Gladiator J6 Modified Loco springs fitted to the frames

Although there hasn’t been much to share, work has been progressing on the J6.
We now have all the springs attached to the frame. Initially I though to have the centre springs removable and the for and aft ones just soldered on but in the end I drilled and tapped them all 12ba so they are all removable should the need arise.

Gladiator J6 Loco Springs Fitted

Gladiator J6 Loco Springs Fitted

Gladiator J6 Loco Springs Fitted

Gladiator J6 Loco Springs Fitted

Gladiator J6 Horn Guides Fitted

Recently I seem to have been spending far too much time browsing and not enough time modelling but I have made some positive progress which I can share.
I have fitted the motions plate with some angle brackets to allow it to be screwed to the frames.

Modified by CombineZP

Not the best photo in the world but hopefully it’s good enough.
Then last night saw the horn guides installed using my Hobby Holidays jig. I also made use of the Use of the springs allowed me to position the horn guides much better without them moving.

Modified by CombineZP

Modified by CombineZP

Because I am using Finney LNER horn guides I now need to file out the bits that protrude into the holes in the frames etc. marked in red on the photo so that’s this evening main task.

Further detail on the Kirk Coach bogies

More done on the bogies over the weekend.
The brakes and yokes are now fitted to all three bogies. not exactly like the real thing but will pass muster hidden away underneath the coach.

Kirk Bogie modifcations – brakes and yokes

Kirk Bogie modifcations – brakes and yokes

Kirk Bogie modifcations – brakes and yokes

If you are wondering why the rod between the two yokes? It’s to hold the brakes away from the tyres to prevent friction.
They just need guard irons over the yokes and they are well on their way.

Parkside NBR Jubilee Mineral Wagon

For those who notice such things, I have managed to correct the brakes being the wrong way around in the photos in my last post.

Plus while working on the Kirk twin art set I have been slowly assembling a Parkside NBR Jubilee Mineral wagon. Not the best mouldings that I have seen from the Parkside stable but I think it will be fine once painted and weathered.

Parkside NBR Jubilee Mineral Wagon

I made the loops that allow the end door to open on the original from 0.6mm styrene rod which I wound around a 0.5mm drill bit in a PIN vice, I then poured boiling water over it and then quenched it in cold water which retained the coil. It was then an easy matter to trim and fit the loops. I used a couple of the off cuts to make the rings for the horse hooks. I would have normally used brass wire for these but I didn’t have any to hand the correct size so I decide to see what I could do with styrene.

Parkside NBR Jubilee Mineral Wagon

Parkside NBR Jubilee Mineral Wagon

The more observant will note that the brake levers are in different positions in the photos. This is done because I find it a real pain masking them off while painting so I decided to make them move.

To achieve this I drilled the back of the lever and glued in a short section of 1.5mm styrene rod. I drilled through the mounting block under the sole bar and then cut a short length of 1.5mm inside diameter styrene tube to fit over the rod once it passed through the mounting block to create a locking washer which retains the lever but allows movement.

Parkside NBR Jubilee Mineral Wagon – Working brake levers

Parkside NBR Jubilee Mineral Wagon

Before it hits the paint shop, I still need to solder the coupling links closed and add the pins and chain to the brake levers.

Stephenson’s Motion 4 Bar Slide Bars – plus a bit of extra detail

Alongside creation of the motion plate, I had to prepare the slide bars and make the cross heads fit.
Once I had them running nice and smooth and having test fitted them in the motion plate,  I detailed them with the very prominent oil pots on the tops. Made from spare etch and nickel rod
I am not sure why but these proved and absolute pain to take photos of…

Gladiator J6 – LG Slide Bars with scratch built oilers

Gladiator J6 – LG Slide Bars with scratch built oilers

Poetry in Motion (Plate…)

I had originally planned to go to Kettering show this weekend with a stop over on Friday night. Taking the decision not to go has given me an extra couple of days of thinking/modelling time in which to really get my head into the inside motion.

