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Gladiator LNER/BR J6


Rob Pulham
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With the end in sight for the J79 my thoughts have started straying to the next build which is to be an LNER/BR J6 (ex Great Northern Railway) This is to be built from a Gladiator Kit which originated in the George Norton Connoisseurs Choice range (according to the etches). Extras include full inside motion from Laurie Griffin along with a few of his detailing parts. Once it's painted (by Warren Haywood) I will then be weathering it and adding the finishing touches.
 
We start with what's in the box.
 
 
 

 

First the brass castings and turnings
 

Then the very cleanly cast white metal details.
 

 

 

 
 

Then the etches, 

The chassis etches are quite substantial nickel silver etches, but the body etches feel much thinner so I suspect that they will require a bit of careful handling until they are soldered into a rigid structure.
 

 

 

 

Finally the extras, These are all from Laurie Griffin and were my suggestions to the gent that I am building it for to not only enhance it but to replace the vulnerable etched lamp irons.
Edited by Rob Pulham
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The boiler/firebox in this kit has provision for representing the two main series of locos with washouts/mudholes in different places, so when packing I agonise whether or not to roll the boiler as different sets of holes need to be drilled out. For this kit I had obviously taken the plunge and rolled it as I think it will still be possible to open out the required locations. I will be very interested to see how Rob approaches this!

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The boiler/firebox in this kit has provision for representing the two main series of locos with washouts/mudholes in different places, so when packing I agonise whether or not to roll the boiler as different sets of holes need to be drilled out. For this kit I had obviously taken the plunge and rolled it as I think it will still be possible to open out the required locations. I will be very interested to see how Rob approaches this!

 

Thanks for the head's up David.

 

I only have a single photo of my prototype (64206 bought from Rail online - http://www.rail-online.co.uk/p864498158 ) so far, so some of it might be guess work fro the other side.

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  • 2 weeks later...
The J6 is is officially underway,
 
I decided to build the tender first to get a feel for things and the plan is to use the tender for the pickups so hornblocks were fitted. The good news for this plan is that there were etched cut outs for fitting them with certainly simplified things.
 
All the wheels are blackened but I need to stock up on steel 10ba csk screws because I haven't enough to do the drivers.
The horn guides are Finney but I seem to have misplaced the strips for retaining the hornblocks so I used a trick borrowed from Warren Haywood and used surplus 12ba nuts and bolts from Slaters crank pins to create retainers. In fairness I could have probably just soldered strips of scrap etch across the bottom because the Slaters wheels are easy to remove.
 
At the minute there is a lot of side play. I plan to leave this for the moment because the finished model has to negotiate 5' radius curves. 
 
38080243705_16816d517f_b.jpg


38080242775_b7b06b00dc_b.jpg


38080241925_480fecdbbd_b.jpg


38080241205_6e2ae54a22_b.jpg


 
You will note in the last photo that I shimmed the spacers with some scrap etch I am not sure whether I really needed to but it helped to level the space with the top of the frames and to get a tighter fit with the rear spacer that goes through the frames mid way. I suspect that if I had tested it without removing the etching cusp I may not have needed it.
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  • 2 weeks later...
Although it looks to have been a little quiet on the J6 front things have been progress albeit that it's taken a slight detour. 
 
After careful study of the tender in the photo v's what came with the kit, my client decided that he would prefer a different tender to make the loco match the photo. The alternate tender is now on order from David Hill at Gladiator but won't be available until March. I plan to continue to build the original tender, if for no other reason than to make sure I don't lose any of the bit's off it. - I have made a little more progress which I will share at some point.
 
Which means that thoughts have turned to the loco itself. I am very gratefully receiving help and guidance from Paul Pen-Sayers (@Locomodels) on building and fitting the inside motion in the chassis and I have been given Carte Blanche by my client to replace items in the same manner as I would if building it for myself.
 
So far I have elected to obtain some Premier coupling rods and some driving wheel springs from Ragstone. The latter I will need to modify but they will look a bit more like springs than the rather 1D etchings attached to the frames. In fairness to the kit, the etches are labelled 1992 and things have moved on a bit in the detail stakes since then.
 
