UPDATED  7 Sept  22

GWR Yard Crane built by Jerry O'Reilly

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GWR 6ton Yard Crane


6ton Great Western yard crane on layout Parbourne and Floyd Bridge.



Thanks to Jerry O'Reilly for his description on how he glued our 6ton yard crane together.

Photographs copyright Jerry O'Reilly.

Sometime last summer (2016) whilst at a Show, I bought one of “the N BRASS” excellent GWR 6 ton Yard Crane kits, having first had a longish chat with Nick 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’. Nick encouraged 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.

1. 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.

2. 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.

3.  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’!

3. 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 jib etch.

4. One or two minor things that I modified as I went along were as follows:-

a) 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.

b) 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.

c) 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.






6ton Great Western yard crane on layout Parbourne and Floyd Bridge.

N Brass Great Western yard crane on Jerry O'Reilly's layout Parbourne and Floyd Bridge.

(copyright J O'Reilly)


  For other N Crane kits  see  Line side 2

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