Broad Gauge Locomotive Models


A small selection of nameplates (21) are available from Modelmaster Jackson Evans. (2135 Magpie, 2138 Stromboli, Abbot, Bee, Bithon, Brigand, Brunel, Bulkeley, Comet, Dog Star, Dragon, Europa, Hedley, Leo, Minos, North Star, Osiris, Ovid, Plato, Polar Star, Stewart)

Custom etched nameplates are available from Narrow Planet, with a lead time of around 6-8 weeks. Most locomotives would use the "Serif B" style rectangular plates (formerly known as GWR B), but as they are custom plates they are quite happy to do specials. I'm not sure if they can do curved plates as for the Victoria and Rover classes. For 4mm scale the correct size would be about 2.3mm for the boiler mounted plates, and around 2.0mm for the frame mounted plates as on the Star and Leo classes.

Star class 2-2-2 Locomotive

GWR broad gauge North Star 2-2-2 locomotive drawing
GWR broad gauge North Star 2-2-2 locomotive model

North Star was the GWR's first locomotive, delivered in 1837. It had originally been built by R.Stephenson & Co. for the 5'6" gauge New Orleans Railway. It was easily the most reliable of the company's early engines, and a further 11 were ordered, being delivered between 1839-1841. They all seemed to differ in detail, and were withdrawn between 1864 and 1871.

This was my first attempt at scratchbuilding a broad gauge locomotive, and at the time, fretting out the frames defeated me (or rather a method of marking out which would survive being fretted out defeated me). The fittings were turned up on the lathe, and are quite nice, so this project may be resurected.

Rebuilt Star class 2-2-2-2T Locomotive

GWR broad gauge Red Star 2-2-2-2T locomotive drawing

Six of the Star class engines were later converted to tank engines, being given a longer boiler and an additional pair of front carrying wheels. There is some doubt over the alterations to North Star, and it may have been given a smaller tank than the others and kept it's original frames and tender.

Bright Star
North Star
Polar Star
Red Star
Rising Star
Shooting Star

Built from a variant of the old Mike Sharman kits available on ebay. Advertised as Red Star, this would be the most difficult loco to model as it was fitted with smaller front carrying wheels, so would involve moving the exleboxes and filling in the splashers.

Firefly class 2-2-2 Locomotive

GWR broad gauge Firefly class 2-2-2 locomotive Gorgon drawing
GWR broad gauge Firefly class 2-2-2 locomotive model

Built from one of the old Mike Sharman whitemetal kits as available occasionally on ebay. These are pretty obviously recast using original parts as a master, and so the castings are not as crisp as the originals, and there are several voids in the castings that need filling. They are missing some of the parts (clack valves), and the tenders supplied are not the ones originally supplied (they seem to be mastered from the tender of the Keyser Rover model). Still, they are decent value given the silly money that real Sharman kits go for. Wheels are from Alan Gibson, with the crankpin boss removed from the driving wheels by careful filing. The original design had compensation, with the wheels running directly in the whitemetal frames, and the tender resting on the rear of the loco to give additional weight on the single wheel driver. But this model has engine and tender frames scratchbuilt from 18 thou nickel-silver, with High Level hornblocks. The ride height needs some more tweaking - it runs a little high at the moment.

Sun class 2-2-2T Locomotive

GWR broad gauge rebuilt Sun class 2-2-2T  locomotive drawing
GWR broad gauge rebuilt Sun class 2-2-2T locomotive model

Another of the ex Mike Sharman ebay kits. The photos on ebay show what seems to be a decent kit, but the parts supplied are not as illustrated, the bunker being a piece of bent up brass sheet of the wrong shape, and the sideframes also incorrect, being designed for 7 foot wheels rather than the correct 6 foot wheels. Looks like a rather crude bodge to the firefly kit which will require a lot of work to bring up to a decent standard. At a minimum, the small splashers for the carrying wheels need removing, and smaller splashers are needed for the driving wheels.

