Modelling Notes:
Fitting the original style cab to a Hornby® Bulleid Pacific
by Graham R 'Muz' Muspratt


For information on the prototype please visit our Light Pacific section.

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 (it is worth noting that 21C164 and 21C165 were the guinea pigs for the new style cab, in July 1947, and ran for a very short time with a wedge cab with a two pane window arrangement rather than three). As an aside the window frames are wooden on the Light Pacifics but on the Merchant Navies were metal fabrications (requiring complicated machining).

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. 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.

These notes describe how I have converted a number of Hornby® models to the original style cab.


Items required

  • 18-Thou brass sheet
  • Etched Brass original style 2 pane window frames (Jackson Evans)
  • Glazing material (I use 15-thou plasticard)
  • Cab roof shutter (Westward or Albert Goodall in whitemetal)
  • Cab lifting bales from 5-thou by 1/32" brass strip (or old spare etching waste)

Method - body preparation
To remove the body from the chassis hold the locomotive upside down remove the screw located under the front bogie and pull from the front the chassis upwards and forwards. The cab left and right rear spectacle plates are separate mouldings, integral to the side and front window glazing, these are lightly glued to the inside of the cab and are easily removed, after prising off the handrails, by inserting a scalpel blade between the moulding and the inner cab side. As I re-use the rear spectacle plates I cut off the side and front widow glazing from this moulding.

stage 1

I remove the Hornby® cab as follows:

Firstly, 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. This means that the cut across the roof is just clear of the top of the back head moulding. I then file an approximate 18 thou recess in the roof forward of this point for about 3.5mm across the top of the boiler casing (this is easier to understand by looking at the picture below and than to explain), for the front edge of the new cab roof to sit in.

stage 2

First | 2nd | Last

This page was created 18 October 2004

all photographs are copyright Graham R 'Muz' Muspratt.

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