Fellow modeller Paul Penn-Sayers had offered to cut out a motion plate for the J6 for me. Paul has also supplied lots of information and patiently answered my ‘newby’ questions regarding inside motion for which I am eternally grateful. While I fully intended to take up the offer events somewhat overtook me.

While studying the GA drawing to work out which bit was which on Wednesday evening I had the thought of importing it into Inkscape (the drawing package that I use to draw for the silhouette), rescaling it to 7mm scale and then highlighting the components that make up the motion so that I could see what they are.

You can see the difference in the layout of the motion compared with the Midland variation in which the motion set from Laurie Griffin is based – below is a snip from the LG instructions.

While I was doing my stuff in Inkscape, Chris suggested using my silhouette to create a template for the motion plate to test whether it would fit between the frames etc. I thought that a great idea and within a very short space of time I had drawn up and cut this

I used that to transfer the measurements onto a spare frame spacer and drilled/cut filed it out. Due to using it as a template to scribe around, some of the measurements were fractionally over size, while the internal ones were slightly undersized. I kept filing until the slide bars fit and I got this. – I added the framing top and bottom afterwards.

Gladiator J6 – Scratch Built Motion Plate

Looking at Paul’s and Nick Dunhill’s superb motion plate examples, I realise that I will have to file some relief in the tops and bottom of the slide bar seats/openings in a similar manner to the centre opening where the eccentric rods will pass through, in order to allow for the up/down movement of the piston rods.

This is it in the frames – held by a blob of Blue tack

Gladiator J6 – Scratch Built Motion Plate

Although as I say I am very grateful to Paul for his offer to cut one out for me and looking at the example posted by Heather Kay on Western Thunder, it would have been of a much higher fidelity than my first effort has achieved but it’s a skill learned and Paul’s help has helped me to make sense of GA’s which has previously eluded me – all the lines blurring into a shapeless mass. Another skill which will only improve with practice and should translate into better quality models at the end of it.

Ian Kirk Diagram 105/125 Twin Set

This weekend saw much progress on the Twin set.

Timely posting of a photo of the brake end allowed me to cut the windows while the end was in the flat and then both coach bodies were assembled.

Kirk Twin Art – Diag 125

Kirk Twin Art – Diag 125

Kirk Twin Art – Diag 105

Kirk Twin Art – Diag 105

I also blanked of the inner ends by filling the holes for the buffers and coupling hooks and then overlaid a piece of 20 thou to form a solid foundation for the shared bogie pivot.

Kirk Twin Battery Box modifications

Lastly I made a start of building up/detailing the battery boxes (although there are five I only need four for this job). Next I need to cut out the end straps with the silhouette because I have run out.

A spring in the step,  or should that read, “some steps with the springs” (groan!)

 
We started with this.
 

Gladiator J6 – Replacement Ragstone Springs

 
I then patiently cut that down to get these separate pieces
 

Gladiator J6 – Loco spring modifications`

 
What I am aiming for is a 3D profile of these
 

Gladiator J6 – Replacement Ragstone Springs

 
Then I started to re-assemble them – and to misquote Eric Morecambe, all the right bits but not necessarily in the right order….
 

Gladiator J6 – Loco spring modifications -part 2

 
Monday evening should see them ready to fit (I hope!)

More Juice on the J6

Further progress has the chassis together and ready for the fitting of the hornblocks. 

Despite the quite substantial frames there was still a bit of flex in between the two main spacers and the rear one which is just soldered to the top left the bottom of the chassis with a tendency to splay outwards. To get over this I have temporarily soldered a third frame spacer (labeled motor spacer in and I also cut one of the wider frame spacers down and soldered it upright to take out the splay at the rear. 

