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

D&S Models NER Road Van

Moving rapidly on with the Road van body, the instructions suggest that you fit the ends first and once I filed of an offending etching cusp, the ends fit nicely.

My recently acquired RSU has come into its own on this build. Using it allows me to use the probe to hold pieces in place while tacking them. After tinning the edges of the ends, sides and the fold down on the floor pan, tacking it together with the RSU became a breeze. I ran the microflame gently down the joints to join up the dots and hey presto.

D&S NER Road Van Side tinned ready for attachment.
D&S NER Road Van – Edges tinned ready for the side to be attached.

It may just be me but it seemed so much easier than my previous efforts with van bodies. In fairness, the kit is well designed and that helps too.

D&S Models NER Bogie Road Van

Before going any further I took the time to detail the sides while they were flat. One of the features that I love about many North Eastern Railway vans is the doors and their variations of the locking mechanisms.

Much of this detail is provided in the etches and I only added the locking rods and some thin half etched strip to create the staples that the locking rods and lower locking bar fit into.

D&S NER Road Van – Door Details
D&S NER Road Van – Door details
D&S NER Road Van -Sides

Once the various grab handles and pins for the drop doors were added they were ready for fitting.

D&S Models NER Bogie Road Van

Like many I suffered a bit of a mojo loss recently so I decided to take a short break from loco building to tackle a couple of wagons in the hope that the enthusiasm was rekindled.

The first of these is a D&S Kit for a North Eastern Railway Bogie Road Van. Although I have had one of these kits for about 3 years, this one is for a gent who lives in Scotland who models the North Eastern Railway so I rang Dan Pinnock to enquire as to availability last year. Dan said he could do a kit but he would have to order the etches.

And so, onto the build.
I started with the basic floor pan and solebars. Like many kits the floor pan has fold down strips down the long edges. what is unusual is that these are not the solebars. The solebars have a full thickness rear section and a half etched overlay. The rear has a narrow fold along the bottom edge to represent the C section of a steel solebar. When put together the solebars fit into slots behind the fold down strips on the floor pan. To this floor pan is added a pair of queen posts

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

Next, I made up the bogies, these are simple in design. A pair of really nice brass castings fit onto the ends of a fold up central bolster. Each bolster has a fold up strip on the top which either allows for and aft rocking or side to side.

D&S NER Road Van Bogie

The brakes are simple affairs which fit nicely between the wheels on each side.

D&S NER Road Van Bogie

Getting Jiggy with Eccentric Sheaves

A post on a few forums by Nick Dunhill on his build of a Rhymney Railway R class on preparing the eccentric sheaves couldn’t have been timelier.

I am just at that point so the night before last I made up a similar jig from a couple of bits of wood that I had on the bench and having consulted the GA for the length of the sheave I marked up and drilled a hole for the pin (a 0.8mm drill bit). Finally, I filed and soldered up the first sheave. Last night I managed a couple more.

Gladiator J6 Eccentric Sheaves Sizing Jig
Inside Motion Eccentric Sheaves – for Gladiator J6
Inside Motion Eccentric Sheaves – for Gladiator J6

Gladiator J6 Home Brewed Inside Motion Parts

Although I haven’t posted an update since before Christmas, I have been doing a bit here and there. Mostly this has been making the additional bits and pieces needed for the inside motion. The motion for the J6 differs from other versions of Stephenson’s motion in that it has four valves rather than the more usual two. There are two between the cylinders and two above them. Although I have the full LG Stephenson’s motion set, in the end I doubt that I will be able to use much more than the connecting rods, eccentric rods and the slide bars and cross heads. The other bits will go in the spares box for a future build.

Gladiator J6 Scratch Built Inside Motion Parts

The arms that fit to the lower linkages still need to be shortened to 5.5mm between hole centres.

The expansion links in the motion kit are a couple of millimetres longer than the GA and have a lug on one side which I would have to cut off for this particular application.

Gladiator J6 Inside Motion Parts
Gladiator J6 Inside Motion Parts

As I am making all the other parts to match the dimensions on the GA, I opted to make a pair of expansion links to match. Working on the theory that I always have the LG castings as a fall back, if my home brewed ones don’t fit for any reason.

Gladiator J6 Scratch Built Inside Motion Parts
Gladiator J6 Scratch Built Inside Motion Parts

A Little Bit Of Motion on the Gladiator J6

I have been distracted for the last few days by teaching myself to draw in QCAD with a view to getting a few things etched. Before that I had made some progress on the rest of the inside valve gear.

Early in the week Tony Geary kindly pointed me at a photo of the inside valve gear on a 7 ½” gauge N2. Armed with this as a starting point I searched online and found a Facebook page chronicling the guy’s build. In his photo section I found loads of photos which have gone a long way to clarify in my mind what I was struggling to interpret from the GA.

I have a few photos of the full sized N2 valve gear which again are great for showing how things fit together above the slide bars but not below which is the area that I was struggling with. The build photos have clarified things now I just need to make up all the parts. Unfortunately, most of mine will need to be made from scratch as my spares box is nowhere near as comprehensive as Tony’s.

Gladiator J6 Inside Valvegear
Gladiator J6 Inside Valvegear
Gladiator J6 Inside Valvegear

The sections are just resting in place for the photos I have a lot more to attach to both the motion plate and cylinder front before finally joining them.

Gladiator J6 – New Frame Spacers

After reading Tony’s struggle to fit all the inside motion in his J6 and observations made on a couple of forums by Ian Middleditch and Jim Snowdon. I decided to take the plunge and cut some new frame spacers to give me more room to play with. With the new spacers I have given myself a couple more millimetres. The downside is that I need to make a new motion bracket but I am sure it will be worth it.

Gladiator J6 new frame spacers
Gladiator J6 New frame spacers