About Me

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No Fixed Abode, Home Counties, United Kingdom
I’m a 51-year-old Aspergic CAD-Monkey. Sardonic, cynical and with the political leanings of a social reformer, I’m also a toy and model figure collector, particularly interested in the history of plastics and plastic toys. Other interests are history, current affairs, modern art, and architecture, gardening and natural history. I love plain chocolate, fireworks and trees but I don’t hug them, I do hug kittens. I hate ignorance, when it can be avoided, so I hate the 'educational' establishment and pity the millions they’ve failed with teaching-to-test and rote 'learning' and I hate the short-sighted stupidity of the entire ruling/industrial elite, with their planet destroying fascism and added “buy-one-get-one-free”. I also have no time for fools and little time for the false crap we're all supposed to pretend we haven't noticed, or the games we're supposed to play.

Wednesday, October 26, 2016

W is for Working Wagons of War and the Wild West


Yeah! The wild Westphalia, the war on the growing seasons . . . at last - we get to the best wagons for war gamers and modellers to hack-about on their work-desks.

These are the three Gary Worsfold sent to the Blog; all from the standard 'exclusive' range rather than the 'Standard/Budget' range, and all from the period (which may be extant) of getting the painting done in Mauritius, they are painted to a high standard and that's most noticeable on the draft-cattle with their pink noses and little nostrils!

There are ten agricultural-type wagons in the catalogue at the moment, of which one is new from the village paint-shop in a fetching blue finish - probably  a racing wagon's team-colours! Note also how they are starting to add traces from the animals to the two yolk-things I've failed to find-out the name off - since I last didn't know the name of them. Trees! Singletrees and doubletrees! Thanks Google.

The other two in this collage are the 'suggestions for arrangement' used on boxes and in the catalogues and show how you could treat the wagons in set 327. The low-sided box-wagon would look fine in a Wild West setting, while the more central-European looking deep-sided one is the sort of thing you can impress into Nappy or Wellingtonian armies, or grab for you Wehrmacht infantry units.

This is a lovely model, but it's let down by the load which - let's face it - looks like a slightly collapsed block of polystyrene covered in a crushed/powdered bright-yellow scouring-pad, which it is!

One day I will repaint it a sun-faded cereal colour and give it a covering in long flock/static-grass of a similar shade, but not using the static wand, rather mix-it with a slice of paper-glue stick and apply in directional clumps with a thin artist's palate-knife, stuffing other clumps more haphazardly between the bars of the . . . err . . . ains? Wains? The sticky-up, wingy-things! I think they are just called ladders, or harvest ladders? I thought they were strakes, but that's something else apparently . . . swift surf later!

In the current catalogue, the same load as the previous wagon has been made from scoring-pad material without the pulverising and applying to a polystyrene block, and looks better for it!

While top right we see a different coloured static-grass applied to the same former as the grass wagon, to make muck!

Gary's boxed version of the grass wagon (472) with my loose one in the centre for comparison, the static-grass is a different colour again on the older one, I like to think mine is taking fresh grass to a silage clamp, the other bringing summer-hay back for the stack-yard animals? You can see at a glance how much better painted the later one is; well - the wagons are much of a muchness, but the animals are significantly better.

Reverse scenario, mine has a recognisable long-tyned, four-pronged, loading fork, the one Gary obtained seems to have been sent out with an oar!

I told you I'd photographed the hell out of them! I think all the splodges of glue about the place on my loose one, and the metal brake-handle are owner repairs/additions, I've never seen another metal one and it looks as if it was cut from a sewing-machine needle which would have needed softening with a flame before it could be bent or cut without shattering?

Unlike most of their rivals (or the Hong Kong marked copies), Preiser have no system for attaching the animals to the draw-bar/centre-pole, just glue them in close and - presumably stand them somewhere flat until they've dried/set?

There seems to be a programme of updating/redesigning the now 40-odd+ year old range, and the new rack-wagon/ladder-sided wagon is a much improved vehicle, and rather timeless, it would look right loaded with Landsknechts, wounded Wellingtonians, puffed-out Panzergrenadiers or a ragged-knot of refugees.

The new box wagon seems to be an interim design between the old open-ended one with the white flour sacks (next image), and the deeper-sided blue one (catalogue image above), which will allow it to cover for both . . . and reduce choice; boohoo!

They seem to have sculpted a new set of wagoneers (wagoners?) to accompany them, too. And - again two of them now have straps/traces from the horse-furniture to the . . . wooden thing. Much-improved wheels are noticeable as well, while the chocks on the parked wagon will prove useful - but can be easily scratch-built!

Only a miller's bags are this white! The attendant is posed for reins, so I should add them sometime! The body/frame of this wagon is the same unit used on the tanker and the larger ladder-sided wagon and the load has required the heavy horses from the brewers' drays.

It must be said; all the wagons are slight beneath their given bodywork, so lend themselves to both simple conversions/additions or more drastic scratch-building of whole new body-types.

Newer catalogue images show the two new designs parked-up (inset left) and going about their business (with more realistically-painted sacks - inset right), while the older image, carried-over from the 1970's, is that peculiarity of catalogues everywhere (Airfix were famous for it); a mock-up!

The sides and bed seem to have been casually cut from balsa or thick card and attached to the 'standard' body/frame and in being between the hight of the two box-wagons that went into production back then, mirrors the new one! This is a newer version of the photograph as well, and the pigs seem to have been processed through Photoshop . . .

. . . as we can see from this old box scan, there used to be one sole pink one and he lasted the longest time, now he has had a saddle added, shadow removed/lost and two saddle-backs have joined him, people were moved and scenery air-brushed out on the left of the frame as well in the previous picture.

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