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Gladiator LNER/BR J6

9979 Views 39 Replies 4 Participants Last post by  Rob Pulham
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.

Wheels and Pick ups

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.
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Well I have to admit I have reached a bit of the kit instructions that have really stumped me...

"Take coal space sides, note the handling and drill 1.85mm at half etched pops if fitting scoop and tank vents, then fold so that the sides fit into the coal space front plate, tack into position taking care to be square to front plate. Sit the assembly into it's slot in the sole plate and tack onto position square 'each way'"

I found the parts easily enough and put them together how I interpreted the instructions but then found that there was nowhere/way that they would fit.

There is a plan and top down outline drawing supplied but I can't figure out from which bit is the coal space front plate or which orientation it fits in.

My only saving grace is that there is one of these tenders attached to the C1 Atlantic at Locomotion so I plan to see if I can get aboard it when I am there next weekend to see how the coal chute/plate is made up on the real thing.

I am on my way to Telford tomorrow so I will have better things to think about until mid next week.
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The plot thickens. It seems that there are two externally visibly the same tenders which may well be the 3000 gallon version and the 3500 gallon versions.
By extreme good fortune this year I have taken photos of both. I had forgotten the other until today though.
The first one is located at Shildon, attached to the C1 large-boilered Atlantic and, as proposed in a recent post, I asked one of the museum assistants if I could be accompanied aboard to take photos of the tender top on Saturday and he obliged.

The other is attached by coincidence to the small-boilered Atlantic Henry Oakley whom I encountered at York earlier in the year. Although not great and I didn't get aboard, I did get enough details from my photos to work out which version I need for the J6 and more importantly that the coal space on the kit isn't quite like the two preserved examples each of which are similar but different.

Firstly what the kit looks like:

Next the tender attached to the Large Atlantic

I have more detailed photos of the tender top on my Flickr site but these will suffice to tell the story to date.
Lastly the tender attached to Henry Oakley and the one which I believe that I need for the J6 when compared to the couple of photos I have of the prototype â€" no 64206 and more importantly the type that I believe the kit is meant to represent (unless there was a third type which looked externally the same.

As I said, not the best photos but they do show that one side is higher than the other and there is a representation of lockers albeit the prototype show a small door on the higher side whereas the etch has a full height door. The key difference though is in the coal space. Both types of tender have a parallel rather plain functional coal space and I would be surprised if there was a third type that had one with the sloping sides that are inferred by the etches. I think that Malcolm Crawley got it wrong when he designed the tender kit but I would be happy to be corrected in that assumption.

Unless some evidence comes to the fore fairly soon to tell me that I am wrong I intend to modify the coal space to be more like that of the tender attached to Henry Oakely.
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I have received a lot of information and help from a couple of gents via RMweb and the LNER Forum - Dave Lester and Paul Craig.

With Paul's help I had determined that my tender was indeed a self trimming variety and Dave confirmed it by posting exactly the type of tender that was attached to my loco 64206 from 1935 -1960 (tender 614) and with further help from Paul I believe that I have worked out how it fits together too.

This has proven a very interesting side trip into the world of tenders from which I have learned a lot. I must also offer an apology to the late Malcolm Crawley for remotely suggesting that he might have had it wrong....

More progress to come as it happens
Well, after all the discussion and mental hand wringing by yours truly I do believe that I have cracked it.

I soldered some scrap etch into each side of the front step of the tender and sods law dictates now that I have I will find suitable parts included (I confess that I didn't even check).

It's all dry fitted at this point and before soldering I do need to check that the tank vents will fit - I may have to straighten the curve a bit to create a flat ledge for the vents to sit on but if I do I will report back.

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Although I haven't posted anything this week things have been progressing albeit slowly.

The reason for the slow approach has been a combination of a lot of other things intruding and the fact that I couldn't get my head around how the front coal plate shown in the last post attached to the tender front itself. While I pondered I moved along by fitting hand rail knobs to the tender sides and fitting lifting rings to the coal space sides and tank top/coal chute. I still haven't assembled the innards because I want all the sub assemblies ready and to have an understand of how things fit before committing myself.

Before getting started on anything last night I re-read the instructions and saw the wood for the trees and ended up with this. Still a bit more to do but I am happy with progress.

There is mention in the instructions of a strip 49mm (I think but I don't have the instructions to hand so I will edit the post later and confirm) x 4.5mm
but I couldn't find the part so I used a suitable piece of scrap etch to make the infill piece for the back which forms a shelf behind the coal plate.

Lastly although not needed for my build but needed for the revision of the instructions I made up the two dome options which are included a rectangular combined dome/filler and the separate dome.

On the round dome everything was a perfect fit whereas on the combined dome I had to take a sliver of the two half etched overlaps to get them to meet squarely a simple exercise that took moments to do with a pair of topiary scissors

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The next job to tackle before starting to assemble everything was the flares and it proved a bit easier than anticipated. Having formed the curves I offered it up the tender and at first I was a little baffled (permanent state of mind at the minute) but quickly realised that I needed to trim the curved end of each side and then it would fit.

