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The loco chassis on the class B is pretty much complete. Decisions have been taken and we a working towards a saturated locomotive. One of the early batch with a Westinghouse brake.

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I began with the coupling rods as usual and then used the chassis jig to hopefully get everything square. Initially things were a little disappointing as the rods were binding, a problem I have not really had using the master chassis jig. Something was obviously wrong. Firstly it turned out the chassis was not quite level - I desoldered and realigned.  Better, but still not right. For the first time on this loco I had used the Heavy Duty Crankpins now sold by Hobby Holidays. These require the hole in the Slaters wheel to be enlarged. It appears that  when drilling out the wheels I had got one a little bit off. I filled the hole and redrilled. All went back together again and this time the chassis ran fine. In fact despite all the tribulations its now running really smoothly. Moral - when it doesn't work don't panic just work back through methodically, and try not to swear too much.

I also decided to return to using the method of springing I learned from Jazz on this site rather than the hornguides I used on the J21. Two reasons, firstly the chassis is not marked for cutting hornguides, and secondly there would have been an issue with the front spacer. I slightly change things in two ways. As I am not confident with getting the enlarged oval exactly correct I solder two straight pieces of nickle silver scrap etch either side of the bearing hole as rubbing strips.  I also drill two small holes in the top of the bearing to take the end of the piano wire and make sure the bearing doesn't rotate. A bit of adjustment on the pressure and all was fine.

I then went onto the detailing. There is a nice representation of the inside motion in the kit. One slight change I made was to the motion bracket. This is part of the front spacer and is folded back under it at quite an awkward angle. It then fits in slots on the chassis side. I felt this was tending to push the chassis out and may have been responsible for the unevenness I described earlier. When I did the rebuild I I therefore cut it off and positioned it after the chassis was running smoothly.

The brake gear was next and I used my usual method of BA bolts for the hangers, with a length of tube over to act as a spacer then secured with nuts. I beefed the nuts and bolts up from 14 to 12 BA as I found the 14s I have used before can bend under pressure. I got this method from Geoff Holts books, which I find a real source of help and inspiration. While his level of skill and availability of resources is way beyond anything I could dream of, there are loads of good ideas you can use. Jim McGeowans little book on kitbuilding is always by my side as well.

As there will be some testing to do I have not yet added the brake pull rods as the wheels will be on and off a bit. I do usually like to use plastic brake blocks from Slaters, but the NBR ones are very distinctive and you cant get away with it. Three D printed NBR brake blocks anyone? 

With Wakefield clubroom out of action, so its going to be a bit before I can get the chassis on a proper test track. So for the moment I intend to crack on with the loco body.

 

 

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The basic loco body has now been put together.  I took an initial decision not to build in my usual way starting with the valances and buffer beams. This was because the rear cab steps are part of the valance, so I thought it might be easier to keep everything flat building initially on the flat footplate.  I did this on the G7 tank and said I wouldn't do it again!  However, Its also the recommendation of the kit designer and I will bow to Mr Dawsons superior experience.

 

So far, all pretty straightforward you would expect form a kit from this stable. I made the cab, the boiler, and the smokebox as three separate sections and then brought them together.  The kit provides alternative smokebox parts for both saturated and superheated versions. The later involves shortening the boiler. Unlike on the J21 I didn't have to mess about with the boiler this time as the saturated version is the kits default position. If you build the kit take care with the locating slots in the footplate though. I had to widen them a little to get everything to fit together. The dome and chimney have just been placed on to check everything lines up. Quite pleased so far especially the join between the smoke box and the boiler - something I have struggled with previously. The rear boiler band has let to be added.

 

Question for anyone who can answer. The loco will be Westinghouse fitted. The pump is located on the side of the boiler and firebox where it curves inwards.  How was the pump attached? In photos it just seems to hang in mid air on the pipework. Its clear how pumps were fixed to cabsides or tanks, but for this position its not clear.  Was there some sort of fixing bracket behind?  On the Pickersgill which had a similar arrangement I simply drilled a hole in the back of the pump and the boiler and used a bit of wire to fix it. However something more prototypical would be good if anyone can enlighten me. Having looked at a lot of pictures I am still not clear.

