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Gladiator 7mm Stanier Duchess





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#1 PAD

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Posted 22 June 2017 - 21:35

Having recently completed the build on the LNER L1,my thoughts turned to what to build next. With my last four builds (all tank locos) I made a conscious decision to stick to prototypes that I could run on my brother's BR (LM) branch line terminus.
However, when it came to finding a suitable kit that didn't go beyond my budget I found the choices some what limited and in most cases unappealing. So I decided to break my own rule and go for something big again.

I seriously considered the Scorpio 9F, as having built the BR Class 8 from the same stable, I felt it would be a good kit to build. However, I was inspired by Richard Lambert's incredible build of the Finney 7 Duchess on Western Thunder, and having always wanted a Duchess, I thought what the hell. That said, the Finney Kit is way beyond my budget so I plumped for what I belive is the next best in terms of design, quality, price and availability, namely Gladiator or David Andrews.

I don't think there is much to chose between David Andrews and Gladiator, and I believe the kits are almost (if not totally)identical. Mr Andrews is not taking orders at the moment, and in any case I thought that David Hill having recently taken on the Gladiator range deserved some support, so the kit was purchased from him at the Doncaster show. Here's what's in the box.
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As well as the above, there is a selection of brass rod to complete the parts. A set of Slaters wheels were purchased at the show, and I'll be getting an ABC gearbox/motor later.

A contributor on here mentioned an issue with the cast firebox/ etched boiler boiler joint, and I discussed this with David before I purchased. David explained that he will be looking to modify the master to improve the casting, but I did not see it as a reason not to buy the kit, as I felt it could be easily overcome. Basically the diameter of the front ring of the castings is @ 3-4 mm too small. The boiler diameter checks out OK.

I wanted to deal with this asap, so decided to start with the body rather than the chassis. This shows the error.
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I had an idea how to correct it, but first I needed to knock up the running plate cab and smokebox. Here's the running plate.
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As can be seen, without the frames to bolt it to, it is quite flexible, so I made this simple cradle from chip wood before proceeding. I had a length of 1in by 3/4in chip wood, very straight and flat which I sawed into suitable lengths and glued together with PVA. I then ground out a recess for the boiler to drop below the running plate and bob's your uncle, a rigid flat surface on which to work.
20170622_183205.jpg

After fitting the cab, I turned my attention to the firebox. It is a bit tight against the cab front, so I decided to widen it for a better fit, to avoid excessive filing to get it to fit. First I cut it in two halves by scoring along the centre line on the top with a scrawker and ruler. In each case, I then splayed the front "ring" to match the profile of the boiler. This was done by immersing the front few mm into boiling water to soften, and then gently easing to the curve with my fingers. I then made a fillet with 60 thou plastic card, glued into a "T" shape with plastic weld. When this was thoroughly dry, I epoxied it to one of the halves and a again set it aside to cure. Next I offered it up to the cab front as a template (with the cab/running plate on the wood cradle) and epoxied the the other half to the first. Here's what you get.
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I also noted that the smokebox wrapper is slightly over long by about 2mm. See the gap behind the rivets at the rear. The edge should be just next to the rear row of rivets as at the front.
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I'm jumping ahead here, but if you don't shorten it then it will overhang the steam pipe casting when it should be flush.
This is after correcting by removing 1.8mm from the rear edge so it sit back flush.
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And with the three parts sitting on the running plate.
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I'm happy that will all fix down nicely when epoxied/soldered, so I'm putting it to one side and making a start on the chassis. I don't want anything permanently fixed to the running plat until I know how it all sits on the frames. In any case there is a lot of detail to be added to the running plate before the boiler goes on. Here's the frames prepped up with the scale rule below just to give an idea of how long they are. At about 13 inches they must be the longest I've handled.
20170622_183505.jpg

Cheers,
Peter

Edited by PAD, 11 July 2017 - 21:45 .

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#2 t-b-g

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Posted 22 June 2017 - 21:44

My friend is going to be building one of these before too long, so your choice of prototype couldn't be better. If you point out the problems and show us how you worked around them you will save him hours of "thinking time". I will look forward to seeing this one progress. Which livery and condition will it be in?

