Thanks to Jerry O'Reilly for his description on how he glued our 6ton yard crane together.
Photographs copyright Jerry O'Reilly.
last summer (2016)
at a Show, I bought one of “the
excellent GWR 6 ton Yard Crane kits, having first had a longish chat
over the counter about
its assembly. My main worry at the time was that I had virtually no
soldering skills (at least not for this kind of very fine work), and
our discussion centered on whether or not the kit would be ‘gluable’.
me to ‘have a go’, and said he
would be interested in any feedback about how I got on. Having
recently got round to building the kit, I thought I would send him
this short report, with some photos of the finished article.
The first thing to say is that I think the kit is superb, and I am
delighted with the outcome. The detail of the etches is quite
remarkable in my view, and the way the crane’s body/winding gear in
particular went together so precisely was amazing.
Everything was assembled with ‘Expo’ Medium Grade/medium
viscosity super glue, code 470-21, as recommended by Andy Vaughan of
Severn Models brass etches. I also followed his recommended assembly
technique, which is to clamp parts together ‘dry’ with sprung
tweezer clamps, and to then apply a droplet of glue to the joint line
from the end of a metal tip. This allows the glue to fill the clamped
part of the joint by capillary action, setting in 5 or 6 seconds. For
a long joint line, the clamp is then moved along the joint and the
process repeated until the full length of the joint is fixed. Andy
stressed the importance of – where possible - roughening with emery
paper the faces of the etches which are to be glued, to help achieve
a good bond.
For the NBL kit, I quickly realised how important it was to follow
the instructions exactly, even if at first glance certain
things seemed a bit strange, or had a logic that was hard to
understand. The rationale became clear as assembly progressed. In
other words, I realised NOT to try and do it ‘my way’!
I did find the assembly of the jib fiendishly difficult - so much so
that I completely messed up my first attempt, and had to get another
kit! The main thing I under-estimated was the fragility of the
‘hinges’ that hold the three sides of the jib (part 19) together.
First time round, these broke, leaving the jib sides and top
separated, and almost impossible to assemble with enough precision.
The second attempt with the replacement kit benefited from this
lesson learnt, and much greater care was taken in handing the folded
One or two minor things that I modified as I went along were as
For the crane base, parts 1 and 2, I found it virtually impossible to
bend the base ring (part 2) into a neat circle. I therefore replaced
this with a steel washer of matching thickness and suitable diameter,
which was simply glued onto the base (part 1), and works perfectly.
Regarding fixing the jib to the crane body, the instructions state
clearly that the sides of the jib ends should fit on the outside
of the body. The drawing shows this equally clearly. However, I just
couldn’t make this work – the body was simply too wide, or the
jib sides too close together to allow this. A mystery, as I was
pretty sure I’d assembled everything correctly. To resolve this, I
set the jib ends inside the body shell, instead of outside it,
as shown on the attached photos. If you don’t know it’s wrong,
you don’t really notice it, however.
For rigging the crane, I chose not to use the flexible thin cable
wire as supplied for the ‘chain’, and instead fashioned the chain
from NBL handrail wire. Being rigid wire, this allowed the chain to
be bent to the required shape as a separate pre-formed rigid item. It
was then fixed in place, hooking one end over the winch drum (part
14), then threading the other over the pulleys at the jib end (part
21), before fixing the end of the wire to the triangular bracket and
hook (part 24). The length of chain that returns upwards from the
pulley - with a second hook over the tie bar at the underside of the
the jib - was made with a separate length of handrail wire. The lower
end of this was positioned onto the pulley before the second
triangular bracket was glued on top, the upper end having been first
hooked over the jib tie bar. The result is that the rigid ‘straight
line’ wire gives a convincing impression of a chain under tension,
without any kinks or waves that might occur with a light flexible
wire. The attached photos show this quite well, I think.
28200 GWR 6ton Yard Crane kit.