As is comes there are three sets of spacers, marked from when it was blown up from a 4mm kit 00 gauge, EM gauge and P4 I am using the EM gauge spacers as a compromise between getting int to go around 5′ curves and having having sufficient room to fit the inside motion.

 

Gladiator J6 – Loco Chassis

Gladiator J6 – Loco Chassis

Before I go any further I am going to rework the springs and fit them before adding the Horn guides.

Gladiator J6 back on the Bench

As mentioned in my previous post a lack of time and energy has allowed me to do a few small jobs on the J6 that didn’t require anything that wasn’t therapeutic.

Although David had advised that it wouldn’t be available until March it was a pleasant surprise when an email suggested that it could be collected at Bristol show. Warren Haywood very kindly collected it for me, so the build has resumed. Perversely I have decided not to start with the tender but to get the loco frames done next – it’s to have working inside motion.

Parts of the etches do show their age and so it is with the loco springs which are a very basic etch. My client has asked me to build it as if it were for me so I have the discretion to obtain replacements for anything that I think could be improved upon.

The Hornblocks are Finney and were from stock so I will need to pick up some replacements for them from the Guys when I see them next.

Gladiator J6 – Loco Frames and Finney Horn Blocks

The spring castings are from Andy Beaton (@demu1037) at Ragstone Models and will be modified to make them look more like the J6 springs before fitting.

Gladiator J6 – Replacement Ragstone Springs

A Ventilated Diversion….

Alongside progressing the Kirk twinset (all three bogies are now to the same stage) I have also put together and painted/weathered an ex LMS Steel bodied Ventilated van.
It still needs couplings and some further work before I will have achieved my aim but I am pleased with progress so far.

Parkside LMS Steel Bodies Vent Van (Diag D1828)

Parkside LMS Steel Bodies Vent Van (Diag D1828)

Parkside LMS Steel Bodies Vent Van (Diag D1828)

Parkside LMS Steel Bodies Vent Van (Diag D1828)

Parkside LMS Steel Bodies Vent Van (Diag D1828)

Parkside LMS Steel Bodies Vent Van (Diag D1828)

Parkside LMS Steel Bodies Vent Van (Diag D1828)

More improvements to Kirk Bogies

When fellow modellers came along to see me when I was demoing at Pontefract show, the parts that I was cutting were some brakes for my Kirk coach bogies

Once glued together (5 layers) they came out looking like this.
Apologies for the poor photo, white on white isn’t the best combination
 

Silhouette cut brakes for Kirk Bogies

 
The demo must have been well received because I have also been asked to demo at Telford as well as Doncaster this year.
 
Not much modelling got done last week due to having a busy week compounded by minor surgery, but over the weekend the Mojo returned and I made progress on the twinset.
 

Scratch built Bolster Springs for Kirk Bogies

 
The first bogie now has it’s bolster springs an I have the parts prepared to fit to the other two. I did end up having to remove the bolster frame to fit the springs so a lesson learned.
 
I also managed to get three of the ends attached to their respective sides. The fourth one needs cutting down for the narrower brake end.

Ragstone Models GER Wool Wagon

I managed to move an even longer term inhabitant of the workbench a bit closer to the finish line this weekend.

 
I first built the basic kit back in May 2015 but I have only just got around to finishing the transfers. At the time Adrian Marks advised me that at grouping these ended their days in departmental service and as such never received LNER livery, hence this one will be finished in a very scabby GER livery.
 

Ragstone Models GER Wool Wagon

Ragstone Models GER Wool Wagon

Ragstone Models GER Wool Wagon

Ragstone Models GER Wool Wagon

Ragstone Models GER Wool Wagon

Ragstone Models GER Wool Wagon

A superb kit with all the brake gear being lost wax castings rather than etches.
 

Ragstome Models GER Woll Wagon

Ragstome Models GER Woll Wagon

Ragstome Models GER Woll Wagon

The only changes I made were to add the tie down rings from bent brass dressmaking pins (I annealed them to bend them).

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.

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.