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

An update on LNER 06 Progress

Although I have made some progress on the chassis, recent minor surgery on my toe has left me struggling with the time/energy to give this the thought that it needs to get the motion assembled so I have been doing a few small jobs on the J6 until my energy returns

LNER 06 (MOK 8F) – Springs sand boxes and steam pipe

LNER 06 (MOK 8F) – Springs sand boxes and steam pipe

LNER 06 (MOK 8F) – Springs sand boxes and steam pipe

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.

Connoisseur J79 in all her painted glory

Warren Haywood kindly dropped off my J79 on Tuesday evening having weaved his magic on the paint job. I need to glaze it add the backhead etc.

 
Having checked my reference books I also need to add the loco number the the front buffer beam – neither of us were certain it had one when Warren was doing it and I only checked after the event.
 

Connoissuer Models J79 Tank Engine Painted

Connoissuer Models J79 Tank Engine Painted

Connoissuer Models J79 Tank Engine Painted

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.

Powsides ex GER 5 Plank Open

Back at the beginning of last year (February) I built a Powsides ex GER 5 plank open. This was an E&T buy at Telford about 3 years ago.
Warren primed and coated it in grey for me and I have finally got around to adding the transfers ready for some weathering. I must have done a bit of weathering/painting of the woodwork but I can’t recall when…

Powsides GER 5 Plank Open

Powsides GER 5 Plank Open

Powsides GER 5 Plank Open

Powsides GER 5 Plank Open

Powsides GER 5 Plank Open – With Skytext barrel load

The last shot has it’s load which is one of the Skytrex castings that I bought and painted two or three years ago.

Now it Looks Like a Loco!

Further work over the weekend has seen it start to look like a loco at long last.

LNER 06 (MOK 8F) – Upperworks looking like a loco

LNER 06 (MOK 8F) – Upperworks looking like a loco

LNER 06 (MOK 8F) – Upperworks looking like a loco

LNER 06 (MOK 8F) – Upperworks looking like a loco

At the moment all except the cab, the reversing lever and it’s housing are just sat in place and are held by the firm fit of the components. – The sand shields are just lent in place because I need to drill them yet for the sandbox fillers. I am slightly surprised that they don’t have at least some semblance of a hole etched in them given how well everything else is portrayed.

I also need to drill and put a self tapper in the top of the cab face of the firebox to close up the very slight gap on the drivers side before I solder it in place. The instructions suggest doing this but I thought that I had got away without the need until I put everything in place.

Mind the Gap

Mind the Gap, the age old saying on the railways.
Mine was a little more fundamental – the curve of the footplate under the cab was not anything like the curve of the cab sides

LNER 06 (MOK 8F) – Cab Subframe issue

LNER 06 (MOK 8F) – Cab Subframe issue

LNER 06 (MOK 8F) – Cab Subframe issue

Because I didn’t have the benefit of the updated instructions that Mark kindly shared with me after and enquiry over on Western Thunder (I have emailed Dave Sharp to ask for a set of the updated instructions) I had previously added the cab front overlays and soldered all around the seams. This meant that tucking the front of the curved section up under the top layer of the cab front as advised in the updated instructions wasn’t to my mind – I worked on the theory that if I tried to remove the thin overlay I would irreparably damage it.
That left the alternative which was cut/file the front section down so that it sits just below the footplate rather than tucked in behind the front plate and to desolder and file down the sub frames until the curve better matched that of the sides of the cab.

LNER 06 (MOK 8F) – Cab Subframe issue

As you are looking at it, it took two goes at desoldering, filing down, before resoldering to test the fit for the left hand subframe and six goes for the right hand subframe.  At each desoldering I carefully cleaned up before filing a little more off. You may wonder why I resoldered at each test, it was because I couldn’t hold it in close enough proximity to accurately check the fit when trying to hold all the parts while they were
I have to say that had I continued with the build to this point when I started back in 2011 or so, I would never have had the confidence to desolder and resolder the same part so many times to get the fit that I wanted. I would never have been happy with it either.

LNER 06 (MOK 8F) – Cab subframe – modified to fit better

LNER 06 (MOK 8F) – Cab subframe – modified to fit better

LNER 06 (MOK 8F) – Cab subframe – modified to fit better

The slight gap on the right hand in this view will close up when I solder it all in but I am triple checking all is right before taking the final step.

Get out of jail free – or that’s what it felt like.

Although there are glaring gaps in the instructions, one part is explicit, that of forming the smokebox and boiler. 

The boiler comes pre rolled and according to the instructions so does the smokebox inner but mine wasn’t. That wasn’t an issue and I soon had it rolled. 

Now for the ‘I’m a dummy’ bit, the instructions are quite explicit about using two of the formers for the x71 and x72 (sorry I can’t remember if the preceding number is 1 or 3). Leaving x70 to go in the smaller end of the boiler. Because they all look identical (but aren’t Grrr) I managed to pick up the wrong one and only discovered my error when I had it all nicely soldered together.

