Gladiator J6 another little job off the list

Although I dressed the backhead a couple of weeks or so ago, I hadn’t managed to get it to fit into the cab before now because the stub of the whistle protruding through the cab roof stopped it from sliding in. One of those little few minute jobs that seem to take forever to get around to…. I finally got to it and the backhead now fits in place as if it was made for it.

Gladiator J6 Backhead fitted in the cab
Gladiator J6 Backhead fitted in the cab
Gladiator J6 Backhead fitted in the cab

Gladiator J6, a bit of milling

After spending a week teaching myself 3D drawing, I was back at the workbench today. I had originally planned to just turn a couple of appropriately sized top hat bushes, file some flats on them where they come together and job done. My recently acquired mill offered more possibilities to make something that at least looks like the original even if it doesn’t attach in the same way. This will be soldered to the cylinder front in between the slide bars, instead of being suspended from a substantial bracket between the frames.

This is my first real item produced with the mill and I am happy with how it turned out.

Milled Expansion link support bracket
Milled Expansion link support bracket
Milled Expansion link support bracket
Milled Expansion link support bracket

This is where it will sit in between the slide bars on the cylinder front. I have added some fastenings to make it look as if it should be there, when it’s ultimately lost in the gloom between the frames.

This is where it will fit.

Ramsbottom Safety valves part II

This is the final version. it was a bit of a challenge to get all the lever elements constrained so that I could extrude it but I got there in the end.

By turning different elements off as in the photo I can create separate STL files for just the lever, the complete valves without the cover or complete with the cover.

Gladiator J6 Inside Motion progress – valves almost fitted

Yesterday saw more progress on the motion for the J6, with the valves almost complete.
I still have the arms to make that connect the valve rockers with the expansion link etc. But I am pleased that I have got this far as I had hit a bit of a mental brick wall with concern that attempts at soldering on the valve rocker supports would result in them dissolving into individual parts again.

As happens often when procrastinating, I worried for nothing.

Gladiator J6 Overhead Valves
Gladiator J6 Overhead Valves

Gladiator J6 – Boiler Back plate dressing

While I am distracted with outside jobs during the good weather, I have been working on another of the key outstanding jobs that is simple to pick up and put down. The back head/plate, is as I mentioned earlier in the build, a GNR Boiler Back Plate set from LG Miniatures. It wasn’t quite deep enough so I added a strip of thick brass along the bottom. Also missing from the set as delivered, were the injectors. Laurie includes a layout drawing in the set and it showed the missing injectors. An enquiry to Laurie had an apology and a pair of injectors in the post.

I am not sure if they were from the GNR set or another more generic pair but a little bit of scratch building had them looking the part. I had to fabricate one of the levers for the right hand injector from a .9mm rod with one end squashed and drilled out for the pin and then tapered with a file in the mini drill (too small to old securely in the lathe).

In the end I only used one of the hand wheels from the set because they came with cast stems on them and I wanted to fit them to the stem already present on the castings so I used some cast hand wheels from the spares box which had holes in the centres. Had I not had them to hand I would have cut the stems of the castings and drilled them for the ones with the cast stems but it would have been a bit tedious.

J6 Backhead
J6 Backhead

The GA showed some kind of inline valve down the right hand side of the cab at the side of the back plate so I knocked one up from a couple of bits of tube and a cast handwheel from the set.

J6 backhead – scratchbuilt inline valve

My apologies for the greenish tinge it’s reflections from the green storage box that I propped it against for the photos.

Gladiator J6 further work on the inside motion

Modelling time this last week has seen me back on the J6. I have been making progress with the inside motion starting with soldering the front of the slide bars to the cylinder front and then removing the motion bracket and moving it backwards to match the drawing in order that it would then clear the front horn guides.

Motion bracket and cylinder front joined together with the slide bars

Getting them square to each other was a little challenging so I cut a couple of rectangles of 10thou sheet to set both the distance between the cylinder front and the rear of the motion bracket and keep them square at the same time. I used a couple of aluminium hair grips to hold them in place while I soldered the ends of the slide bars to the motion bracket.

I still need to plot out and drill holes for the support rods for the expansion links in the cylinder front.

I still need to plot out and drill the cylinder front for the support rods.

