Friday, 21 March 2008

Gladiator Site

If anyone hasn't noticed, I've linked to the new Gladiator site which is a must for anyone wanting to model the GC in 7mm scale. Of particular interest is that the former North Star 2-4-2t and 0-6-2t kits are shown as 'coming soon', a most welcome re-introduction.

Also I see that Gladiator have taken over the former Newbold GC signal parts. (Now item GLET027.) I have adjusted the relevant section of the blog to cope with this.

Tuesday, 18 March 2008

Joy/Stephenson Valve Gear

This link should help illustrate the difference. However I think I need to see a model, or the real thing, before it really 'clicks'.

Valve gear simulations are also available online. I haven't tried these as I am sure they'd make my brain hurt!

Monday, 17 March 2008

J9 or J10

Well it appears that a J9/J10 kit is on its way to us in 2009, news that makes my heart rejoice despite the inevitable impact on the old bank balance. Truth is I have to have one of these, even if it means selling something else. Ideally I'd like two or three, and the only loco I'd prefer would be the unlikely prospect of a Sacre 6C (J12).

I've already been looking at data and wondering what variations will be available in the kit. The first difference between a J9 and a J10 is that the former has Joy valve gear and the latter Stephenson. This is only visible if you look between the frames, assuming that is that you recognise the difference, which, to be bluntly honest, I don't at this stage.

In GC days these engines split into a number of classes.

9B 25 engines built by Neilson and Co 1891 (J9)
9E 6 engines built by Gorton 1894-5 (J9)
9D 12 engines built by Kitson 1892 (J10)
9D 6 engines built by Gorton 1893 (J10)
9H 66 engines built by Beyer Peacock 1896-97 (J10)
9H 40 engines built by Gorton 1901-02 (J10)

The 9Bs and 9Es were all built with round top boilers but were rebuilt with Robinson's standard No 1 Belpaire boilers from 1910-1921, the last conversion being 650.

The 9Ds also started with round topped boilers but were converted as above between 1910 and 1923. The 9Hs had belpaires from the start.

The Beyer Peacock engines had taller and wider cabs with a different cut out to match the 4000 gallon tenders. The others had 3080 gallon tenders. The Robinson engines had rectangular number plates and extended cabs. The others had short cabs but many (all?) were eventually given extended cabs also, although they kept transfer numbers.

Liveries? The early ones were in the rather sickly MS&L/early GC green. Having looked at what photos I can scrounge from my collection, my impression is that the engines built under Robinson were in the lined black livery, while the rest went from green to plain black. However this is a provisional impression and I may be wrong! Comments welcome.

So if the kit is indeed to cover both J9 and J10 it looks like it will have to come with a 3080 tender, while the Beyer Peacock series would need the standard 4000 tender and a different cab. There are of course various other details impacting on individual engines and I'll be surprised (and delighted) if the kit covers all the options. Certainly for the GC era it should be possible to have half a dozen of these locos and no two exactly the same. Great fun!

Sunday, 16 March 2008


I shouldn't have to say this, but I better had. I have no connection with any of the manufacturers listed here except as a customer, or in odd cases as a friend. My policy is to list anything that might be useful to GCR modellers. Nothing I say should be taken as recommendation or condemnation, except in so far as it reflects my honest opinion. Please make your own enquiries as to whether a particular product suits your need - or not. I am always willing to correct factual errors, provided someone tells me about them!

GCR Odds and Ends Suppliers

Peter Cowling, 377 Beaumont Leys Lane, Leicester.Sideframes (resin) for Robinson 8ft bogies and battery boxes.

Dragon Models, 9 Kingsley Close,Sully,Penarth, CF64 5UW. GC, CL and LDEC goods stock transfers. (No longer available.)

Exactoscale Ltd,20 Waterson Vale,Moulsham Lodge,Chelmsford,Essex CM2 9PB. Generic etched brake gear, levers, etc. Also a developing 7mm scale track system - the brass fishplates are brilliant, far better to look at than the "railjoiners" produced by PECO. They used to supply sprung axleguards (etchings only) for GCR CCT and wagons, we must hope these will be reintroduced!

Gladiator produces the former Newbold GC signal parts. Look under 'Parts -etched'.

Guilplates, 32 Wodeland Avenue, Guildford, Surrey, GU2 4JZ Tel 01483 565980 or 563156. For GCR number,name, works plates, etc. They also do special jobs - for example they produced GCR wagon number plates and "to carry" plates for me.

Isinglass - produce 7mm scale drawings for many of the Robinson era GC engines.

Keykits - milled chassis and rods for 9N tank (LNER A5) and 8K (LNER 04). (Understand no longer available.)

Kings Cross Plates - Name and number plates for GC engines.

Model Signal Engineering - Provides a range of GC signalling parts. If you want the electro pneumatic type used in the Manchester area these can be made up from combinations of other companies' parts.

Newbold Models (Peter Dobson), 57, Desford Road, Newbold Verdon, Leicestershire, LE9 9LG. Tel: 01455 823767. (To order only) GCR station canopy girders - I think these are London extension style, as used at Leicester Central, for example. Please check availability as it appears some items from his range have been sold on.

GCR Coach Kit Suppliers

The weakest area so far - you may, if you are lucky find some second hand products from Quainton Road or Trevor Charlton.

Otherwise we have:

Bill Bedford - A large range, but see my comments re Bill's wagon kits. Not cheap, no instructions, and lots of castings to make/procure. (Check for availability as Bill has significantly changed his way of doing business.)

