Jump to content

Great Central 11B

Recommended Posts

One of the interesting things about modelling the immediate post-grouping era is the plethora of transitional liveries, particularly in the 1923-25 period.  For example, the GCR 11B/ 11C/ 11D classes (LNER class D9) ran in full GCR livery, albeit with their new LNER numbers, right up until 1926/27.  I mention this as an exampe because one of these locos is my newest project. 


The 11B's were designed by J G Robinson and the first was built in 1902.  Forty were ultimately constructed and starting in 1908 a number of experiments were carried out replacing the original 4'9'' boiler with a 5' example.  When a successful outcome was achieved work began on converting the entire class to the 5' boiler, recategorising them as class 11D.  This was a slow process and it was 1927 before the last 11B was converted to 11D, by which time all three classes had been redesignated D9 by the LNER. 




An 11B in original condition c.1914 (photos from the LNER webpages: www.lner.info - a most useful resource for modellers of the LNER and its constituents). 




Class 11C- 5' diameter boiler with a longer 8' 6'' firebox.  Only two of these were built. 




Class 11D-  5' diameter boiler with a 7' long firebox. 


I have chosen to build myself one of the last 11Bs, as it would have appeared c.1925-26, in GCR brunswick green with an LNER running number.  I have chosen the 4'9'' boiler class mostly because I like the slighter overall appearance the smaller and lower pitched boiler gives the loco.  It also helps that the Midland/ LMS 2P class had the same diameter boiler.  Why is this helpful?


Because this is the loco I'm going to hackbash!


The resources I'm using for this project are the SLS book "Robinson: The Harmonious Blacksmith" which is a very useful little book full of Charles Reddy drawings of Robinson locomotives and the RCTS 'green bible' volume 3B, 4-4-0 classes D1 to D12. 


Comparing the model 2P to the drawing of the 11B, a few differences jump out immediately. 


1) The 2P cab is too short in length whilst the cab roof extends too far back. 


2) Big difference in the treatment of the running plate and splashers. 


3) The firebox is too short by 3mm, the boiler barrel is too long by 3mm at the rear and the smokebox is too long in the front. 


4) Boiler fittings are completely different and in the case of the dome, in the wrong place. 




Link to post
Share on other sites

Hello James, excellent project - I'll be watching with interest to see how you get on.


I'm also drawn to the immediate post-grouping era for exactly the same reasons - the various co-existing liveries are fascinating. My interest centres on the Lincoln area in the period 1919-1929, which probably has more than its fair share of the unusual, too!


Typically, though, while I have several photos of D9s in the 1923-1925 period, they're all the 11D type, and there's only one that I suspect might still be in GC livery but with LNER branding (and as Sod's Law dictates, most of the detail is obscured by a shed...). The missing splasher crest does make me think this might actually have been repainted into full early LNER livery, however.




Unidentified GCR Class 11D 4-4-0 - Durham Ox Crossing, Lincoln, 5th May 1924

Link to post
Share on other sites


A lovely prototype to choose. I've just bought copy of Locos of the GCR vol 1. I have always liked the look of the Robinson locos even though I am unlikely to model one. I think that the GCR livery sits very well on the locos and I agree with you on the slim boiler making the 11b look more delecate.

However why I am responding is to encourage you to bite the bullet and go for a scratchbuilt body! By all means use the rtr chassis but believe me it is not that difficult to scratchbuild. The hardest bit is convincing yourself that you can do it. Once you realise that a loco is basically simple shapes assembled its not that difficult. My first 4-4-0 was built onto a triang L1 chassis and the body was mostly plastikard. Cutting out is quite easy but I soon found out that metal was more satisfactory and robust ,especially for the cab and footplate. There are plenty of ' how to' articles around so have go. I'm sure you won't regret it.

I know there are plenty good modelllers on here who can offer advice and help.

Happy modelling.


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks guys.  I do try my hand at 'proper' scratchbuilding now and again, to varying results. 


I recently built a GCR 'Fish' engine (LNER B5) on a B12 chassis with the firebox from a 'Patriot' and little else RTR, which turned out, I think, quite well:




With the 2P- D9 conversion it strikes me that the two although different in appearance are so similar when you compare what I consider critical dimensions and attributes (boiler diameter, wheelbase, overall length and height, belpaire firebox, boiler barrel length etc) that it seems a worthwhile thing to do to try a conversion rather than full-on scratchbuild (I'm lazy like that :D )

Link to post
Share on other sites

I've finally managed to get a few photographs of work so far. 






Work carried out so far consists of the following:


1) All detail removed from the boiler and firebox. 


2) A 3mm slit was then filed into the boiler barrel right in front of the firebox. 


3) A 3mm fillet of a second 2P firebox was then inserted, and once the glue had set it was filled and sanded. 


4) Model filler was used to fill the holes left behind when the boiler fittings were removed. 


5) The running plate was sanded down flush with the cabsheets from the rear of the cab to the front steps. 


6) New cabsheets and splashers were cut from 0.4mm plastic sheet (this thickness has a nice slightly transparent finish, so I could trace directly off the Charles Reddy drawing). 


7) From my spare 2P body the cab front was removed, filed down and then inserted between the new cabsheets.  This extended the cab by 6mm to the front. 