 

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More progress this week. I attached the valences and buffer and drag beams and the smokebox front with its wingplates. This was less of a problem than on the G7. I added the cab steps before I put the valences on using 188 for strength. I remember having problems with the first couple of locos I built in that the steps were weak and fragile. I therefore do a couple of things to strengthen them up. I drill a small hole through the back of the step and the back of the valance where it fixes. I push through a bit of wire and solder it in place. I then file it back so its invisible. I also solder a strip of scrap brass down the back of the valance. She is starting to take on the characteristic purposeful, look of a Reid locomotive. When I commented recently that the tenders on these locos are often more of a challenge than the locos I forgot that the tenders were in fact a Holmes/Drummond design that Reid perpetuated. 

 

I then decided to get the chassis and body together to check everything was OK on clearances.  Immediately an issue - the front fixing hole in the chassis did not line up with the one on the body. I should have noticed this before but somehow missed it. I had to measure mark and drill. If you get one of these kits look out for this and check. Once that was right I removed the brake gear from the chassis and just checked everything could run free. If you are contemplating having a go at a loco kit for the first time check this as you go along - I learned the hard way on this one! In this case there was no problem. 

 

Since the photo was taken I have put together the front and centre splashers. The tops of these turned out to be just a little wide so I have spent the afternoon filing and checking to get them to fit neatly. The rear of the centre splasher needs particular attention where it fits found the firebox. No real difficulty in doing this - just a few strokes of the file and keep checking.  

 

I will get the splashers on next session. There is then only really the cab interior and roof and front steps and then its on to detailing. She is proving quite a quick build by my standards and I am pleased with progress so far. For a kit I was quite half hearted about starting its proving to be an enjoyable and rewarding build.

 

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  • 2 weeks later...

The splashers proved to be a bit more of a challenge than was expected! The front ones tops were a little too wide and needed to be filed down a little. I made the splashers as sub assemblies first with 188 solder and then put them in place with 145. That involved some swearing! It proved impossible to solder them from the rear so it had to be done from the front and getting the iron in wasn't easy!  What did loco builders do before the little modern miracle of blu tack to hold stuff in place?  Once that was cleaned up I added the sandbox lids and lubricators.  I replaced the whitemetal ones in the kit with cast ones from 62C. I also added a whistle, washout plugs, lock up safety valves and the Westinghouse pump from the same source.  I was therefore able to solder these on which I find makes for greater security once the loco is out in the wild.

 

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I then turned my attention to the cab and its interior. Again I found that the cab boxes over the wheels and the cab floor needed quite a bit of filing to get them to fit. I like to have access to the cab so I made the roof removable by soldering a couple of strips of scrap etch to run up against the sides.  I was pleased to see the fall plate included in the kit. As I have said before locos with a huge gap between loco and tender - and no crew - are my particular gripe.  Once that was done it was just a case of adding the large whitemetal castings. 

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So that's her pretty much completed for now. Like all my lockdown projects this winter she will have to wait for spring for painting.  I have not yet installed the motor and pickups until the chassis is painted.  There are still odd bits to do after painting - buffers, cab dials etc. I am going to do her in the later NBR goods livery of black lined yellow.

I have enjoyed building the kit, and while its not currently available if you see one a second hand stall its a straightforward enough build - like the real loco really.  

 

Edited by Shez
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You've done a nice job there.  The splasher problem is eased by soldering them from the rear before fitting the boiler assembly. That's the way I do it anyway.   I always solder as many as possible any parts that would be difficult to solder from the rear. Such as handrail knobs etc etc.

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Thanks very much Jazz. Good advice as always. There is however a bit of an issue with the front splasher on Holmes/Reid locos in that it forms part of the front boiler wingplate - so that had to be in position first.  

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This one might come as a bit of a surprise but I have been working on it for a bit on the quiet. A D11/2 from a Gladiator Kit. As well as my usual Scottish stuff I wanted to build some locos that reflected my families involvement at Mexborough shed, a town that's also my birthplace. During the war my great uncle Bill Massey drove the four "Improved Directors" that were allocated there. Bill worked at Mexborough shed all his working life. cleaner, fireman and driver, I therefore decided to build some locos that reflected this - it gives me a whole range of ex GCR, GNR and LNER prototypes to go at. A chance to tackle some larger, more challenging locos and improve my skills. The only criteria is that they must have been shedded at Mexborough at some time or other. in time I might even start a separate thread for these. 

