Train Simulator (TS) 2021 developer Bossman Games are well-known for their highly advanced steam locomotive packs for the simulator. Most of their add-ons are LMS loco designs but recently they have branched out into the Southern Region, and one Southern locomotive pack they have produced is of the Rebuilt Bulleid Light Pacifics, one of their most comprehensive packs to date.
The Rebuilt Light Pacifics and the Train Simulator pack
The Bulleid Pacifics were divided into two classes. These were the Merchant Navys and the Light Pacifics, and we have covered both versions of the Merchant Navy class already. Both classes were originally built with air-smoothed casings before British Railways rebuilt the engines, and this pack is a representation of all 60 of the Light Pacifics that were rebuilt. Unlike the Merchant Navys, not all of the Light Pacifics were rebuilt before the end of British steam.
The class was divided into two subcategories, though they were the same engine class. These were the West Countrys, named after places in the British West Country, and the Battle of Britains. These were named after Royal Air Force airfields, RAF commanders, and aircraft from the Battle of Britain.
The Bossman pack, as mentioned, includes the 60 rebuilt engines, in British Railway’s green – both in a clean and weathered livery – and an air-braked example to represent No.34046 “Braunton” and No.34027 “Taw Valley”, two of the preserved members of the class. Three tender types are included, which are 4,500 gallons, 5,250 gallons, and 5,500 gallons. An array of 36 headboards is included, along with custom disc and lamp arrangements, and the usual highly advanced Bossman Games scripting is also a feature, as are authentic sounds recorded from real Bulleid Pacifics. A selection of scenarios and quick drives also comes with the package.
Driving the Rebuilt Light Pacifics
Just like the other versions of the Bulleid Pacifics, the Light Pacifics are a powerful class of engine that are just as light on their feet as the Merchant Navys. This is simulated with the realistic adhesion physics from Bossman. Plenty of members of the class – 30 to be exact – have been preserved, so there is a lot of real-world data to obtain to allow them to be as accurate as possible.
As with the other Bulleid packs from Bossman, you don’t want to be too aggressive on the power initially, but all will be fine as you start to get up to speed. The reverser, a regular screw-link, can be wound back as you start to pick up speed to shorten the piston stroke and reduce steam consumption. The Light Pacifics might be slightly smaller, but they are still very free steaming engines, so will have no problems maintaining a high boiler pressure if you fire it correctly. Auto fireman is an option on these engines as well, but you will still need to tend to the injectors yourself.
Light Pacific detailing
As with the other Bulleid packs, the detailing on these locomotives is superb. The nameplates in particular are very impressive. Most of the West Countrys feature crests of the areas that they were named after, and these are faithfully reproduced, as are the RAF logos and crests on the Battle of Britain locomotives. All of the lubricators and pipework has been beautifully recreated, with the lubricators moving in motion and other features, such as the damper and brake blocks, fully animated as well.
In terms of texture, these locomotives are just as well done as the other packs. The weathered examples are a particular highlight of the package, with this being a condition that many of these engines found themselves in during the latter years of their British Railway careers.
Highly accurate sounds
As with the other Bulleid packs, the sounds are accurately recorded from real life Bulleid Pacifics. The sounds for this pack are from preserved members of the Light Pacific classes and are just as accurate as the Merchant Navy sounds. That distinctive Bulleid three-cylinder beat can be heard clearly, and in the cab it is just as noisy at high speed as you would expect. Short and long whistle blasts are included as well, as well as ejector sounds, the sounds of shovelling on the footplate, and braking effects.
Knocking it out of the park again
Bossman Games really did knock it out of the park once again with this package. Priced at £19.99, this pack represents great value for money as a faithful representation of one of the most common types of Pacific class engine seen on Britain’s railways. Highly accurate and incredibly well-detailed, this is another five out of five from Bossman Games.
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