Author Topic: GRS kit Midland Johnson 1F 0-6-0T  (Read 11975 times)

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Offline John Candy

GRS kit Midland Johnson 1F 0-6-0T
« on: March 13, 2014, 11:51:28 AM »
Today, started browsing through the kit of the Midland Johnson 1F 0-6-0T by GRS (an etched brass kit) with a mind to start on it.

The instructions run to just 2 pages of A4 which make it all sound very simple and I was encouraged to start sorting out the chassis parts.

The wheelsets in this kit come ready-assembled and quartered (they are cast iron, unlike the Slater's wheels supplied with other GRS kits) and the motor/gearbox is ready-fitted to one axle.

The instructions tell me to fit the axle with the motor as the centre wheelset (with the motor facing the rear); sounds simple enough.
Look at the illustration (a photo) and it shows the motor on the rear axle facing forward!!

Reading through the entire chassis assembly instructions, it smugly tells me, at para. 11,  "The chassis is now complete".

Errh, not quite : There is no method for fixing the motor gearbox unit, which is still free to rotate with the axle!

It makes no difference whether it is on the middle or rear axle, there is no method of fixing and no reference to fixing in the instructions; even the accompanying photos don't show the gearbox attached to anything (other than the axle).

The motor is mounted on a compensated axle, so needs to be free to move a little but there is nothing provided to which to fix it.

It will be necessary to devise a bracket and drill/tap the thick steel mainframes to fit an additional spacer.
It will then be necessary to drill and tap the casing of the gearbox to take a bolt without damaging the teeth of the gear wheels (not going to be easy since cannot be removed from wheelset) .

So much for "The chassis is now complete"!

John.
My fellow Members, ask not what your Society can do for you, ask what you can do for your Society.

Offline Andy B

Re: GRS kit Midland Johnson 1F 0-6-0T
« Reply #1 on: March 13, 2014, 12:59:10 PM »
Hi John,

You have my sympathies already. I have one of these kits (I believe it may have been their last one - my chassis was already assembled, but still has no motor retention).
I hoped it would be a fairly quick route to a running G3 loco - but whilst it probably can be built as loosely described in the instructions, the results that I have seen just don't look like a MR 1F!

I have a copy of the GA from the NRM.  This showed that the running plate is too short by about 2-3 mm both ends. the half-etched lamp bracket positions are very over-sized, so I've filled mine with a scrap of N/S and solder, then flattened them off.
The artwork was clearly hand drawn originally, and enlarging it has done no favours.
The smokebox front and back pieces are not symmetrical - I ended up inserting a scrap of brass on one side of each (on the side of the saddle section) to make them so.  I have chosen to model mine in its original state with a Johnson smokebox - easier in some ways as it is flush rivetted - but means I will have to turn up a new smokebox door.
Even so, getting the smokebox wrapper to shape (even after annealing) was quite a challenge.
The chimney is generally a nice casting - but has taken a lot of work to get the bottom of its saddle equal, a close fit on the smokebox, and thinned down enough.
The boiler formers don't quite manage to be circular......

The buffers are wrong - new ones required.
The tanks need some angle along their lower edges.
There is something wrong (can't remember exactly what now) with the cylinder front cover flap (the curved one just in front of the smokebox).

I also want to build it in subassemblys that can be screwed together - for ease of painting, future battery maintenance, etc - but haven't quite decided how to do it.
The etch picture reference numbers don't tie up very well with the list - I think I have now worked out what all the parts are supposed to be!

I may have some more notes at home - forewarned is fore-armed!

Andy

Offline John Candy

Re: GRS kit Midland Johnson 1F 0-6-0T
« Reply #2 on: March 13, 2014, 01:06:28 PM »
Hi Andy,

Thanks for those pointers...I now know what to watch out for....it sounds far worse than I had expected!

Is your motor on the middle axle or rear?

Regards,
John.

P.S. Perhaps all this explains why I have never seen one complete and running (except static item in the GRS shop display cabinet)....nobody has yet persevered to the end!
My fellow Members, ask not what your Society can do for you, ask what you can do for your Society.

Offline Andy B

Re: GRS kit Midland Johnson 1F 0-6-0T
« Reply #3 on: March 13, 2014, 02:26:54 PM »
Hi John,

Mine has motor on middle axle.

There was a compete one sold on ebay a while back.
No idea if it actually ran!!

Andy

Offline John Candy

Re: GRS kit Midland Johnson 1F 0-6-0T
« Reply #4 on: March 13, 2014, 03:05:39 PM »
Thanks Andy,

John.
My fellow Members, ask not what your Society can do for you, ask what you can do for your Society.

Offline 454

Re: GRS kit Midland Johnson 1F 0-6-0T
« Reply #5 on: March 13, 2014, 04:47:36 PM »
Glad you got the last one Andy, it has put me off ever building another kit, under those circumstances.

Dave
454

Offline blagdon

Re: GRS kit Midland Johnson 1F 0-6-0T
« Reply #6 on: March 13, 2014, 09:37:43 PM »
John and Andy,

following the moderator's comments on my inappropriate remarks concerning GRS; should this 'Forum' really be at vehicle for continually running down that particular business?

Ian the Gauge '3' Pirate

Offline John Candy

Re: GRS kit Midland Johnson 1F 0-6-0T
« Reply #7 on: March 13, 2014, 11:42:38 PM »
Ian,

Not so much a case of "running down that particular business" as reporting on the quality of a product.
It was the personal/possibly derogatory reference to the MD of GRS which Mike considered inappropriate.
There will be no censorship of legitimate/non defamatory comments.