My only saving grace was that I discovered the error (part x70 is slightly bigger than x71/x72) before I soldered the other wrong bit (x70) into the smokebox). At 11:15 on Tuesday night I didn’t have the headspace to sort it out so I went to bed.

This morning I set to and using a pointed scalpel and gentle heat from the micro flame I slowly worked my way around easing the boiler away from the former with regular quenching to take it out and replace it with part x70.

Thankfully I got away with it, in part I think due to the fact that I had soldered it in initially using the microflame to chase around a tiny amount of solder which meant that although it was held very securely it was easy to break the bond from the thin layer of solder. 

 
This is the boiler and smokebox assembly after my recovery.
 
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LNER 06 (MOK 8F) – Boiler and Smokebox

Those with sharp eyes will not the piece of scrap protruding from the front of the smokebox.

 

LNER 06 (MOK 8F) – Boiler and Smokebox

 
There is a clever bit of the etch designed to ensure that you get everything lined up by inserting a piece of scrap into a slot etched into each of the three forward formers
 

LNER 06 (MOK 8F) – Boiler and Smokebox

I left it longer than suggested and used it to view down through all the apertures in the boiler top. In fact I left it in place as I soldered on the castings on top of the boiler. To solder these cleanly I flattened a couple of small bit’s of 145 solder in some pliers, placed them either side of the chimney opening after using a taper broach to open the hole up to take the spigot from the casting as tightish fit. a squirt of flux and then I place the chimney on top ensuring that it was square I heated the casting with the microflame until the solder melted allowing the casting to sink into place. – Repeated for the next casting (which I have to be honest and say I have no idea of the name or purpose of it).
 
At this point the Firebox, boiler and smoke box are all a nice tight push fit I won’t make it more permanent until I am happy with everything.
 
Finally, I had fitted the cab roof on Tuesday but I still need to sort out the subframe under the floor.
 

LNER 06 (MOK 8F) – Cab Roof

LNER 06 (MOK 8F) – Cab Roof

One step forward and two steps back

I am having a little more one step forward and two back with this build and it’s my own silly fault. In my eagerness to crack on I hadn’t noticed a photo in the Wild Swan LMS Loco profiles book on the 8F’s that shows the inside of the cab and more importantly the backhead. It seems that I have too much pipe work for my period so some of it needs to come off again.

I am thanking myself in that I took the extra time and effort to make most of the parts removable because that will make redoing it much easier.


This shows how the parts are removable

LNER 06 (MOK 8F) Backhead – Dismanted



Below is a crop of the cab photo in the Wild Swan book. The photo is credited to the National Railway Museum and is used here purely to illustrate the differences between what I have done and what I should have done.

A Blast from the past, resurrecting a longtime inhabitant of the workbench

A Happy New Year to all.

First a bit of a refresher, those with long memories can skip over this bit.

About 8 years ago my good lady became ill and had to give up work. She was fortunate in that she was able to take redundancy and she spent some her redundancy money on a kit for me. I chose the MOK 8F – MOK = Modern Outline Kits available from here MOK

I wanted the 8F to build as one of the locos that were ordered by the LNER during the war. My initial plan was to build one of the examples built by the Southern Railway for the LNER but further research since has changed that to become one of those built by the LNER at Darlington. You might ask why – because I wanted a riveted tender and I had already bought spoked wheels.

The ones built by the Southern had welded (smooth sided) tenders and most of the LNER built examples had solid wheels as on the tenders of the A3/4’s but at least a couple of the Darlington examples had spoked wheels to go with the riveted tender. So mine will now be either 3135 or 3144

Rather embarrassingly I started it in September 2012 (please look back through my blog entries for the time for more details) and never got anywhere near finishing it. About 18 months ago I had a second bash but still didn’t even get the tender finished. Chris has been pointedly asking most of this year when I am going to finish it and I had planned to return to it when I got distracted by the J79 in October. So I made the promise that I would return to it over Christmas and endeavour to get it completed.

I thought I would ease back into it with something easy, or so I thought. I started on detailing the backhead a week last Saturday.

These are some of the many parts that make it up.

LNER 06 (MOK8F) Backhead Fittings

LNER 06 (MOK8F) Backhead Fittings

I had to make this up from a couple of pieces and I drilled and soldered a spigot to the back to make it easier to attach to the backhead itself.

LNER 06 (MOK8F) Backhead Fittings

LNER 06 (MOK8F) Backhead Fittings

Then the myriad of spaghetti that will be the pipework.

LNER 06 (MOK8F) Backhead Fittings

Having seen Nick Dunhill’s masterpiece a few weeks back I was keen to replicate the gauge glasses that he did. On this particular backhead this entailed cutting off the levers, and then cutting out the rectangle of brass to insert the square perspex later in the build and then reattaching the levers to the sides.

LNER 06 (MOK 8F) Backhead – completed apart from the gauge glasses

LNER 06 (MOK 8F) Backhead – completed apart from the gauge glasses

These are the almost finished article that has taken just over a week to put together. – Most of the parts are removable to allow the backhead to be painted.

The main goal now is to get it finished.