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Building BR ex-LNER from kits.


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The photo also suggests a full-length lower footboard. I'd assumed all the "electric coaches" - this has the short guards ducket, so therefore electric- had the cutouts for the dynamo/battery box. 

It doesn't get any easier, does it?

 

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4 minutes ago, rowanj said:

The photo also suggests a full-length lower footboard. I'd assumed all the "electric coaches" - this has the short guards ducket, so therefore electric- had the cutouts for the dynamo/battery box. 

It doesn't get any easier, does it?

 

True! And LNER-pattern handrails. 

 

Thanks for the photo, Andrew - it shows that the handrails did exist. 

 

Currently experimenting with removing steps from a spare etch of a GER end. Another option is to beef up the D&S end with a 10-thou backing and then cast it in resin, which will make the steps easier to remove, and mean I don't damage the etched end irreparably. Or just leave it, now that there's proof of handrails.  

 

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11 minutes ago, rowanj said:

The photo also suggests a full-length lower footboard. I'd assumed all the "electric coaches" - this has the short guards ducket, so therefore electric- had the cutouts for the dynamo/battery box. 

It doesn't get any easier, does it?

 

 

3 minutes ago, Daddyman said:

True! And LNER-pattern handrails. 

 

Thanks for the photo, Andrew - it shows that the handrails did exist. 

 

Currently experimenting with removing steps from a spare etch of a GER end. Another option is to beef up the D&S end with a 10-thou backing and then cast it in resin, which will make the steps easier to remove, and mean I don't damage the etched end irreparably. Or just leave it, now that there's proof of handrails.  

 

 

Afternoon all,

 

what is not often appreciated, that rather like the Bird brain van*, there were different diagrams of the NER XB / BZ with different features. Has anybody seen the LNER version for example? 

 

* three roof vents were not a feature of dia 120.

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3 minutes ago, Headstock said:

 

 

Afternoon all,

 

what is not often appreciated, that rather like the Bird brain van*, there were different diagrams of the NER XB / BZ with different features. Has anybody seen the LNER version for example? 

 

* three roof vents were not a feature of dia 120.

Thanks, Andrew. Presumably this is why the preserved one is referred to as a D.131. Do you have any information on these differences?

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2 hours ago, Daddyman said:

Thanks, Andrew. Presumably this is why the preserved one is referred to as a D.131. Do you have any information on these differences?

 

I can't help you in detail I'm afraid, It's a big subject requiring a lot of commitment in terms of time. I endeavour to keep focused on my own modeling needs. otherwise I would never get anything done! The vans were built over quite a period of time and lasted forever. Not only were there different diagrams but all sorts of modification were applied, bits were added, bits removed ect, quite a bit of cross pollination was involved I suspect.

Edited by Headstock
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The D&S 6- wheeler on test,

I'm in the process of putting together a short Engineers Train. I still have kits to build for a Dogfish, another Catfish, and a Grampus. In the meantime .the D&S 6-wheel BY, probably an ex-NER Milk Van, has been appropriated as a toolvan, and heads to Heaton Yard behind a local J27 (Dave Alexander kit) with a Catfish and Shark brake.

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I pestered Arthur Kimber for one of his J73 kits for a while, so the least I can do is build it. I got distracted by coach kits, and, during Lockdown when Mrs Rowanj wasn't well, I only wanted to pick around with modelling. However, the time has come to make a start.

 

The J73 is the last tank loco I "need" to complete the NER - based collection. Actually, post -nationalisation, it is stretching things to run one on a Tyneside-based layout, though, pre-War, they were to be found around Newcastle.  We modellers love to find a way to justify stock, and in my case, the J73 will have gone to Gateshead Works for a "General" and will be used on running-in turns before returning to West Hartlepool. So 68359 will appear in the ex-Works condition it would have been in March 1956,

 

You need to be pretty ham-fisted to mess up one of Arthur's chassis. The spacers fit into tabs or slots and are all very accurate. I have  Comet pair of jigs, and the excellent Poppy's wood jig, but for this kit, such was the accuracy of the etches, a paiir of Romford screwdrivers at each end and an axle in the centre sufficed.