#3 Horsetan

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Posted 23 June 2017 - 09:17

I do like seeing these things in the raw.

#4 Rob Pulham

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Posted 23 June 2017 - 15:03

Hi Peter,

You don't mess about do you.

 

It's looking good so far, and I like your solution to the firebox front problem it will be very neat once painted.


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#5 dikitriki

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Posted 24 June 2017 - 16:45

Ha!

 

Snap!

 

P1010328a.jpg

 

My holiday kit since Donny.

 

Cheers,

 

Richard

 

 


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#6 PAD

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Posted 24 June 2017 - 17:03

Got the frames together in reasonably quick order without any bother. The front and rear bearings are soldered in place, with the front ones spaced out to the back of the wheels to give minimum clearance. The middle ones are still loose and I will be elongating the chassis holes to allow some vertical movement. Here they are after fitting the wheels to check there was no wobbles, on a sheet of plate glass.
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The spacer at the rear was only added to assist in getting the rear end square vertically, but will be sprung out later to allow space for the drive unit on the rear axle. Once the frame extensions have their spacers in, it won't be needed.

I've laminated one set of coupling rods, and will do the others so that they can be fitted to check for free running, before proceeding.

In the meantime I couldn't resist a picture with the bod on. Looking like a Duchess already.
20170623_184447.jpg

Edited by PAD, 24 June 2017 - 18:14 .

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#7 PAD

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Posted 24 June 2017 - 17:48

Ha!
Snap!
My holiday kit since Donny.
Cheers,
Richard[/quote]

Hi Richard,
That looks like a resin firebox and boiler. Hope you are not using Finney casting, as that would be cheating! Next time we meet, I'll show you mine if you show me yours. Haha

But seriously it just proves there is more than one way to skin a cat. How does your firebox compare to the original casting?

Is it a de-streamlined one or an Ivatt variety?

By the way, I stopped by the Thinktank museum in Birmingham on the way to Yeovil on a business trip, and tooks lots of detail photos of City of Birmingham. With those and the various books I have, plus your incredible build of the Finney version on WT, I've got no excuse for getting it wrong.

Cheers,
Peter
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#8 Park

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Posted 25 June 2017 - 08:53

Perfect timing Peter, I also bought a Duchess off the Gladiator's at Donny. Funnily enough I was also planning on getting a Scorpio 9f over the Duchess, but Gladiator came North and Scorpio did not

 

Your mention of supporting Dave & Trisha having taken over the Gladiator brand also resonated with me, which meant I spent my money directly with them rather a cheaper version via another trader a few stalls away. Also as much as the Finney7 duchess is the one to have it is beyond what I too am prepared to spend. Anyway for about the same I can have my Duchess and the 9f next  :sungum: 

 

Following Jazz's topics and most others, I have started on the tender first to get to feel for the kit. You highlighting the known issues with the firebox and smokebox is just what I needed and as others have said will save hours of head scratching. I don't know whether I will go to the length that you have of cutting and shutting the firebox, as by the time I get around to it Dave might have his promised improved version available

 

My Duchess has been treated to some self contained buffers from Roxley which look nice. Whilst at Donny I also ordered some tender wheels from JPL as an alternative from the usual Slaters. Depending on how I get on with them the pan so far is to order the rest from JPL when I get that far

 

So thanks again for posting this I will be using your build as an aid to the 'lesser gifted' modeller


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#9 northcroft62

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Posted 25 June 2017 - 10:14

A wise choice Peter,this was the first 7mm kit I built not for myself as I was a 00 modeler.
A good friend who also modelled in 00 presented the kit and asked me to build the Gladiator Duchess.
He could not have picked a better kit as although it was a learning curve for me it was a most enjoyable build.
With the result I sold all my 00 collection and now have a few 7mm locos built and still building, I am working on a MOK 4mt 2-6-4t and a member of the 0 gauge guild and attend the local 0 gauge shows.
So I thank my good friend for introducing me to 7mm.
So I will follow your progress which looks spot on hope you enjoy the build.

Donald
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#10 Dave Holt

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Posted 25 June 2017 - 10:14

Is it a de-streamlined one or an Ivatt variety?

 

Think the bottom of the cab sides answers that one?

