Gladiator 7mm GCR 11F 4-4-0

Discussion in 'Area 51' started by P A D, 18 September 2019.

  1. P A D

    P A D Western Thunderer

    Back to the bench with another 4-4-0 in the shape of the Gladiator D11. Starting on the loco chassis, the first thing that needs to be done after decusping the frames, is to remove the appropriate section above the bogie to suit either the D10 or D11. For the D10, the section over the front wheel should be removed and for the D11, the section over the rear wheel. I made 4 cuts with the piercing saw up to the half etched line then snapped off each section by bending with a pair of pliers, before tidying up with a file.

    It's then a straight forward job to errect the frames via 4 spacers. Here they are after fitting the axle bushes and wheels. For the D10, those half etch rectangles need cutting out.
    The top of the second spacer was above the frames by about a mm, so it needed filing back before fitting.
    The coupling rods are assembled from three laminates with additional pieces at either end for the bosses. The Slaters crankpins are just long enough to clear the bosses so don't need reducing in length.
    20190918_162510.jpg 20190918_162531.jpg
    To obviate the need for washers on the axles, I centred the wheels in the frames with some plastic card spacers and then moved the axle bushes out to the wheels before soldering. 20190918_162445.jpg

    A start was made on decorating the chassis with the addition of the support brackets between the driving wheels and the balance weights on the front drivers. The white metal spring and sandbox castings have been prepped for fitting, and the tape on the frame marks where the front edge of the sandbox will be positioned. This is a much less complex kit than the T3 so should be a quicker build.

    BR Tony, mswjr, AdeMoore and 18 others like this.
  2. P A D

    P A D Western Thunderer

    Today the springs were fitted with 145 solder and the sand boxes epoxied to the frames.


    And then the ash pan sides were soldered to the springs and the guard irons to the front of the frames.

    With the chassis back on the wheels, as start has been made on adding the brake rigging, with one hanger and shoe trial fitted.

    Not as much progress as I hoped to make today, but that's how it goes sometimes.

    BR Tony, mswjr, Pencarrow and 12 others like this.
  3. 3 LINK

    3 LINK Western Thunderer

    Hi Peter,

    Love clean crisp work as usual, regarding the fitting of the springs with 145 solder, do you tin the springs first and then sweat them on by heating the frames? Or is it a case of in and out quick with the iron?

    Keep up the good work,

    BR Tony likes this.
  4. Scale7JB

    Scale7JB Western Thunderer

    In the past when I've done that Martyn, the casting has gone soft and deformed without the iron even touching the casting. 25w iron and the solder should wick in underneath quiet nicely..

    BR Tony and 3 LINK like this.
  5. P A D

    P A D Western Thunderer

    Hi Martyn,
    Many thanks.

    I just put them on as if they were brass. Flux and apply the heat to the brass or nickel silver taking care not to touch the white metal and not dwelling. On odd occasions I've inadvertently touched the casting and caused a blemish, but never had a problem as described by JB. Having said that........

    BR Tony and 3 LINK like this.
  6. 3 LINK

    3 LINK Western Thunderer

    Thanks Guys for the advice,
    I'm " quite brave " if the white metal part is on the large size, as for anything smaller I usually chicken out and settle on some Araldite or sometimes use 70 degree solder, but it never seems to flow like the higher temperature solders. Maybe it's due to the lead over tin content.


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  7. LarryG

    LarryG Western Thunderer

    When you get used to using just one tool or soldering iron, you can do anything with it, even the impossible. ;)

    Another thread I am following....The GCR big engines were fascinating machines. A shame so many classes were swept aside in the late 1940's...........It's the only reason I have for disliking Thompsons locos :p.
  8. P A D

    P A D Western Thunderer

    Brake gear complete. The white metal shoes were loosely pinned to the hangers and with the hangers on the pivots, the shoes were pushed against a card spacer and for simplicity, super glued to the hangers. The pins were then trimmed and the hangers soldered in place. Standard Gladiator design, simple and straight forward although the cross beams were too long and about a mm was cut from each end.

    A view from the underside.

    And with the wheels back in.

    Next the bogie which is again quite simple and straight forward. It still needs some parts fitting but is substantially complete. 20190920_193230.jpg

    A quick check under the frames suggests there won't be any clearance issues. These locos had 3ft 6in bogie wheels, but the instructions suggest fitting 3ft 3in wheels for added clearance. These are what the kit has been provided with. 20190920_193042.jpg

    Possibly, the larger wheels would be OK, but I don't think the smaller ones detract from the appearance.


    BR Tony, Deano747, LarryG and 11 others like this.
  9. Scale7JB

    Scale7JB Western Thunderer

    Looking great Peter.

    I'd never noticed before that the D11's had a fish belly shape to the coupling rods.

