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Gladiator B16/1 A North Eastern Workhorse

10634 Views 44 Replies 7 Participants Last post by  Rob Pulham
The next build to cross my workbench is another one that's not for me but for the same Gent that I built the G5 for last year. This one is a finish it off build of a Gladiator B16/1

This is where I am starting from.

The main body work and the basic chassis are built. The chassis is to be rigid and pick up is to be by the American method.

The kit contains lots of lovely brass castings

Plus some nice whitemetal ones too.

I have the week off and I will be at home the week after Easter so I plan to make a start on this then. Any spare time on between after finishing of the V4 brake van will be spent blackening wheels and preparing the castings etc.
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QUOTE Oops! You're right, I hadn't noticed that and sadly the time I had to edit it has expired.
I've fixed it.

QUOTE Could I ask you to change my Kemilway 52' composite thread to "Rob P's coach workbench" please?


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A good start was made this afternoon, I got the half the drivers/tender wheels shorted out and the ones that didn't need shorting, cleaned and into the blackening solution. I also blackened the buffer heads.

Time for food and then back on with it.
This is just the sort of thread that I really enjoy following.

Keep up the good work Rob

Best regards ........... Greyvoices (alias John)
Although I didn't get back to it on Friday night further progress was made yesterday.

To get a feel for things I decided to make a start on the tender. There are a few options for frame spacers supplied and I am using those recommended for O finescale and for anyone else who might be building one they don't leave much in the way of side play should you desire it.

Next up I did the water scoop - so far all the holes have been etched on the small side which is so much better than them being over etched.

I also soldered up the brakes and found them to be a little odd in that the shoe overlays are slightly smaller than the main etch on the side nearest the wheel. It took a few moments of trial to work out which way round they fitted.

Chris and I popped along to York Show this morning, our first ever visit. It was an enjoyable show and I came away with a couple of books - The Tourette Rail Tank book and the Yeadons volume on among others the B16's - Booklaw had them on at £10 each so it was rude not to partake.

The kit was designed by Steve Barnfield and Steve was one of the demonstrators at York upon seeing him, I planned to have a chat to him about the B16. But despite standing in front of him for a good 5 minutes, he never once looked up from what he was doing to engage me in conversation.
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In an effort to try to get an answer to the vacuum tank removal date question, I posted enquires on RMWeb and the LNER forum. So far I haven't had any replies, so me next plan is to fit it. Working on the theory that it will be easier to remove later than to leave it off and then try to fit it should it be needed.

In the meantime I moved on to the front bogie (the plan is to try to get a running chassis to take along to Leigh show for a run on Saturday).

There are two options for building the bogie in the instructions, one uses L type spacers and the other incorporates side control.

I opted to go for the side control method. All went well until I got to fitting the bearings. The instructions say to leave them loose until all is square etc. and then solder them in. What it doesn't say (but admittedly the photo further on in the instructions shows) is that the bearings need to be fitted with the flange to the inside of the frames. I didn't notice this and having soldered them in with the flange to the outside I realised that I had a lot!!! of side play. There isn't any mention of when/where to fit the lovely hornblock/spring castings either.

My newly bought Yeadon volume gave me a couple of reasonably clear photos of the hornblock/spring on the outside of the frames. To achieve this I had to cut away the section of the axle bush that protruded through the frames, cutting back flush with the frames. Once the hornblock/spring castings are soldered on there is just a little side play.

*Note to David if he's looking. It would be worth adding something to the instructions at some point on which way round to fit the bearings

The photos also show quite a prominent bar/frame stretcher across the front of the bogie so I added one at each end from scrap etch.

I haven't soldered the bars that hold the side control yet just in case I need to shorten the springs once I test it.

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Yesterday afternoon saw another good session, I managed to get the rods laminated, and jointed, the wheels and crank pin bushes tapped 10ba and a start made on cleaning up the slide bars and cross heads.

Although the chassis is rigid the rods are designed to be jointed and it made sense to do so. The recommended method in the instructions is to use a 10 ba cheese head screw (supplied) which you put through the rod and solder to the rear layer (putting a piece of paper in between to prevent soldering it up solid). You then file down the screw head until all traces of the slot are gone and you are left with it looking like this.