Regards,
John.
My fellow Members, ask not what your Society can do for you, ask what you can do for your Society.

Offline MikeWilliams

Re: GRS kit Midland Johnson 1F 0-6-0T
« Reply #8 on: March 14, 2014, 08:39:25 AM »
I agree with John.  But, I have at times had some concern about the critical nature of "reviews" of GRS kits on here.  BUT, in my opinion a review is useless if it is not critical and also most have ended positively with explanations of how to correct and improve the product, ending up with a nice model at a good price.  The reader is then left to decide on the severity of the faults, and whether the extra work is worth it for him.

In short, knowing John, I suspect this will turn into a nice model in the end, so lets be patient, note the facts and wait for the outcome which I suspect, knowing John again, won't take very long!

Mike

Offline John Candy

Re: GRS kit Midland Johnson 1F 0-6-0T
« Reply #9 on: March 14, 2014, 08:44:34 PM »
One problem solved.

The motor is now secured by a strap which is screwed to an existing frame spacer.
A length of brass strip ( 3/32 ins x1/32ins ) was shaped, as shown below, to fit around the motor casing but leaving sufficient clearance to allow the motor to move, in compliance with the compensated axle onto which it is fitted.

The loop of brass was then soldered into a section of rectangular brass tube (3/8 ins x 3/16ins.).
The adjacent frame spacer was tapped 4BA through an existing hole.
The rectangular tube was then drilled to clear a 4BA machine screw, such that the motor would be held in a vertical position when screwed into the spacer.

Now that wasn't rocket science was it!
Why did the designer of the kit "cop out" on fixing the motor?

Another "improvement" I have made, is to discard the plain 6BA nuts supplied for fitting the compensation beams and substitute "Nyloc" nuts (saves having to use thrreadlock or solder on the nuts, which would otherwise soon have worked loose).

John.
My fellow Members, ask not what your Society can do for you, ask what you can do for your Society.

Offline John Candy

Re: GRS kit Midland Johnson 1F 0-6-0T
« Reply #10 on: March 16, 2014, 11:25:27 AM »
Working through the chassis assembly, more snags manifested themselves.

With the wheels in situ, chassis was placed on a sheet of plate glass to check for correct operation of the compensation beams and it was immediately apparent that the compensation beams were performing no function....the hornblocks/axleboxes were at the upper limit of their travel and the beams were not even in contact with them!

Measurements were taken at the front and rear extremities of the frames and it was found that the rear end was sitting 2.55mm lower than the front.
The beams required bending in order to produce correct level of support (to a large extent "trial and error" method). A similar problem occured in construction of the 4F kit.
The beams are thin and have a large degree of "sloppiness", with the result that they easily slip off the tops of the hornbocks/axleboxes (which themselves have a large degree of lateral movement) , the result being no compensation.
The only answer appears to be to "beef up" the beams on the side facing the frames but that raises issues relating to the ashpan.

The Ashpan : This is fitted between the centre and rear axles....but so are the compensation beams!
It may be no coincidence that the chassis construction photos accompanying the instructions fail to show this fitted.

The clearance between the mainframes and compensation beams is only just the thickness of the ashpan etchings and the instructions tell me to glue the pan etchings to the steel frames.

When in position, the top of the ashpan would be such that, when the compensation beams rock, the lower edges of these could be obstructed by the upper edges of the etchings. If the compensation beams are "beefed up" as mentioned above, it will leave no clearance for the ashpan to be fixed to the frames, as instructed.

At present, my intention is to make a frame, which sits in the top of the mainframes (spanning the space between the frames) from which the ashpan is suspended.
This will eliminate the need to attach the ashpan to the area where the compensation beams could be obstructed.

More later!

John.
« Last Edit: March 16, 2014, 03:04:14 PM by John Candy »
My fellow Members, ask not what your Society can do for you, ask what you can do for your Society.

Offline Traininvain

Re: GRS kit Midland Johnson 1F 0-6-0T
« Reply #11 on: March 17, 2014, 10:37:50 AM »
John

with your permission we can run a review of the construction in the G3 Newsletter and I can ask GRS for their comments.

Ian

Offline Andy B

Re: GRS kit Midland Johnson 1F 0-6-0T
« Reply #12 on: March 17, 2014, 11:49:44 AM »
I had a quick look back at my notes over the weekend.
Another couple of corrections needed - the buffer beams are too deep - need the top and bottom trimmed off (check the GA for dimensions).
The running plate valences are not the right shape - again, check against the GA. Fortunately they are too big, so easily corrected by filing.

Andy

Offline John Candy

Re: GRS kit Midland Johnson 1F 0-6-0T
« Reply #13 on: March 17, 2014, 06:23:21 PM »
Ian,

Yes, permission granted, bearing in mind that this kit is no longer sold by GRS (mine came as untouched kit secondhand and Andy bought the last of the shop stock).


Thanks Andy.

 I hadn't got as far as measuring them but the buffer beam etches certainly looked rather too large when I was browsing  through the parts.

Regards,
John.
My fellow Members, ask not what your Society can do for you, ask what you can do for your Society.

Offline AllWight

Re: GRS kit Midland Johnson 1F 0-6-0T
« Reply #14 on: March 17, 2014, 06:52:27 PM »
I recently put some new valances on my dark green 02.  I cheated and used some 5mm brass angle and then created the roll down at each end to the buffer beams.  Most model shops sell the brass angle in sizes 2,3,4 and 5mm. Perhaps that would be easier than struggling with filing the correct amount off over the length of the etch valances. Plus it would be square and laser milled.

Mark