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Posts Tagged ‘Air Smoothed’

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. Complaints were made due to a restricted forward view, not helped by the position, inside the cab, of the vacuum ejector controls, in front of the window on the driver’s side. Therefore 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. This resulted in a slightly smaller side window area which was then fitted with three windows the rear two of which slide behind the front to give in effect the same open window area as the original style cab.

21C102 'Salisbury' with original style cab and short smoke deflectors (brass scratch built cab)

The Hornby Light Pacific models all have the modified cab arrangement which restricts the of prototypes that can be modelled in either Southern or early British Railways Liveries.

21C103 'Plymouth' like 21C102 above with original style cab and short smoke deflectors (SRG whitemetal cab sides)

To suit my own modelling period on Fisherton Sarum of 1946 to 1949 I  have therefore modified a number of my Hornby Bulleid Light Pacifics to  the original style cabs.

s21C148 'Crediton' in early British Railways livery has original style cab and the standard length smoke deflectors (SRG whitemetal cab sides)

This involves cutting of the Hornby cab moulding, quite a daunting task on a £70 / £80 or more model, and replacing with either a scratch built brass cab or utilising replacement cast whitemetal cab sides that are now available from the Southern Railway Group (The production of these was prompted by my original conversion being detailed on the semg site).  After fitting the new cabs I tend to repaint the entire locomotive using either Railmatch or Precision Paints aerosol malachite green and number and lining transfers from the Historical Model Railway Society.

For comparison 34004 'Yeovil' post Locomotive Exchange Trials has a modified wedge or 'V' Cab and extended smoke deflectors.

As well the change in cab styles there also a number of different length smoke deflectors fitted starting with the original short length that then were increased in length to the standard length, whilst the three class members assigned to the Locomotive Exchange Trials in 1948 were all given extended deflectors, which they kept until either withdrawal or rebuilding, Note these three locomotives also received the wedge shaped cab prior tot the trials too).

Further information and a step by step process can be found on the Southern ‘e’ Group (SeMG) site here or my RMweb blog here

Further comparison 34090 'Sir Eustice Missenden' with standard length smoke deflectors and 9' wide wedge shaped cab from new.

Whilst on the subject of cabs it should also be noted that the last 40 built from 34071 to 34110 also had wider 9′ 0″ cabs (wedge shaped from new) instead of the earlier 8’6″ width.

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This is the first in hopefully a series of posts looking at the various items of rolling stock that have and operate on Fisherton Sarum. Over time the intent is that the series will include locomotives, coaching stock and wagons.

First up are Bulleid’s masterpieces the Merchant Navy class in original ‘Air Smoothed’ condition. I am not going to get into discussion about the success or otherwise of the design as plenty has been published elsewhere, but to cover some of the models that I have built / can be seen running on Fisherton Sarum.  All of the Merchant Navy models you see here have been built from, the now discontinued, Millholme Kits and using a few additional castings by the late great Albert Goodall (See my update post about his castings here).

The first of the class 21C1 ‘Channel Packet’ was introduced in February 1941. Being under war time conditions the class was even promoted for justification reasons as a mixed traffic locomotives! The whole of the class were named after then famous shipping lines.  The original style of “air smoothed” (rather than streamlined) casing is shown in the picture here of a model,  by Stan Chandler, of 21C1 in as built conditions, so in reality a little early for my usual modeling period on Fisherton Sarum (but she does occasionally make an appearance). Soon after introduction it was apparent that a better form of smoke deflection was required to improved the drivers view, already restricted enough by the casing, and after various trials changes were made and the more familiar style of smoke deflectors were fitted by 1944/5.

In contrast to the model of 21C1 in original condition, 21C6 represents the period that I model i.e. 1946 to 1949, still with original style cab, standard smoke deflectors and all other fairings in place. 21C6 being one of the first series MN’s had the sweep to the cab front, distinctive curved fairings in front of the cylinders and the side casing made from limpet board, hence the prominent rib horizontally along the middle of the side. She is paired with an original style 5000 gallon tender. She has been finished using Railmatch post war malachite green, lining and decals from the HMRS and nameplates from Fox Transfers. I have also fitted a Fox Transfers Atlantic Coast Express headboard for good measure.

The second series 21C11 to 19 were introduced between December 1944 and June 1945 this series such as my example of 21C14 had detail difference from the first 10 with changes made to the shape of the casing including; a flat front to the cab and a more angled and slightly higher bottom body side edge, exposing more of the driving wheels and was coupled to a revised larger 5100 gallon tender.  She is seen here complete with the Devon Belle headboard and wing plates from Fox Transfers (although I have some doubt over the correct size of their wing plates as they seem slightly too small to me.

The third series introduced shortly after Nationalisation in 1948 and 1949  were numbered in the New British railways numbering sequence from new, 35021-35030 and had modified V shaped cab from new (that was also being retro fitted to all members of the class to give improved driver forward visibility), were even more angular in the bodyside around the driving wheels and were paired with an even larger 6000 gallon tender. 35023 is pictured left while 35021 is currently still on my workbench. My model of 35026 in the later Brunswick Green livery can often be seen running on the High Wycombe and District MRS’s layout Hinton Parva.

Further information about the real Bulleid Merchant Navy Pacifics can be found on the excellent SeMG website here. 

Another reason for choosing 21C6 as the basis for my model is that was one of the few members of the class to be allocated to one shed only throughout here life which was in her case Salisbury, which is of course the inspiration for Fisherton Sarum. I am also a member of the of the 35006 Locomotive society who are very close to getting her back to working order and further information about the society can be found here or clicking on the menu bar above.

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