 

Spacers are supplied for OO, EM and P4. My kits are all rigid-wheelbase OO. I Did find I needed to file back the tophat bearings quite substantially to stop the driving wheels binding, but otherwise, all was well. The photo shows the chassis carcase before any detail is added.

 

 

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A great thing about these kits is the instructions, which are detailed enough to give accurate information, but not so long as to put folk off.  I know folk can get so experienced as to get blasé but I do follow those in these kits.

 

I also find it important to build the chassis and body reasonably concurrently, especially in small locos where there are options on how to fit the motor/gearbox combo. I have an already assembled Mashima 1224 fitted to a Highlevel Compact+ which I would like to use, but suspect it will be too big. we will see. But it means assembling a fair bit of the basic superstructure to check.

 

Two things with Arthur's kits, which I haven't seen elsewhere, are the "fold-up" nature of the tank sides, and the overlay for the footplate. Both are pictured. The tank assembly gives a ready space to add weight just where it is needed, I imagine the footplate arrangement is to allow folk to press up rivet detail.  It is however, very flimsy, As the instructions suggest lesser mortals shouldn't attempt the rivets, I suspect it could be dispensed with. 

 

However, I will fit it. The instructions tell you to use the tanks and the etch for the front lamp irons to get the 2 parts into alignment, using the slots in the etches, and then solder the 2 parts together. I have done this before, and I found it probably the most difficult part of the kit, partly because I am pretty ordinary with a soldering iron. But scrapers and fibre glass pencils are pre-requisites for my work anyway. I will also screw the two bits together as a sort of belt and braces to keep them tight and prevent/minimise any buckling of the thin overlay.

 

 

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The footplate is virtually finished, and I've made a start on the superstructure. Don't do what I did and fold one of the side tanks "inside out". I managed to break one joint, but luckily, it was an easy repair. The tanks are just tack soldered at the moment, held to the footplate by the etched slots. 

 

The J73 is in odd-looking loco in the ex_NER canon, and you can see why folk used to convert Jinties into them, back in the day.

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The tanks, now plugged with lead, are now attached, as is the front spectacle plate. Like all of Arthur's kits,  the boiler rests on "petals", and the fit seems reasonable between the tanks.  

 

Unlike later kits, the J73 is a bit light on cab details. I'll fit a mock wooden floor, and a backhead and any other details- rear cab locker, brake standard, etc- as the open cab doors would otherwise reveal a fairly empty space.

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John,

 

Obviously too late now, but in my experience with Arthur's kits, it is a good idea to fit the beading round the cab opening, while the cab/tank side etching is flat i.e. before any folding and soldering of the tank/cab assembly is undertaken. Similarly, the cab roof support strips should also be folded to the correct angle, while the cab/tank side etch is flat, using a steel rule to hold the etching flat while this folding is done. This prevents any bend forming in the cab side when this folding is done.

 

In fact I always hold one edge of a fold against a flat base (.030" plasticard) using a steel ruler, while folding the etches; effectively folding the etch around the edge of the steel ruler, for that same reason - to prevent any distortion to a straight surface. I use various 6", 12" and 20" steel rules throughout the building process, both as tools for the folding process and as checks on straightness and squareness throughout the various stages of construction. The digital camera is also a wonderful aid to construction, as it's 'all seeing eye' never fails to spot any divergences from straight and square!!

 

As regards the two layer footplate, I use a slightly blunted compass (half of a set of compasses) point to press out the rivets. This process is done over a sheet of .030" plasticard which prevents the compass point from puncturing the metal and forms a dome shaped indent as per a rivet. Again, this process is done very slowly and I often take two or three repetitions of this pressing process to achieve the correct profile and depth of the rivets.

 

I also clamp the two layers of the footplate (after correct positioning) to a flat piece of wood which is slightly narrower than the distance between the valances (by around 1.5 mm each side) and slightly shorter than the distance between the two buffer beams (by around 5 mm each end) before soldering the footplate.

