Kirk Bogie Enhancements

I am back on the trail of Kirk coach builds,  this time it’s an all 3rd/brake 3rd twin set (Diags 105/125).
It’s for the gent that I built the last two for and this time he has gone for using the supplied Kirk bogies so I thought that I might upgrade them a little.
First I added some of my Silhouette cut leaf springs and then looked to make some springs for the bolsters.
I am aware that others have used 2ba screws to do represent the bolsters springs but to my mind the coils are a little too sharp in profile so I wound some 3mm styrene rod with 0.8/mm styrene rod to make the springs.
I also added the spring carriers and in hindsight I should have added the springs before sticking the carriers to the bogies because it’s going to be interesting getting the springs in position now.

Ian Kirk 7mm scale Bogie Enhancements

Ian Kirk 7mm scale Bogie Enhancements

I have also assembled the sides but didn’t take photos of them.

Powsides ex GER 5 Plank Open

Back at the beginning of last year (February) I built a Powsides ex GER 5 plank open. This was an E&T buy at Telford about 3 years ago.
Warren primed and coated it in grey for me and I have finally got around to adding the transfers ready for some weathering. I must have done a bit of weathering/painting of the woodwork but I can’t recall when…

Powsides GER 5 Plank Open

Powsides GER 5 Plank Open

Powsides GER 5 Plank Open

Powsides GER 5 Plank Open

Powsides GER 5 Plank Open – With Skytext barrel load

The last shot has it’s load which is one of the Skytrex castings that I bought and painted two or three years ago.

Now it Looks Like a Loco!

Further work over the weekend has seen it start to look like a loco at long last.

LNER 06 (MOK 8F) – Upperworks looking like a loco

LNER 06 (MOK 8F) – Upperworks looking like a loco

LNER 06 (MOK 8F) – Upperworks looking like a loco

LNER 06 (MOK 8F) – Upperworks looking like a loco

At the moment all except the cab, the reversing lever and it’s housing are just sat in place and are held by the firm fit of the components. – The sand shields are just lent in place because I need to drill them yet for the sandbox fillers. I am slightly surprised that they don’t have at least some semblance of a hole etched in them given how well everything else is portrayed.

I also need to drill and put a self tapper in the top of the cab face of the firebox to close up the very slight gap on the drivers side before I solder it in place. The instructions suggest doing this but I thought that I had got away without the need until I put everything in place.

Mind the Gap

Mind the Gap, the age old saying on the railways.
Mine was a little more fundamental – the curve of the footplate under the cab was not anything like the curve of the cab sides

LNER 06 (MOK 8F) – Cab Subframe issue

LNER 06 (MOK 8F) – Cab Subframe issue

LNER 06 (MOK 8F) – Cab Subframe issue

Because I didn’t have the benefit of the updated instructions that Mark kindly shared with me after and enquiry over on Western Thunder (I have emailed Dave Sharp to ask for a set of the updated instructions) I had previously added the cab front overlays and soldered all around the seams. This meant that tucking the front of the curved section up under the top layer of the cab front as advised in the updated instructions wasn’t to my mind – I worked on the theory that if I tried to remove the thin overlay I would irreparably damage it.
That left the alternative which was cut/file the front section down so that it sits just below the footplate rather than tucked in behind the front plate and to desolder and file down the sub frames until the curve better matched that of the sides of the cab.

LNER 06 (MOK 8F) – Cab Subframe issue

As you are looking at it, it took two goes at desoldering, filing down, before resoldering to test the fit for the left hand subframe and six goes for the right hand subframe.  At each desoldering I carefully cleaned up before filing a little more off. You may wonder why I resoldered at each test, it was because I couldn’t hold it in close enough proximity to accurately check the fit when trying to hold all the parts while they were
I have to say that had I continued with the build to this point when I started back in 2011 or so, I would never have had the confidence to desolder and resolder the same part so many times to get the fit that I wanted. I would never have been happy with it either.

