Gladiator J6 Cab Roof

Having noted the pattern of rivets in the centre of the cab rear when viewed from above and making use of the photos that Caroline kindly took of the C1 Cab. I was able to come up with a representation of what can be seen.

Gladiator J6 Cab Roof

A little Snifter anyone?

I was working on the cab roof when Dave Lester posted the dimensions of the snifting valve on my thread on RM Web and casually mentioned that I might like to make one since I had most of the details. Now this struck a bit of a chord because I have always been disappointed with the snifting valve castings supplied in kits and to look at the best I have ‘seen’ is the turned example sold by Markits. I say seen in inverted commas because I have no idea if it’s dimensionally accurate it just looks good. The trouble with Markits, is actually getting your hands on anything from the catalogue.

If I had any suitable bar in stock, I might have had a go at turning one but sadly everything I had was far too thin. I did have some brass tube of just the right OD though so this was pressed into service I cut a length off that I could grip and hold safely and soldered a square of scrap etch over the end and snipped/filed it round. Finally finishing it in the lathe chuck. At this point it became a bit “Triggers Broom” because Mike Trice posted a selection of close ups of snifting valves on locos and I realised that I had drilled the holes in the side too big and too many (the hole size was one dimension that Dave didn’t have).

Armed with more info I made a second cover salvaging the end cap and the 14BA hex headed screw that I had fitted to the first attempt. Next came the base plate and five goes later I had something usable, albeit it to my eyes it seems a bit small at the measurements quoted. I may revisit this once I have the chimney fitted.

This is what it looks like.

Scratch Built Snifting valve
Scratch Built Snifting valve
Scratch Built Snifting valve

Finally one with the obligatory 5 pence piece for scale – small ain’t it?

Scratch Built Snifting valve with 5p coin for scale

I have to say that I had immense fun making it and learned a few things about my lathe in the process.

Gladiator J6 Firebox Fittings

I haven’t managed any modelling today but I had a really productive day at the bench yesterday. I will appologise in advance that this post is going to be a bit photo intensive.
I started by cutting the recess in the firebox top for the safety valves to sit.

Gladiator J6 Boiler fittings
Gladiator J6 Boiler fittings
Gladiator J6 Boiler fittings


The eagle eyed amongst you will note that I rose to the challenge of the angle beading around the cab/firebox joint. I was sure that I had seen it done before but when I spoke to a couple of the guys that might have done it both sad that they did such things in two pieces. In for a penny as they say I thought the worst that could happen was that I ruin a quid or so’s worth of 1x1mm milled brass angle.
I have to admit I am really pleased with how it turned out and I have no fear of doing it again in future.

Gladiator J6 Boiler fittings
Gladiator J6 Boiler fittings
Gladiator J6 Boiler fittings


Finally one shot to prove that it really is brass angle and not a subterfuge.

Gladiator J6 Boiler fittings


Still a bit of tidying up to do and the overlong stud to cut short.

Gladiator J6 Safety Valves

While discussing the cab beading, a gent (Dave Lester) on RM Web pointed me at a photo which shows the tops of the cab and upper boiler of a couple of J6’s and other locos stabled at Hammerton Street Depot in bradford in the period that this loco is destined for (the photo is on page 38 of Great Northern Railway Engine Sheds volume three – I have the three volumes in my library). What the photo lso shows is that the Safety valves don’t just sit on the top of the firebox as you might think from ground level photos.

This is a snip from a scan of the photo that I referred to

J6 Safety Valves

As you can see the base of the valves are inset into the boiler clothing and fastened to the top of the firebox with studs. Yesterday’s task was to replicate this with my trusty filed rod and tube.

J6 Ross Pops and mounting plate
J6 Ross Pops and mounting plate

The next task is to cut out the firebox top so that I can mount this in place – I may need to trim the mounting plate as I had cut it big enough to hold while drilling all the holes with my pillar drill.

Gladiator J6 Mud Hole Covers and Washout Plugs

Before closing up the boiler seam I worked on the washout plug holes, mud holes and the rivets/bolts on the side of the firebox – they were interesting to punch out with the boiler pre-rolled.

There are some etches that could be modified for the mud hole clamps but I didn’t use them. I had some nice castings from Ragstone for the clamps and surround in stock. They are round when they come and need to be squashed a little to become oval. I heated them to glowing with the microflame and gently squeezed them in the vice.

