Gladiator J6

One of the few remaining details to add to the body are the injectors which sit under the footplate tucked away behind the cab steps. From all the photos that I have of J6’s seeing what they actually look like is a real problem. Then I remembered that I had taken a few photos of the Injectors on the side of the preserved J52 while it lived at Shildon.

While I have a couple of good side views they don’t show the pipes and how they fit.

Then by pure chance I was looking through some photos that I took in the dark hall at York and found that I had indeed taken photos of each end

By cross referencing these with the end that’s visible on some better lit J6 photos I was able to confirm to my satisfaction that these are the same type of injector fitted to the J6 Now all I need to do is work out how to scale them to size – Despite taking quite a few shots at both locations none of them are side on allowing scaling from a known dimension.

The case of the missing Globe Lubricators

Modelling time has been in a bit short supply so far this week but I have managed a few bits and pieces. The key one being, on the back of a delivery of a second set of globe lubricator castings for the J6, I got them fitted. I had to order some more because I have misplaced the first lot but I am sure that they will turn up in due course…

Gladiator J6 Globe Lubricators

Still a bit of cleaning up to do under there.

Globe Lubricators on the Gladiator J6

GCR Class 5A Ashpan corrections

Over on RMweb Mike Edge (of Judith Edge Kits) kindly pointed out that I had the ashpan sides correct but fitted the wrong way around – slope to the rear instead of the front.

I am very grateful for this because it’s an easy fix (already done) and was a detail that I was struggling to find. The GA I have only show’s an outline for the ashpan and all the photos I have the detail is lost in the gloom.
I had forgotten to take photos of them before fitting so taking them off to swap them around gave me the opportunity to do so.

I measured the space where they were to fit and cut a strip of a sheet of 10thou nickel 30.5mm wide. From this strip I cut two pieces each 17mm long. This left a piece approx. 30mm long and I measured 5mm up from each opposite end and then cut the piece diagonally across.

I wasn’t sure that I have described that clearly so I knocked up a sketch in paint.

Once I had all the parts cut out, I placed each bottom edge in my hold and fold approx. 1.5 mm in and gave it as slight bend and then solder them together in handed pairs to give each ashpan side as below.

GCR Class 5A Ashpan sides

GCR Class 5A Ashpan and Gearbox fitting

Today I rechecked the motor and gearbox on the centre axle with all the other axles in place. Sadly, it was as I feared, the tight fit of the motor in the boiler area pushed the compensation beam down and left the chassis rocking on the centre axle. So back to plan A fitting it on the rear axle and cutting into/the brake cross beam.

Before doing anything drastic I took time out to knock up some ashpan sides and they have cured the gearbox visibility issue.

GCR Class 5A Ashpan
GCR Class 5A Ashpan
GCR Class 5A Mudguards

That still left the gear touching the brake cross beam so I bit the bullet and cut a section out of it.

GCR Class 5A Cut through brake crossbeam
GCR Class 5A Ashpan
GCR Class 5A Ashpan

Gladiator J6 Crank Axle

In between adding bits to the GCR Tank, After drilling and pinning the cranks which was thankfully uneventful. I cut out the axle in between the crank webs and refitted the connecting rods. I had to file a little of the sides of one one the connecting rods but very quickly all was rotating smoothly. So much so that I made a short video. Sadly my camera didn’t focus too well on my hands but you get the idea.

GCR Class 5A Body Works

This is a bit of an addendum to the last post with photos showing where I am at.

GCR Class 5A Body Works
GCR Class 5A Body works


GCR Class 5A Body works

A weak area of the kit which to be fair is admitted to in the instructions is the cab roof. It’s half etched and as a result besides being very thin it also has a tendency to curl in the wrong direction for the curve of the cab. I wanted the roof to be removable so I did exactly the same on this one as I did on mine.

GCR Class 5A Cab Roof
GCR Class 5A Body works

After fitting the curved ribs that are supplied, I cut a smaller piece of 10 thou nickel to fit inside between the ribs to add strength and I also added a couple of rain strips from 1mmx1mm brass angle which conveniently hides the holes left by etched slots.

There are not many more bits of etch to add before I get to adding the castings and final details.

Wagon and Carriage Works Mobile Hand Crane

Having looked at it for a couple of days I felt that the second runner wagon looked a little bare so I knocked up another toolbox and I added some hardware to them all. It’s starting to come together now. A friend has just sent me some spare ‘Crane Runner’ transfers so I now have enough to do both runners (assuming that I can get them to fit of course.

I am still undecided as to whether to line the counterbalance weight on the crane because the gears on the crane itself will prevent me being able to add any lining around the frame if indeed they were actually lined.

A few tools and lumps of timber and some weathering will bring it all together.

