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Great Central Railway Class 5A - LNER J63


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I didn’t have much in the way of modelling time this weekend but I managed to make some progress.

I had cut out the footplate and valances last weekend so they were quickly put together via the tabs. The buffer beams were easily laminated and then again attached via tabs.

 

There are four fold ups that represent the ends of the timber backing to the buffer planks these sit in a recess made up from some strengthening plates (parts 89 and 90) Parts 89 are dotted about the etch so took a bit of tracking down. Parts 90 are shown to be quite close together on the plan of the etches but despite spending the best part of an hour looking I could only find two of the four so I cut some replacements from scrap etch and cut one of the tabs off a couple of the part 89’s

 

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With all the parts found or made it was a simple job to solder it all up to make solid footplate. Then comes the task of chopping all the bits out of the inner cab/tanks/bunker and attaching it to the footplate. 
You need to read the instructions thoroughly at this point because if you twist all the tabs you cannot get the overlay to sit in the tab holes. You also need to fit the inner tanks before fitting the overlay because you need to file off all the twisted tabs to get the overlay flat – you will note that in my photo the overlay is still loose as I haven’t filed off the tabs yet.

 

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Talking of tabs, there is much mention of tabs in the instructions at this point. The cab beading has slots for tabs You will note that to make life a bit easier when fitting them I removed the tabs from the door opening on the inner etch but left them on the overlay. This was a trick I learned from the last build.

 

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This weekend was a one step forward and two back, weekend. I added the sides and fitted the coal bars to the rear cab side sheet and also dry fitted the cab front and inner cab rear.

 

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Where it took a step backwards was on one side, I wasn’t sure that the middle of the tank side had soldered properly to the inner former so I ran the soldering iron over it. Unfortunately, due to the very thin material of the overlay (0.1mm) it left an indentation where I had run the iron.

 

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After consulting with Brian, I removed the side and attempted to remove the indentation but as I suspected it wasn’t possible so I will use the side as a template to make a replacement side from nickel sheet.
 

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That almost looks like some of the slightly dodgy platework that some of the real ones ended up with in later life but somehow it never looks quite right on a model! I have been looking at the overlays and thinking about the best ways to attach them. They are very thin and my ERSA 150W iron gets metal very hot, very quickly. I don't know whether a quite hot iron but get in and out quickly, or turn the iron down and take it more slowly is the best tactic. There is probably only one way to find out. 

 

Not much progress to report on mine but I did get the cylinder wrappers on over the weekend. The kit has etches for the cylinder fronts with a ring of bolts but unless I have missed them on the etch I couldn't see any for the back, which also has a ring of bolts, so I made some from nickel sheet. I may add the lozenge shaped piston gland too.20201207_220623.jpg.b26aeafd5955b20a40423460fe10071a.jpg

 

Edit cos I forgot to add a photo!

Edited by t-b-g
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Today’s model making session saw the replacement side created. I still need to solder it in place but I am going to fit a few other bits first. It would have been much extra work to add all the tabs so it will need a little more care to fit some parts in place without the help of the tabs but most kits don’t have tabs on these particular parts so it should present too much of a problem.

 

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It is a good job it isn't a race. I think you would be lapping me round about now!

 

I am still adding the overlay etches to the frames, like the guard irons and mountings for the brakes.

 

I haven't found a dummy ashpan in the kit or the instructions yet. It is quite visible through the rather big holes in the frames. Have I missed it or is it something I will have to make up myself?

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14 hours ago, t-b-g said:

I haven't found a dummy ashpan in the kit or the instructions yet. It is quite visible through the rather big holes in the frames. Have I missed it or is it something I will have to make up myself?

 

Hi Tony,

 

You haven't missed anything there isn't a representation of the ashpan that I can find.  I had a look under my original build and no ashpan there either.  At the time I was more concerned with detail above the footplate so it never occurred to me to add one.

 

All the photos that I have of them have the coupling rod in the wrong position for seeing the bottom of the ashpan below the frames but the GA shows it as being  visible below the frames to the level of the bottom of the axle boxes.

 

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2 minutes ago, Rob Pulham said:

 

Hi Tony,

 

You haven't missed anything there isn't a representation of the ashpan that I can find.  I had a look under my original build and no ashpan there either.  At the time I was more concerned with detail above the footplate so it never occurred to me to add one.

 

All the photos that I have of them have the coupling rod in the wrong position for seeing the bottom of the ashpan below the frames but the GA shows it as being  visible below the frames to the level of the bottom of the axle boxes.

 

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Thanks Rob. That will be a big help getting it the right size and shape.

 

Up until fairly recently, I didn't even consider such things. I would buy a kit and build it and that was it. If there was anything obvious missing (some of the older 4mm kits didn't even have things like brakes!) I would have a go at adding them. But checking that the kit bits were actually the right size and shape didn't really cross my mind and a missing ashpan wouldn't have even registered.

 

A few years ago, my approach changed and I started looking and thinking a lot more about not just what was or wasn't in the kit but at what it should actually look like.