 

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I decided not to chronicle the build for this one. That's because there is already the excellent "Malcom Graeme" thread on here by Mr Gladiator himself.  In fact I would have been completely lost without it and it has been my guide throughout. Its been a steep learning curve with me getting to grips with new challenges such as split level footplates and  belpaire fireboxes.  The kit does have pitfalls especially the amount of cutting you have to do under the boiler so the driving wheels don't foul. No mention of this in the written instructions. Fortunately David's experiences had alerted me to this, so I was ready for it. Most of the main brass work on the loco body is done and the chassis runs well,. My only deviation has been Slaters hornguides on the leading drivers. 

 

Not sure of identity or livery yet. Butler Henderson was always spoken of in the family as "Uncle Bills engine" but does the world need another model of it?  Zeebrugge, Mons or Somme are the other possibilities. As to livery. It should really be wartime black. Given that my other current project is lining and detailing my NBR class D in Holmes livery I might be ready for something simple!

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LNER and GC experts out there are no doubt shaking their heads and rolling their eyes!  the model depicts a D11/1.  I have obviously been modeling Scottish stuff for too long!

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After what seems an age doing the lining the Holmes D class for the Eyemouth layout, it  is now pretty much finished. After a few more running trials she then just needs crew, couplings and coal, along with a lamp iron for the smokebox which I always seem to knock off when painting. The pipe from the Westinghouse to the cab has also gone awol so I need to  replace that.  Its the same impressionistic approach to the Holmes Livery that I used on the 0-4-4 tank - rattle cans, paintbrush, and transfers with the lining built up in layers, with a couple of weeks between each application.  I finished off with to very light coats of railmatch satin varnish to give that slightly hazy look of a working loco. The black areas are left matt. This livery can easily look "over the top" if left too glossy - and there will probably be a bit more very light weathering and toning down.  Very pleased with the lovely NBR crests from Peter at 62C. 

 

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You can probably see the "Director" lurking at the back of the photo. There has been progress there too. 

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As I said in my last post I have made further progress with the Director with the locomotive its self pretty much finished except for details to add after painting. 

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I pretty much continued to follow  the instructions in the box and the pictures on David's thread. The only change I made was to not use some of the small whitemetal lubricators which looked a bit flimsy. I cobbled together some from wire and brass tube using photographs in the Yeadon book.

I am quite pleased with her despite some errors, as not long ago I would not have envisaged tackling such a big complex loco as this. 

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On to the tender now and those flares look like they will be a challenge!

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The Director is now pretty much completed and ready for a painting slot when the weather improves.

 

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All the soldering is now completed. There are just a few details to add after painting such as buffers and safety valves. I have pretty much settled on wartime black and on "Butler Henderson" as the identity. She will be pretty much a one off in my collection, but I wanted to mark the connection between this famous loco and my relative. She is by no means perfect and I struggled in places, but I feel I can now tackle some more challenging locos. Looking back ten years to the little 0-4-0 tank I started with its been a fascinating journey of trial and error. 

The kit makes into a lovely model, and is good value but anyone building it needs to be aware of a number of factors.

  • If you are used to "slot and tab" there is very little in the way of guidance. You need to be careful to make everything square. I actually soldered in little pieces of angle in places to help me.
  • There is a need to remove a large amount of metal to get clearances from the driving wheels. The instructions do not mention this
  • Be prepared for some scary bending and forming - the footplate, the firebox, and the tender flares. I made a lot of use of annealing in construction.
  • The kit makes three different variants - the original, improved and Scottish directors. The array of alternative parts can be somewhat bewildering so make sure you are clear from the start which loco you are building. ( I was disappointed that there was not an Isinglass drawing available for this class after I found one such a help with the J21.) You will need the relevant Yeadons register as there were so many detail changes.
  • There was a huge amount of castings of variable quality - some were excellent (chimney, dome,) others weak and fragile - (tender springs - lubricators.)  I should say I bought the kit a number of years ago before Gladiators current owners so this may no longer apply.
  • If you build one David (Mr Gladiator) has done a thread on here building Scottish Director "Malcolm Graeme"  - its invaluable - I don't think I would have succeeded without it. I found it more helpful than the actual instructions!