GCR Class 5A Motor decisions

Things have been quietly progressing with the Class 5A and the number of etched parts is diminishing.

The other thing I have been considering is the motor position and I have been trialling fitting it to the middle axle which would remove the need to chop some out of the brake cross beam.

By nibbling some of the boiler/firebox former away it has allowed the motor to slip inside and run without any apparent issues. What I am not sure of yet, because I still have to test it, is whether it affects the movement of the compensation beams.

A different Motor position

There isn’t a great deal of room for movement in there so I need to test it before making a final decision.

Wagon and Carriage Works Mobile Hand Crane and Runner Wagons

In my quest to clear the workbench of it’s long time inhabitants I took stock of what was needed to finish the crane and runner/match wagons. It turned out that to do the bare bones of the build they only actually needed buffers and couplings. Then I recalled why the build had stalled. The buffers and couplings that came with the kit were a bit of a ‘hotch potch’ of different makes/types. I bought it second hand so I am not sure which of them might have been included originally.

There were a couple of different type of white metal buffer stocks and a nice set of Slaters cast brass RCH pattern buffers but there were only three buffer heads. There were buffer heads/springs and retaining nuts. The trouble was that the springs were a bit bigger than the normal springs that Slaters and other supply.

I had a look in my spares box and managed to find three complete sets of Buffer stocks, one set NER, One set GNR and one set LNER. Which I thought would be typical of a railway company using whatever wagon was available to use as runner wagons for the crane.

Again, there was a mixture of couplings so I sorted out three assorted sets and added them.

It was at this point that I asked for assistance on the LNER forum as to what colour mobile hand cranes would have been painted by the LNER. I didn’t get a definitive answer but the suggestion was that they might have been lined black the same as the steam cranes were.

Armed with this, I masked them up and painted them black. At this point I thought that the runner wagons were a bit plain so I made up some toolboxes from coffee stirrers and added them to what was to become the leading runner wagon.

Engineers Train
Engineers Train

I couldn’t resist posing them with a shabby NBR van and one of the NER brakes to simulate a breakdown train.

Enginneers Train

Still some way to go before I and happy with them.

D&S NER Bogie Road Van with a lick of paint

The Road van was painted at the same time as the brake vans but I held off posting photos because they formed part of the GOG virtual show’s lockdown models display. The show was held today so I am not taking anything away from it by adding them to my threads.I enlisted Chris’s help to paint the curved arrows on the plate above the brake hand wheel

D&S NER Bogie Road Van
D&S NER Bogie Road Van

Finally I was asked by a friend to take photos of both bogie vans together.

L&Y and NER Bogie Vans
L&Y and NER Bogie Vans

For those not familiar with it the LMS van is the Dragon Models Lancashire and Yorkshire 30 ton Bogie van now with TaffVale Models.

Gladiator J6, Soldering of the Crank Axle

Today has been a brilliant day on quite a few fronts but the main one being that I successfully soldered the crank axle up without any issues.

I followed advice given to me by fellow modeller Nick Dunhill, which was to use Bakers Fluid as the flux to solder to the steel axle, to replace the piece of steel rod provided to line up the cranks and eccentric with a length of similar diameter brass rod which being more flexible allows the cranks and eccentrics to be squashed tighter together and positioned better. And finally, to wrap wet tissue around the eccentric sheaves to stop the soldered end coming adrift with the heat.

It couldn’t have gone any smoother, I spent some time making sure they were all lined up correctly and orientated against one of the flat edges of the axle end. I grip the other end in a biggish pin vice applied the Bakers fluids from a bulb type dropper and some short lengths of 180 solder curled slightly around the axle either side of the cranks then gently applied heat with the microflame until the solder flashed. While it was cooling I couldn’t resist moving the eccentrics slightly to make sure that they hadn’t become solid.

All was well Phew!!!

J6 Crank Axle Soldered up
J6 Crank Axle Soldered up
J6 Crank Axle Soldered Up

Next job is clean them up and then before cutting out the section of axle I think that I am going to drill and pin the cranks. I know that Nick doesn’t bother as they aren’t under any real load but I think that I will be belt and braces for this my first go.

GCR Class 5A Motor gearbox issues

I managed to get the sand pipes fitted and then moved on to fitting the motor to the chassis and testing within the body.

On this there is good news in that I should be able to squeeze in the brake cylinder albeit that to avoid the plunger pickup I will have to fit it to the rear of the frame spacer instead of the front but at least it will be there.

Then there is bad news. Brian has provided a really nice ABC motor/gearbox unit. Sadly, the kit is designed for a can motor with simple gears mounted to a frame spacer. The motor gear box will fit into the boiler area no problem but where it does cause an issue is that it interferes with the rear brake cross beam which I think I am going to have to cut.

GCR Class 5A Motor Gearbox issues