This is what I mean  by 1D they are a single layer etch with just the outline of the strap that retains the leaves.
 
24338665617_1c992bdc13.jpg
 
The reason I elected to go for the Premier rods is similar, in that the rods provided are only dual layer with the back layer half etched and they are designed to pivot on the crank pin rather than the knuckle joint. I could perhaps have modified them to pivot on the knuckle but without adding another layer from scratch, I felt that they would still be a bit on the delicate side for coupling rods. Paul of course made a superb job of those for Heather's build and I am guessing that he made up some additions in his workshop.
 
Moving swiftly on, I have started to clean up the inside motion parts and slipped some of them onto an axle to see how they fit.
 
24338679867_47234492ae_b.jpg


39172244292_fcbdf6c5af_b.jpg
 
Much more work to do on them of course - including attempting to straighten those straps...

 
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One of the great things about following threads like this is that it gives me a heads-up about improvements that we can make to the kits without having to build the things myself! OzzyO suggested to me 2 years ago that it would be a good idea for me to part build every model at least assembling the major components so that I could see where improvements could be made. A great suggestion, but with the size of the Gladiator range I would need a lifespan somewhat in excess of the average Galapagos tortoise to achieve this ambition. But thanks to the builders on this site it is easier to see what we can do. And incorporate improvements we will!

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Hi David,

 

Well, I will be taking some of the weight off your shoulders, I have the B1,B2 (ex GCR), and D17 from your range to build for myself at some point not forgetting the B16 that I bought last week.

 

I was looking through the B1 kit recently and I was most impressed by the finesse and quality of the etches. Incidentally the coupling rods are made up from 4 layers so should really replicate the solidity of the real thing.

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Although it looks to have been a little quiet on the J6 front things have been progress albeit that it's taken a slight detour. 
 
After careful study of the tender in the photo v's what came with the kit, my client decided that he would prefer a different tender to make the loco match the photo. The alternate tender is now on order from David Hill at Gladiator but won't be available until March. I plan to continue to build the original tender, if for no other reason than to make sure I don't lose any of the bit's off it. - I have made a little more progress which I will share at some point.
 
Which means that thoughts have turned to the loco itself. I am very gratefully receiving help and guidance from Paul Pen-Sayers (@Locomodels) on building and fitting the inside motion in the chassis and I have been given Carte Blanche by my client to replace items in the same manner as I would if building it for myself.
 
So far I have elected to obtain some Premier coupling rods and some driving wheel springs from Ragstone. The latter I will need to modify but they will look a bit more like springs than the rather 1D etchings attached to the frames. In fairness to the kit, the etches are labelled 1992 and things have moved on a bit in the detail stakes since then.
 
This is what I mean  by 1D they are a single layer etch with just the outline of the strap that retains the leaves.
 
24338665617_1c992bdc13.jpg
 
The reason I elected to go for the Premier rods is similar, in that the rods provided are only dual layer with the back layer half etched and they are designed to pivot on the crank pin rather than the knuckle joint. I could perhaps have modified them to pivot on the knuckle but without adding another layer from scratch, I felt that they would still be a bit on the delicate side for coupling rods. Paul of course made a superb job of those for Heather's build and I am guessing that he made up some additions in his workshop.
 
Moving swiftly on, I have started to clean up the inside motion parts and slipped some of them onto an axle to see how they fit.
 
24338679867_47234492ae_b.jpg

 

 

39172244292_fcbdf6c5af_b.jpg

 
Much more work to do on them of course - including attempting to straighten those straps...

 

 

 

Rob,

 

The biggest tip I can give regarding Griffin motion is checking width over the  cranks.  It will be almost too late if you solder it all up and cut the axles only to realise it won't fit between axleboxes.

 

I know this because I lost weeks with my Duke and ended up having to narrow bearings, shave hornblocks and file outer ends of cranks.

post-1733-0-35669300-1514070374_thumb.jpg

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  • 1 month later...
As mentioned elsewhere a lack of time and energy has allowed me to do a few small jobs on the J6 that didn't require anything that wasn't therapeutic.