Next up I tackled the washout plugs/covers. Again there is an etch provided for these.

Gladiator Mud Holes covers-Washout Plugs

They are included on the chassis etch and are nickel silver. Even at half etch they are still quite thick but due to them being hand drawn the spigot that represents the stud and nut was misshapen and not quite central on some. There are six provided where only four are needed so you have a bit of choice.

I decided to use these as the covers but to modify them to have a bit more detail. I soldered them to a backing strip having marked this to ensure that they fit through the holes in the firebox. I had opened these up with a series of broaches and reamers until they were just bigger than the cover plates. I filed off the spigots and punched the centres, then I drilled them with the proxxon. Finally I soldered a short stub of wire in covered by a home made (from filed tube) nut to complete the fitting.

Modified Gladiator Mud Holes Covers-Washout plugs
Modified Gladiator Mud Holes Covers-Washout plugs

I popped them in the holes in the firebox to see how they fit.

Gladiator J6 Boiler with modified Mud hole covers-washout plugs


In this shot you can also see the Ragstone clamp castings which I have soldered in place.

Gladiator J6 Sandboxes

Not much to show for two evenings work, but I have completed the sandboxes.

I did the same as Tony and removed the fold over top plate to shape and fit as a separate item. I didn’t have any brass channel to replace the front section so I scored the back with an Olfa cutter and then folded it as designed.

The first one went together without much trouble but I had to have a couple of goes at the second one before I was happy with it. The fillers are the etches provided sat on a short section of brass tube which I squashed into an oval with some pliers.

Gladiator J6 Sandboxes
Gladiator J6 Sandboxes


Gladiator J6

Despite being head cook and bottle washer at the minute I have found a little time to pick up the J6 again.

The cab of the J6 has half round beading both around the cab opening and, after studying photos closely, around the front of the cab too. – On the cab etch there is a half etched lip for both and initially I thought that the one at the cab front was to allow for the front to fit better but realised that on the other side were half etched dimples in rivet locations which meant that the half etch would be on the outside not the inside where it would need to be if the cab front sat in it. This lead me to have a look at the photos more closely and note the beading on the front. Despite seeing Tony’s recent build I was doubting myself.

The kit has options to build both the Ivatt and the Gresley versions of the J6 and I am building the latter. The kit has two wrap over cab etches and two etched beads, (because the cab openings were a lot bigger on the Ivatt version). Having seen Tony’s build I elected to follow his lead and use half round soft brass wire instead of the etch supplied to give more shape and definition to the bead.

Because of the need to shape the bead around the cab openings I added it while the cab was still flat. the half etched guide on my cab was slightly over etched in places so it made for an interesting job but enjoyable task. Despite carefully finding the centre and measuring the start of each bend I still needed to do quite a bit of adjusting of the bend before it sat nicely on the front.

Gladiator J6 Cab
Gladiator J6 Cab
Gladiator J6 Cab
Gladiator J6 Cab

Gladiator J6 – Valencing

I spent 2 and 1/2 hours last night preparing the cradle for the foot plate which contains the valances….
Some this was my own fault because it’s quite thick nickel silver and like David found out when he built one recently, you need to file a lot out of either side of the fold lines to allow the valances to sit vertical.  I had attempted to fold up one side some time ago which needs a bit of brute strength but then found that it wouldn’t come to 90 degrees.
The first job was to straighten the side already bent enough to allow me to file out the fold line. I did this by annealing with the microflame and then using the vice to squash the etch back almost flat. Once I had filed the fold lines, I bent it as far as I could with one of the sides off a set of bending bars and then used a rubber mallet to bash it to the final 90 degree fold while the middle section was firmly gripped in a second set of bending bars to ensure that it stayed flat.
Hopefully I will get the footplate shaped and soldered on tonight so I will take photos after that.

Ivatt Self Trimming Tender Finished at last with lot’s of learning along the way

Yesterday saw the tender completed apart from wiring the pick ups and setting the ride height which will be done towards the end of the build.
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Gladiator J6 Ivatt Self Trimming Tender – Chassis

Gladiator J6 Ivatt Self Trimming Tender – Chassis

Gladiator J6 Ivatt Self Trimming Tender – Chassis

You will note that I have added an extra frame spacer. I did this because I am using the tender for pick ups and wanted to ensure that there was no flexing which might affect them – The brass spacer was a scaled up P4 spacer from the spares box which I cut down to fit.

