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LMS Stanier 3500 Gallon Tender

LMS 3500 gallon tender, 7mm scale (0 gauge) by David L O Smith from a david Andrew's kit.

I built this 7mm scale (0 gauge) model, from a kit by David Andrews, to pair with my LMS Jubilee class locomotive, No. 5663, Jervis.  As I have mentioned before, I always treat building a kit as if I were scratch building but with most/many of the parts already made so, although I do have a quick read of the instructions, I go my own way about it.  David Andrews' kits have a well deserved high reputation and I believe that this one is typical; it comprises brass and white metal castings, and brass etches.  I assembled it more or less as he intended but I did elect to fabricate some replacement 'castings' and to make some additional parts, as I shall now describe.

Frames of LMS Stanier 3500 gallon tender

I started with the (non prototypical) inside frames and chose to fit Slater’s wheels and horn guides/blocks.  In place of the suggested 12BA screws in tapped holes in the horn guides, I solder in 12BA studs with their ends turned down to thread core diameter for approximately 1mm as this makes starting the 12BA half-nuts so much easier.

The brake blocks/hangers are clipped onto upper supports that are simply shouldered pillars that are soldered into suitable holes in the frames.  I have added some additional detail to the pull-rods and equalizing bars but I have left off completing the crank and brake cross-shaft until I see exactly how these frames fit into the body and outside frames.

Brake assembly on LMS Stanier 3500 gallon tender

On the prototype, there are two large stretchers between the lower edges of the outer frames with circular and ‘sausage-shaped’ weight-relieving holes – at least, I assume that is what they are but, although I have a GA of a 4000 gallon tender, I was not able to find one for the earlier 3500 gallon version.  I made the stretchers from brass sheet (waste etch) and, because they are very close and the join is obscured behind the frames, I soldered them to the backs of the brake hangers.  However, in 0 gauge Fine Standard, the wheel flanges still foul the fronts of these stretchers so I relieved them by cutting into the weight-relieving holes (perhaps these stretchers were narrower on the 3500 gallon tender?).

LMS Stanier 3500 gallon tender brake rigging

I have thickened up the centre of the rear brake crossbar (to the left in the photograph above of the inverted brake rigging assembly) and added the safety chains.  Having built up sufficient of the body (see later) I was able to make up the cross-shaft, cranks and adjusters at the front and to attach them to the brake rigging and also to a Pi-shaped bracket that is screwed (12BA) to the main frames.  However, to do this, I needed to remove some material at the front of the (non prototypical) inner side frames but I did it because:

  •  it makes a nice, neat assembly that is easy to paint, and

  • the holes provided for the cross-shaft in the (non prototypical) inner side frames did not appear to be in the correct position.  

The Pi-shaped bracket that supports the brake cross-shaft also supports a plate with a number of protruding wires that will each have a piece of single-core insulated wire pushed on and shaped to represent the interconnecting pipes (2 x feed water, vacuum brake, steam brake, steam heat [carriage warming], coal sprinkler, etc.); one is in place in later photographs to show the idea.

LMS Stanier tender water pick-up scoop

The only remaining part to fit to the frames is the water scoop and its operating mechanism.  The scoop is represented by two neat white metal castings that are pinned together through their respective lugs but there is no representation of the substantial stays that take the thrust from the accelerating water.  Some simple turning and a few strokes with a file (to represent the adjusting nuts) plus some 0.9mm wire produced the necessary, which were soldered to the casting.  As always, I arranged for the assembly to be screwed into position on the frames.

Reassembling the axles/wheels and clipping and screwing on the brake rigging assembly, the frames were complete.

LMS Stanier tender inner frames (inverted)

LMS Stanier tender inner frames.

Tank of LMS Stanier 3500 gallon tender

Moving on to the tender tank, I decided not to follow the recommended procedure as I could see myself getting into difficulty with the coal space – and I think that David Andrews could see this too because, in his instructions, he writes “ … given the complexity of the shapes …some filing and filling will be required to get a good fit everywhere. Alternatively, the whole lot can eventually be covered with coal”.  Hmm.

