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.
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 They all seemed to differ in detail, and were withdrawn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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
Built from a recast Mike Sharman kit.
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
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
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.
The only 4-4-0 tender engines to run on the broad gauge, ten of
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
Society etched brass kit F007
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.
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.
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
. 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
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.
The trouble with building this model is that there are no
commercially available wheels this large. Kay Butler modelled one of
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.
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).
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
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).
Page updated : 24 Feb 2018