TRANS­FORM dock tanks 2: ‘J70’

Ge­orge Dent and Chris Leigh of­fers simple tweaks to further gild the ‘J70’ lily.

Model Rail (UK) - - Workbench -

Look­ing at old pho­to­graphs of the ‘J70s’, the cab in­te­ri­ors ap­peared cramped even when they were empty. How­ever, adding a set of scale fig­ures re­ally brought home how lit­tle room there was on the real things.

Hardy’s Hob­bies has de­signed a choice of foot­plate fig­ures specif­i­cally to suit the Model Rail ‘J70’ model, sport­ing a va­ri­ety of ap­pro­pri­ate poses. With lean­ing pos­tures and out­stretched arms, each fig­ure stands nicely within the cab con­fines, align­ing with cab con­trols and/or peer­ing around the cab pil­lars.

There’s even a fire­man crouch­ing un­com­fort­ably with a short-handled shovel to reach into the fire­box. Cre­ated us­ing 3D

printed scans of real hu­mans, they’re scaled ac­cu­rately and are clad in re­al­is­tic over­alls and caps.

Avail­able in painted or un­painted form, they’re a per­fect ac­com­pa­ni­ment to a ‘J70’ or other sim­i­lar mo­tive power. And they’re avail­able in other scales too!

The ‘J70s’ were like any other class, and in­di­vid­ual lo­co­mo­tives re­ceived mi­nor mod­i­fi­ca­tions un­der­taken by shed staff, rather than a ma­jor al­ter­ation that was rolled out across the whole fleet dur­ing works over­hauls.

To­wards the end of steam on the Wis­bech & Up­well, sev­eral pho­to­graphs show

No. 68225 at Wis­bech shed and op­er­at­ing on the tramway with­out its side skirts. This would have been late in its ca­reer and pre­sum­ably its skirts had been dam­aged, or pos­si­bly re­moved and not re­placed dur­ing its time at Colch­ester prior to Septem­ber 1951. ‘J70s’ work­ing the var­i­ous docks lines were not re­quired to have the skirts fit­ted and it seems that the shed­mas­ter at Wis­bech was will­ing to ig­nore this as­pect of the tramway reg­u­la­tions late in the ca­reer of the steam lo­co­mo­tives.

No. 68222 was the the last ‘J70’ to work on the Wis­bech & Up­well Tramway and must have been drafted in from Colch­ester or Ip­swich to cover for the fail­ure of both diesel shunters 11101/2 in 1953. It gained no­to­ri­ety when it ran out of wa­ter at Up­well and the crew found that there was no longer a lo­co­mo­tive wa­ter sup­ply there. No doubt fore­warned about the return of steam, the Rev­erends Awdry and Bos­ton were on hand. Awdry dashed home to fetch his hosepipe and saved the day! By this time, No. 68222 had re­ceived three re­place­ment slid­ing win­dows which ap­pear white in pho­to­graphs as the frames were never painted.

For us mod­ellers, it pro­vides the per­fect

ex­cuse to have an un­skirted ‘J70’ with full valve gear on a W&U lay­out. I could not re­sist that op­por­tu­nity and in MR-203, Model Rail pro­vides a ‘J70’ in just the right state and liv­ery. It also has the cou­pling safety chains which the pro­to­type re­tained through­out its ca­reer, the only ‘J70’ to carry them in BR days. There is, how­ever, a lit­tle tweak that you can do to the end doors if you plan to model them open. The doors on No. 68225 did not have the di­ag­o­nal brace which is de­picted on the open door mould­ings supplied with the model. How­ever, the closed door mould­ing is with­out these braces and it would be a simple mat­ter to cut it and adapt it to be in the open po­si­tion.

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