The Gladstone Project

Last updated 5 March 1999, recent material marked by New Item


The Gladstone Project is the creation of a 4mm scale model (to P4 standards) of a member of the 0-4-2 LB&SCR Gladstone class from the Albion Models etched brass kit.

In January 1998, John Birch of Albion Models sent me some test etches for a forthcoming kit of the Gladstone asking if I could assemble it and let him know of any problem areas. The kit went together well, although having a limited amount of time to spend on the work, it took me some 10 months to complete the basic work. The model still needs pickups & painting. The kit was finally released at Scaleforum in September 1998.

The Prototype Gladstone

Fortunately the original prototype of the class, Gladstone herself, is preserved in the National Railway Musem at York. So on a visit there I took the opportunity to take some detail photographs:

The Model

The model is built to P4 standards (18.83mm gauge) and uses the Albion Models etches and castings, wheels from Sharman Wheels, a Mashima 1620 motor with a London Road Models gearbox and Ultrascale gears.

I have decide to model the first of the production batch of Gladstones, No.215 Salisbury, as this fits into the period I am modelling (1883/1884).

The choice of motor and gearbox is tricky, as driving the front wheels would mean finding an alternative method of fixing the body to chassis. I chose to drive the rear wheels, but the boiler pitch, and space inside the firebox conspired to rule out most gearboxes, such as the Portescap RG4, which I had planned to use. Even trying some of the commercial replacement gearbox sides the Portescap proved impossible to fit in. The firebox is waisted which also made it difficult getting the chosen 16mm diameter motor into place. The gap in the footplate at the base of the firebox is about 14mm wide and could be widened to about 15mm without too much problem which would permit a smaller diameter motor to fit in.

My solution was to use a Mashima (1620) horizontally in the firebox with a flexible gear train using Ultrascale gears from London Road Models (GB4/1 & link 38, I think) - a worm & gear-wheel and then a second stage floating link to the gearwheel on the rear driving axle.

I apologise for some of the pictures being slightly out of focus.

I used a piece of 12mm MDF with grooves in it (for the valences and buffer beams) as a foundation for the footplate. This enabled me to keep the footplate flat while constructing the superstructure. The boiler and firebox were rolled from flat with a set of GW Models rollers. Loco body on wooden base
The tender is built up around a fold-up framework. The sides then wrap around the frame. In P4 the clearances for the wheels are very tight. Tender framework
All the chassis clearances are very tight in P4 and I chose to make up the triple thickness coupling rod. This then failed to clear the coupling rod splasher, requiring both the rod and crankpin nuts to be thinned down considerably. The chassis uses Alan Gibson sprung hornblocks. Loco and tender start to take shape
New Item The motor is a Mashima (1620) with a flexible gear train using Ultrascale gears from London Road Models. The motor and gearbox
The basic model is finished. The brass dome is from GW Models and replaces the cast one in the kit. The various castings have been attached and the holes drilled for fixing the handrails, etc. Loco and tender nearly finished
The next stage is to fit pickups and get it running. Loco and tender nearly finished
New Item The body has been painted in primer, the next challenge is to paint it in full Stroudley Passenger livery! Detailing such as handrails, reversing rod, etc. will all be added after painting is completed. Loco body in primer
New Item The tender body has also been painted in primer. Tender body in primer

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