Built from the Gladiator kit, which was originally designed by Adrian Rowland under the North Star Design label. I started building this model on the 11th November 2019 and finished it on April 30th, taking 131 hours. It has been built with sprung hornblocks on the first and second axles, otherwise straight from the box, with Slaters wheels and an ABC motor/gears unit. He will soon be with Warren Hayward for painting into BR green livery.
During the final stages of the build I got myself into a spot of bother with the left side motion. Throughout each stage of the build I had kept ensuring that there were no tight spots, with the coupling rods, then with the slide bars and crossheads, as any experienced builder does. Then when it came to the Walchearts valve gear. I built up each set exactly the same, (other than opposite hand of course) and fitted the right side first with no problems or tight spots. But when it came to the left side, something was wrong, too tight when the crosshead was at it’s end of the stroke on the slidebars. It took me some time to find the problem. As the right side had gone together so well, it couldn’t be a fault with the etches and I checked each side was built exactly the same. I can only put the cause down to tolerances (there is always a plus or minus tolerance on the location of everything) stacking-up all one way, needing the crosshead link to be extended by 1.5mm. All’s well now and he runs very smoothly.
When this kit was originally released, I was in the market to buy a King Arthur to build for myself and had a choice between the Modern Outline Kit and the North Star Design. I chose the MOK and enjoyed building it and have never regretted it. So when asked to build this on commission I looked forward to making the comparison. I can now advise that the MOK is a superior product, but is a good deal more expensive to buy. Sir Urre of the Mount here has built into a very nice model and I would say is good value for money. You pays yer money and makes yer choice.
The Improved Director class (LNER class D11) was designed by John G. Robinson for express passenger work on the Great Central main line between London Marylebone and Sheffield and Manchester. An improved version of the 11E Director class (LNER class D10). No. 508 was built in March 1920 as the third member of the class. It had an operational life of over 40 years, being withdrawn in 1960. One member of the class, no. 506 Butler Henderson, is fortunately preserved, but unfortunately in static condition, at Barrow Hill.