and sprung with a piece of 0.8mm piano wire which sits into a dimple drilled in the bearing.
 
The lovely brake castings are from Ragstone Models and were bought originally for my A3 but there wasn’t enough clearance to use them so they were sat in the spares box and matched the etches perfectly so it made sense to use them. 
 

Connoisseur Models J79 – Chassis

The J79 (NER H2) has quite distinctive couplings which again are made up from bits in the spares box

Connoisseur Models J79 – distinctive NER couplings made up from the spares box

While at Guildex was enquiring as to the availability of coupling rods for the N2 etches that I picked up from the E&T and noted that they had a table at the side of the stand which had boxes of castings of various descriptions at quite silly prices. Apparently they had cleared out their workshop and they were all part used sprues of lost wax castings most were at £1 or £2 per bag and I got quite a few for about £12 in total. Some of these were lamp Irons.
I made use of them on the bunker rear

Connoisseur Models J79 – Bunker rear bend to shpe and replacement cast lamp irons added

To make them even more secure I drilled through and attached them via the spigots too.

Connoisseur Models J79 – Bunker rear bend to shpe and replacement cast lamp irons added


The coupling rods in this kit are brass etches and Jim helpfully suggests tinning them to make them look like dirty steel rods. I have used this tactic in the past and it does work.

Connoisseur Models J79 – Coupling Rods


Finally I blackened the wheels, tapped the crank pin bushes 10ba and fitted 10ba steel Counter Sunk screws to the wheels.

 

Connoisseur Models J79 – Wheels blackened and wrapped with tape to space the brakes off the wheels while fitting

Connoisseur Models J79 – Footplate and buffer planks

Going, going, gone to the painter. The B16/1 is complete at last.

The last few days working on the B16 have been spent on making up the rather prominent cylinder crain cocks and their operating mechanism from the ends of JLRT coach vacuum or some such pipes of which I had four in my spares box and scrap etch. I also made up and fitted the rear sand pipes.

Gladiator B16-1 – Cylinder Drain Cocks and operating levers

Gladiator B16-1 – Rear Sand Pipes

Tonight I reassembled it and took the following photos before dropping it off at Warren’s for painting.

Gladiator B16-1 – Ready for painting

Gladiator B16-1 – Ready for painting

Gladiator B16-1 – Ready for painting

Plus a few arty shots to finish

Gladiator B16-1 – Ready for painting

Gladiator B16-1 – Ready for painting

Gladiator B16-1 – Ready for painting

Gladiator B16-1 – Ready for painting

Gladiator B16-1 – Ready for painting

Ian Kirk All 3rd almost ready to rock

A concerted effort this weekend has seen the All 3rd nearing completion. Still to do are fitting the roof and having seen the photos sticking part of one of the rain strips down.
Having chosen to ultimately glue the roof on last I had, had some debate about how windows that became dislodged through handling would be replaced. After a bit of head scratching I cam up with a cunning plan.
Each window is an individual pane which is glued into the rebate inside the coach but I have also added a strip of secondary glazing which rests on the strip that strengthens the sides and runs the full length of the coach. It’s is held in place by the edges of the compartments which I filed down to allow the glazing strip to fit. This will prevent the individual panes from being dislodged.

Ian Kirk 7mm Scale LNER All 3rd Suburban – Double Glazing

Ian Kirk 7mm Scale LNER All 3rd Suburban

Ian Kirk 7mm Scale LNER All 3rd Suburban

Ian Kirk 7mm Scale LNER All 3rd Suburban

To fit the no smoking transfers I made up a little jig from a piece of 20thou styrene which was the width of the window from the outside. I measured half way up the window and marked the styrene. I then added 1mm and marked it again. After measuring the with of the transfer I subtracted this from the total width and divided the remainder by two. I measured the result from each edge and marked a vertical line from the high line to the middle line at each side and then cut the styrene out leaving me with a rectangle of styrene with a notch cut out that centres the transfer in the middle of the window both vertically and horizontally

Ian Kirk 7mm Scale LNER All 3rd Suburban

Ian Kirk 7mm Scale LNER All 3rd Suburban

Ian Kirk 7mm Scale LNER All 3rd Suburban

Ian Kirk 7mm Scale LNER All 3rd Suburban

Ian Kirk 7mm Scale LNER All 3rd Suburban

The All 3rd end is near…

Although I have only one photo, the All 3rd is nearing completion. The transfers are on, it’s glazed and the roo vents have been re-fitted – right number in the right place….
I left it on Sunday night with the glue in the glazing drying so unless I discover anything that I have missed I should have it all put together next weekend.

Ian Kirk 7mm All 3rd Roof

Gladiator B16-1 First Test Run

After my mistake with the wheels on Saturday, I sorted them out and with the weather being not too bad we cleaned up part of the circuit on the garden line and gave it a try.

Sadly, the rigid chassis doesn’t take well to my less than generous curves but it is alive and now just needs final detailing.

Here’s a video of it running up and down the straight section.

https://youtu.be/GS0lEnoHSXs

Chris also took a few photos of it in the sunshine. Just a few more details to add before it goes of to Warren for painting.

Gladiator B16-1 First test run

Gladiator B16-1 First test run

Gladiator B16-1 First test run

Gladiator B16-1 First test run

Gladiator B16-1 First test run

Gladiator B16-1 First test run

Gladiator B16-1 First test run

Gladiator B16-1 First test run

Gladiator B16-1 First test run

Ian Kirk 7mm scale All 3rd, a few more details completed

Although I have been concentrating on the B16 I have done a little on the All 3rd by picking out the handles in brass.
I popped all the bits together to see how it looked – it’s still just plonked on the bogies with the roof just resting in place.

Kirk 7mm scale LNER All 3rd Grab and T Handles

Kirk 7mm scale LNER All 3rd Grab and T Handles

Kirk 7mm scale LNER All 3rd Grab and T Handles

I hope that I might get the transfers on this weekend.

Gladiator B16/1 Bodywork Complete, Chassis final details next.

In between popping along to Keighley show where I had a great time chatting to many people I have made much progress on the B16.
Unless something else jumps out at me while working on the chassis, the body is finished. Now it’s onto the electrics plus the final details on the chassis. At this rate I may have to change plans and take it for a run on the test track at Shildon On Saturday afternoon.
While studying the one photo that I have of 61450, I noted that I had missed an oiler on the right rear  splasher. I had made it but can’t recall why I didn’t fit it when I fitted the others but it’s corrected now.

Gladiator B16-1 Body details completed

Gladiator B16-1 Body details completed

Gladiator B16-1 Body details completed

Painting the Kirk’s

At the beginning of each session on the B16 recently I have sprayed the All 3rd in either Carmine, matt varnish or lastly masked up and sprayed the black.
 

Ian Kirk All 3rd Paint job

Ian Kirk All 3rd Paint job

Ian Kirk All 3rd Paint job

 
The paints were both from the Vallejo Model colour range – Carmine and Black. The varnish used was Ronseal water based let down with Vallejo thinners.
 
I also made a start on adding the teak varnish to my Kirk Parcels van.
 

Ian Kirk 51 ft Parcels van – A start on the teak finish

Ian Kirk 51 ft Parcels van – A start on the teak finish

Ian Kirk 51 ft Parcels van – A start on the teak finish

 
Again the finish is Vallejo Model Colour Orange covered by (so far) 7 coats of Ronseal waterbased Teak varnish applied by brush so not let down.