A Bread Wagon


Every faithful model railroad needs at least a few vehicles to orient the viewer into the time period. Over the course of building Liberty Street I have collected period photographs of railroad scenes, industries, structures and of course wagons, like the bread wagon pictured above.

Of the few commercial sources for nineteenth century vehicles, I like Jordan Products the best. They offer high quality plastic (''easy'' to assemble) models with very fine cross sections for that spindly look that best characterizes the real world. But they don't make a bread wagon. For this I will need to kit-bash or scratch-build and, unless I am going to make my own spindly wheels, kit-bashing is the only choice.

For the bread wagon, I began with a Jordan buckboard kit and a pile of styrene scraps as shown here. I like the buckboard kit for the reason that you get two wagons in each box and, since I am only going to need the wheels and horses, it's nice to have a complete wagon left over or another set of wheels at least.

While I don't always begin with a drawing of the model I am building, in this case I thought it would be handy at least as a guide for the curved sides at the back of the wagon. For this crude drawing, I took dimensions for length and width from a Jordan delivery wagon, the height I guessed at. Here, I am using .020 siding for the sides.

The ''frame'' of this wagon is a little tricky because of it's depressed center. I wanted to maintain that thin airy feel of the photo so I used .020 on the center section with a bit of .040 laminated to the bottom for strength which I also used for the raised ends. The sides are being attached to these.

With the sides panels in place, I added the major framing along the edges and roof. The panel trim here is .040 x .020 strip and the roof trim is .060 x .020. The windows I chose to build up from separate pieces of .040 square strip, I recommend you find a better method.

Since this is a white wagon, my friend Doc Snyder volunteered to make the lettered sides on paper for me so I left the panel trim off at this time. Once the lettered sides are added then I will attach the trim using .040 x .010 strip.

The roof is made up with .020 siding cut to fit snugly into the roof trim, laminated to a piece of .060 plain for the shaped overhanging roof. Using a file, I shaped the roof to something resembling the photograph. When done, I test fit the roof to the nearly finished body.

Since I plan to use .030 x .010 strip to represent the full elliptical springs on the rear of the wagon, I thought that a little extra bracing would be appropriate so I added these bowed strips of .060 where the axle will actually rest. The elliptical spring on the front is mounted transversely to a bit of brass wire mounted in the floor.

The picture on the right shows the model just after application of a coat of Floquil reefer white and engine black on the roof. After painting the roof was permanently attached to the body and holes were drilled for the wire rails and handles visible in the photograph.

On the left the ''lettering'' is being applied with Elmer's glue. Once the lettering is done I added the strips for the side panels also using Elmer's then the assembled model was over coated first with gloss and then dull coat to seal all the components.

The harness and traces are made of .020 x .010 strip. The leather parts are painted Floquil rust, I even dry brushed a little silver on the buckles and bit. The windows could be glazed but I am not sure from the photograph that they were so I have left them open.

The finished model at home on Liberty Street.