 

Although David had advised that it wouldn't be available until March it was a pleasant surprise when an email suggested that it could be collected at Bristol show. Warren Haywood very kindly collected it for me, so the build has resumed. Perversely I have decided not to start with the tender but to get the loco frames done next - it's to have working inside motion.

 

Parts of the etches do show their age and so it is with the loco springs which are a very basic etch. My client has asked me to build it as if it were for me so I have the discretion to obtain replacements for anything that I think could be improved upon.

 

The Hornblocks are Finney and were from stock so I will need to pick up some replacements for them from the Guys when I see them next.

 

38524625320_c4f870bbda_b.jpg

 

 

The spring castings are from Andy Beaton (@demu1037) at Ragstone Models and will be modified to make them look more like the J6 springs before fitting.

 

40288652642_ae5470aa30_b.jpg

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Lovely to see a build of this particular loco as I have one to do at some stage.

 

I watched the artwork for the etches being drawn by Doncaster works drawing office trained Malcolm Crawley. The kit was drawn by hand on a genuine railway drawing board!

 

It was initially intended for 4mm scale, so things like the springs almost vanish. The "blow up" to 7mm may well show up some things that might be much less obvious in the smaller scale.

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Lovely to see a build of this particular loco as I have one to do at some stage.

 

I watched the artwork for the etches being drawn by Doncaster works drawing office trained Malcolm Crawley. The kit was drawn by hand on a genuine railway drawing board!

 

It was initially intended for 4mm scale, so things like the springs almost vanish. The "blow up" to 7mm may well show up some things that might be much less obvious in the smaller scale.

 

Thanks Tony,

 

All these little snippets add to the interest. I am not knocking the kit in any way. The kit is of it's day and fidelity has moved on a bit since then. In fairness had I been asked for an out of the box build then that's what I would have done but being given leeway to make improvements gives me much more satisfaction.

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Further progress has the chassis together and ready for the fitting of the hornblocks.

 

Despite the quite substantial frames there was still a bit of flex in between the two main spacers and the rear one which is just soldered to the top left the bottom of the chassis with a tendency to splay outwards. To get over this I have temporarily soldered a third frame spacer (labeled motor spacer in and I also cut one of the wider frame spacers down and soldered it upright to take out the splay at the rear. 

 

As is comes there are three sets of spacers, marked from when it was blown up from a 4mm kit 00 gauge, EM gauge and P4 I am using the EM gauge spacers as a compromise between getting int to go around 5' curves and having sufficient room to fit the inside motion.

 

40341189562_a9bdc45329_b.jpg

 

26515094658_06fe619825_b.jpg

 

Before I go any further I am going to rework the springs and fit them before adding the Horn guides.

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The thing about kits like this is that it can be used as is to make a more than passable representation of the prototype.

 

We are lucky in that we have the option to upgrade parts should we wish to do so.

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I assume the vertical bolts are merely a means of adjusting axle ride height(s)?

Hi Miss P,

 

Yes, they are you then have the option to add springing or just let the hornblocks float. I haven't decided which way to go on that score yet. The decision will be delayed on this one since I don't have an immediate need for this tender now.

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A spring in the step,  or should that read, "some steps with the springs" (groan!)

 

We started with this.

 

39544685855_707d4faef5_b.jpg

 

I then patiently cut that down to get these separate pieces

 

25553524457_9e3dcfb52d_b.jpg

 

What I am aiming for is a 3D profile of these

 

40396907172_6c99dcf201_b.jpg

 

Then I started to re-assemble them - and to misquote Eric Morecambe, all the right bits but not necessarily in the right order....

 

39544065755_271dd544bf_b.jpg

 

Monday evening should see them ready to fit (I hope!)

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I am not sure why various bits of the text in my last post came out different sizes and bold in places,  it wasn't intentional.

 

To conclude this chapter here is part 3 of the modification. The plan is to drill and tap the frames 12ba and use them to retain the hornblocks.

 

39624757405_cbb646f16c_b.jpg

 

I just need to pick up some more 12 ba screws at Kettering .

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