Leo class 2-4-0T Locomotive

GWR Broad Gauge Leo Class Locomotive Drawing

Built from a recast Mike Sharman kit.

Hercules class 0-6-0 Locomotive

GWR broad gauge Hercules class 0-6-0 locomotive Tityos drawing

Mike Sharman made a kit of this locomotive, but I was never able to obtain one. This model uses a Mikes Models stationary engine kit (a derivative of the Sharman locos) with a scratchbuilt chassis and sideframes.

Banking class 0-6-0T Locomotive

GWR broad gauge Banking class 0-6-0T locomotive model

The Banking class consisted of 4 engines built in 1852 and 1854, and the last was withdrawn in 1889. This is built from the Broad Gauge Society FL02 Banking/Goods loco etched brass kit, and has still to have motor/gearbox and pickups added. There are an awfull lot of optional parts to cover the many variations of these locomotives. A difficult model on account of the large number of incredibly fiddly parts and the fact that it is not possible to separate the body and chassis as in a conventional locomotive kit. Wheels are from Sharman Wheels. Nameplates are by Jackson Evans.

Waverley Class 4-4-0 Locomotive

GWR broad gauge Waverley class 4-4-0 locomotive Lalla Rookh drawingGWR broad gauge Waverley class 4-4-0 locomotive model

The only 4-4-0 tender engines to run on the broad gauge, ten of these were built in 1855, and they lasted until 1876. This is built from profile milled frames by IKB Models, and will have smokebox, boiler and firebox from the Broad Gauge Society banking loco kit. The tender is Broad Gauge Society etched brass kit F007

Rover class 2-2-2-2 Locomotive

GWR broad gauge Rover class 2-2-2-2 locomotive model
GWR broad gauge Rover class 2-2-2-2 locomotive model

The classic broad gauge locomotive.  Officially rebuilds of the earlier Iron Duke class, but actually new engines, 24 of these were built between 1871 and 1888. This kit was originally produced by Keyser back in 1981 as part of the 'Milestones' range, until Ks demise in 1986. The Milestones range was purchased by IKB Models in 1993, who designed a new compensated chassis with tender drive. I have the tender and loco chassis, but unfortunately Kay Butler retired before I managed to purchase a loco body. This kit is now owned by the Broad Gauge Society, who plan to release it again, at which point I should be able to finish the model.

Convertible 3501 Class 2-4-0T Locomotive

GWR broad gauge 3501 class 2-4-0T convertible locomotive model GWR broad gauge 3501 class 2-4-0T convertible locomotive model

The newest Broad Gauge Society etched brass loco kit. This was supposed to have been a simple to build kit, suitable for beginners, but unfortunately it has fallen far short of this goal. Some peculiar design (to be polite), cryptic instructions, under-etching and some truly appalling quality lost wax brass castings, ensure that all but the most determined beginners will fail to complete this. Still some details and the cab fittings to add and the chassis needs pickups.

Armstrong convertible 'Buffalo' Class 0-6-0T Locomotive

GWR broad gauge early Buffalo class 0-6-0T locomotive model
GWR broad gauge early Buffalo class 0-6-0T locomotive model

Broad gauge versions of Armstrong's  standard tank engines, ten of these were built in 1876, and a further 5 in 1878. Thirty five were also converted from narrow gauge between 1884 and 1888. This model represents one of the very early engines as illustrated in the RCTS 'Locomotives of the Great Western Railway  Pt2' Book Fig B93. It has larger sandboxes, and only a weatherboard rather than a cab.

This model is built from the Alan Gibson kit, heavily modified. The kit has a 3 course tank which has had the detail filed off and an overlay of 5 thou brass with the detail embossed to represent a 6 course tank . A new footplate and 'wavy' valances are from 15 thou brass. The chimney was turned up on the lathe, but uses the base from the kit. The weatherboard is a cut down version of the kit cab, and the brakes and sandboxes are from odd offcuts. This is driven on the rear axle by a Mashima 1420 motor mounted vertically in the firebox using a High Level Roadrunner 54:1 gearbox. Numberplates are from 247 Developments.