GP Models, 44 Wolsey Way, Lincoln, LN2 4QH. - Barnum Brake and Third. 6 wheelers on the way - which is great news. (Sadly no longer available. Owner retired.)

D&S Models, Dan Pinnock,46 The Street, Wallington, Baldock, Hertfordshire, SG7 6SW - some Robinson stock, but check for availability.

Worsley Works, 19 Douglas Road, Worsley, Manchester, M28 2SR. Etched brass Parker coaches, sides, ends and floors. "Scratch Aid" type kits but a very handsome start for a coach project.

(Edit) See also Quainton Road Models. 6 wheel coaches.

GCR Loco kit suppliers

David Andrews, 20 Hillside Gardens, Woodmancote, Cheltenham, GL52 4QF. 01242 672744. Etched loco kits for "Faringdon" and the "Crab" 2-6-4 tank. According to a recent GOG Gazette feature, the 11B, 11D (D9) and Sam Fay classes are to be added to the range. Kits can be supplied in nickel silver at 10% extra cost. These kits have a high reputation. (Some, if not all, GC types no longer available.)

Gladiator, - supplier of a wide range of etched loco kits for the Great Central, with more to come! Some kits are listed on the Tower Models site and can be ordered from Tower Models as well as from Gladiator direct. (Now has new owner, gradually reintroducing range.)

GP Models, 44 Wolsey Way, Lincoln, LN2 4QH. Class 5A 0-6-0 tank engine (LNER J63). A loco kit for the 2/2A class (LNER D7) is promised, but is now long awaited. (No longer available, owner retired. 2/2A never materialised.)

Haywood Railway (Geoff Gill) 29 Litchfield Drive, Great Haywood, Staffordshire ST18 0SX produce a cheap kit for the N5 0-6-2t which I am told is very easy to build. This can also be bought via Tower Models. (The kit is not very accurate, as I am told.)

Leinster Models, 28 St Peter's Road, Phibsboro Dublin 7, Republic of Ireland - Leinster do quite a range of GC loco kits, I think it's fair to say that they are rather old-fashioned and basic, but startlingly cheap. I have seen some nice models built from these, but feel they are mainly for people who are not afraid to do some serious metalbashing and willing to make or buy many details. (No longer available)

MSC Models, Kit for 9N 4-6-2 tank (LNER A5 class). (EDIT - This model now with Meteor Models.) (Check availability.)

GC Wagon Kit Suppliers

Current GCR Wagon Kit suppliers that I know about:

ABS Models. Does a very nice whitemetal GCR bolster wagon kit. Has a 3 planker in his catalogue, but not yet available. Can be had by post or (rare) exhibitions. Delivery can be slow as this is a one man band who is likely to retire soon. Also does some very useful 'bits'.

Bill Bedford - (Revised 2016) As available now a small but useful range of GC wagons and some NPCS.

Connoisseur Models, 33 Grampian Road, Penfields, Stourbridge, DY8 4UE. Diagram 17 van - see BRM October 2005 p 36. This is also suitable for the CLC, but note it was not introduced until 1912. Raymond Walley has written a review which you will find in pdf form here. (See under GCR 10t sliding door van.)

D&S Models,Dan Pinnock,46 The Street, Wallington, Baldock, Hertfordshire, SG7 6SW. Probably the best etched kits in the world, certainly very good anyway. Diag 15 15 ton van, diag 61 milk van, diag 64 4 wheel brake van, ex LDEC horse box. GC Meat Van, diag.58. The instructions are sometimes a little sparse.

Dragon Models,9 Kingsley Close,Sully,Penarth, CF64 5UW. Kit for GC single bolster kit in white metal.

The Furness Railway Wagon Company (Mark and Geoff Dobson, 9 Parkfield, Swarthmoor, Ulverston, Cumbria LA12 0HW) produce a GER box wagon kit for £35 plus £3 p&p. This looks to be very similar to the ex LDEC vans (GCR diagram 144). I only know of one photo of the LDEC van, which was published in Great Central Link 12 (Jan.1997) and it isn't a very good one. Numbers if anyone wants them, GCR 33123-33142, formerly LDEC 76-95. (The NRM drawing shows the LDEC van's brakes were Morton, with brake blocks on one side, while the axleboxes were Attocks Patent, with a rounded bottom. You can bet that some were modified by the GC later, so it's still anyone's guess barring a better photo.)

Gladiator,  - produce a kit for a GCR open wagon, which I think is diagram 9. (Gladiator Reference GLW012.)

GP Models,  Diag 5 three plank wagon, diag.16 van, diag 53 fish van, diag. 66 6-wheel brake van. The wagon kits have resin bodies with nickel silver underframes. No longer available

Just Like The Real Thing, 26 Whittle Place, South Newmoor Industrial Estate, Irvine, Ayrshire, KA11 4HR. - produces a diag 12/diag 13 GCR van kit. I understand these now include castings.

S.Spare, 82 Clifton Way, Hinckley ,Leics. Diagram 22B coal wagon. Body £13, castings £4 and postage £1.25. A diag. 8 has been available also. These are limited run kits, please check availability before ordering.

Slater's 10ton side and end door Charles Roberts and Gloucester 7 planker with S/E doors can legitimately be finished in GC colours as hired wagons. Do not shave off the moulded PO registration plates as these were carried by hired wagons.


This blog is really a substitute for a website I used to run. I've recently jacked Orange as my ISP, and so the site, which was on their free web page, had to go. I can't be bothered setting up a straight replacement so this blog will have to do.

Please don't expect something new on here every day. There will be the odd thing, but the first task will be to try to put back most of the information that used to be on the old site.