Would I build another from this kit. Certainly!!  In fact a D10 has been added to the ever lengthening to do list - two spent time at Mexborough.  If you are of an LNER persuasion and have got a couple of kits under your belt its an enjoyable challenge that will develop both your skills and widen your range of bad language!

 

So what's next? Stay in my homelands or back north of the border.....?

 

 

Edited by Shez
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  • 1 month later...
Posted (edited)

I am still deciding what is going to be the next big project, so I decided to get on with some smaller ones in the meantime. One of these being the whole question of Number133...

 

A few years ago flushed with success at getting a loco to actually work, I decided I wanted a model of one of my favourite locos - the NBR class M or LNER C15. A "Claymore" kit was acquired - what could possibly go wrong?  Quite a lot actually!  Although the loco body is passable, the chassis was another matter.  I somehow failed to grasp that the rear end of the chassis joggled inwards and that the pony truck bearings needed to be soldered inside.  Result a loco that shorted on the slightest curve. Attempts to hack away bits of the chassis only made matters worse - part of the frame sheared off on a test run on Green Ayre - so apart from being used as the test for "could I do NBR passenger livery", no 133 has languished forlornly in her box, unloved and neglected. 

 

I still wanted a  Class M. A couple of years ago I came across  one of the original incarnation of the kit from the Majestic Models range at a very good price on the guild second hand stall. Was this the answer? I  somehow though couldn't bear to junk 133, so a plan has evolved. The first part has to to take the chassis etch from the new kit and build an entirely new chassis, using the wheels and motor from 133. As the photograph shows this has been done over the last few weeks and now finally Number 133 can re emerge as as the proverbial "really useful engine" on my future planned layout. Just need to tart her up a bit!

 

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Part two of the project at a later date is to build the body from the new kit, but to paint it in LNER livery, so 133 will have an alternative identity, and everything gets used.  (I even have a possible plan for the remains of the original chassis) .  I have also recently done a couple of wagon kits and you can probably see a NBR empty cask wagon (Taff Vale Models) peeping out from behind. Another Cattle Wagon has also taken shape.  

 

Moral of tale - never get rid of anything you make - take some time out and re think it. 

Edited by Shez
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  • 2 weeks later...

I still seem to be suffering from loco kit indecision - so in the meantime its on with a couple of coaches. As you on here know a few years ago Jamie Guest drew me some parts to make some NBR 6 wheel coaches. You can find the whole tale on the thread "North British Six Wheel coaches"  Jamies art work was subsequently acquired by Peter Mullen at 62C Models and from that base a whole range of kits for 4 six wheel and bogie coaches are taking shape. The NBR under Holmes simply elongated their basic coach design. These are complete kits with everything you need.

 

Now I have done a four wheeler and some six wheelers - but a bogie coach is a whole different matter. Uncharted territory. So I have embarked on building a third and a luggage composite in tandem. I am starting by building both bodies as I would like to get both done by the good weather so I can paint and line them. Bogies and underframes can come later.

 

 

I began by folding the top and bottom of the sides and forming the tumblehome. I gently rolled this using a piece of brass rod. On a Holmes coach there is not much to put on - they have a very "square" box like profile so don't over do it.  The holes in the side of the coach are so that that the distinctive lower paneling can be soldered on from behind.

 While I had the bending bars handy I decided to also fold up the underframe floor. This will allow me to check the body is square and level.

 

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The picture shows the Third.

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Having got both coach sides folded up I decided to go on with the composite. The first soldering job was the drop lights and the door hinges. These solder from inside and the kit is well thought out to facilitate this. I then added the internal partitions - working carefully along from one end and constantly checking everything was square. Location is helped by small slots cut in the overfold at the top of the coach body. I have heard horror stories about people ending up with a "brass banana" so I took my time - one had to be re soldered a couple of times.   

 

Once that was done I offered up the other side and tack soldered it in place. Checking on a piece of glass and on the underframe base all was square - so a big sigh of relief.

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I then added the coach ends which are located by folding at the bottom and then positioning in half etched recesses underneath the sides - again good design.  I did make one deviation from the instructions at this point. There are two small nuts which have to be soldered to the turned up part of the end to secure the fixing bolts for the body to the underframe.  When I built a four wheeler (picture earlier on this thread)  I found this very difficult to get the iron in. I therefore soldered the nuts on before attaching the end.