Gladiator J6 Ivatt Self Trimming Tender – Complete

Gladiator J6 Ivatt Self Trimming Tender – Complete

Gladiator J6 Ivatt Self Trimming Tender – Pick ups fitted

Back onto the loco next.

Gladiator J6 Ivatt Self Trimming Tender – Upperworks Complete

Because we stayed in Wakefield this weekend it gave me an extra evening at the bench – usually I am worn out by the time we get to Bishop Auckland and rarely do anything once I arrive on Friday evening.
As luck would have it I was able to finish work early too so I had around 5 hours at the bench which saw off the remaining upper works details.
The coal rails were too long and I had to split them at the rear of the tender. I think that this is a result of the cut out in the tender flare for the hand grip which is a feature of this type of tender.
I followed David Hill’s example and soldered half round beading over the coal rails and what an improvement it’s made.
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Gladiator J6 Ivatt Self Trimming Tender – Tender body complete

Gladiator J6 Ivatt Self Trimming Tender – Tender body complete

I also put half round beading in one the inside of the front hand grip sections to make it a round profile. and you can see the additional lamp bracket too which wouldn’t focus on my last photo session.

Gladiator J6 Ivatt Self Trimming Tender – Tender body complete

Gladiator J6 Ivatt Self Trimming Tender – Tender body complete

Gladiator J6 Ivatt Self Trimming Tender – Tender body complete

Gladiator J6 Ivatt Self Trimming Tender – Tender body complete

Gladiator J6 Ivatt Self Trimming Tender – Tender body complete

I also got around not fitting a nut to secure the front of the tender top by tapping a piece of tube and soldering it in when the nut should be.
This just leaves me with the chassis which I have made a start on.

Gladiator J6 – Tender Lamp Irons

I didn’t seem to make much visible progress in last night’s session but I got the lamp irons on and hopefully you can see why I prefer to replace etched versions with cast ones where possible.

Gladiator J6 Ivatt Self Trimming Tender – Lamp Irons and Tank filler fitted

 I have also fitted one inside the side sheet at the front of the tender but alas the camera decided to focus on the nearside so the added lamp iron came out so blurred you couldn’t see it.
I will try again when I next take photos.
I did manage to add the tank filler though so another detail bites the dust.

Gladiator J6 Ivatt Self Trimming Tender – Lamp Irons and Tank filler fitted

Coal rails next I think.

Gladiator J6 – Detailing the tender top

Further progress on the tender for the J6. Starting off with a slight backward step.
While struggling with the instructions I hadn’t read the text when fitting the lifting eyes I just followed the drawing which unfortunately showed the wrong type of backing plate. Reading through the text late last week I saw my error and by coincidence David Hill of Gladiator pointed it out the day after on the Guild forum.
My customer had seen the post and said it didn’t matter if they didn’t show too much but it was only a few minutes of a job with the microflame and a scalpel to take them off and swap them for the right ones.

Gladiator J6 Ivatt Self Trimming Tender – some details added

Gladiator J6 Ivatt Self Trimming Tender – Lifting Eye backing plate

Next I added the vacuum and steam heat pipes to the rear of the tender.

Gladiator J6 Ivatt Self Trimming Tender – some details added

Then I started on the front.

Gladiator J6 Ivatt Self Trimming Tender – some details added

Gladiator J6 Ivatt Self Trimming Tender – some details added

The brake standard was one that I had in my spares box that was left over from the B16 build. The other levers are bent wire and scrap etch.

Gladiator J6 Ivatt Self Trimming Tender – some details added

The bucket is one of Jim McGeown’s castings that I had sat on my desk for a long time after I had made a bit of a mess of trying to hollow it out.
I took it back into the workshop to see if I could do anything with it after being informed that the hole in the left hand side was for a bucket. I then remembered the collets that I had made for drilling the valve guide castings on the Streamlined Duchess and used one of them to tidy up the inside of the bucket top using a dental burr and lastly soldered a handle on from scrap etch.

Bucket for J6 Tender

Gladiator J6 Tender Fundamentals complete

More progress last night. Despite starting quite late I managed to get the two coal space sides in place.
I had anticipated that one of them may not fit very well and might leave a gap that would in fairness be hidden by the coal but I was pleasantly surprised when after a little tweaking with pliers and a rub of some abrasive paper it went into place as it should. Just the details and coal rails to add now.