A second loco was built in later condition using some of the 'alternate' parts in the kit, a scratchbuilt chassis and an extra tank moulding which Alan very kindly supplied. This is however still incomplete.

GWR broad gauge late Buffalo class 0-6-0T locomotive model

Bristol & Exeter Railway 4-2-4T 9ft Single

The trouble with building this model is that there are no commercially available wheels this large. Kay Butler modelled one of these years ago by turning up perspex discs and fretting out the spokes. I doubt my ability to make a decent job in this manner, so I have designed a wheel in Gmax to be 3D printed in PLA or ABS. As the wheel was flangeless, the lack of a steel tyre should not be a problem (I hope). I have now printed an initial batch of wheels on my Prusa I3 printer at a fairly coarse 0.4mm resolution, and some of these have been cleaned up and mounted by BGS member Douglas Johnson for use on his scratchbuilt model.

Bristol & Exeter 9foot wheel design in Gmax
Bristol & Exeter 9foot wheel 3D printed 3D printed Bristol & Exeter 9foot wheel mounted on axle

South Devon Railway  0-4-0WT Tiny

SDR broad gauge 0-4-0WT locomotive Tiny model

Tiny was a  vertical boilered locomotive built in 1868 for the South Devon Railway's Sutton Harbour Branch in Plymouth. It was withdrawn in 1883 for use as a stationary engine at Newton Abbot Works. In 1927 it was put on display on the platform of Newton Abbot station, and more recently has been moved to the railway museum at Buckfastleigh. It is the only surviving broad gauge engine in existence (Firefly and Iron Duke being replicas).

There have been several static models of Tiny, but to my knowledge no-one has motorised one, so this was an attempt to produce such a loco. It was scratchbuilt from brass. Boiler detail, cylinders and pistons still to be added. Powered by a Mashima 1015 motor mounted horizontally under the footplate and using a spud gearset driving both axles. It is compensated using the worms as pivots. Wheels are Alan Gibson 12mm wagon wheels jig drilled to insert crankpins. Nameplates custom etched by Narrow Planet (Serif B style, 1.5mm size).

South Devon Railway 4-4-0T Heron

SDR broad gauge 4-4-0T locomotive Heron model and coach
SDR broad gauge 4-4-0T locomotive Heron model

This loco and it's sister Magpie were originally sidetanks built in 1861 by Sharp, Stewart & Co. for the Carmarthen & Cardigan Railway. They were sold to the South Devon Railway in 1872 where  they were rebuilt with 900 gallon saddletanks. Heron lasted to the end of the broad gauge in 1892, whilst Magpie was withdrawn in 1889.

Scratchbuilt from 15thou brass sheet. Seen here with an SDR 2nd class coach scratchbuilt from plasticard. Driven on the front coupled axle by a Mashima 1420 mounted horizontally in the firebox through a High Level Roadrunner 54:1 gearbox. Nameplates custom etched by Narrow Planet (Serif B style, 2mm size). It still needs some of the detail on the bunker (beading, handrails and tool hooks) finishing.

South Devon Railway 4-4-0T Rocket

Built from the BGS FL01 'Corsair' locomotive kit, with scratchbuilt brakegear and cutouts for the clack valves at the front of the tank added to represent one of the first batch of SDR passenger locomotives in early condition, before the replacement of the 'wavy' bogie valances. It uses Sharman wheels, and a 1620 motor mounted at about 45 degrees in the firebox driving the rear wheelset through a London Road Models gearbox and 40:1 gears. This is probably the easiest currently available broad gauge locomotive kit, but not simple on account of the tight clearances around the wheels and splashers. The front bogie spring required considerable thining to allow the bogie to pivot. Nameplates custom etched by Narrow Planet (Serif B style, 2mm size).

SDR broad gauge 4-4-0T locomotive Rocket model
SDR broad gauge 4-4-0T locomotive Rocket

Page updated : 24 Feb 2018