I must say, you've achieved a very nice match between the resin firebox casting and the sheet metal boiler, especially if things weren't all quite right, as supplied.

Looking forward to watching the model progress.

Dave.



#11 PAD

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Posted 25 June 2017 - 11:37

Hi Dave,
Thanks for pointing out the obvious. I should have seen as well as looked!

Now that I think about it, I believe Richard mentioned this at Doncaster when I was chatting to him.

Richard,
Ignore my stupid question. It's clearly an Ivatt version.

t-b-g,
Sorry, I did not answer your post. It will be finishing it in BR Green as Duchess of Sutherland.

Park,
Good to hear that you share my sentiments in supporting the efforts of Dave and Trish. Not that the Finney 7 boys don't deserve support also, but unfortunately they are outside my budget. The large prairie will be an option though when that is available.

Cutting the firebox with the scrawker was quite simple. The main thing is to keep the straight edge still for the first couple of cuts. I used a flat steel set square with the bottom of the "L" resting on a block of wood the same height as the firebox. Once you have a groove you can dispense with the straight edge and carefully deepen it by hand. I did not scribe the boiler bands but carefully cut through them with the razor saw. At about half way I squeezed the sides to snap it. The hard bit it making it good again.

Starting with the tender is a good thing when you build a kit from a designer who is new to you. However I have built a Javelin Black 5 in the past and the concept is very similar so I know what to expect. I believe that David Andrews, Alan Bullock and Geoff Stratford were all associated with Gladiator in the beginning and then went their separate ways.

I'll see how things progress with the build but I don't foresee having to replace any castings. The self contained buffers would be good for the de-streamlined tenders as they don't have a foorstep at the rear so the retaining nut on the buffer would not be hidden.

I hope you find the build interesting and if it helps you in any way then that is very pleasing.

Finally, thanks to Donald for the kind words. The MOK 2-6-4 also appealed but having build the DJB version some years ago I went for the Duchess.
Cheers.
Peter

Edited by PAD, 25 June 2017 - 11:45 .

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#12 farren

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Posted 26 June 2017 - 07:51

This will be an interesting build to watch, though I don't own a gladiator kit, dave was kind enough to send me the cab eatch FOC to complete my MPD Princess. Coronation.
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#13 PAD

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Posted 26 June 2017 - 08:33

Thanks Farren.

Yes, I have also found David to be very helpful and accommodating.
Cheers,
Peter
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#14 PAD

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Posted 28 June 2017 - 20:34

Both sets of coupling rods are now completed and tested fitted to check for any problems. I'm happy to say that the chassis is free running without the need for any fettling, which is a testament to the accuracy of the etchings. It's a nice touch having the corks etched on which saves having to drill the rods and fit them from wire.
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I've also fitted the inner bits and pieces to the rear frame extensions. As mentioned earlier, the spacer between the rear drivers can be sprung out to allow the fitting of the motor on the rear axle.
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Here's the front end.The extension to the front spacer is the mounting point for the 6BA bolt which secures the frames under the smokebox. It will be a bit flexible when the retaining bolt is screwed in so I'll probably cut it off and make a spacer with a hole, to fit just in front of the spacer for the cylinders
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Here's a couple of shots of the underside.
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And the underside of the body. The two retaining bolts for the chassis, and the bolt added to secure the smoke box can be seen. I must clean off the excess solder from the boiler seam. The year etched under the running plate is 1996 so the kit has been around for some time.
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Here's an angled shot of the full chassis.
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And a better shot of the modified rear edge of the smokebox.
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And finally with the body screwed to the chassis.
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I wonder how Dikitri is getting on with his Ivatt version?

Cheers,
Peter
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#15 dikitriki

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Posted 28 June 2017 - 22:44


I wonder how Dikitri is getting on with his Ivatt version?

Cheers,
Peter

He's not!

 

It's my holiday kit, so it's packed away until my next holiday later in the year, when I shall work on the chassis. Back on the Radial now.

 

I'm just enjoying watching you build yours. One thing; I was not happy with the DA saddle, and you have the same problem, in that the extension at the rear behind the steam pipe casing is poorly formed. I elected to replace it with brass sheet which was a bit of a fiddle, but I'm much happier with it now

 

P1010330.JPG

 

Cheers,

 

Richard


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#16 Scale7JB

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Posted 28 June 2017 - 23:57

Yep, bigger engine here too..

image.jpeg

JB.
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#17 PAD

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Posted 29 June 2017 - 18:01

Hi Richard,
Holiday kit! You lucky man.