 

Modelling takes much longer now but I do find it much more satisfying and rewarding.

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Hi Tony,

 

I have added visible details above the footplate for as long as I have been building kits sometime to the detriment of finishing the build (I bit off more than I could chew a few times). But adding things like ashpans is a more recent thing like you.

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I am pleased to say that the replacement side has been a complete success and even in bare metal, if you didn’t know I doubt that you could tell that it wasn’t original.

 

Each side has a couple of ovals representing works plates so I used some off cuts to file up a couple of replacements and soldered them in place before fitting the side. I took measurements of the side that I had taken off to get the correct placement.

 

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Before finally soldering the new side on I fitted the front and rear of the cab and the cupboard on the cab and their overlays. 

 

Once they were all in place, I added the beading around the cab opening. Although I am sure that I used them last time I failed miserably to get the beading to slot onto the tabs in the cab openings. In the end, I filed them off and did it as I would have if there had been no tabs. Using the opening as a former I pre-bent the beading to shape and them with the aid of self-locking tweezers soldered them in place. I will have to revisit one of them as while taking photos this morning I noted a couple of small gaps that need filling.

 

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Progress has been slow this weekend, but a mystery has been unravelled.
You may recall that when I started the footplate, I couldn’t find two out of four part 60’s? Well today I found them…

I started yesterday’s session by rolling the boiler and it mentions using part 52 to ensure that it’s round.
This is the drawing of part 52

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I found it amongst the remaining bits of etch and tried it in the boiler all was well.
Then I started to assemble the inner support frame for the boiler using the diagram below and photos of my previous build.

 

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In my previous build I hadn’t used part 52… so I started questioning why not.

Although I obviously hadn’t worked it out before due to lack of experience it quickly became apparent that there was something wrong with part 52.

 

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The photo above shows both sides of part 52 as etched. Although it’s one piece when you check against the drawing snip above it should in fact be three parts, 52 and 2 x part 60 (the missing parts). It looks like when he drew the artwork Garth Patrick got these bits on the wrong layers and the bit’s that should have been etched though have been half etched on one side and the outer ring which should have been full thickness has been half etched on the back making the part completely useless.

 

I contemplated cutting the ring out with the piercing saw but I obviously managed without it on my build so could on this. As it happens in my spare etch box I found a semi circle the correct diameter which I will attach with a couple of bits of scrap to support the firebox end of the boiler tube.

 

Photos to follow once I have done it.
 

Edited by Rob Pulham
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On 13/12/2020 at 12:48, t-b-g said:

 

Thanks Rob. That will be a big help getting it the right size and shape.

 

Up until fairly recently, I didn't even consider such things. I would buy a kit and build it and that was it. If there was anything obvious missing (some of the older 4mm kits didn't even have things like brakes!) I would have a go at adding them. But checking that the kit bits were actually the right size and shape didn't really cross my mind and a missing ashpan wouldn't have even registered.

 

A few years ago, my approach changed and I started looking and thinking a lot more about not just what was or wasn't in the kit but at what it should actually look like.

 

Modelling takes much longer now but I do find it much more satisfying and rewarding.

You will find there is an ashpan in our kit and it's shown on my drawing as well.

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1 hour ago, Michael Edge said:

You will find there is an ashpan in our kit and it's shown on my drawing as well.

 

It is a while since I did one of yours Mike so I had forgotten about that.

 

I have a 4mm kit stashed away so I can use that and measure it at 175% for the 7mm version.

 

Many thanks for the tip.

 

Tony

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This morning I added the semicircle of spare etch attached with a couple of small bridging pieces made from scrap etch.

 

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I had already rolled the boiler but hadn’t soldered the seam so that was done next and then I realised that the two slits which allow for the curve out of the smokebox base the fit the smokebox saddle hadn’t quite etched right through. A simple task to cut down it with the piercing saw once the seam was soldered. But equally had I noticed it before rolling the boiler I could have done it in the flat with a blade.

 

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There are some tabs on the ends of the inner frame at the firebox end but I can’t see any corresponding slots in the cab front, so I think I will have to cut those off to get it to sit in place correctly. But that will be a task for next year when I resume.

 

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Thanks for the tips about the boiler assembly.

 

I am wondering if it might be quicker and easier to roll a new tube, slightly undersized and use the half etched on provided as an overlay. It is probably too flimsy to use unsupported but that framework looks a bit "over clever" for my tastes and if the bits in the kit are wrong and I need to make new parts anyway, a simple rectangle of brass rolled might be easier. 

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Hi Tony,

 

It's only the one part that's wrong per, se, it's actually surprising how rigid the half etched tube is once rolled. Mine has not suffered from any problems and looking back I didn't add any additional support as I have on this one - I did it because I had the part to hand as I had found it while looking for something to use on the J6.

 

Even if you roll a tube you will still need to use the smokebox formers, albeit that you could cut the rear one down to just use as a gap filler and just use the front one as designed. As with all things there is no right and wrong way just wat you find works for you.

