Category: "Model Cars & Airplanes"

Mail Wagon - part 15

by brae  

Continuing work on the mail wagon. Many of the pictures in this post show the parts after painting since I was on a deadline and had little time to take progress photos.

The chassis from the doctor's buggy kit had wonderful detail, but it was not made for a straight bottom cabin like my mail wagon. The original chassis planned for a curved reach. That's the long bar that connects the front axle assembly to the rear axle assembly.

Mine had to be relatively straight but also account for the slight difference in height between the front and back wheel hubs. Since it was such a slight incline, I used a long piece of 3/32" basswood as my new reach without any curve built in. The kit was supposed to come with a piece of cherry for the reach, but I couldn't find it. It's entirely possible it was in the box originally, but I misplaced it.

In case you ever need to know, the small McCormick spice bottles are just under 2 1/4" tall. :D The spice jars helped me mark where the front and rear spring bars would hit the cabin.

I trimmed the spring bars to fit since my cabin was skinnier than the original doctor's buggy passenger compartment.

The front and rear body hangers from the original kit are soft metal, so I was able to straighten them out and bend to the new shape needed.

I drilled holes for nails to be added. These are also epoxied in place for stability and durability.

The body hangers sit on top of the spring bars, suspending the cabin above the reach. I left them unattached at this point.

After I had the placement, I could slide the excess reach out the back and trim it to fit.

Chassis completion to be continued....

Mail Wagon - part 14

by brae  

Continuing work on the mail wagon. Once the painting and sealer were done, I could move on to the lettering. I neglected to put on the cross detailing before the last coat of sealer but plan to add it later, so I took that into consideration when I did the layout. I used frog tape to create a line to follow and used a towel to cushion the cabin as I worked.

The letters are rub-on transfers by Woodland Scenics - Roman White in six sizes from 1/16" to 5/16" on one sheet. I used 1/4" for the main letters except size 3/16" for the "o" in No.

Since these didn't come with numbers, I bought Roman Stencil/Block Letters White in three sizes from 3/32" to 1/4" on one sheet. I used the Stencil font size 1/4" for the rural route "1" designation.

Since you can transfer all or part of a letter, I cut down the long portions of the "F" and "L" for a cleaner look.

Originally, wheels would have had metal around them to protect the wood. The kit supplied laser cut rubber material for the tires, but there were two issues with this. First, if you recall, the original kit wheels and spokes were not cut correctly and needed to be replaced. Once I received the replacements, I opted to use the "waste" circles between the true wheels for sturdier construction. This meant one set of the rubber tires was too short. Besides that, it would have been very messy to glue these fiddly bands.

Instead, I turned to a material I had used before for another wagon project - Instant Lead Lines (thin version). These are a rubber like material with adhesive already applied. There is a wider version of this material, but it was too wide for my wheels.

The thin tires add just enough extra detailing to the wheels and were easy to apply and cut to size. They look close enough to metal without further fiddling.

Mail Wagon - part 13

by brae  

Continuing work on the mail wagon. While I was painting one day, I went ahead and finished up the wheels. I painted them flat white, then gloss Cherry Red by Krylon.

I joined the front and back cabin assemblies using strip wood along the inside bottom, using spacer boards at the top to keep the front and back assemblies square as I worked.

I installed the floor and then added more support boards underneath.

You can see I added the same scored lines on the bottom to mimic individual boards.

I added strip wood along the top to finish the walls and to fill the gaps on the top and bottom of the doorway. These wagons would have had slightly curved rooftops, but I left mine flat for ease of building. I did add some shaping to the front sides.

I cut a piece of 1/16" thick basswood the exact shape of the ceiling opening.

I cut a roof board from 1/8" thick luan plywood (leftovers from Walnut Bay Light) and covered the edges with thin basswood. I added the 1/16" thick basswood ceiling to the plywood which would allow the roof to sit firmly in place but remain removable. I again scored the basswood to mimic individual boards. Having a removable roof means I can always try my hand a curved roof later. I apparently didn't take progress photos of this part, so here is the roof after painting.

From the inside, it looks solid. :]

From the outside, you can't tell it's not all glued together.

Ivy Hollow, Rural Free Delivery Post Office - HBS Creatin' Contest 2019

by brae  

Rural Free Delivery has come to the village of Ivy Hollow! Mr. McCants and his trusty equine companion Jebediah will make sure your mail arrives at your home safely and in a timely manner. Register your address at the local post office today!
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RFD - Rural Free Delivery - transformed the landscape of rural towns by removing the arduous chore of traveling long miles to the post office as well as providing greater access to goods and services. Mail order increased purchasing options for individuals and fueled business. Mail carriers were responsible for providing their own wagons and horses, having to traverse poor roads in all types of weather. RFD eventually led to the Rural Post Roads Act, which further developed rural communities by improving roads.

I set my post office in 1917, a number of years after the advent of RFD. The mail wagon passenger cabin was scratch built and fitted over a doctor's buggy kit chassis. Jebediah the horse started as a plastic Breyer model.

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These are the final photos I narrowed down to, and I had to pick four to submit. I love how the wagon turned out. :D I'll finish up the how-to posts on it in the weeks to come.

I packed a lot into this tiny building.

Postal cat! :D

I didn't get to making my own harness, but Tiki from Kulp Model Horse Store saved me at the last minute. I do still plan to make my own.

The tiny postcard is a replica of the original inspiration.

I'm thoroughly exhausted, so the long recap post will have to wait. Thank you to HBS, and thanks to everyone for all the support and encouragement! :D

Mail Wagon - sneak peek

by brae  

We're down to the wire...again. :D

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