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.