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For the dedicated GWR modeller - broad gauge!


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Back in 1976, one of the chemists at work in Avonmouth was modelling broad-gauge. Didn't Mike Sharman do some b-g stuff when he wrote a series of articles on early locos in Railway Modeller, again back in the 1970s.

Hi,

Yes indeed there were several modellers who effectively pioneered the modelling of the Only Proper Gauge and these excellent modellers helped to form the Broad Gauge (Model Railway) Society which then worked (and still does) hard to make information and parts available.

I remember the talents that existed within that group - for instance one modeller (Alan Garner) who took Code 100 rail and milled the head off in his lathe to produce 'Bridge' rail.

A dedicated group of modellers and historians who have given the hobby much.

 

Yes Mike Sharman (oh how I wish his wheel range was still available - but it went down the drain after he sold it) produced a couple of loco kits in whitemetal and a few other parts. He was very much a pioneer of Broad Gauge modelling with his layouts that included Broad, Standard and Narrow gauge in the one layout.

 

Wonderful days indeed - although I fear some of that group will regrettably no longer be with us I sincerely hope that those who are will be in good health.

 

Regards

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  • 3 years later...

The website hasn't been updated since 2012?

It depends which bits of it you look at! The bits that need updating are kept up to date! Probably more now than when I dragged the Society kicking and screaming into the 20th century by setting up the original web site :).

 

How can anyone on RMweb not know about modelling the broad gauge? There's a link to my current part built layout in my signature, that turns up on quite a few topics, and other people on RMweb are doing it too.

One day I would love to have a crack at modelling broad gauge, though I would want to substantially improve my painting and lining ability before I do.  

There are ways round these things if you're determined enough :).

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It depends which bits of it you look at! The bits that need updating are kept up to date! Probably more now than when I dragged the Society kicking and screaming into the 20th century by setting up the original web site :).

 

How can anyone on RMweb not know about modelling the broad gauge? There's a link to my current part built layout in my signature, that turns up on quite a few topics, and other people on RMweb are doing it too.

There are ways round these things if you're determined enough :).

 

Or have enough money :P

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There are ways round these things if you're determined enough :).

Once Brent and my cameo competition entries are substantially complete, a dabble in broad gauge is probably next on the list. I’ve aleays wanted a layout based upon somewhere along the Calne branch, doing it in broad gauge could be the motivator what gets it going.....

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Or have enough money :P

Never heard of scratchbuilding? Pick a late date, and there are RTR models and kits you can bash. Depending on how accurate you want to be, you could produce some reasonable coaches with Tri-ang clerestories and Ratio 4-wheelers. Convertible wagons built from the mid 1870s were the same basic design as some of the Coopercraft kits, or you could bash RTR wagons into something suitable. Earlier wagons would need scratchbuilding, or major bashing. There was a one-off brake van that is due from Oxford very soon. Chop the chassis in half longways, and fit longer axles. Or rather don't, because I want mine to be unique! If you're any good with CAD, knock up a few drawings for my Silhouette Portrait, CNC milling machine or 3D printer, and I'll run off some for you, and for me :).

 

Locos are harder. I have plans for a Hornby 2721 pannier, but it involves substantial violence. Available kits are expensive and difficult to build, but maybe a bit of co-operation between people with various skills could produce something affordable, from a mixture of RTR, available components and computer assisted scratchbuilding.

 

I think it's an opportunity to be creative, not a barrier ;).

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It being the 125th anniversary of the abolition of the main line broad gauge, I'm rather hoping to get my own broad gauge dabblings underway by the end of the year, one of the holyhead breakwater well tanks would present an interesting modelling challenge, or what about Fowlers ill fated but rather nicely proportioned ghost engine

Incidentally, do you have to be a BGS member to avail of the aforementioned goodies?

Edited by Killian keane
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It being the 125th anniversary of the abolition of the main line broad gauge, I'm rather hoping to get my own broad gauge dabblings underway by the end of the year, one of the holyhead breakwater well tanks would present an interesting modelling challenge, or what about Fowlers ill fated but rather nicely proportioned ghost engine

Incidentally, do you have to be a BGS member to avail of the aforementioned goodies?