LNER 06 (MOK 8F) – Cab subframe – modified to fit better

LNER 06 (MOK 8F) – Cab subframe – modified to fit better

LNER 06 (MOK 8F) – Cab subframe – modified to fit better

The slight gap on the right hand in this view will close up when I solder it all in but I am triple checking all is right before taking the final step.

Get out of jail free – or that’s what it felt like.

Although there are glaring gaps in the instructions, one part is explicit, that of forming the smokebox and boiler. 

The boiler comes pre rolled and according to the instructions so does the smokebox inner but mine wasn’t. That wasn’t an issue and I soon had it rolled. 

Now for the ‘I’m a dummy’ bit, the instructions are quite explicit about using two of the formers for the x71 and x72 (sorry I can’t remember if the preceding number is 1 or 3). Leaving x70 to go in the smaller end of the boiler. Because they all look identical (but aren’t Grrr) I managed to pick up the wrong one and only discovered my error when I had it all nicely soldered together.

My only saving grace was that I discovered the error (part x70 is slightly bigger than x71/x72) before I soldered the other wrong bit (x70) into the smokebox). At 11:15 on Tuesday night I didn’t have the headspace to sort it out so I went to bed.

This morning I set to and using a pointed scalpel and gentle heat from the micro flame I slowly worked my way around easing the boiler away from the former with regular quenching to take it out and replace it with part x70.

Thankfully I got away with it, in part I think due to the fact that I had soldered it in initially using the microflame to chase around a tiny amount of solder which meant that although it was held very securely it was easy to break the bond from the thin layer of solder. 

 
This is the boiler and smokebox assembly after my recovery.
 
[

LNER 06 (MOK 8F) – Boiler and Smokebox

Those with sharp eyes will not the piece of scrap protruding from the front of the smokebox.

 

LNER 06 (MOK 8F) – Boiler and Smokebox

 
There is a clever bit of the etch designed to ensure that you get everything lined up by inserting a piece of scrap into a slot etched into each of the three forward formers
 

LNER 06 (MOK 8F) – Boiler and Smokebox

I left it longer than suggested and used it to view down through all the apertures in the boiler top. In fact I left it in place as I soldered on the castings on top of the boiler. To solder these cleanly I flattened a couple of small bit’s of 145 solder in some pliers, placed them either side of the chimney opening after using a taper broach to open the hole up to take the spigot from the casting as tightish fit. a squirt of flux and then I place the chimney on top ensuring that it was square I heated the casting with the microflame until the solder melted allowing the casting to sink into place. – Repeated for the next casting (which I have to be honest and say I have no idea of the name or purpose of it).
 
At this point the Firebox, boiler and smoke box are all a nice tight push fit I won’t make it more permanent until I am happy with everything.
 
Finally, I had fitted the cab roof on Tuesday but I still need to sort out the subframe under the floor.
 

LNER 06 (MOK 8F) – Cab Roof

LNER 06 (MOK 8F) – Cab Roof

One step forward and two steps back

I am having a little more one step forward and two back with this build and it’s my own silly fault. In my eagerness to crack on I hadn’t noticed a photo in the Wild Swan LMS Loco profiles book on the 8F’s that shows the inside of the cab and more importantly the backhead. It seems that I have too much pipe work for my period so some of it needs to come off again.

I am thanking myself in that I took the extra time and effort to make most of the parts removable because that will make redoing it much easier.


This shows how the parts are removable

LNER 06 (MOK 8F) Backhead – Dismanted



Below is a crop of the cab photo in the Wild Swan book. The photo is credited to the National Railway Museum and is used here purely to illustrate the differences between what I have done and what I should have done.

A Blast from the past, resurrecting a longtime inhabitant of the workbench

A Happy New Year to all.

First a bit of a refresher, those with long memories can skip over this bit.