Gladiator J6 Ivatt Self Trimming Tender – Coal space complete

Gladiator J6 Ivatt Self Trimming Tender – Coal space complete

Gladiator J6 Ivatt Self Trimming Tender – Coal space complete

I am not sure why but I chose to use shiny sinks to clean it up after I finished instead of my usual Bar Keepers Friend and it turned all the solder black making it look to be worse than it is.

More Tender moments and it’s not even anywhere near Valentines day

Last Thursday evening I made much progress on the tender for the J6.
The coal plate is now in as is the front section of the tender.

Gladiator J6 Ivatt Self Trimming Tender coal plate fitted

Gladiator J6 Ivatt Self Trimming Tender coal plate fitted

Gladiator J6 Ivatt Self Trimming Tender coal plate fitted

There is still a goodly amount of cleaning up to do and the sides of the coal space are still to solder in but I feel that I have broken it’s back now.

Tender and Grilled without a barbie in sight…

And then there were two, I successfully made the second grill last night so that’s a bit of a relief.
I am still awaiting some of the replacement bits for the chassis – they were ordered later after my customer decided that he would like the chassis improved too.

N7/3 Scratch Built Rear Window Half Coal Bars – and then there were two

Having made the second grill for the N7 I then picked up the tender front for the J6 and made the last small piece to get the main structure of the tender front ready for fitting and final details.

Gladiator J6 Tender Front – last bits before the details

Flares fitted to Ivatt Self Trimming Tender.

Further to my last post below are some photos of the flares as fitted to the J6 self trimming tender. There is still much cleaning up and some filling of the corners with solder to do but so far I am very pleased with how they are going.

Starting with some shots after soldering on the flares but before starting to filling the corners with solder.

Gladiator Ivatt Self Trimming Tender – Fitting the flares

Gladiator Ivatt Self Trimming Tender – Fitting the flares

Gladiator Ivatt Self Trimming Tender – Fitting the flares

Gladiator Ivatt Self Trimming Tender – Fitting the flares

Then with the mostly filled in corners.

Gladiator Ivatt Self Trimming Tender – Fitting the flares

Gladiator Ivatt Self Trimming Tender – Fitting the flares

 

Flares, not those of the trouser persuasion though.

The next job to tackle before starting to assemble everything was the flares and it proved a bit easier than anticipated. Having formed the curves I offered it up the tender and at first I was a little baffled (permanent state of mind at the minute) but quickly realised that I needed to trim the curved end of each side and then it would fit.
I only got part of it soldered on before bed time last night so tonight I will finish that and then take photos.

Modeller’s Block Overcome

Although I haven’t posted anything this week things have been progressing albeit slowly.

The reason for the slow approach has been a combination of a lot of other things intruding and the fact that I couldn’t get my head around how the front coal plate shown in the last post attached to the tender front itself. While I pondered I moved along by fitting hand rail knobs to the tender sides and fitting lifting rings to the coal space sides and tank top/coal chute. I still haven’t assembled the innards because I want all the sub assemblies ready and to have an understand of how things fit before committing myself.

Before getting started on anything last night I re-read the instructions and saw the wood for the trees and ended up with this. Still a bit more to do but I am happy with progress.

Gladiator Ivatt Self Trimming Tender – Coal Plate, lifting eyes etc.

There is mention in the instructions of a strip 49mm (I think but I don’t have the instructions to hand so I will edit the post later and confirm) x 4.5mm
but I couldn’t find the part so I used a suitable piece of scrap etch to make the infill piece for the back which forms a shelf behind the coal plate.

Gladiator Ivatt Self Trimming Tender – Coal Plate, lifting eyes etc.

 

Gladiator Ivatt Self Trimming Tender – Coal Plate, lifting eyes etc.

Gladiator Ivatt Self Trimming Tender – Coal Plate, lifting eyes etc.

Lastly although not needed for my build but needed for the revision of the instructions I made up the two dome options which are included a rectangular combined dome/filler and the separate dome.

Gladiator Ivatt Self Trimming Tender – Coal Plate, lifting eyes etc.

On the round dome everything was a perfect fit whereas on the combined dome I had to take a sliver of the two half etched overlaps to get them to meet squarely a simple exercise that took moments to do with a pair of topiary scissors

Gladiator Ivatt Self Trimming Tender – Coal Plate, lifting eyes etc.