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Tips for Making Model horse drawn vehicles:
people have asked me questions about building models, since I have one of the
largest supply of books and plans for building model horse-drawn vehicles in the
world, people assume I know something about this - I don't. But I will
offer some of the information made available by the late master modeler, Mr.
John Thompson. I am not a builder so I really can't tell you any more than what
I have found in John Thompson's catalog "The Carriage and Waggon Handbook".
These Handbooks are still available for $12 plus s/h. As an answer to the
question in his Handbook: "Can I buy parts for the models?" He said;
"The short answer is no,
horse-drawn vehicle modelmaking is still a hobby for people who enjoy making
everything for themselves. Actually the metal parts are not difficult to make
up yourself, from strip or rod brass."
That being said:
I can get a few
Springs, lamps and other parts.
Materials, as Mr. Thompson suggests
in his Handbook, I will again quote:
"The materials required are
very similar to those used in making model boats or dolls house miniatures...
You can produce good results with many different kinds of wood, although some
are easier to cut and others will require less preparation before applying a
finish. If the model is to be painted then an even, close-grained texture is
needed, but if a model is to be left in a natural finish then an attractive
colour and grain pattern will be important.
the ultimate model-makers timber but is expensive and difficult to obtain.
Lime is generally used by miniaturists and is fairly readily purchased. The
variety sold in the USA is known as basswood. Beech, pine and spruce are all
suitable for painted models, provided that the surface is primed with a grain
filler. Ash or oak can look attractive with a waxed finish, but are not
suitable for painting....... the balsawood..... is too soft and it is
difficult to apply a good finish, although it can be useful for a quick
"mock-up" model. Many hardware shops sell hardwood strips for general
household use. This timber is usually "ramin", and although rather brittle and
dusty to work is a reasonable timber for modelmaking.
Brass and mild
steel are generally used for the metalwork on models, and a wide selection of
strip, rod and various sections can be purchased from the specialist suppliers
who advertise in the magazine published for modelmakers. It is quite expensive
to build up a stock of all the sizes you will need, so far a first effort you
may prefer to make do with scraps of wire and strips cut from old tins. Please
take care when working with such materials, and ensure that no sharp edges are
left on the model.
No special tools are
needed, other than those the average household tool kit will contain, unless
you intend making your own wheels; a lathe is then helpful, although you can
manage with a bench mounted electric drill.... Also a band saw is useful for
cutting out the curved parts.