Both 4mm and 7mm sales are available to non-members.  A few items are discounted to members. Committee have approved price increases to non-members but not yet implemented.

Prices obtained by identifying your shopping from the website and emailing the appropriate sales bod who will produce an invoice.

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Never heard of scratchbuilding? ...

 The last person I spoke to who was working on a BG layout, had chosen 1/64, (S scale) simply because that way he had to do almost everything from scratch, but could take selected mechanism parts, rails and the like from both 4 and 7mm sources. Big enough to allow visible working inside motion which added to the charm.

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Knowing the subject before deciding what to model can be a big help. A lot of BG locos look impossibly daunting to build. Would you want to build this if you're not a very experienced modeller?

 

GWR_engine_%27Argus%27.jpg

 

However, this could be a nice introduction to scratchbuilding. You could probably get away with using a simple OO gauge RTR chassis, like Hornby, with wheels refitted onto longer axles, and some added frames and spacers to keep the wheels in place. Or a OO gauge chassis kit with wider frame spacers. Maybe not the most finescale result, but perhaps a lot easier than many "narrow gauge" locos:SirWWW.jpg

 

 

Or this, perhaps from a OO gauge kit, again with modified Hornby or kit chassis. A Silhouette cutter should make the curvy splashers/footplate fairly straightforward. I have a cunning plan involving a Hornby 2721 Pannier:

ArmstrongConvertible1.jpg

 

The first loco, and similar classes, were in widespread use in the earlier years of the BG. The second was a small class and unusual in not being saddle tanks. Their time period and areas of use were quite limited. The third is only suitable for the final few years of the BG. I've thought of Miles as being a good project for a micro layout based on the type of location it may have run in, where it may be the only loco. It's strongly recommended to use P4/S7 standards, to get wheels to fit in the small and very visible splashers, but Miles could be built to any wheel standards.

Read books, search the web, study the BGS Data Sheets etc. There's a lot of information around (although still huge amounts missing). Find a little niche time or location where photos show things you think you could make reasonable models of, and have a go, to whatever standards you're capable of. You could even start off with a freelance Hornby Pugbash!

post-7091-0-64383200-1512389245.jpg

 

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Back in 1976, one of the chemists at work in Avonmouth was modelling broad-gauge. Didn't Mike Sharman do some b-g stuff when he wrote a series of articles on early locos in Railway Modeller, again back in the 1970s.

I still have one of Mike Sharman's bg Firefly class models (non-working), which I built back in the late 70s.  Its a bit battered now, but still recognizable.

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I also have an unpowered Sharman 'Fire Fly' class that I built back in the 70's or 80's with a couple of 4 comp. 1st class coaches and a luggage van. The rolling stock was a combination of injection moulding and white metal parts and went together quite well. The wheels on the engine and tender were made with green plastic or nylon centres and saved a bit of painting at the time. I have only recently bought some nameplates for the loco (ACHERON) but I'll probably try to rebuild the model before fitting them. Originally when I built these kits I had intended to try and make some form of power bogie to fit in one of the coaches but I may now try to motorise the loco instead.

 

I keep hoping that one of the 3D printing experts (which I am definitely not) will develop a taste for BG and start turning out loco and tender bodies for an 'Iron Duke' or 'Prince' classes or maybe one of the 0-6-0 goods types. Passenger and goods rolling stock would be nice but I feel that I am more than capable of scratch-building those items.

 

Quite a few years ago I drew outline drawings for a couple of Churchward BG 4-6-0's on the assumption that the GWR had won the 'Battle of the Gauges' and continued well into the 20th Century. The express passenger design was an inside cylinder engine with 7' driving wheels and the mixed traffic version fitted with 5'8" drivers. I'm still tempted to try and build a model of the express loco one day in the future.

 

Dave R. 

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I keep hoping that one of the 3D printing experts (which I am definitely not) will develop a taste for BG and start turning out loco and tender bodies for an 'Iron Duke' or 'Prince' classes or maybe one of the 0-6-0 goods types. Passenger and goods rolling stock would be nice but I feel that I am more than capable of scratch-building those items.

I've got a 3D printer, and a need for BG models :). I just need to assemble the printer, learn how to use it, and get my head round 3D CAD!

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