In the event, I built up the inner support frames and then temporarily tack-soldered in the bulkhead and the side panels (without forming the coal sheets) so that I could fit the hopper and fire-iron tunnel in their proper relative positions before unsoldering the bulkhead and side panels again to complete the soldering up of the coal space.

Although I built up the bulkhead pretty much as the instructions intended, I have added a few of the missing rivets on the lower part and on the toolbox door, which has received a retaining pin and ‘chain’ for the clasp.  I have also added some more detail to the coal door hinges and latching mechanism.

Bulkhead on LMS Stanier 3500 gallon tender

LMS tender windlass

The brass castings for the windlass handles included in the kit were nice but I decided to make up something a little finer.

The castings supplied (right) and one of my fabricated replacements fitted in place (left).

Whilst I was on the tack of improving and replacement, I thought I would make a start on cleaning up some castings and making improvements, if I thought them necessary.  The axlebox/springs/hanger white metal castings were very good (on left in photo) except that, try as I might, I could not make them lie flat against the frame sides; the problem was that the brackets at the back of the hangers were not in the same plane at all, and they could not be persuaded to be so without distorting something.  My solution was to mill away the hanging rod (which was actually a thin D-shape on the castings) and replace it with a piece of nickel silver wire (right)

LMS Stanier tender axle boxes

LMS Stanier tender fittings

In the same vein, I decided that I could improve upon the white metal castings for the dome and the filler (too small and not round), and the rear tank vents (too skinny and lacking a collar at the lower flange and the rivet heads on the upper flange).  The new dome is turned up from aluminium and the other items from brass; all are retained with 10BA screws from underneath the tank top.

In the photograph are the original castings, each with a replacement turning to its left.

Just as I did for my LMS 8F, I opened up the buffer stocks and sleeved the buffer shanks to bring them up to prototypical diameter; made up the vacuum and steam heat pipes for fitting with 12BA screws to the underside of the tender (in this case, I was able to rework the castings supplied); replaced the drawhook with a modified one intended for a wagon, made the upper pair of links, made a centre (screw) link and reused an (inappropriate) upper D-shackle from the loco.  

Attaching the vacuum and the steam heat pipes with 12BA screws makes the painting so much easier and the lining (for me) possible.

LMS Stanier tender buffer, drawgear and pipe details

LMS Stanier 3500 gallon tender body

The next stage is relatively routine so I have illustrated it with a photograph of the tank and outside frames with all the major elements in place, and beginning to look more like a Stanier tender.

At first glance, it could be easily be confused for a Stanier 4000 gallon tender but it is 14mm shorter (in the middle), which makes it a little dumpy by comparison.

LMS Stanier 3500 gallon tender, front

It is unfortunate that most of the detail at the front of the tender is not in clear view on the finished working model but it is satisfying to know that it is (mostly) all there.

With the bulkhead in place, I was able to complete the foot plate, make up the injector water control handles and semi-circular linkage covers (neither was included in the kit) and to fit the castings that represent the covers to the water scoop and hand brake operating mechanisms. With the tank/coal space sides and the drag beam now permanently attached, I fitted the handrails and the tender and the tender-to-loco buffers.

Two brass castings are provided in the kit for fixed tender-to-loco buffers (one is visible on the sprue below the windlasses; see the photograph above) but they must, of necessity, be retracted so they do not actually make contact with the loco drag box.  It was a simple task to make two longer ones that could be sprung.

In the photograph may also be seen the: 

  • completed steps, with a steel stiffening wire soldered up the back

  • bespoke countersunk 10BA washers for the 10BA screws that retain the axlebox/spring castings (handy to be able to remove these to be spray painted black before being placed on the lined crimson lake frames)

  • two bearing cover plates for the brake and water scoop cross-shafts; the kit provides etchings only for the brake cross-shaft but they were rather too large and making new ones was a good excuse to use my recently acquired rotary table to drill for the five ‘bolts’ in each.