I only got part of it soldered on before bed time last night so tonight I will finish that and then take photos.
labour of love Rob by the look of it. Your lucky to live nearer to Sheldon than most. I'm following your build with intrest, but If I ever tackle a loco it going to be one of Lucky Jim's for me first.

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As promised below are some photos of the flares as fitted. there is still much cleaning up and some filling of the corners with solder to do but so far I am very pleased with how they are going.

Starting with some shots after soldering on the flares but before starting to filling the corners with solder.

Then with the mostly filled in corners.

If they are of interest I also took a series of photos of my using my Proxxon vice with one soft jaw fitted to bend the curves on the flare strips.
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very nice Rob. Are you going tp burnish the radius on the end of the tender ?
Last Thursday evening I made much progress on the tender for the J6.

The coal plate is now in as is the front section of the tender.

There is still a goodly amount of cleaning up to do and the sides of the coal space are still to solder in but I feel that I have broken it's back now.
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More progress last night. Despite starting quite late I managed to get the two coal space sides in place.

I had anticipated that one of them may not fit very well and might leave a gap that would in fairness be hidden by the coal but I was pleasantly surprised when after a little tweaking with pliers and a rub of some abrasive paper it went into place as it should. Just the details and coal rails to add now.

I am not sure why but I chose to use shiny sinks to clean it up after I finished instead of my usual Bar Keepers Friend and it turned all the solder black making it look to be worse than it is.
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Further progress on the tender for the J6. Starting off with a slight backward step.

While struggling with the instructions I hadn't read the text when fitting the lifting eyes I just followed the drawing which unfortunately showed the wrong type of backing plate. Reading through the text late last week I saw my error and by coincidence David Hill of Gladiator pointed it out the day after on the Guild forum.

My customer had seen the post and said it didn't matter if they didn't show too much but it was only a few minutes of a job with the microflame and a scalpel to take them off and swap them for the right ones.

Next I added the vacuum and steam heat pipes to the rear of the tender.

Then I started on the front.

The brake standard was one that I had in my spares box that was left over from the B16 build. The other levers are bent wire and scrap etch.

The bucket is one of Jim McGeown's castings that I had sat on my desk for a long time after I had made a bit of a mess of trying to hollow it out.

I took it back into the workshop to see if I could do anything with it after being informed that the hole in the left hand side was for a bucket. I then remembered the collets that I had made for drilling the valve guide castings on the Streamlined Duchess and used one of them to tidy up the inside of the bucket top using a dental burr and lastly soldered a handle on from scrap etch.

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I didn't seem to make much visible progress in last night's session but I got the lamp irons on and hopefully you can see why I prefer to replace etched versions with cast ones where possible.

I have also fitted one inside the side sheet at the front of the tender but alas the camera decided to focus on the nearside so the added lamp iron came out so blurred you couldn't see it.

I will try again when I next take photos.

I did manage to add the tank filler though so another detail bites the dust.

Coal rails next I think.
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Because we stayed in Wakefield this weekend it gave me an extra evening at the bench - usually I am worn out by the time we get to Bishop Auckland and rarely do anything once I arrive on Friday evening.

As luck would have it I was able to finish work early too so I had around 5 hours at the bench which saw off the remaining upper works details.

The coal rails were too long and I had to split them at the rear of the tender. I think that this is a result of the cut out in the tender flare for the hand grip which is a feature of this type of tender.

I followed David Hill's example and soldered half round beading over the coal rails and what an improvement it's made.

I also put half round beading in one the inside of the front hand grip sections to make it a round profile. and you can see the additional lamp bracket too which wouldn't focus on my last photo session.

I also got around not fitting a nut to secure the front of the tender top by tapping a piece of tube and soldering it in when the nut should be.

This just leaves me with the chassis which I have made a start on.
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Yesterday saw the tender completed apart from wiring the pick ups and setting the ride height which will be done towards the end of the build.

You will note that I have added an extra frame spacer. I did this because I am using the tender for pick ups and wanted to ensure that there was no flexing which might affect them - The brass spacer was a scaled up P4 spacer from the spares box which I cut down to fit.

Back onto the loco next.
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I spent 2 and 1/2 hours last night preparing the cradle for the foot plate which contains the valances....

Some this was my own fault because it's quite thick nickel silver and like David found out when he built one recently, you need to file a lot out of either side of the fold lines to allow the valances to sit vertical. I had attempted to fold up one side some time ago which needs a bit of brute strength but then found that it wouldn't come to 90 degrees.

The first job was to straighten the side already bent enough to allow me to file out the fold line. I did this by annealing with the microflame and then using the vice to squash the etch back almost flat. Once I had filed the fold lines, I bent it as far as I could with one of the sides off a set of bending bars and then used a rubber mallet to bash it to the final 90 degree fold while the middle section was firmly gripped in a second set of bending bars to ensure that it stayed flat.

Hopefully I will get the footplate shaped and soldered on tonight so I will take photos after that.
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