Tender Skin…..

This is what it looks like with the overlays on the body. You get two options included in the kit either welded or riveted. I chose riveted because it adds a little more to the character.

LNER 06 (MOK 8F) Tender Top – Outer Skin

LNER 06 (MOK 8F) Tender Top – Outer Skin

LNER 06 (MOK 8F) Tender Top – Outer Skin

These latter two show the front bulkhead now it’s fitted and the fire iron tunnel which fitted perfectly.

LNER 06 (MOK 8F) Tender Top – Outer Skin

LNER 06 (MOK 8F) Tender Top – Fire Iron Tunnel

More tenderness from MOK.

Before going any further I started to make up the bulkheads which are made up from multiple layers. Here the instructions (or my interpretation of them) let me down again and I managed to get the overlay for the top of the front bulkhead out of sequence meaning that I had to cut a section out of it to prevent having to undo a lot of work meaning that it sits around the lockers not behind them (it was quite easy to do with scissors due to it being half etched). It isn’t visible in the end result but I know I had to do it.

Front Bulkhead

LNER 06 (MOK 8F) Tender – Front Bulkhead

LNER 06 (MOK 8F) Tender – Front Bulkhead

Fire Iron Tunnel

LNER 06 (MOK 8F) Tender Top – Fire Iron Tunnel

LNER 06 (MOK 8F) Tender Top – Fire Iron Tunnel

A Tender MOK moment (more like 3 days work actually!)

A few days off over Easter saw me make further progress on the 06.
Shaping the curves of the inner tender sides was interesting because in my ignorance I had chopped off one end of the etch which contained the marked etched bend lines and although I still had the piece that I removed I couldn’t realistically realign it. So some careful measuring was in order.
I annealed the tops of the sides where the main bend was to be – I did this a couple of times during the process.

LNER 06 (MOK 8F) Tender – Bending the Flare

LNER 06 (MOK 8F) Tender – Bending the Flare

LNER 06 (MOK 8F) Tender – Bending the Flare

LNER 06 (MOK 8F) Tender – Bending the Flare

In order to bend the front curves of the tender sides which were very close to the half etched line for the location of the front bulkhead I soldered in a couple of strips of scrap to stop it bending on the half etched line instead of where I wanted it to.

Once happy I soldered in the rear bulkhead and started to add details.

LNER 06 (MOK 8F) Tender Top

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

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.

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.

Life get’s in the way….

Life has got in the way of any modelling for the last couple of weeks or so but a little progress has been made on the brakes and water scoop gear.

Starting with the brakes.


Doh Moment

I had a proper DOH! moment with these when fitting the crank I read the instructions and worked out where it all went but for some reason I didn’t start on it for a couple of days and foolishly didn’t re-read the instructions… As I was fitting it the crank should have fitted as it is in the red square but initially I worked on fitting the end of the shaft through the etched holes which I had enlarged before realizing (red curved line).

The next bit of the instructions says words to the effect of assemble the water scoop gear using the 1/32 brass pins provided. Which at the outset doesn’t seem very helpful, however there are a couple of isometric drawings, and a couple of prototype photos in the main instructions and a supplement to the instructions which has a useful photo of a made up model and another drawing. Careful study of these allows you to work out what goes where. Thankfully I was also able to confirm my workings out were correct by asking Tony Geary who built one recently.

IMG_6498 IMG_6497 IMG_6496 IMG_6494

In the last photo once I had worked out that the two long operating rods (part 16 for anyone building one) needed to be soldered together I also decided to beef up the two end links that were half etched. I soldered them to a bit of scrap nickel fret, drilled them out and filed them to shape. The prototype photos show balance weights for parts 14 but the photo of the made up kit didn’t have them. I couldn’t find any castings for them so I made them up from some brass rod that I had in stock. I drilled through the middle and soldered a brass pin in to give some end definition (Tony suggested that I ask Dave Sharp for castings but by the time I saw his note I was well on with making them).

All I need to do now is put it all together…….

