Broad Gauge Wheels

It is not generally possible to use 00 'scale' wheels to model the broad gauge, as the over scale treads and flanges will not fit within the very limited clearances available. This limits the choice of wheels that can be used, as Ultrascale are only available to order with a huge lead time, and Sharman Wheels are no longer available, having disappeared into the Phoenix Precision Paints 'black hole'. Unless you can aquire second hand product, Alan Gibson is the only option. The Broad Gauge Society can supply a very limited range of wheels (2) at a premium price.

Track Gauge
Back to Back
Tyre Width
2.0mm (max)
Pinpoint axle length
35.3mm (BGS ones nominal 35mm)

Axle lengths for Gibson Wheels

Alan Gibson driving and bogie wheels are supplied with 2mm diameter(bogie) or 1/8" diameter(driving) axles for 18.83mm gauge (assuming you have the correct profile wheels), which will need to be replaced for broad gauge purposes. 2mm and 1/8 " silver steel rod is available from Eileens Emporium, eBay etc. It is hard to cut - use a junior hacksaw; or easier - a slitting disc in a mini-drill.

The axle length given for the outside crank wheelsets is for a scale dimension. As the Alan Gibson cranks are vastly overscale in thickness, the axle lengths will need increasing, or the cranks thinned to be able to clear the footplate.

4842C - 3'6" dia
4847NW - 3'11 dia 12 spoke
G4863 - 5'2 1/2" dia 16 spoke OC
4872W - 6'0 dia 20 spoke
4884 - 7'0 dia 22 spoke

Constructing a Pinpoint Wheelset

When I first started broad gauge modelling, pinpoint axles were not available (out of stock with the BGS for years), so I had to make my own. I turned down some steel rod in the lathe, and the result worked (sort of), but I had trouble with the rod flexing while machining the ends, and making the pinpoints off centre, which introduced wheel wobble. More recently I figured out a much easier method, which does not require the use of a lathe.

In addition to a P4 gauge pinpoint wheelset, you will require some 2mm inside diameter brass tube from KS or similar (available on eBay). Just cut the existing wheelset in half, no need to remove the wheels from the axle - it doesn't need to be precise. Then cut a 27mm length of the brass tube using your back to back gauge as a guide (cut overlength and file back to be the same width as your gauge). Now just superglue the 2 half wheelsets into the ends of the tube.

BG pinpoint wheelset 1

BG pinpoint wheelset 2

BG pinpoint wheelset 3

3D printed wheels

Some 3D models I have designed. Licensed for personal use only :

9 foot diameter wheel for Bristol & Exeter Railway Pearson 4-2-4WT

Tyre outside radius 4' 6"  Interpolation 25

Tyre thickness 2.6", inside radius 4' 3.4"

Tyre width 6"

Hub radius 9.5"

Hub width 6"

Axle hole radius 4.762" (1/8" * 76.2 / 2)

Spokes 2" wide 5" deep, chamfered 0.5" and 0.2"

              array of 26 at angle increments of 13.846degrees

4mm scale 9 foot wheel

7mm scale 9 foot wheel

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

Page updated : 14 July 2020