*Note* the washer that you see on the centre axle is just there to support the joint/stop side play on the rods while I tested it before I finally shorten the bushes and screws.
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Yesterday's bench session centred on the connecting rods, cylinders, slide bars and cross heads.

When I came to try the connecting rods I found that on these the holes are etched slightly over size even without taking out any etching cusp which would probably wear away quite quickly. The answer was to use a bit of brass tube that fit snugly over the crank pin bush to create a bush. I reamed out the con rods to take the outside diameter of the tube, cut a couple of short lengths end ensuring that one end of each piece was flat. I place the piece flat side to the face side on the con rode and soldered it in from the rear. I then filed the rear smooth.

Next up I cleaned up and straightened the slide bars and piston rods etc. to get a nice clean smooth sliding fit. To be honest although it took a couple of hours, it was more tweaking to straighten the various bits than filing much off. Although I did go over the sliding bits with fine well used wet and dry to polish them at the end.

Then I did the same with the motion bracket. The kit is designed so that it just sits in the frames and once the slide bars are attached it allows the cylinders and motion to be removed as a single unit. It required a bit of straightening and bit of filing to get it to sit over the frames without pinching them.

I note from the photo that there still appears to be a slight bend in the middle, but its a nice fit so I am not inclined to upset that by attempting further straightening where it won't be seen.

Last but not least was fitting the cylinder covers. This is always an interesting challenge, made even more interesting in this case by the slope of the cylinders. The instructions advise that the covers have been made over size to allow fitting and filing back. They are, but only just and another millimeter on the overall width would have made the job so much easier. There is talk about annealing for such bends but since the covers are half etched and like many tasks was much easier in the doing than the thinking about before hand.

The hardest bit was holding it all in place once shaped to solder it. I prefer to use the microflame to solder where possible and I made much use of four pairs of self locking tweezer to hold one side in place before adding flux, a short length of 145 solder and applying the flame. This was repeated and the first cover was nicely in place just needing the overlaps fining off.

Maybe I was getting complacent or perhaps it was because it was about quarter past eleven last night, but the second one fought back. Each time I soldered one section another bit came loose, That's despite having lot's of clamps in place but I got there in the end.

Despite the soldering problems with the second one it was still much easier to do in practice than I had built it up to be in my mind before starting the job.

The length of the covers also fall short of going right round the cylinder. I was tempted to put in a bit of scrap to fill the gap but having read the various notes on clearance at the back of the cylinder I will leave that until I have tested it.
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Work continued yesterday (after spending far too much time on the internet!!!).

I the slide bars installed on the motion bracket after slowly working my way backwards with the filing until the cylinders were in the right place.

you can see from the inset photo in this image how much I had to take it back. I did it in three stages checking the fit after each stage.

I shortened the piston rods a bit so that they fit inside the slide bars with approx. 2mm protruding from the gland on the inside of the cylinder. Now that I have it all assembled I will fit the connecting rods and cut the piston rods to final length.

The close ups show that I still have a bit of cleaning up to do.
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Last night's session saw the brakes and water scoop added to the tender.

I always seem to struggle with setting up brakes that are produced from etchings in that they seem to want to move in all directions when you are trying to solder them. I came up with the idea of wrapping a couple of layers of masking tape (the cheap kind not best Tamiya!) around each tyre which not only creates a gap against possible shorts but it also keep the worst of the flux from the wheel too. This allowed me to lean each shoe against the wheel and with the aid of some locking tweezers I was able to hold it in the right orientation while I soldered it.

Within the kit there is only one brake spreader for the front set of brakes. The rest are just represented by 0.7mm rod. I chose to file up a couple more from scrap etch and solder them on top of the pieces of rod. This not only looks a bit better for the few minutes that it took to do but it also gives a shoulder to space the brake shoes apart - again solving one of the potential directional shifts while trying to solder them.

You can't really make it out in the photo but the forks in the two actuating rods that come from the front to the first spreader are slightly two wide for the single layer etch of the spreader. I could have nipped them closed a bit and just soldered them but again it was only the work of moments to wrap a couple of pieces of the half etched tags that I have cut of the various parts around the spreader and once the etching cusp was removed from the forks a much better fit that again held itself in place while applying the solder to it.

