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Blog- Buckjumper's Blog - Ex-GER J65 no.8211

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J65 no 8211 was the penultimate survivor of twenty locos. Built as GER no.155 in 1889, it spent much of its life alongside several others of the class working the Blackwall line from Fenchurch Street (hence the class nickname 'Blackwall Tanks') until rusticated by the LNER in the late 30s. It then spent the rest of its life vacillating between Ipswich and Norwich, with spells at Cambridge, Colchester, Yarmouth and Yarmouth Beach until withdrawn in November 1953. For almost all of its life it ran as a 2-4-0T with the front coupling rods removed, remained solely Westinghouse braked throughout its existence, and somewhat unusually, retained the old GER wooden roof with low, single arc profile front and rear weatherboards.




The model is largely scratchbuilt - I have more than a dozen 'buckjumper' kits, with etchings and castings in a pile from which I can grab what I need to make any given loco, however the J65s are sufficiently different in most dimensions from the larger J66-69 classes that little was scavenged for use here. All the GER 0-6-0T classes shared one diagram of boiler and I had a spare from a J67, which was useful, and the castings came from Connoisseur, Gibson, Ragstone, CPL and Laurie Griffin. The wheels are AGH, the gearbox an ABC three stage spur & helical gear set, and split axle pickups are employed.




The may seem to be anachronistic with the wartime NE on the tank sides and the BR number and shedplate on the smokebox door, but chronologically it was possible. Numberplates were introduced to the class in 1948, and 8211 remained in the wartime NE livery until March 1951 when it received the early 15½" emblem. Photographs of bucks in this period show this and even stranger combinations - with this species I learned a long time ago to never say never as someone will soon produce a photograph!




In this period the smokebox of 8211 was flush riveted along the front seam but had snaphead rivets along the rear.




The old District plate of 1915, located under the cab roof on the rear weatherboard, was removed from most locos in the 30s, but 8211 was one of the few to retain the plate. This may be because the weatherboard never received the extension to raise the hight so that an LNER steel roof could be fitted.




As usual, nothing looks more like glass than glass and my usual 0.13mm microscope slides look the part. The cab is fully detailed with all the crew's paraphernalia.




Tank top clutter and the inevitable pool of water. Boiler cladding bands are 2 thou strip which are within a gnat's of being to scale. Nothing looks worse in 7mm than boilers without cladding bands...except perhaps boilers with grossly overscale cladding bands!




It's unlikely the J65s ever had their cabs painted cream - by this time they were far too lowly, however, it does make it easier to see the detail inside.




At the end of the day....


In profile they were quite a handsome little class of engines, and it's a shame they had all gone before the preservation movement got into gear as they were the perfect lightly-laid branchline, go anywhere loco.


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