 

The wood is clamped to the two layers on the underside of the thicker of the two layers, inside the valances and inside the buffer beams with spaces to locate the lamp iron etches at each end of the footplate. I also slot in appropriately sized pieces of scrap etch into the slots at the sides of the footplate, which slots will later accept the tank sides. 

 

How long does all of this positioning take? For an 0-6-0 - tank or tender - I'll probably spend a couple of hours preparing and positioning the two layers of the footplate before any solder is applied. After all, this is the foundation of the model and if it is wrong then the entire model is wrong!!

 

Once positioned and clamped, the two layers are then soldered together from the middle to the ends, taking this process very slowly to avoid the layers warping and bending through natural expansion as the iron is applied.

 

On all of Arthur's locomotives, the single most important thing to ensure, is that the assembly of the footplate is absolutely straight and absolutely flat!

 

Regards

 

Mike

 

Edited by mikemeg
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Always good to hear from Mike- as usual, super tips.

 

Getting the cab beading fitted wasn't as bad as I expected, thanks to the design of the etch- there is a half etch down the centre which fits over the cab window. Try to avoid getting solder on the cab side top where a half etch bends to make the roof profile, as this will obviously make forming the bend more difficult. Although in this case, I had already formed the  bend, as you might guess I have not been so lucky/careful on an earlier build....

 

I have added the cab detail - I doubt it's accurate, but at least it looks like something is happening, and once crew are fitted it will appear suitably busy. I'm not sure if there should be a locker on the rear shelf, Arthur normally supplies one, but not in this case. I "stole " Mike's method of representing the planked floor, using scribed thin card. When painted brown, it adds a distinctive look to the cab. I should also, I suspect, fit a shield over the fire door, but this too, unusually, seems to be missing. The backplate is a casting Arthur supplied as a spare some time ago.

 

I had a couple of small Mashima motors, and High Level Compact+ gearboxes, and was about to start the boiler until I realised that all the boxes had 2mm worms. A1.5 version is on order, and I'm also going to try one of Chris' smaller motors as an experiment, Until they arrive, I'll only add a few more bits of detail ,in case I need to make any alterations to the boiler to get everything to fit.

 

Talking of boilers, the options for a J73 are a 69 or 69A, and there are the usual differences in location of dome , whistle, safety valves and boiler bands between them. The instructions tell you to roll the boiler, which has etched lines where the boiler bands go for the original 69. It tells you to roll in the opposite direction, with the lines inside, for a 69A. Luckily, in ny kit the boiler is already rolled, lines and all, but this does mean it's easier to build it as a 69,

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I did make a start on the boiler, as the way Arthur's kits are designed, the boiler bolts to the smokebox, and there is no need to do any work which could prove problematic when the motor is fitted.  With the boiler in situ, along with the cab roof, the loco now looks like a visitor to North Road Scrapyard, rather than Gateshead Works, but I am confident that it will actually emerge intact.

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I'm more or less at the detailing stage now, so the loco has been given a push around the layout to see if there are any obvious running or shorting issues at this stage, I may pick at some of the details while waiting for the motor and gearbox, but not anything susceptible to too much handling while the body is going to be going on and off the chassis. 

 

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I've made a start on getting the chassis running and the rest of its' detail completed. The motor/gearbox combination is a High level Compact+ and their replacement 1219 coreless motor.

 

I prefer High Level gearboxes, all things being equal, for both cost and flexibility - you can normally get one which will fit your kit. it's important to open all the holes to check the steel rod passes freely. I also find the small brass spacers ALWAYS need reaming, and this job is a real pain. One of these days, I'll track down some plastic hollow rod of the right internal diameter. But the service from Chris is excellent, instructions are comprehensive and he is always happy to chat on the phone if you need advice.

 

I needed to extend the boiler cutout up to the point of the next half-etched boiler band, I will tidy up the cuts, but actually, they will be hidden by the tank sides.

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If you mean the steel rod which are a support for the gears , then no idea why you are suggesting a loose fit ?

 

The steel rods should be a tight fit into the frames ,and the glue added onto the outside edge of the frame only , even then only once the gears are fitted and tested first for movement. If you have the steel rods  moving freely ,there is a danger the glue will seep into the gears and lock the whole box up.