A bit of head scratching and a rolling chassis

I managed to crack on and get a smoothly rolling inner chassis yesterday.

I bought this kit in 2010 and the instructions are dated much older than that, however the last revision of the etches is dated 2007.

This makes for an interesting time in places. – For example, on the section of the instructions dealing with the assembly of the compensation beams it mentions using alternate parts from a 15 “thou” supplementary etch which is now one of the main etches – quite easy to work out as the parts are quite distinctive and are clearly duplicated (I just ran the digital caliper over them to find out which ones were 15 “thou”).

The next little bit that could trap the unwary is the next page which covers the assembly of the inner chassis is text wrapped around a drawing so it takes a bit of following but the key is that the drawing is in fact of a different bit entirely that isn’t mentioned in the text and I almost moved onto the next section without assembling it. I was just double checking and ticking off what I had done when I noticed it. Hopefully this might help someone else when they come to build one.

IMG_6373 IMG_6371 IMG_6372

This last photo highlights one of the rare bits where a couple of the tabs don’t align. Again this is highlighted to assist future builders rather than being a criticism of the kit. As I understand it Dave Sharpe (MOK) withdrew it for a while to correct the few minor errors but there wasn’t enough interest to warrant the time so he re-released it unchanged. The fact that these two tabs don’t align makes no difference to the accuracy or ease of going together of this section because all the other bits that interlock with this (whose tabs do align), mean that once you snip these two off it goes together nicely.

Miss aligned tabs


From the depth’s of the cupboard!

The next project from the depths of the shelf queen cupboard is the 06.

Over the last couple of weeks in between tinkering with Papyrus and weathering cattle wagons I have remade a start on this. In an effort to get back into the thinking without having to pick my way through where on the loco I have got to at this stage, I decided to start on the tender.

So far I have made up the outer frames and the compensation beams for the inner frames.


IMG_6367 IMG_6368 IMG_6370

Valve gear modifications

I haven’t had much time recently so progress has been a bit intermittant. I have been working my way slowly through the valve gear and following Richard Lambert’s example on another forum (not as nice as his efforts though). I have modified some of the bits so that they are a bit more prototypical. I am using the combination of the best bits from the kit and the premier rods. The mods are creating a fork on the ends of radius rod (Premier), creating the forked ends on the union links (MOK)

I didn’t have any scale hardware nut heads of the right size (and funds are a little tight at the moment) so I made do with just putting a piece of scrap etch in the bottom of the expansion link.

Its probably not that visible in the photo but as Richard had to move the oiler from the side to the front on his cast combination lever. Mine being etched didn’t have any at all. But a couple of pieces from some 2mm (I think but haven’t measured) brass bar have done the trick (to the naked eye at any rate).


Slowly slowly moving along

Although I have been quiet I have not been idle and the 06 moves slowly on.

The last few evenings and over the weekend have been spent on the cylinders/slidebars etc.

While it has taken time to get these sorted and the instructions do lack a little in places – I only discovered the cylinder backing pieces by accident while looking for something else…. it is a very enjoyable kit to build and I am learning all the way.

Post Holiday Progress

I didn’t get any modelling done last week but since then I have made some steady progress on the 06

I have done a bit more at the chassis

Next up was the front bogie.

And lastly just before going on holiday I ordered a set of coupling rods etc from Premier which were waiting for me when I got back. I also took the time to make up some of the rods that came with the kit.



The chassis

The next step was to clean up and test fit the chassis components

First up was to fit the horn guides and compensation beams

This kit is a joy all the parts fit and accurate slots and tabs hold it all together before taking the plunge to solder in place.

The next shots show the frame spacers and the ash pan assembled once again dry fitted no soldering yet..

Making a start.

When you buy the MOK LMS 8F kit you get a fair bit for your money, Sheets and sheets of etches, 8 bags of lovely lost wax castings and a few white metal castings .

This is the first sheet of etchings to be tackled.

Here are a couple of shots of the horn guides and the compensation beams made up ready to attach to the chassis.