Gladiator 7mm GCR 11F 4-4-0

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

  1. Tim Watson

    Tim Watson Western Thunderer

    Self trimming ‘ST’ tenders have sloping internal sides all the way to the top of the raves, standard tenders do not. There are various photos of this in Peter’s thread and also my one on a 9P, ‘Valour’, in 2mm scale. The outside difference visible is by virtue of the raves being closer to the tanks on the ST tenders than the standard ones - in other words the standard tenders have a wider flare. The front coal plate is also a different shape, with upturned ‘horns’ on each side. There may be other features, but I’ve only recently delved into the Byzantine world of GC tenders.

    P A D likes this.
  2. P A D

    P A D Western Thunderer

    Hi Graham,
    There were 3 variant of this tender, which externally looked very similar. The 3500 and 4000 gallon standard tenders and 4000 gallon tender with self trimming (ST) bunker. The coping, raves and running plates varied from each type so it can be a bit of a minefield for GCR illiterates like me, especially if they don't read the instructions carefully. I'll post a picture of the bunker diagrams from the instructions later.
    The kit came with two tender running plates, one wide at the cab end and narrowing to the rear which I used in error. :confused::rant:
    The other below, has various half etch lines for modifying to suit either of the three tenders. For the 4000 gall ST tender I should have used this as it is. Having miss read/not understood the instructions, Captain Cock Up paid me a visit and I used the "ready cut" narowing one. To vanquish the Captain, I cut off the external strips, minus the short length at the front and grafted them onto the running plate using the half etched boiler band from the kit for support underneath.
  3. P A D

    P A D Western Thunderer

    This diagram gives some idea of the differences between the various tenders as mentioned earlier 20191112_125712.jpg

    The loco is supplied with turned steel oval buffer heads in white metal stocks. To keep the heads level, the instructions suggest bending the threaded shaft to locate in the slot in the rear of the cast shank. I didn't fancy that so I drilled a hole in buffer shank and added a stud from nickel silver wire.

    Slots were then cut into the bottom of the stocks for the stud in the buffer to locate in. The buffer is then retained by the nut at the rear and remains removable.

    The head is held parallel by the stud running in the slot. Works a treat and easy to do with white metal stocks.


    I've also made a start on the backhead and this is where I got to.

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  4. oldravendale

    oldravendale Western Thunderer

    That's elegant, Peter, but do those slits not show when the loco is completed? There are other options to achieve the same end, most of which have been discussed on this forum.

  5. P A D

    P A D Western Thunderer

    Hi Brian,
    Many thanks. When the model is on the rails the slots are not visible.
  6. LarryG

    LarryG Western Thunderer

    Such slots (top & bottom) behind the buffer beam are more usual I think. Then a tapered pin tapped home to save gluing. Also never needs painting.
  7. P A D

    P A D Western Thunderer

    Hi Larry,
    The buffers have slots behind the beam, top and bottom. The instructions suggest inserting the buffer and spring and then bending the the tapped shaft to locate in one of the slots. I didn't like that as I thought the shaft might break, or if the bends were not in the same place on both sides, one buffer would be further out than the other. David Hill in his build on RMWeb, drilled the shaft to accept a pin as you describe. That sounded better so I gave it a go. However, I didn't get the hole central and the shaft broke. :headbang:
    If you look at the shaft on the buffer you'll notice it is brass, as that's all I had to replace the broken one after drilling out the head. Hence, plan B came into place. It works well and the buffer shank is much easier to drill centrally than the tapped shaft.

    One thing I do like about these buffers is the 10 BA fastening. 12 BA would even better and the Finney 7 A3 and A4 have these on the front. Why kit manufacturers continue to supply screw fixing buffers with 8 BAs is beyond me. Sure 10 or 12 BA fastenings are still not prototypical, but they are much less obtrusive and give more clearance on tenders where the frames are close to the hole in the buffer beam.