8 ) A piece of 0.4mm plastic sheet was gently curved between my fingers and then smothered in solvent and fixed down to the cab roof.  Once the solvent had dried I held the model over a candle to further soften this piece and co-erce it to take up the curve of the cab roof.  I then gave it another dousing with the solvent. 

Link to post
Share on other sites

  • RMweb Premium

James, where do you get your rather nice GCR chimney for the 'Fish'  from?  Would it be the right sort to backdate the Bachmann ROD to an 8K?


Sadly it wouldn't do for the ROD. It is rather too tall.


Now, if Bachmann could be persuaded to part with a spare GCR version "Pom pom" chimney, that would look rather nice on the 4-4-0.


Having said that, there is a nice one available from Alan Gibson, the one from their J11 kit.


Good luck with the project. I started one in original condition about 6 months ago (from scratch) but it has hardly got going yet.


The 11B in original condition has to be one of the best looking locos ever to run on our railways.



Link to post
Share on other sites

James, where do you get your rather nice GCR chimney for the 'Fish'  from?  Would it be the right sort to backdate the Bachmann ROD to an 8K?


The chimney comes from the Alan Gibson cast brass range (in fact, all of the boiler fittings- chimney, dome and safety valves all come from Alan Gibson).  They're reasonably priced and have a very swift mail order service- I speak solely as a happy customer. 

Link to post
Share on other sites

Would the Alan Gibson J11 chimney work on the 8K, or too tall?  The reason I'm asking is because I'm interested in altering a Bachmann ROD into a reasonable likeness of this l'il darlin'




Sorry to hijack the thread, James.




searching for 'Alan Gibson J11 chimneys' I came across your Fish build on the LNER forum, so now understand that the chimney on the Fish is a J11 pot, and hence too tall.  So back to square one... anyone know where I can get an nice short fat pot from that matches the ROD in the picture?  Frustratingly, the artwork for the Bachmann GWR variant shows an original GCR chimney, but models I've seen in the flesh have the same later style as on all the other Bachmann 04 variants.

Link to post
Share on other sites

The 11B is coming on in leaps and bounds.  It is almost as if the donor loco wanted to be hacked up and altered :D




Starting from the front:


- The boiler handrail has been formed from 0.45mm brass rod and fitted through brass handrail knobs. 


- Frames under the smokebox saddle have been cut from 0.5mm plastic sheet.  A piece of balsa wood was then carved to fit between the frames in front of the smokebox. 


- Chimney and dome (and, eventually, 4-column safety valve) from the Alan Gibson cast brass range. 


- Boiler bands from 0.5 x 1mm plastic strip (probably too coarse but it looks right).


- Splasher and cab beading cut from 0.4mm plastic sheet. 


- Running plate under the splashers from 1 x 1mm plastic L section. 


- (On the other side of the loco) reversing lever from 0.5 x 1 mm plastic strip. 

Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm about halfway through the painting stage of this model, so I reckon it is time for an update.  



I began by giving the model a coat of humbrol dark grey as a base and then lightly sanding down and filling in any gaps or marks.

The first part of the model to see any colour were the frames, and following the colour plates in John Quick's excellent book on Robinson loco liveries I started with a coat of humbrol #73, matt wine.  This however looked too bright so the following evening I washed over it with revell #85 matt chocolate brown.  Of course this then made it too flat and dark again, so I today gave it a final coat of humbrol #73.  This time I think I achieved a shade pretty close to what I'm aiming for.

I gave the boiler, cab sheets and tender a coat of humbrol #105, olive green, to start.  Then I worked over this with a coat of humbrol's 'Railway Range' brunswick green (#35, I think?).  It needs a second coat yet.

The black is simply humbrol #33 matt.

Link to post
Share on other sites

The lining is going ahead quite well (much less heartache, frustration and bad language than I was expecting).  I've been using paintpens to do most of it, but last night the white ran out, after lining the tender, cab and splashers.  So this evening I've limited myself to just the white boiler bands, applied by brush. 


Tomorrow I'll be looking to add in/ thicken up the black (back to a paintpen for this) on the boiler bands, splasher and cab. 



Link to post
Share on other sites

  • RMweb Premium

Hi James,


Looks great.  Some inspiring work in this thread with finished locos not betraying their original donors.  Have you thoughts of a GCR empire in 00?


Great taste in literature too (wonder if anyone has started on a project based on 'Raising Steam'?).





Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi James.

I was a bit dismisive when you started this thread but I am impressed with your finished model. You would never guess the origins of the donor loco.

I like the GCR livery especialy on these 4-4-0s. I have had a wee bit of a soft spot for the GC since first reading about Buckingham in RM. I even built a Bec kit for a pompom though it was finished in plain black. Now I model in 7mm I am tempted to have a go at an 11b.



Link to post
Share on other sites

  • 2 weeks later...

The transfers came from Quainton Road Models.  http://www.quainton-road-models.co.uk/products/transfers.html Customer service was excellent- they arrived only three or four days after I placed my order.  


They are of limited stock however, being out of production.  When first applied the carrier film is quite apparent however once the model has been varnished it almost (but not quite entirely) disappears.   

Link to post
Share on other sites

  • 7 months later...


This topic is now archived and is closed to further replies.

  • Create New...