 

It's a real shame that having picked up the problem on the test build that Garth didn't modify the art work to sort it. Because it was drawn on CAD it wouldn't have taken much to amend it but it would have needed a new photo tool. Unless of course that he never did a test build...

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  • 3 weeks later...

I am not sure where last weekend went as I had hoped to achieve a bit more on this build but sometimes that’s the way it goes.

 

First off I cut out the Diane Carney number plates with a no 6 blade in my piercing saw and filed them to final size. Not knowing for certain whether the actual plates had a rim around the beading or whether the beading was in fact the edge of the plate I left two of them with a rim and asked Brian which he preferred.

 

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Then I soldered the boiler to the formers and fitted it to the body. The bottom edge of the boiler section that fits between the tanks has three tabs either side which fit into corresponding slots on a fold out on the inner tank sides. What a fiddle it was to get all six in the slots together. I hadn’t slept well on Saturday night and in the end, I had a snooze before my brain was clear enough to get them all in place.

 

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  • 3 weeks later...

Modelling time has been a little sparse just lately, we were fortunate to be gifted a fair quantity of topsoil from a neighbour’s garden which is to be used to level off or reduce the slope on our front lawn and initially I was wheelbarrowing it in. 


I would never have moved it all manually in a timely manner, so the gent doing the groundworks offered to use his digger and dumper to bring it round to our house. Now it all needs to moved away from the dwarf wall so that the wall can be built up higher and then finally levelled off.

 

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I have managed to do bits in between and I have got the plunger pickups ready for installation and also prepared all the brake parts ready for fitting. I felt that the brake spreaders were a bit on the flimsy side so I used some of the scrap etch to double the thickness before fitting the clevis’s.

 

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Although I never thought to take a photo of them, the layers that make up the brake shoes and hangers come tagged together in small outer frames which can be placed over each other and gripped as one, to allow the parts to be soldered together before cutting out the individual brake hangers complete with shoe as in the photo above.

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  • 4 weeks later...

With mojo fully restored in between going for my Covid jab I cracked on and got the brakes assembled and soldered in place. I left the crankshaft from the brake cylinder loose for the moment just in case I do find a way to fit the brake cylinder.

I made up a couple of adjusters from some telescopic tube, filing the larger pieces into hexagons to represent nuts at each end.

 

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Next up is fit the sand pipes then to work out how best the motor will fit with the body on. The latter should tell me whether I will be able to fit the brake cylinder after all.
 

Edited by Rob Pulham
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I managed to get the sand pipes fitted and then moved on to fitting the motor to the chassis and testing within the body. 

 

On this there is good news in that I should be able to squeeze in the brake cylinder albeit that to avoid the plunger pickup I will have to fit it to the rear of the frame spacer instead of the front but at least it will be there.

 

Then there is bad news. Brian has provided a really nice ABC motor/gearbox unit. Sadly, the kit is designed for a can motor with simple gears mounted to a frame spacer. The motor gear box will fit into the boiler area no problem but where it does cause an issue is that it interferes with the rear brake cross beam which I think I am going to have to cut

 

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Things have been quietly progressing with the Class 5A and the number of etched parts is diminishing.

 

The other thing I have been considering is the motor position and I have been trialling fitting it to the middle axle which would remove the need to chop some out of the brake cross beam.

 

By nibbling some of the boiler/firebox former away it has allowed the motor to slip inside and run without any apparent issues. What I am not sure of yet, because I still have to test it, is whether it affects the movement of the compensation beams.

 

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There isn’t a great deal of room for movement in there so I need to test it before making a final decision.

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This is a bit of an addendum to the last post with photos showing where I am at.

 

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A weak area of the kit which to be fair is admitted to in the instructions is the cab roof. It’s half etched and as a result besides being very thin it also has a tendency to curl in the wrong direction for the curve of the cab. I wanted the roof to be removable so I did exactly the same on this one as I did on mine.

 

After fitting the curved ribs that are supplied, I cut a smaller piece of 10 thou nickel to fit inside between the ribs to add strength and I also added a couple of rain strips from 1mmx1mm brass angle which conveniently hides the holes left by etched slots.

 

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There are not many more bits of etch to add before I get to adding the castings and final details.

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Today I rechecked the motor and gearbox on the centre axle with all the other axles in place. Sadly, it was as I feared, the tight fit of the motor in the boiler area pushed the compensation beam down and left the chassis rocking on the centre axle. So back to plan A fitting it on the rear axle and cutting into/the brake cross beam.

 

Before doing anything drastic I took time out to knock up some ashpan sides and they have cured the gearbox visibility issue.

 

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That still left the gear touching the brake cross beam so I bit the bullet and cut a section out of it.

 

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Thanks Mike,

 

Typical, two ways to fit them and I pick the wrong one. I have a GA but it only shows an outline and all the photos I have are indistinct so I couldn't be sure.  At least it's an easy fix.

 

Thanks again, your help is appreciated.

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