Talking Stock #35 Original Merchant Navy pacifics @Hornby initial variations in detail

As promised in my recent  Warley 2016 update post  this post is about the first four original Air Smoothed Bulleid Merchant Navy pacifics being released by Hornby due in the first quarter 2017. The main purpose of this post is to advise the exact condition and dates applicable to all these four versions which I hope will assist those wishing to purchase the correct version for their time period or those potentially wanting to renumber to other members of the class. General details of the 3 distinct Series of Merchant Navy pacifics can be found on my talking Stock #1 post here along with some additional information on the initial liveries and tenders for the some of the Series Three Merchant Navy pacifics on my Talking Stock # 24 post here.

Hornby livery samples of 21C1 and 21C3 together

So far as you can see below Hornby are releasing two Series One versions in early 1941 and 1941 to 1943 condition respectfully and two Series Three versions in early 1950’s condition. It is assumed that other style Series One, Three and hopefully Series Two versions and liveries will follow in subsequent years.

The details of the initial four releases of these models due are as follows:

21C1 ‘Channel Packet’ as modelled by Hornby in very early condition. Note this does not have the supplied detail pack added yet, such as cylinder drain pipes and steps etc.

R3434 21C1 ‘Channel Packet’ only represents her very early condition from when first introduced in February 1941 and May 1941. She has the original front end design known as ‘Widows peak’ without smoke deflectors, the area around the chimney filled as first designed and the sliding chimney cover, that was supposedly to be used to cover the opening. The Smokebox door ‘Southerm’ roundel is the inverted  horseshoe (later changed to a full circle with addition of the engine build date due to complaints that such an inverted horseshoe was a sign of bad luck). She also is fitted with the cast gunmetal number and ‘Southern’ plates that she carried until renumbering to 35001 in September 1949 and has the front number plate position being on the sloping section. when not in steam. It should also be noted in this condition she had silver coloured cab window frames and only had front steps fixed to the front right buffer when looking at the front rather then both sides.
By May 1941 step cut outs  were added to the sloping face and the lamp irons and electric lamps moved to just above the vertical face on the front hence also the relocation of the cast number plate to the vertical face.
It should be noted that whilst number 21C2 also carried the gunmetal style number and ‘Southern’ plates until renumbering in January 1950, she did not have the same chimney and cover arrangement as 21C1, as a greater opening was present around the chimney.

Hornby  21C3 ‘Royal Mail’ in 1941 condition. Note this also does not have the supplied detail pack added yet.

R3435 No. 21C3 ‘Royal Mail’ is as introduced in September 1941 condition again with the ‘widows peak’ style front end without smoke deflectors but with the opening around the chimney and the slot in the front face above the smokebox. She was painted in wartime black livery in May 1943 and gained the front end modification in September 1944. Numbers 21C3 to 10 of the first series of 10 differed from the rest as the side casing was made from Limpet board material to reduce wight and are identifiable by the overlapping seam running horizontally along the side, the position of middle yellow line when in malachite green livery was adjusted to run along the top of this seam.

Of the remaining 7 series one versions they received wartime black livery followed by the front end modifications as follows:
21C4 ‘Cunard White Star’ – to black July 1943, front end modification January 1944.
21C5 ‘Canadian Pacific’ – to black March 1942, front end modification March 1944.
21C6 ‘Peninsular & Oriental S. N. Co’ – to black May 1942, front end modification April 1944.
21C7 ‘Aberdeen Commonwealth’ – introduced in black June 1942, front end modification August 1944.
21C8 ‘Orient Line’  – introduced in black June 1942, front end modification June 1943.
21C9 ‘Shaw Savill’  – introduced in black June 1942, front end modification June 1943.
21C10 ‘Blue Star’  – introduced in black July 1942, front end modification April 1943.

This gives some options for renaming 21C3 into other members of the class and simply repainting into unlined wartime black if you model prior to August 1944.