    P A D likes this.
  10. Genghis

    Genghis Western Thunderer

    For obvious reasons, one I shall follow with interest! IIRC, fitting the valances is interesting but I cannot recall any significant issues when I built one.
    P A D likes this.
  11. P A D

    P A D Western Thunderer

    Thanks JB.

    After the T3 boiler/splashers, I can't see the valances being a problem. Not that there was anything wrong with the T3, just that it was such a complex series of curves.
  12. Tim Watson

    Tim Watson Western Thunderer

    I fitted 3’6” wheels to my Valour, but had to GSOB* the frames to accommodate them. It looks like the width of the fluting in the rods is a bit anorexic - at least compared to pictures of Butler Henderson.

    * Grind Sh1t Out of the Bast**d: an American abbreviation sometimes used in dentistry when trying to get a crown to fit.
    BR Tony and P A D like this.
  13. P A D

    P A D Western Thunderer

    I agree, the fluting is incorrect but I was asked to build what is in the box. Out of interest, I looked on the Laurie Griffin and Premier websites, but neither list suitable replacements.

    P.S. remind me not to let you near my mouth with a grinder! :D

    BR Tony and freelance7 like this.
  14. P A D

    P A D Western Thunderer

    Yesterday I got the bogie finished and moved on to the running plate and valances. As David Hill mentioned, fitting the valances is "interesting " and time consuming. Apart from the two double bends front and rear on the running g plate, the main problem was that the groove for locating the valances was too narrow and took quite a bit of filing to widen it. By the time I got it done I had no time to clean it up so I'll post some pictures after I get that done.

    Here's the completed bogie.

    And with the wheels in.

    Theres a half etched slot on the underside which will no doubt need filing to allow some swing on the curves, but I'll come back to that later.

    And with the chassis.

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  15. P A D

    P A D Western Thunderer

    So here's the running plate after adding the front and rear beams and cleaning up.


    After adding the nuts, a quick trial on the chassis.



    Next the cab was assembled by soldering the sides to the front after first curving the bottom "tongues" to the profile of the sides. These are too long and need cutting back after soldering. The marks on the lower part of the central area are from the hammer, as I inadvertently bent it with the tongues and had to straighten it on the anvil.

    And a view from the front. The window beading was added in the flat and cleaned up before soldering the sides to the cab front. 20190924_190721.jpg

    Here's the cab offered up to the running plate.

    Clearly, some filling will be required to close the gap at the front edge of the cab sides. This is mentioned in the instructions.

    BR Tony, Ian_C, Genghis and 7 others like this.
  16. Scale7JB

    Scale7JB Western Thunderer

    Hi Peter,

    I have a similar problem with my B2 with regard the gap between footplate and cab side. I've not had to fix such an issue before, just wondering Dow you plan to go about it.

    Filling with solder and cleaning back to a square corner is never going to be near enough?

  17. LarryG

    LarryG Western Thunderer

    One way is to use a very hot iron to push the running plate up against the curve in the cabside and so that the gap is then under the running plate. Any untidy filling wont be as obvious there, but I am not casting aspersions (or Nasturtiums). ;)
  18. Dikitriki

    Dikitriki Flying Squad

    I'd always back such a gap. Use some scrap etch filed to the profile of the running plate and solder it behind the cab side. You can then fill the cab side face as necessary.

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  19. mickoo

    mickoo Western Thunderer

    It's a simple shape and not part of the cab front so take off the window frames, split from the front and cut a new one from sheet brass with the correct profile to the base.

    The other option is much akin to Richards, back the gap then add a scrap piece of etch border (profiled to the current curvature) onto that to bring the thickness up to the same as the cab side and file flat, then re-profile the base to suit the footplate.
    BR Tony likes this.
  20. P A D

    P A D Western Thunderer

    Hi JB,
    Yes, it's a it of a biggy to easily fill with solder.

    Thanks Larry, Richard and Mick for the suggestions.

    Mick's suggestion of making new sides is probably the best option, but my intention is to back the gap with waste etch and then fill. I'm not sure Larry's suggestion would work as the running plate would need so much heat to soften that I think bits would start falling off elsewhere, and as he says, it just moves the gap under the running plate.

    The sides of the wheel splashers will give me the same problem at the front, but as they are further in, I think I can manipulate the running plate to close the gap.

    A further issue is the length of the running plate, which I believe is too long. This photo from the internet shows the guard irons flush with the buffer beam as do the photos of the preserved Butler Henderson.

    This is the model's front end. The frames are a about 3 mm short of the beam, so the irons are too far back. The only drawing I have is by the late Ian Beattie and we all know how accurate some of his drawings are, so I can't for sure work out where the discrepancy is. Assuming it's the running plate can cut through the valances near the front then remove the pieces and beam. Shorten the running plate and valance pieces and refit.

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