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

Modification of Buffer Heads from NER wagon kits

In my varied kit collection I have a few items of NER rolling stock from Medley Models/NER Days and it recently came to my attention via a fellow modeller that among other things the buffer heads in some of the kits need a little attention.
I had a vague recollection of Steve Hoyle mentioning something about his supplier having supplied them as they are and has subsequently passed away so no chance of doing anything about them.
These are what came with some of the kits (appologies for the slightly out of focus photos). You will note the interesting collar that would prevent any kind of compression…


I bought a couple of B1 opens from Mossy and they have been sat on my desk with the buffers beckoning to me each time I sat at my laptop. So this afternoon I decided to turn the collar off.
In the end I did about 30 and it was quite a good exercise in repeatability on the lathe using the graduations on the lead screw handwheels although the minor variations in sizes proved that they weren’t done with a CNC machine. I also took the opportunity to file off any centre pips and rub over the heads with emery while I had them in the chuck.


David Andrews Princess Tender Body

Further progress on the tender has seen the basics of the body put together.

DA Princess Tender Body
DA Princess Tender Body

So far, the only issues have been some bowing of the half-etched sheets which has taken a bit of work to get them soldered up straight. The worst being the rear sheets with the steps and the coal door.

DA Princess Tender Coal Doors

In the end I added a second sheet of 10thou nickel to back off the coal door.

DA Princess Tender basic Front
DA Princess Tender Rear of front plates.

I still have more detail to add to the coal door.

DA Princess Tender Body Just resting in place

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.

David Andrews Princess Tender chassis – Brakes fitted

With the brake hanger height sorted it was time to fit them. Because the wheels are on telescopic axles, they need much more wiggle room to be removable than the Slaters et al, types. It’s actually quite surprising how little room you need to remove a Slaters wheel.

The lack of space around the brakes meant that for the wheels to be removable the brakes need to be removable too. I did this by adding a collar from microbore tube over the .9mm rods that the brakes hang from on the frames. And at the moment the cross shaft at the front of the tender is removable but I am sure that if this were fixed the brakes would pivot out of the way to get the wheels out.

DA Stanier 4000 Gallon Tender inner Chassis – brake support sleeves
DA Stanier 4000 Gallon Tender inner Chassis
DA Stanier 4000 Gallon Tender inner Chassis

Just to prove that they are removable.

DA Stanier 4000 Gallon Tender brakes

I also made the two quite hefty support rods for the water scoop.

DA Stanier 4000 Gallon Tender water scoop detail

Plus, a Blue Peter moment in that here’s one I did earlier. I fitted the brake cylinder that I turned when I first got the Unimat 3.

DA Stanier 4000 Gallon Tender brake cyinder

A few general shots of the inner chassis, for no other reason than I got a bit carried away with the camera.

DA Stanier 4000 Gallon Tender Water scoop details
DA Stanier 4000 Gallon Tender inner Chassis – brakes removed
DA Stanier 4000 Gallon Tender water scoop detail
DA Stanier 4000 Gallon Tender water scoop detail