 

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So now we have a nice strong square basic body shell. Side panels are next but before I do that I will build the third to the same stage.

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Nice to see the bogie coaches Mark.  I hadva hand in the artwork for them so it's good to see how they have turned out. Look foward to seeing progress.

 

Jamie

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I think you can be very proud of what you did Jamie. The basic design is very much yours - especially on the outside. 

 

Having built both your original scratch aids and now Peters kits I feel the most important development  has been the provision of the internal partitions. This has very much facilitated the provision of interior detail as our original concept of the fold back along the internal sides made it difficult to get the seating in. The locating slots enable the body to be built very square and rigid.  I don't think though it would have been an option for us given the size of brass sheet we were using.

 

The other big change on the six and four wheelers is the provision of a correct underframe to take the larger diameter wheels the NBR used.  I didn't think that would matter too much - but if  i put the four wheel brake with the correct wheels next to the six  wheelers its quite obvious. Need to get my thinking head on to see if the connoisseur units can be adapted for the bigger wheels.

 

Will you have another go at producing some CAD for coaches or similar?

 

 

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On 06/04/2021 at 16:44, Shez said:

I think you can be very proud of what you did Jamie. The basic design is very much yours - especially on the outside. 

 

Having built both your original scratch aids and now Peters kits I feel the most important development  has been the provision of the internal partitions. This has very much facilitated the provision of interior detail as our original concept of the fold back along the internal sides made it difficult to get the seating in. The locating slots enable the body to be built very square and rigid.  I don't think though it would have been an option for us given the size of brass sheet we were using.

 

The other big change on the six and four wheelers is the provision of a correct underframe to take the larger diameter wheels the NBR used.  I didn't think that would matter too much - but if  i put the four wheel brake with the correct wheels next to the six  wheelers its quite obvious. Need to get my thinking head on to see if the connoisseur units can be adapted for the bigger wheels.

 

Will you have another go at producing some CAD for coaches or similar?

 

 

My original underframe was designed to take the bigger wheels and I actually  bought some to do one coach.they were spoked as I remember and I did try and sketch out a brass overlay to look like Mansell wheels. However they should work with the bigger wheels.   I have been playing with a drawing for a Midland carriage truck to carry luggage containers for the Heysham boat train. It's the only vehicle that I don't have and there are no suitable kits.  By your question I wondered what vehicles you were thinking of for drawings.

 

Jamie

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There is now a  Mansell wheel available in the correct diameter for the NBR four and six wheelers. You can get them from 62C. Not sure if they are a Slaters or a Heywood product.  Wasn't thinking about anything specific with my question. Just wondered if you were looking to do any more CAD for yourself.  The carriage truck sounds an interesting one.  The Midland  seems well served for coach kits however.

 

Done some work on the All Third today and should have it up to the same stage as the Composite by tomorrow.  Will eventually add a bogie brake third  which had a attractive guards ducket on the end similar to the four wheelers. Photos of NBR passenger trains show that they often mixed the 4, 6 and bogie vehicles on the same train.  

 

If you look on Peters website (62C Models) he has also done a six wheeler for the "Scotsman" newspaper van with a complete set of transfers for the quite spectacular livery this vehicle carried.

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Caught up with the Third Class and taken it a stage further. Added the lower panels to the body along with the doors. When I did the six wheelers I did this before putting the body shell together so I was interested to see how this would work. In the end there was no problem. Hold the etch in place with a couple of mini pegs pressure with a piece of wood from the front and solder from behind. I used 145 so I could run the iron at a lower temperature and prevent any distortion or de soldering.  II will do it this way round in future. The third was straightforward enough but the composite  has lots of different size panels. Fortunately letter codes on the etch and coach enable you to locate the right one. Fit of parts was excellent with very little cleaning up needed.

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Now it s the luggage composite in the lead. Completed the paneling and got the door vents on and the end steps. As progress is quicker than expected I decided to do a bit on the underframe and check the two main parts bolted together and aligned. I had already folded up the floor and solebars and then added the half etched overlays with the rivet detail. These are very thin and I was lucky not to damage one of them.  

 

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Don't envisage much progress this weekend as HTFC in desperate relegation struggle, along with the first chance to see our grandson since October!

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