Mail Wagon - part 1

by brae  

Today, I did a dry fit of the mail wagon.  To say the instructions are lacking is an understatement.  You are given a blueprint drawing and a typed list of instructions.

There are no photos or diagrams of the steps, and the kit photo is minuscule and not at all detailed.

I blundered my way through a dry fit, and one piece still made no sense and didn't seem to fit properly.  But, it does give me a good basis for size and how far away the wheels are supposed to be from the passenger compartment.  It's a very simplistic kit, so you know me...I'll probably end up building most of it from scratch and using this as only a guide.

The wheels are incredibly detailed in their assembly, much like the real deal.  If I can get them to work, the wheels alone will be worth having bought the kit.

However, this is the extent of the chassis - two wood blocks.  The front wheels will turn, but the lack of detail is disappointing.

Here's a real life mail wagon for example.  This is more complicated than I want to attempt, but there has to be a happy medium.

image from The Smithsonian

The inexpensive wagon kit I put together for Baslow Ranch has better detailing without being overly complicated.

It's longer than the mail wagon, but I could likely customize something better than two simple wood blocks.  I do have another of these kits, but I could cut pieces myself using the general pattern.

I'm checking some other sources for ideas.  Plus, I'm planning a trip to a local museum that has carriages for in-person study and better photographs.


Comment from: azteclady [Visitor]
The chassis is a real disappointment, but I confess I am looking forward to see how you solve the problem and improve on what is available to you. Thank you so much for making it an open build this year!
03/02/19 @ 21:55
Comment from: Anna [Visitor]
The 'steam-roller' mock-up made me laugh - poor horse that thing would be so heavy for her to pull :-) I have no doubt you will solve this beautifully.
03/02/19 @ 21:59
Comment from: Deborah [Visitor]
How frustrating! Although it's small, the picture appears more detailed than the actual pieces you were given. I'm sure you will make it look 100 times better. I am loving your work on the horse, and I'm glad you're letting us watch along with this build.
03/02/19 @ 23:53
Comment from: Keli [Visitor]
I love the suspension on the real cart. Too bad the kit is disappointing.
03/03/19 @ 02:26
Comment from: ann [Visitor]
The horse is quite handsome. It has been my experience that once the assemble begins or as you do several dry fits, pieces will tell you where they go. The carriage will be accurate and authentic when you finish it.
03/03/19 @ 08:02
Comment from: Sheila Lester [Visitor]
I wonder if it would be possible to find plans for building a life size cart and scaling it down? To at least give you a better idea of how to get the detail you want?
03/03/19 @ 09:53
Comment from: Jodi [Visitor]
I know you'll take what is a plain Jane kit and turn it into an incredible homage to times past!
03/03/19 @ 11:07
Comment from: brae [Member]
I have been searching for real life plans or even larger scale model plans, but they haven't been exactly what I am seeking. :no: I'm still on the scent, though. :))
03/03/19 @ 16:16
Comment from: elizabeth s [Visitor]
I always have the utmost admiration for anyone who can follow printed instructions, and I think that the beginnings of the mail cart is charming although I realize that it has a long road yet to travel.
03/03/19 @ 19:57
Comment from: Ottawa [Visitor]
The dry fit photo is adorable with the soup can wheels! It's really great to get a better sense of the overall size. As you said though it does look very simplistic, which I guess opens the door to possibilities... looking forward to seeing what you come up with.
03/03/19 @ 20:29
Comment from: DEE [Visitor]
Brae, I've been enjoying watching your progress on this build. I completed a full reno of our family dollhouse a couple of years ago and was looking for a new creative endeavor when I found your blog. It reminded me how much fun I had planning designs and creating miniatures so I decided to enter the contest this year myself. I just started my own blog at to document my progress and I'm inviting you to follow my journey as I will be following yours. Can't wait to see more. Dee
03/11/19 @ 21:16
Comment from: Kamelia [Visitor]
I'm really curious how you will solve all problems. Anyway it looks very promising.
03/13/19 @ 02:34
Comment from: Irene McCulloch [Visitor]
Good luck with that! I know you wont let it get the better of you.
03/16/19 @ 03:38
Comment from: brae [Member]
Thank you!! :>> I have done more research now and have found some fantastic resources and kits to help. :yes:
03/17/19 @ 11:18

Form is loading...