About 8 years ago my good lady became ill and had to give up work. She was fortunate in that she was able to take redundancy and she spent some her redundancy money on a kit for me. I chose the MOK 8F – MOK = Modern Outline Kits available from here MOK

I wanted the 8F to build as one of the locos that were ordered by the LNER during the war. My initial plan was to build one of the examples built by the Southern Railway for the LNER but further research since has changed that to become one of those built by the LNER at Darlington. You might ask why – because I wanted a riveted tender and I had already bought spoked wheels.

The ones built by the Southern had welded (smooth sided) tenders and most of the LNER built examples had solid wheels as on the tenders of the A3/4’s but at least a couple of the Darlington examples had spoked wheels to go with the riveted tender. So mine will now be either 3135 or 3144

Rather embarrassingly I started it in September 2012 (please look back through my blog entries for the time for more details) and never got anywhere near finishing it. About 18 months ago I had a second bash but still didn’t even get the tender finished. Chris has been pointedly asking most of this year when I am going to finish it and I had planned to return to it when I got distracted by the J79 in October. So I made the promise that I would return to it over Christmas and endeavour to get it completed.

I thought I would ease back into it with something easy, or so I thought. I started on detailing the backhead a week last Saturday.

These are some of the many parts that make it up.

LNER 06 (MOK8F) Backhead Fittings

LNER 06 (MOK8F) Backhead Fittings

I had to make this up from a couple of pieces and I drilled and soldered a spigot to the back to make it easier to attach to the backhead itself.

LNER 06 (MOK8F) Backhead Fittings

LNER 06 (MOK8F) Backhead Fittings

Then the myriad of spaghetti that will be the pipework.

LNER 06 (MOK8F) Backhead Fittings

Having seen Nick Dunhill’s masterpiece a few weeks back I was keen to replicate the gauge glasses that he did. On this particular backhead this entailed cutting off the levers, and then cutting out the rectangle of brass to insert the square perspex later in the build and then reattaching the levers to the sides.

LNER 06 (MOK 8F) Backhead – completed apart from the gauge glasses

LNER 06 (MOK 8F) Backhead – completed apart from the gauge glasses

These are the almost finished article that has taken just over a week to put together. – Most of the parts are removable to allow the backhead to be painted.

The main goal now is to get it finished.

A little deviation on the Gladiator J6

Although it looks to have been a little quiet on the J6 front things have been progress albeit that it’s taken a slight detour.
After careful study of the tender in the photo v’s what came with the kit, my client decided that he would prefer a different tender to make the loco match the photo. The alternate tender is now on order from David Hill at Gladiator but won’t be available until March. I plan to continue to build the original tender, if for no other reason than to make sure I don’t lose any of the bit’s off it. – I have made a little more progress which I will share at some point.
Which means that thoughts have turned to the loco itself. I am very gratefully receiving help and guidance from Paul Pen-Sayers (@Locomodels) on building and fitting the inside motion in the chassis and I have been given Carte Blanche by my client to replace items in the same manner as I would if building it for myself.
So far I have elected to obtain some Premier coupling rods and some driving wheel springs from Ragstone. The latter I will need to modify but they will look a bit more like springs than the rather 1D etchings attached to the frames. In fairness to the kit, the etches are labelled 1992 and things have moved on a bit in the detail stakes since then.
This is what I mean  by 1D they are a single layer etch with just the outline of the strap that retains the leaves.
The reason I elected to go for the Premier rods is similar, in that the rods provided are only dual layer with the back layer half etched and they are designed to pivot on the crank pin rather than the knuckle joint. I could perhaps have modified them to pivot on the knuckle but without adding another layer from scratch, I felt that they would still be a bit on the delicate side for coupling rods. Paul of course made a superb job of those for Heather’s build and I am guessing that he made up some additions in his workshop.
Moving swiftly on, I have started to clean up the inside motion parts and slipped some of them onto an axle to see how they fit.

Gladiator J6 Crank Axle

Gladiator J6 Crank Axle

Much more work to do on them of course – including attempting to straighten those straps…

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.

x-default

x-default

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