A computer rendered image of R3436 35028 ‘Clan Line’

R3436 No. 35028 ‘Clan Line from the Third series of number 35021 to 35030 (being introduced post 1948 they never carried the Southern 21Cx numbers), is being released in BR Brunswick Green with early crest. She will be modelled without the fairings between the front of the cylinders and the buffer beam and with safety valves in the forward position representing the condition she ran in between June 1953 and December 1954 when the safety vales were resited to just in front of the fire box.

A computer rendered image of R3382TTS 35023 ‘Holland Afrika Line’ spot the differences between this and 35028

R3382TTS No. 35023 Holland-Afrika Line’ is also being released in BR Brunswick Green, early crest and will come fitted with Hornby’s DCC TTS Sound. She will have the fairings between the front of the cylinders and the buffer beam and with safety valves in the forward position representing the condition she ran in between gaining Brunswick green in March 1952 and the fairings being removed in  May 1953.

Details of all ten series three versions, to assist with any potential renumbering without repainting are as follows:
35021 ‘New Zealand Line’ – to Brunswick Green, from blue in February 1952, lost fairings in August 1953 and safety vales resited in October 1954.
35022 ‘Holland America Line’ –  to Brunswick Green from blue in February 1952, lost fairings in May 1953 and safety vales resited in June 1956.
35023 ‘Holland-Afrika Line’ – to Brunswick Green from malachite green in March 1952, lost fairings in May 1953 and safety vales resited in October 1954.
35024 ‘East Asiatic Company’ – to Brunswick Green from blue in June 1951, lost fairings in May 1954 and safety vales resited in November 1952.
35025 ‘Brocklebank Line’ – to Brunswick Green from blue in July 1952, lost fairings in February 1955 and safety vales were not resited until rebuilding in December 1956
35026 ‘Lamport & Holt Line’ – to Brunswick Green from blue in June 1952, lost fairings in January 1954 and safety vales resited in January 1955.
35027 ‘Port Line’ – to Brunswick Green from blue in November 1953, lost fairings in November 1953 and safety vales resited in November 1954.
35028 ‘Clan Line’ – to Brunswick Green from blue in June 1953, lost fairings in June 1953 and safety vales resited in December 1954.
35029 ‘Ellerman Lines’ – to Brunswick Green from blue in July 1952, lost fairings in July 1952 and safety vales resited in December 1954.
35030 ‘Elder-Dempster Lines’ – to Brunswick Green from blue in May 1953, lost fairings in May 1953 and safety vales resited in October 1954.

As stated above I hope that this information is of use for any readers wanting to either understand the relevant time period for the condition of each of the four Hornby releases and or assists with choosing possible candidates for renumbering and naming, so get pre-ordering now, you will not be disappointed by the model, not long to wait for them to arrive now!

8 thoughts on “Talking Stock #35 Original Merchant Navy pacifics @Hornby initial variations in detail”

  1. While I have a reasonable library of books on the Bulleid 4-6-2s This is an excellent one stop source of information on the early Merchant Navy Class.
    Thank you Graham for taking the time to expand upon the livery details on these particular locomotives.

  2. Graham, thanks for the article I look forward to my 35028 models and to renaming one or two of course!
    I do hope Hornby don’t leave the 21C11-20 series too long, to my mind these are the neatest looking of the originals. Your comment: ‘hopefully Series Two versions and liveries will follow’ is a little concerning, surely Hornby have developed tooling for all three series?!

    Glenn

    1. grahammuz – A railway modeller with a keen insterest in all things Southern Railway especially the 1946 to 1949 period. I can often be seen on the exhibition circuit with my Layout Fisherton Sarum or assiting MIke Wild the Editor of Hornby Magazine with his layouts at shows. I am also long time member of the High Wycombe and District Model Railway Society
      grahammuz says:

      Hi Glenn

      There is of course a difference between completing all research and design work and actually releasing funds for all tooling variations at the same time. From what I understand they have accommodated within the so far produced tooling to cover other variations but additional tooling would be required to supplement the current tooling to produce other variations, if that makes sense.

  3. Thank you Graham for posting this. The history of the MNs is long and involved! I’m hoping that a future livery variation will be BR blue my favourite colour on a spamcan

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