I have temporarily assembled most of the motion but I still need to add the parts to the motion bracket which support and operate the valves.

Motion parts temporarily assembled
Motion parts temporarily assembled

Having extended the clearance between the cylinder front and the motion bracket so that the cylinder front sits in front of the horn guides, I found that the slide bars still fouled the horn guides. T next task was to reduce the depth of the front horn block in the lathe so my four-jaw chuck got a turn. Because I only wanted to effectively face them off. I cheated a little and fitted a short length of 3/16” silver steel into the tailstock, slipped a bearing on and used that to quickly centre the four jaw.

Front Hornblocks reduced in depth on the lathe

The next task is to remove a section of the horn guides to clear the slide bars.

Hornguides now need reducing to suit.

As soon as funds allow, I plan to buy a mill to compliment the lathe and boy would a mill make this task easier. I can see now why Nick plans his inside motion fitting as he builds the frames. A lesson learned for the future! Onwards and upwards as they say.

Scratch built Steps for a DJH/Piercy J27

A little quickie on the workbench today.

A fellow modeller asked if I would make him some steps to replace some that were missing in a DJH/Piercy J27 kit that he had bought.

My guillotine and some offcuts of brass sheet made fairly short work of making them. In fact the longest time came from working out how big the parts needed to be. Although I had been provided with a section from a drawing it had been photographed rather than scanned so it wasn’t square on enough to be certain that measurements could be scaled exactly from it. What it did allow was confirmation that taking sizes from the steps in an NER J21 kit was as near as I was going to get.

J27 Scratch built steps

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

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.

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.

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.

D&S NER Bogie Road Van

I have had a few of Dan’s kits over time and one thing that I find odd is that some come with roofs and some come without. Sadly, the road van came without (yet an NER horsebox that I bought at the same time had one). I can only guess that it depends on whether Dan has roof material to hand when he packs the kit.

A suitable piece of sheet was obtained and cut to size. It was just too long for either of my sets of rolling bars so I had to resort to rolling it by hand but I got there in the end.

When built these vans were fitted with sliding roof hatches over the left hand set of doors on each side. Later these were replaced with canvas or just boarded over so lots of permutations are possible depending on the period being modelled. This van was to have roof doors so I cut an offcut of thicker brass sheet to size (my guillotine needed a bit of muscle to cut through it). This time it did go through the rolling bars…

The photos that I have seen with roof hatches had a curved strip across them which is possibly a rainstrip? I represented this with a short length of 1mm square rod.

D&S NER Road Van Roof doors

The roof was still loose at this point.

The kit does provide the runners in the form of whitemetal castings so these were duly soldered on. And finally the roof was soldered on to the body.

D&S NER Road Van – Construction finished
D&S NER Road Van – Construction finished

I had got this far, then while studying photos noted that there was a turnbuckle in the middle truss rod. I made some up using tube and 14ba nuts and then cut the truss rod to allow them to be eased aside and slipped on.

D&S NER Road Van – Turnbuckles added

D&S NER Bogie Road Van

I forgot to add in the last post that the Couplings, vac and Westinghouse pipes are Laurie Griffin.

The kit comes with nice cast brake cylinders which have cast on mounting brackets. The odd thing is that they come with a separate domed end but you can’t fit them unless you make the mounting brackets longer. I elected to file them off and replace them with brass strip. This makes them sit a bit lower and I had to put a slight bend in the brake rods to get them to pass over the cylinder.

D&S NER Bogie Road Van – Underframe fittings
D&S NER Bogie Road Van – Complete apart from the roof

With it being quite a long van, I added some supports for the middle of the roof from scrap etch.

D&S NER Road Van Support Ribs

D&S Models NER Bogie Road Van

Almost before adding much more under frame detail I couldn’t resist trying the bogies underneath it for an idea of how the finished van would look.

D&S NER Road Van

The outer truss rods are quite interesting on that they have two rod one on the outside and the second on the inside of the solebar. The instructions have you add these in two pieces I did them in one with a square U bending in the middle. This proved a bit tricky to get sitting right on the front face and I suspect that doing it in two pieces wouldn’t have proved equally tricky.

D&S NER Bogie Road Van – Complete apart from the roof
D&S NER Bogie Road Van – Complete apart from the roof