The saddle is on my to do list. The stuff on the running plate is only held by a bolt into the smokebox so it all comes off. The other side of the casting us OK.
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I had a few minutes this afternoon so I stuck the balance weights on the wheels and cleaned up the boiler seam, hence it's cleaner than the smokebox.
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That looks like a tender version of the L1 Jonathan. If my wife caught me putting locos on the hob, she'd switch the rings on. That said, she hasn't caught me yet and it is a good flat surface on which to check for wobbles.

Cheers,
Peter
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#18 Scale7JB

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Posted 29 June 2017 - 18:21

Well, it is a Thompson engine, but no, it's a B2.

JB.

#19 PAD

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Posted 30 June 2017 - 20:21

I went off on a tangent as far as the instructions are concerned and assembled the pony truck. It has a simple inner frame which can be removed and it all went together very nicely. I deviated slightly by fitting the bearings proud of the frames to take up the slack and obviate the need for washers on the axle.
The spring/axle box castings are very nice but fragile until fitted. I got one on OK and then broke one of the hangers on the other whilst preparing it. I ran out of time so that is still to fix and fit. I also need to replace the 8 BA fixing bolts with shorter ones. Here's the partly finished article.
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And test fitted to the chassis.
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Cheers,
Peter
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#20 N15class

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Posted 01 July 2017 - 02:40

This is progressing quickly. I do like the boiler fix.
Nice to join your thread nearer the beginning than I normally do.

#21 PAD

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Posted 01 July 2017 - 21:55

Hi Peter,
Nice to hear that you are enjoying it so far. To be honest after reading your build on the Ace V1/V3 I was tempted to go for one myself. However, after speaking to one or two people at the show in Leigh I decided to pass on that and eventually plumped for a Duchess. Having upgraded an old Hornby Duchess many years ago (although if I saw it now, I would just say changed it) I have long harboured the desire to build one in 7mm. I followed Dikitri' s Finney build on Western Thunder and decided I had to have a Duchess. Unfortunately the F7 kit is beyond my budget so I went for what I believe is the next best option. So far I have no regrets and apart from the issue with the firebox, it does what it says on the tin.
Cheers,
Peter
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#22 N15class

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Posted 01 July 2017 - 23:50

I am build an old DJB M7 that was meant for me. But I thought as it cost me nothing because it had an portescap motor gearbox and some cast wheels which I sold for the cost of it all from Ebay. Build it sell it on and with the proceeds get the finney7 one. Now how do I get the radial and T3?

Edited by N15class, 01 July 2017 - 23:54 .

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#23 david.hill64

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Posted 03 July 2017 - 02:50

The spring/axle box castings are very nice but fragile until fitted. I got one on OK and then broke one of the hangers on the other whilst preparing it. I ran out of time so that is still to fix and fit. I also need to replace the 8 BA fixing bolts with shorter ones. 

If you can hang on a couple of weeks I'll send you a replacement spring casting.

 

What size 8BA's are needed? I'll update the packing list...............

 

David



#24 PAD

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Posted 03 July 2017 - 07:15

Hi David,
No worries on the spring. I'm sure I can fix it, but if not I'll take you up on your kind offer.

I have some 1/4 inch 8BA bolts which will replace the 1/2 inch ones. There may be some provided but I did not see them. I was short of time so just put the longer ones in for the pictures. I'll check and let you know.
Cheers,
Peter

#25 PAD

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Posted 03 July 2017 - 22:42

I fitted the other spring and axlebox, and when the epoxy had cured I added the broken shackle. Here's the truck with the inner frame and wheels removed.
20170703_231406.jpg Next up was the bogie. Removing the cusp is quite tedious due to the number of edges and apertures, but it goes together very nicely. Here it is without the wheels.


And with the wheels on and with the trailing truck.
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And under the frames.
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And with the bogie and truck in place.
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Don't know how, but I have managed to cock up the picture order and can't put it right.

Cheers,
Peter

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