 

Or are you talking about something else?.

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26 minutes ago, micklner said:

If you mean the steel rod which are a support for the gears , then no idea why you are suggesting a loose fit ?

 

The steel rods should be a tight fit into the frames ,and the glue added onto the outside edge of the frame only , even then only once the gears are fitted and tested first for movement. If you have the steel rods  moving freely ,there is a danger the glue will seep into the gears and lock the whole box up.

 

Or are you talking about something else?.

Yes and no, Mick. That is what I'm talking about, but I'm certainly not suggesting a loose fit..simply a couple of twists with a broach to get the rod to go into the hole in the first place.

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Progress on the chassis. It went together easily - the only "problem" I had was getting the coupling rods to clear the brakes. The brake linkage on the J73 is outside the wheels, and no doubt I'll have a bit of a fight to keep them clear of the driving wheels. Arthur notes that some were rebuilt with the brake rods BEHIND the wheels, but I'm yet to track down a photo of an example in BR days.

 

The High Level Compact+/1619 combination sits very neatly in the frames. As you can see, the motor doesnt have a shaft at the rear, so fitting a flywheel would be problematic - not that I've ever fitted one.

The motor fits in the "twist and tighten" fitting of the gearbox etch, which I prefer to use, finding it easier to part-fit the small screws before offering the motor to the box. In this case, however, the screw heads were to large to pass through the "entry hole" in the etch. I opened up the bottom one-always the trickiest  to get a screw in as this is where the gears are- and removed the top screw from the motor, and fitted it after the bottom one had been tightened. 

 

I need to remove a bit more from underneath the boiler, check that it clears  the front of the gearbox, then it's really just a case of adding the details.

 

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Chassis now virtually complete, pickups fitted, and all runs well. A bit more removed from the boiler to clear the gearbox front. Even this smallish motor is very close to the cab backplate, and fouled the cab floor, so I nipped back the floor, and the rather long power connectors on the motor. I will use some stiff wire for the return on the live chassis, which helps to keep the gearbox and motor in place. The rear buffers have been fitted , just for fun, but also to help getting the wire goalpost which forms the coupling bar. The cab roof is removeable, and I see I haven't positioned it correctly for the photos.

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The chassis is now running, and outside brake linkage fitted. I also have a moment of panic when the body is fitted, waiting for the short circuit, but this one runs beautifully, thanks more to the design of the chassis and the motor and gearbox than any great effort on my part. This motor from High Level, at pretty much the same price as the Mashima it is intended to replace, looks like a winner.

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An occasional contributor to this great thread returns.

 

Almost completed Crownline kit of Great Northern as rebuilt by Edward Thompson. Still needs some painting and weathering/cleaning. Runs well with Highlevel Coreless and HL gearbox. Fairly hard work though!

 

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Kind regards,

 

Richard B

 

 

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"Great Northern" looks excellent, Richard. Did you have to do much to the basic kit to get it into this shape?

 

I cant be the only one who looks forward to seeing the chimney and dome in situ, even if just perched on the boiler. The primer is Halfords Etch. The boiler still needs handrails and all the fittings, but I think the overall shape looks OK. It should be ready for a final prime and clean-up, before getting a top-coat of Matt Black.

 

I hummed and hawed about what to number tis loco. It needs to be one with a 69 boiler, but Yeadon's photos suggest that by 1950, none of them looked the same as regards boiler fittings, Also, post-war, none were allocated to Tyneside sheds - nowhere nearer than Hartlepool- but were usually repaired at Gateshead, rather than Darlington, until Gateshead Works closed. So my loco must have been into Gateshead for attention, and is doing a bit of running-in before heading south to its' home shed. Yeadon has a nice photo of 68362 from Selby, so that will be as good a choice as any.

 

 

 

 

 

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A few more "proving" pictures of the J73. There are still a few bits and pieces to tidy up, then i'll fit coal and crew and add Pressfix transfers from the HMRS. So the next and last photo will hopefully show the loco in action.

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  • rowanj changed the title to Building BR ex-LNER from kits.

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