LMS Stanier tender-loco buffers

LMS Stanier tender - buffers, vacuum and steam heat pipes

At most stages of construction, there are many areas that could be worked on but few that are on a ‘critical path’, although I do like to work to avoid finding that a later part does not quite fit; this is probably one of the main reasons that I do not follow kit instructions.  The other reason is I do not like the approach of soldering everything together and then reading the final instruction “Now all you have to do is paint it.” (To be fair, David Andrews’ instructions do not say this.)  It was to avoid such mismatches that I did not finish off the front of the brake rigging earlier and that I assembled the body in the order that I could check the fit.

Turning to the rear of the tender, the buffers castings have been soldered in and the drawgear, vacuum pipe and steam heat pipe are screwed in place.  Again, I have soldered in a steel stiffening wire behind the steps.

Having turned new parts for the top of the tank, a trial fit to check that all was in order gave a pleasing result.

The horizontal parts of the angle brackets, which unite the rear of the tank and the buffer plank to the running plate, were represented in the kit by etches that had rather over-large etched rivet heads.  I replaced these parts with some made from nickel silver strip in which I impressed some smaller rivet heads

LMS Stanier 3500 gallon tender rear tank and fittings

With the body and frames complete, they needed now only to be united with two 8BA screws (turned down to core diameter for about 2mm to aid entry – this is such a nifty wheeze, this) so that I could sit back and critique (admire a little, even?) the result of the rather long journey that I have travelled - I seem totally incapable of any other sort.

Side view: LMS Stanier 3500 gallon tender. 7mm scale (0 gauge) by David L O Smith

Rear above view: LMS Stanier 3500 gallon tender. 7mm scale (0 gauge) by David L O Smith

Front above view: LMS Stanier 3500 gallon tender. 7mm scale (0 gauge) by David L O Smith

Three quater fron view: LMS Stanier 3500 gallon tender. 7mm scale (0 gauge) by David L O Smith

As they were not included in the kit, I made six little ‘ribs’ that support the coal sheet within the coal space; the tops of two of them may just be seen here (above).

Underside view: LMS Stanier 3500 gallon tender. 7mm scale (0 gauge) by David L O Smith

When I am well on in building a model, I pour over my drawings and photographs again to start a list of items/assemblies that I have still to do.  This not only helps to make sure that I do not forget anything but it also helps when my effort is starting to flag; I can look at my list and ask myself “Is there anything on here that I fancy doing?”, I choose one and then I get on with it.  Of course, the ‘worst’ jobs get left until last but by then, with the end in sight, they never seem quite so bad and they get done without much more ado.

I alluded earlier to the Stanier 3500 gallon tender being easily confused for a Stanier 4000 gallon tender.  The 3500 gallon tender is 2', or 14mm, shorter (in the middle), which makes it a little dumpy by comparison, as the flowing photograph shows.

Comparison of Stanier 3500 gallon and 4000 gallon tenders. 7mm scale (0 gauge) by David L O Smith

Above: Stanier 15’ wheel base 9 tons 4000 gallon tender (for Black Five No. 5018)
Below: Stanier 13’ wheel base 7 tons 3500 gallon tender (for Jubilee No. 5663 Jervis)

Stanier 3500 gallon tender in full LMS crimson lake livery. 7mm scale (0 gauge) by David L O Smith


I used a Badger 150 airbrush to apply the LMS 'Crimson Lake' (Cherry Paints) and the 'Coal Black' (Humbrol Paints) and a Haff drafting pen and compasses to apply the lining (Humbrol Paints)  followed by a fine coat of Floquil Flat Finish.  The model now runs with my LMS Jubilee Class No. 5663, Jervis.

These notes and captioned picture first appeared on the online forum of the Gauge 0 Guild.

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