As with the rear steps, electrical isolation is an issue here - in fact more so as the bufferbeam also has to be joined this time. I've heard that better modellers than me have had difficulty here so I'll take a conservative approach.
But I also have a second problem. Test-fitting the steps against the footplate I find that the sandboxes are in the way. Ages ago I filed the sideframes short to get them to fit into the jig. Looking back at the photos it seems like a negligible amount, but perhaps this is payback time - the sandbox is going to look squashed between the steps and front axle. Ah well, nothing I can do now.
I'd already built these steps
I can have the steps in contact with the sideframe, or the footplate, or the bufferbeam. Isolation from all would be ideal but may be difficult. I decide to ensure isolation from the footplate and bufferbeam, so I start with a thin smear of epoxy on the back of the steps, along the sides that may otherwise touch those areas.
The steps have to be fitted below the top of the footplate to ensure that the bottom of the steps extends below the bufferbeam frame.
Yes, unfortunately the footplate does bend up at the end :-(
But the steps are isolated from everything :-)
Top of the steps filled with epoxy and made square with fine wet-and-dry.