  8. Genghis

    Genghis Western Thunderer

    When you have bought a thousand buffer heads with 8BA threads, it's mighty tempting to finish the bag first.................:)
    Rob Pulham, adrian and 3 LINK like this.
  9. P A D

    P A D Western Thunderer

    Touche David. :(
  10. P A D

    P A D Western Thunderer

    The back head is now complete, albeit only with the fittings provided. Looking at the photos of Butler Henderson's backhead, there are quite a number of controls not provided in the kit, along with various levers for drain cocks and sanding etc. However, the brief was to build it out of the box so that's as far as I'm going with the cab. The item on the far splasher is an Intensifor pump and is only located in a hole for the photo. It can be glued in place after painting.

    A view from the other side shows the reversing mech on the right hand side. It overhung the splasher by a out 2mm which is incorrect, so 2mm was removed from the front end. The casting itself is correct but on the real thing the front end passes through the cab front plate into the cover on the right hand driving wheel splasher. Again it's just placed for the photo, as is the back head. The cab dials are fixed above the backhead on the cab front but will be left off until after painting.

    Getting back to Oldravendale's question as to whether the slots in the front buffers are visible, here's a low angle shot from the side. I can just about make out the stud, but only because I know it's there and it's a very cruel close up. Looking at it in the flesh, it's just not there, so unless you are concerned about it being visible when the model is picked up (which I'm not), it's a good solution.

    It keeps the heads nice and parallel and they can be easily removed for cleaning and painting.

    Last edited: 20 November 2019
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  11. P A D

    P A D Western Thunderer

    Moving back to the loco chassis, the motor was fitted to determine clearances and options for adding weight. The ashpan offers an ideal place to start.

    Here lead sheet has been added to the ashpan and stepped at the rear to clear the gearbox. The pick up mount was made from laminated waste fret, then drilled and tapped 10BA.

    With the motor in the running position the need for stepping the weights at the rear is clear. Ahead of the pick up mount I will add further lead and possibly some over the front axle where it won't be seen under the boiler.

    And with the running plate on, minus the boiler, it shows there is plenty of clearance for wipers on the top of the flanges.

    Here the pick ups have been added and the motor wired up. I decided not to shorten the quite long wires on the motor and just wrapped them around the casing and taped them up. This stops the motor from moving when running in reverse. The wipers are 0.4mm phosphor bronze wire.


    Here's a view of the pick ups with the running plate on. I checked with the boiler on and the bottom edge of the firebox is clear of the pick ups.

    I have added a small etched washer from the spares box to the hole at the end of the reversing shaft, to better match the appearance of the prototype.

    After oiling up, I only had time for a quick test run on the rails, but I'm please to say the chassis ran OK from the off. I've opened up the half etched slot in the bogie stretcher to give it some lateral movements on the curves, but there is a little more to go so I'll file that off tomorrow.

    My brother is giving the chassis a run on the rollers this evening, so it should be in fine fettle tomorrow when I get back to the bench. I will also add the draw bar and see how it goes on the curves with the tender on. The kit provides a short and long option and I will make it so that it pivots on the fixing screw on the loco, with a stud in the tender.

    All being well it will be off to Warren's next week for painting.

    GrahameH, mswjr, BR Tony and 8 others like this.
  12. P A D

    P A D Western Thunderer

    This afternoon I made up the draw bars. The holes in the echings were too large for a 6 BA bolt so I had to Bush the hole at the loco end. Luckily, there were 2 sets of draw bars included so I was able to laminate them and then solder some suitable tub into the hole to suit a 6BA bolt. For the tender, I made a stud from the same tube with a length of 6BA bolt soldered in one end and the other end plugged with some suitable tube. Here's the shorter drawbar with the tender stud inserted. I subsequently decided to dispense with the lock nut and just soldered one nut to the bolt.

    Here are both draw bars. The one on the left is the shorter one from the kit. However, when coupled up the tender was too far back, so I cut down the longer one to give a prototypical gap. It sails round curves just under 6 foot radius so I doubt if the longer one will be needed.

    Here's the stud screwed into the tender and secured with a drop of super glue.

    And with the chassis in place.

    I overlooked to take any photos of the loco and tended coupled so they will follow.

    On the loco, I decided to make a small change to the buffers to benefit from the 10 BA fixing. The extensions with slots behind the beam are not needed and as can be seen they are quite long, meaning the fastening nut is quite visible from the side.

    On the left the original set up and on the right after cutting back.

    And both done.

    In this low angle view of the left hand side, the buffer extension and nut is clearly visible.

