The Great Western Bulldog class is one of many 4-4-0s from that railway - every one of them handsome engines, and good performers in full size and model scales. The Bulldog was famously designed in 5in gauge by both Keith Wilson and by Pete Rich. And who would argue with either of those giants of the genre. Keith’s design has been available since the late 1970s and drawings and castings are still available. All of Pete’s designs are now with Polly engineering.

The main Bulldog featured here is under construction by Jake Sutton and was shown at the Midlands Model Engineering Exhibition in 2014.

The Bulldog was introduced in 1898. They were a light multi-purpose engine designed by William Dean. The first Bulldogs were rebuilt from the earlier Duke class which had wooden bogie and tender wheels, and more were built up to 1906. Later, still more were built as the Bird class in 1909/10. A number of Bulldogs were rebuilt as Earls (known as ‘Dukedogs’) in the 1930s and some survived into the 1960s. No 9017 Earl of Berkeley is preserved on the Bluebell Line. Dukedogs comprised Duke class boilers fitted onto Bulldog  class frames - the last locomotives to use outside frames.

The result is a wide array of variations over the years. Modellers beware the rivet counters!

Different frames, wheels and boilers. With or without domes. Then there are the close cousins, the Atbaras, Flowers, Badminton, Counties, Cities plus assorted rebuilds. Fortunately, there is a wealth of published material to  help the model builder. The result of all the research and building complexity is well worth the effort.

Martin Evans’ superb completed Bulldog can be seen at the end of this article, along with another chassis under construction by Chris Orchard.

Photos below are of the chassis under construction by Chris Orchard.
And Martin Evans’ completed Bombay.