Two steps backward and one forward

Here is where I admit to a proper Doh!! moment. Last night I realised that the safety valve bonnet in the kit is a white metal casting – a very nice whitemetal casting to be fair. But I want to be able to finish it as polished brass. While I could probably paint it brass coloured and varnish it, I would rather it be brass and with a lever (which mine hasn’t got at present although I could no doubt make one up from some scrap etch). I have a Laurie Griffin/Shedmaster LNER J24/25 kit in my stash so I thought that I would have a look at the safety valve cover to see if it was what I had in mind. (to add it to the list of things that I need to get from Laurie at Telford). While looking I noticed that the tender wheels were Slaters 3′ 9″ 10 spoke LNWR General Pattern….. A quick check in my F5 kit revealed two axles Slaters 3′ 9″ 10 spoke LNWR General Pattern…..

Having got all the chores in the garden out of the way in preparation for the landscapers coming the Mojo returned in force and yesterday I shorted out the wheels and blackened them (tapping the threads 10ba and fitting 10ba screws). I then drilled out an axle ready for epoxying GRP rod down the centre and blackened and made a start on drilling out the coupling rods. It feels good to have made a start on it.

LNER F8 078 LNER F8 076

I also discovered while looking at the various bits and pieces that there isn’t a back head so I have one on order from Laurie Griffin – my Telford shopping list grows! The observant amongst you will have noticed the 2 shorted out Slaters bogie wheels? Having realised that I had them in stock I chickened out of messing with the Gibson’s and they are destined for the Bay of E. I had nicely finished blackening them and cleaned up when I realised that I should have done both pairs:0(

A tiny start on the F8

My Mojo is returning so I have made a small start on the F8 in so much as Having had a looked at Premier’s site and not finding any suitable replacement coupling rods (and hearing about long waits for bespoke stuff). Working on the theory that I have nothing to lose but a bit of time, I soldered together the Slaters steel coupling rods and cleaned them up – they look a lot better to the naked eye thank they do in the photo…. Leaving them looking like this

LNER F8 004

I still need to open out the holes for the crank pin bushes. Having had quite a few bits of advice/suggestions I have ultimately decided on: • Radial trucks front and rear but shorted out one side only and picking up one from each side and I will see how I get on with the Gibson wheels – Slaters don’t do the correct size either, so worn it will be. If I have any problems with the Gibsons I will replace them with Slaters. • Working inside motion but the crank axle wheels will only be shorted to the crank pin and will use the coupling rods to pass the current. • Split axle for the remaining drive axle. Regards Rob

My mojo has been lacking for a couple of months or so and I was struggling to decide what I might do to try to get me back into the swing of modelling. While on holiday last week after listening to me huff and puff about building different tank engines, Chris had the idea of conducting a lottery to decide for me. I have 8 tank engine kits in the pile so I wrote out the names on some strips of paper and Chris folded them up. Initially I though thast she was going to put them in a bag to pick one but to make it a little more fun and long lasting she divided them into two piles and put one in each hand getting me to chose a hand. This process was repeated a couple more time with the result that the F8 was the one that I ended up with. I bought the kit from the Bolton show a couple of years ago for £95 from the bring and buy stand and this is what was in the box. LNER F8 004 At the time the kit was £115 from Slaters without wheels so I counted myself as getting a reasonable deal with the wheels and the photos. The only basic thing that seems to be missing is brake blocks but I will pick up a pack of the Slaters plastic ones at Telford. Since getting back from my hols I have had it out of the box and done a bit of reading up in the RCTS green book albeit there isn’t much on them. I have a few dilemmas in terms of I do, do I: 1. Make it spilt axle? If so how would I accommodate point 2? 2. Make radial trucks – I have the MRJ article where Laurie Griffin made some. 3. Fit working valve gear – my reading tells me that these had JOY single slide bar valve gear so I would have to buy some in and would it actually fit between the chassis? Out of the box the chassis is a fold up type and I suspect that I may need to separate the frames and make new spacers to do this. 4. Fit dummy Valve gear – Could the Gladiator dummy JOY valve gear be modified to represent the NER version (giving me quite a saving over buying working parts from Laurie Griffin? 5. Do I replace the radial truck wheel sets – I ask because I have never used Gibson wheels in this scale before and they are 3’8″ diameter not the 3′ 9″ that were fitted to the F8’s? My initial thinking is that I could probably get away with this discrepancy due to my plan to model it in the mid 1930’s when there may have been some wear on the tyres by then.