In reality the water scoop would fit below the brake spreader but in the interests of not having it catching anything on the track while running I soldered it to the top of the spreader. Once the outer frames are in place not much of it will be seen so I chose safety over accuracy.

The added spreader certainly improves the look from the rear of the tender.

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Today's efforts have seen the tender body make some progress.

So far everything has fit as it should and the only minor concern is that the handrail holes look as if they might be a bit on the large side but until I have the overlays soldered on I won't know for sure.

One of the cleverest bits of the kit so far is the tender flares. The tender sides have a half etched overlay that you have to create a flare on and then another half etched overlay to go over that for the just the flare. This means that although you have more flares to bend being half etched they are easier to form.

Although I initially wasn't looking forward to it, I recalled reading an article way back when I modelled 4mm, of someone who used a piece of rod in a vice and he squashed the flare against the thick rubber of a replacement shoe heel.

I didn't have a spare rubber show heel but I did have a set of rubber soft jaws for my proxxon vice (many thanks to Richard Lambert - Dikitriki for recommending the vice to me when I was having a look at his work in progress Duchess last year).

The instructions recommend using a 3/16th rod and I had some lengths that I bought for setting up chassis before I invested in my jig. I placed the overlay against the tender side and measured how much flare was above the side 4.5mm and drew a line at 4.5mm from the top across each side the the rear.

I placed the rod in the vice utilising the V groove for gripping round sections. I put a soft jaw on the other side placed the flare along aide the rod with the pencil line just visible and worked my way along using the vice to squash the flare against the rubber of the soft jaw. I had to go along each piece a couple of times until I was happy with the result and then I repeated the process for the small flare overlays.

I just need to solder them onto the tender sides now but that will be a job for tomorrow as an early night beckons before going to Leigh show tomorrow.

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Sunday afternoon saw the tender overlays added to the sides and rear of the tender. This wasn't quite as smooth as I had hoped and I ended up having to run over it with the iron to get them to sit flat which meant quite a bit of cleaning up.

The original plan was to tin both sides and use the micro flame but I just couldn't get it to stick for some reason. The other issue was that despite my best efforts otherwise by bending them into all sorts of shapes the aluminium clips, bent the flares in places meaning some remedial work.

As you can see I still have some cleaning up to do, but I don't plan to clean up the inside of the flares until I have the tender top in place.

I am not sure whether it was me that got the overlay slightly out of line (it is wider than required so that you can file it back to get a crisp edge) or that the etched hole was slightly out of line but I will have to open the slot a bit to fit the rear lamp iron.

Next up I made a start on the tender top and coal chute. I want to get this fitted before attempting to make the corners of the tender flares from solder.

These all went pretty much as planned but there is a sight gap that I will need to fill. Again I am not sure whether it was my folding or the etch that's slightly out but it's an easy thing to sort.

I haven't done any cleaning up on this as I did it last thing last night and I was back to work this morning so couldn't be too late to bed. - The redness is from using the microflame to solder the seams. It washes of easily enough with some bar keepers friend.
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Following on from some dialogue with MikeMeg over on RMweb who had posted on his 4mm thread, a photo of the tender from the front (Mike has recently built the 4mm version of this kit which is currently held, but not released for sale yet by London Road Models). The photo is from Ken Hoole's NER Loco book which I have, but I hadn't realised that the photo was there until Mike mentioned it.

This is a cropped view of the tender front from the photo which differs a little from that portrayed in the kit.
The kit provides a flattened V shaped plate with a rectangular cutout for the coal door and a coal door which is riveted and had two holes for a handle. The V shaped plate when fitted leaves long triangular gaps down either side of it.

There are some etched rivet strips provided to cover these and to replicate the angle plates that you see in the photo. I didn't find these (my fault for not looking at either the instructions or the etches before proceeding) before I had made up a couple of angle plates out of some half etched scrap that I had to hand.

having discovered them I still elected to use the ones that I made, because the rivet spacing was quite close together on the supplied strips. And it would have meant soldering two strips on instead of four.

I am sure the riveted strips will not be surplus for long.

The arrows on this repeat photo, shows what I have added to it so far. I still have a few bits to do - this sort of thing brings out the detailing devil in me I just can't help it.

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