Talking Stock #7 Bulleid Light Pacific original style cabs

Further to my post Talking Stock #4 Cabs and Deflectors, Bulleid Light Pacific variations about the many Bulleid Light Pacific class variations this post provides expanded information on the modifications I make to represent the original style cab as Hornby have yet to do a Bulleid Light Pacific body variation in this style.

Here is 21C102 “Salisbury” fitted with both the original style cab and also modified to include the short smoke deflectors that were as originally fitted to the first engines of the class when built.

To recap, when first introduced 21C101 to 21C163 had the original Bulleid style cab with narrow front lookout and two large side windows, the rear one of which slid forwards behind the front. Starting in July 1947 the cabs were modified, with a wedge shaped front (sometimes referred to a ‘V’ shaped) giving a larger front window area, it took until December 1955 to complete the modification to all.

Compare the cab with that fitted to 21C151 “Winston Churchill” which has the later modified wedge shaped cab and the standard length smoke deflectors.

As I model the period from 1946 to 1949 many of the Light Pacifics in service during that time would still have had the original style cab.

I have modified a number of the Hornby models so far by either fitting a  brass cab made from scratch or using the white metal castings from the Southern Railway Group replacing the existing Hornby version. [Update 14/07/2020: excellent Nickel Silver etchings based on my scratch brass cabs are available from RT Models.]

The original Hornby cab removed

Both methods require the original cab to be removed. Using a fine razor saw, I cut the base of cab off flush with the cab floor, the joint of the new cab here will be hidden once painted as it will coincide with the edge of the lining. Then, again with a fine razor saw, I cut vertically slightly to the rear of the existing cab front, finishing with a file, and then cut across the roof about 2mm back from the row of rivets in line with the cab side front.

The Scratchbuilt cab in place. The front of the cab is simply made from Milliput filler.

Firstly scratch brass cab, I make new cab sides and roof as one piece from 18-thou brass (or use the Nickel Silver etchings from RT Models. The new sides need to be curved to the correct profile and then a tighter curve blending into the cab roof. I use the profile of the tender side / rear spectacle plate as a match for the cab sides and followed the curve of the original Hornby cab for the side to roof transition curve and roof profile itself.  Windows frames are from Jackson Evans. Once the new cab is glued into place, I fitted a white metal cab roof shutter (Westward) and representations of the cab lifting bales bent into the correct shape from 5-thou 1/32″ brass strip. The ends of the rear cab overhang are bent downwards slightly as per the prototype.

The SRG white sides fixed in place.

The second method and the one I tend to use the most now are the cast white metal sides from the Southern Railway Group. These are supposed to replace the whole depth of the side of the cab but cutting the whole side off makes it a little tricky to keep the cab square on reassembly due to the weakening effect it has on the original Hornby body, I therefore keep the bottom edge of the cab side and cut the castings to suit.

s21C148 ‘Crediton’ as modified using the SRG castings

The original Hornby rear spectacle plates (and handrails) are reused and glued into place and any slight gap between them and the new cab side filled with Milliput. As these are painted clear plastic the actual window area will need to be masked prior to repainting the model.
Using these methods I have been able to add a number of Bulleid Light Pacifics to my fleet in their original condition to enable a number of the prototypes variations to be seen on Fisherton Sarum.

10 thoughts on “Talking Stock #7 Bulleid Light Pacific original style cabs

  1. Graham,

    I did a similar job using a spare Hornby cab and plasticard to extend the area around and in front of the cab windows; not for the faint hearted(!). However it did look the part, but probably not worth all the effort as the customer wanted the loco (21C101) painted wartime black!

    I’ve got an SRG original cab here, but thought it rather too basic for my standards, something in etched brass would be better or maybe a resin version. I’m sure there would be enough of us interested for someone to produce a really good example.
    I’m afraid I have no hope that Hornby will ever produce the original cab.


    1. Hi Glenn, I agree that the SRG castings need a little work but I think the end result is OK in my eyes, I have done a couple with them now, and much easier than my scrachbuilt brass version. An etch might not be a bad idea. I have a template drawn up for my brass one but would need refining on CADS before an etch could be produced. I might have a word with Robert ar RT Models about it.
      I have seen a couple of Light Pacifics done (obviously fictitiously) in black now and although I like locos in black, I have a Merchant Navy on the workbench at the moment that will be outshopped in black, it just does not look right on the Light Pacific.
      Part of me is happy that Hornby wont do the original style cab as I like my stock to be different…

  2. Graham, Credit to you with CREDITON, looks good to me, and thanks for the article. Regards AJ.

    1. Thanks Alan, I have been a bit cheeky with Crediton as she is in 1946 condition on one side, unnamed with short smoke deflectors and as seen here on the other in early 1948 condition with the ‘s’ prefix, named and standard length deflectors. After all you can only see one side at once…

  3. Graham, please read my bit on Hornby Malachite Green in RMweb re matching paints.Hoping to see you sometime this year although Enid has not come to terms with the loss of our daughter at all well. Myself, I am pressing on with “Somerscombe” and am on the lookout for a Hornby SIR EUSTACE MISSENDEN now that I have discovered that he was born on March 3rd, the same as myself, kind regards “Lyndonsdad1″nn

    1. Alan

      I did see your comment regarding Gloy paint on RMweb. There are a couple of potential pitfalls here, firstly Gloy is no longer available and while it may have been a match for the old Margate built Bulleid Pacific’s in 1981 the latest China built version is a slightly different shade again.
      Horny Sir Eustace’s do come up on ebay from time to time so worth looking out for one on there.

      It would be good to see you at a show sometime, as can be seen from the exhibition diary page on this blog I have three shows lined up this year with Fisherton Sarum.

  4. Graham,Can you tell me if the SRG original cabs are still available and approx. cost please as I cannot find them on theSRG website as I have a couple of GENESIS body kits that I would like to attach them to? All the very best from Lyndonsdad

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