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.

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.

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 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.

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

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

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

Gladiator B16/1 More Body Details

This week work on the B16 has continued to flow.
The lubricators are on and although you get plain castings I drilled them out to add the pipework inside some microbore tube that I picked up earlier in the year from Barry of MetalSmiths fame.

Gladiator B16-1 Lubricator pipework

There was a thread on the Guild site discussing drilling brass castings and one of the suggestions (besides buying proper drill bits) was to heat to a cherry red heat and let the casting cool naturally. I have used this method before and it has to be said without much success.  I decided to try again and I have come to the conclusion that previously I just didn’t get it red enough – this time the cheapo Microbox type drills went through it like butter. I did you my Proxxon Mini Pillar drill though.

Gladiator B16-1 Lubricator pipework

Gladiator B16-1 Lubricator pipework

Ian Kirk All 3rd Paint job

You know when something niggles at you that there’s something not quite right? Well I had the feeling and finally pinned it down to the fact that the chimney was just not quite on square so I heated it up and attempted to nudge it. I must have been a bit vigorous because the next second it was on the floor. The good news is that in knocking it off I had spread the solder a little in the right direction and putting it on square was a simple matter of putting it in place and then heating it with the microflame until it sank down in the solder. A little cleaning up and I was happy

Detailing the loco body

As mentioned briefly elsewhere the detailing of the B16 is coming along nicely but not without minor frustrations.
This is where I have got to so far –

Gladiator B16-1 Detailing the Loco Body

On to the frustrations, earlier I had made the oil boxes that sit on the front splasher tops, the first one on the right hand splasher too about 10 attempts to solder it on, I would get it positioned and then clamped with self locking tweezers but each time I reached for the soldering iron to solder it from the back the blessed thing either moved or fell off. Finally I got it soldered in place and decided to do the other one. This was even worse, after three failed attempts to solder it on, it flew off into space and despite a good grovel I couldn’t find it. So I set to and made another, blow me if the same thing didn’t happen again. A couple or three failed attempts then twang…..
With the third iteration I filed a slight hollow in the base front to back so that it sat better on the splasher top and I managed to solder it on first go.

Gladiator B16-1 Detailing the Loco Body

Gladiator B16-1 Detailing the Loco Body

Next I made up and fitted the operating rod on the right hand side that was fitted to some locos. The casting was provided in the kit but I scratched the level from some scrap etch. This was all fairly straight forward as was drilling the foot plate and rear splashers and fitting the other oil boxes with the pipes. The boiler furniture again all went smoothly apart from the dome.

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Gladiator B16-1 Detailing the Loco Body

Gladiator B16-1 Detailing the Loco Body

Gladiator B16-1 Detailing the Loco Body

My dome casting was ever so slightly misshapen so that the oval of the dome when viewed from the top was at odds with the curvature of the boiler. As I said it was only marginally out but enough to make the dome sit slightly out of square (if a round object can sit square….) As it turns out it was a blessing in disguise because as designed the kit only caters for the earlier type of boiler. As I understand it the main visible difference between them being the position of the dome either astride a boiler band or between them.
To remedy the misshape I cut of the threaded spigot from the bottom and then using a ball shaped burr I ground out the remnants of it mounting and then I wrapped a strips of sanding belt around the boiler and twisting ever so slightly I rubbed away at the casting  until it sat down ‘squarely’ the added bonus was that I was then able to move it back quite a way so that it only just covered the etched hole in the boiler. While ot 100% in the right place it’s a lot better visually than had I just fitted it through the etched hole and moved on

Gladiator B16

Washout Plugs, Proper

Washout Plugs, Proper
 
Not much modelling done this week due to not being at my best, but a bit of thinking in the lucid moments and looking at photographs of B16’s. The conclusion that I reached is that washout plugs on B61/1’s are a nightmare. Almost every photo you look at has different numbers in different positions – No Swindon standardisation here…
 
So I settled on the understanding that the loco that I am building ‘61450’ had three on the right hand side and two on the left (looking forward from the cab). 61450, would also have to be one of these with the foremost washout plug on the front corner of the firebox. Working out how to do that took a bit of head scratching. 
 
As I have said before, mostly those things that require most head scratching and trepidation prove to be simpler to just get on and do. So it was with this one. I marked off where each one would sit and drilled a small pilot hole. For the four that are sat square to the side I just kept using slightly bigger drill bits until I hit the size for the previously made backing plugs. 
 
For the one at the corner of the firebox, I drilled a pilot quite close to the edge of the side of the firebox and again started to make it bigger. I stopped short two or three sizes smaller than I needed for the others and then using an oval diamond file, I filed the front of the firebox adjacent to the hole so that I had a 3/4 hole in either face of the firebox. I then used a round burr in my Dremel to ease it to final size.
 
Fitting the backing plugs and getting them in position was fun, it took at least three attempts on all but one of them. Once they were all soldered in place it was time to add the half etched overlays to the firebox sides around the holes. I tinned them all while still on the fret then cut them out and filed of the tag. 
 
I decided to use the microflame to solder them in position because I reasoned that using the soldering iron (aside from the possibility of getting solder all over where I didn’t want it), would possibly nudge them out of position too. This created the dilemma of heating the front face while making sure that the plug didn’t drop off the inside of the firebox. to get around this I cut some short lengths of coffee stirrer and wedged them between the two washout plugs inside the firebox and away I went. – I did manage to set fire to one which gave Chris a bit of a moment….
 
On a couple I had to add the tiniest spec of extra solder to get them firm and the one folding around the front of the firebox took a few attempts to get it seated properly in both planes but I got there in the end. They still need cleaning up but not as much as they would have if I had attempted to use the iron to solder them on.
 

Gladiator B16-1 Washout Plugs

Gladiator B16-1 Washout Plugs

Gladiator B16-1 Washout Plugs

They are one of those details that will fade away once lost in the overall paintwork but which would be very noticeable if they weren’t there. The plus point is that now that I have done them once doing them again on other locos will be quite straightforward.

Gladiator B16-1 Loco Body Detailing

Although I haven’t posted much on this having  concentrated on the caoches I have been making steady progress on the B16.
The tender is now complete with it’s missing Vacuum pipe and axleboxes and just needs a good scrub before I take any photos.
From the previous photos I have fitted the cab roof and working back from the cab I have also fitted the cab side hand rails
I also started work on the washout plugs, and for the upper part of the firebox in the timeframe of this model, the oval base plate had been replaced with a round one.

Gladiator B16-1 Body Details

Gladiator B16-1 Body Details

In the kit these are represented by a circular half etched overlay but those in the kit were a little over etched therefore a bit on the flimsy side. So I made some replacements from some nickel rod threaded 14ba to these I added some Markits Crankpin washers (my last so I need to get some more) and a 14BA nut to finish.

Gladiator B16-1 Body Details

Last thing, I gave it a good clean up scraping off lots of the excess solder that had built up in various areas.