    Whereas, in this view of the right hand side after cutting back, the nut is only just showing. Blacked up it should not be visible. 20191115_213855.jpg

    Last edited: 19 November 2019
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  13. P A D

    P A D Western Thunderer

    To finish off the tender, I made a fixed fall plate after trying the hinged one provided and it not working very well. It's the same shape as the original but slightly deeper from front edge to back. It's fixed to the tender footplate on a strip of waste fret so it clears the loco footplate. There was no fall plate on Butler Henderson when I visited Barrow Hill and the tender footplate which is wood, was rotten and collapsed in places, so I'm assuming fixing the fall plate as per the instructions is correct.

    Here's a view of the drawbar and cab. The backplate is just held with blue tack and can easily be got in and out of the cab with the roof on. However, it will be easier to paint inside the cab with the roof removable so it can be permanently fixed after painting.

    Here's the tender coupled to the loco. I don't think the fixed fall plate detracts from the appearance and there are no issues on the curves.


    I have a few sets of Dapol couplings which are a bit generic in appearance but functional, and I have fitted a set of these in preference to the kit's cast ones. The ones in the kit were poorly cast with rounded studs on the screw fixings, which would not have held the links properly. To allow the front one to slide in the buffer beam slot, I added a slotted bracket behind the beam as shown below. The slot in the bracket has enough side play to allow lateral movement of the hook. I've copied this from the set up on the David Andrew's Stanier 2 6 4 tank. The tender end is a conventional fitting.

    They look the part in my opinion and saved a lot of time on fettling up cast ones.

    I have lined the firebox with a sheet of lead to increase the adhesion weight, but there's still plenty of options for more, both in the chassis or the loco body. Some further test running will be given, but it is now ready for Warren Haywood to work his magic with the air brush and ruling pen. Some gratuitous images to finish off.




    20191119_190732.jpg 20191119_155817.jpg




    And finally a view on my brother's layout. The lighting at this side of the room is tungsten, hence the red hue to the picture. The instructions suggest using smaller than prototype bogie, wheels to improve clearance with the frames and that's what the kit came with. However, I suspect on minimum 6 ft radius curves, full size wheels could be used.
  14. LarryG

    LarryG Western Thunderer

    Very nice indeed.
    P A D likes this.
  15. P A D

    P A D Western Thunderer

    Further test running today revealed that the front pick ups were just touching the boiler causing a short. To overcome this a hole was cut in the boiler on either side using a cutting burr and this solved the problem. The lead lining to the firebox can also be seen in this view.

    Here's a video showing the D11 running on my brother's layout. Apologies for the poor camera work, but I was holding the controller in one hand and the phone in the other and also having to change the points.

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  16. P A D

    P A D Western Thunderer

    Regarding the fixing of the fall plate, here are some further views of Butler Henderson, that I took at Barrow Hill. The rotted part of the tender footplate can be seen in some of the images, but there is no sign of any hinge fittings on either the loco or tender. In the last image, there appears to be evidence of a strip having been on the edge of the tender footplate, so maybe this has the hinges????

    20191102_112930.jpg 20191102_112732.jpg 20191102_104439.jpg 20191102_112904.jpg
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  17. Dave Holt

    Dave Holt Western Thunderer

    I can't believe there wouldn't have been a hinged fall plate. The fall plate needs to accommodate relative movement between loco and tender which, having ridden on a loco, I know can be quite pronounced. Also, a fixed one might rise up off the floor on uneven track and the edge could easily slice in to someones foot - the rubbing edge can become razor sharp.
    The only locos I'm aware of that didn't have a hinged fall plate were the early BR standards which had the cab floor extended right back to the tender front; an arrangement which was abandoned in later production in favour of the normal arrangements.
    BR Tony likes this.
  18. warren haywood

    warren haywood Western Thunderer

    Definitely a fall plate visible here

    BR Tony likes this.
  19. LarryG

    LarryG Western Thunderer

    GCR Fall plate attached to Tender details ...
    WEB GCR fall plate 2.jpg
    Last edited: 21 November 2019
    7mmMick, BR Tony, mswjr and 1 other person like this.
  20. Brian McKenzie

    Brian McKenzie Western Thunderer