Jump to content

Ready-to-plonk freight



A parcel arrived today with a small selection of ready-to-plonk freight items.




There's still something magical about opening parcels. With a cheerful Hornby logo peering out at me, I even longed briefly for the Christmases of my childhood. Then I remembered the two months of hysteria we have ahead of us, and good old cynicism returned wink.gif .





The depot is going to need a lot of goods. I already have some of the white-metal offerings from various sources, but thought I’d see what the ready-painted items from Harburn Hamlet are like.





Wooden crates from Harburn. These come as a single casting, but as evident here there is plenty of relief detail.





The castings have been designed to fit as loads in wagons. Here is an example in a seven-plank wagon - it seems to me a five-planker would be too low. In any event, I assume the real deal would be carefully stacked and roped (and sheeted?), so this particular casting is perhaps better used outside of a wagon.





A cruel close-up of the whisky barrels from Harburn. As I understand it the material is a mix of synthetic resin and stone. I'll see how it responds to a little cleaning up and some further weathering/painting.





Also in the parcel was this Mechanical Horse from the new Hornby/Oxford Diecast "SkaleAuto" range. Hornby's own website images seem to show a CAD representation and has white sides instead of cream, so here are some detail shots of the actual model.





Delightful as it is, I am not entirely confident that the GWR actually employed this particular type, with the 3-wheel rigid wheelbase. Perhaps anyone can help? Incidentally, all the photos I can find have the roundel positioned nearer the front, eg as seen here. The Mechanical Horse Club has a nice little website here.





You may be wondering why I need a vehicle like this on an Edwardian layout. I plan to do a little video about Farthing through the ages, so am collecting a few 'period identifiers'. 


  • Like 1


Recommended Comments

I note that the package says "Scotch Whisky Barrels". can you say what their actual size is,(height and end dia.) in mm ? Having been raised in the licenced trade I'm acutely aware of the various barrel sizes, and I suspect that these may represent "Tuns" which, I think, were 72 gallon capacity.

Apart from being delivered new and unused, would these barrels ever be transported? Or did they move about between distillers and the makers of blended whiskey?

Are you proposing a "Bonded Warehouse" at Farthing?

Look forward to seeing these in your epistles.

Link to comment
  • RMweb Gold

Don, the barrels are 11mm high and the end dia is 8mm.




You raise a good point that they might not actually have been seen often at a goods depot. I confess I hadn't thought much about it. The idea that they are being delivered new and unused is perhaps the most plausible option, although it is a bit hard to bear that they should be empty ! :D Whereas the idea of an entire (Bonded) Warehouse is rather attractive :)


Edited by Mikkel
Link to comment

Scotch whisky (no 'e' for the Caledonian stuff) could be apt, 'cos I think the wee mechanical horse has a Glasgow/West of Scotland registration. Whether it bothers you or not is another thing.

Link to comment
  • RMweb Gold

Uh-oh, that does bother me! Thanks for pointing it out Jamie.


So now I've got a bunch of barrels that belong in Scotland, and a mechanical horse that also does. Maybe I should change prototype :).



EDIT: Sadly I know little about the details of whisky production and -barrels, but a pleasant browse of the internet suggests that sherry barrels were transported from Spain to Scotland for whisky production prior to the 1930s (when bourbon barrels became more widely used as a result of the Spanish civil war). Not sure how far back this practice goes though, ie would it be plausible for the 1900s?


Some ex-sherry barrels seem to have been broken down into the original staves for transport, while others were not. Of course, it's likely that they would have been transported much of the way by ship, and so it is perhaps not likely that they would end up at a goods depot in Wiltshire?

Link to comment

I was puzzled by the central band on the models. Seems to me that it is not prototypical as it would interfere with the positioning of the vent bung, which would be on the centreline of the cask. Every picture I have found in a 'net trawl shows two bands about 1/3rd down and up the height of the barrel.

A picture of a whisky store here:-


and atable of barrel sizes (contents) here:-


I was wrong about contents of a Tun!

From memory of the (beer) barrels my father used to have delivered, I think the models are about right scale size for the standard 36 gallon barrel, but I do wonder about that central band!

They don't HAVE to be whisky barrels, don't they brew and drink beer or ale or even cider in Wiltshire?

Link to comment
  • RMweb Gold
They don't HAVE to be whisky barrels
That was my first thought. Just because the packing says they are whisky barrels, doesn't stop you from using them to represent barrels containing anything you wish. :)
Link to comment
  • RMweb Gold

Thanks Don and 57xx. I was assuming that these were models of actual whisky barrels. But it doesn't look that way, judging by the photos. In fact, that central band doesn't seem to appear on any barrels I can find pictures of.


I guess they are simply an approximation then. That's the trouble with some of the ready-to-plonk stuff, I suppose. I'll find a dark place for them at the back!

Link to comment

Scotch whisky (no 'e' for the Caledonian stuff) could be apt, 'cos I think the wee mechanical horse has a Glasgow/West of Scotland registration. Whether it bothers you or not is another thing.



Interesting. The presence of the letter 'S' at the beginning of the regional codes usually denoted Scottish plates, so ASD 409 would have been issued by Ayrshire County Council....


If you really fancy some first-class modelling pedantry, the Wiltshire regional codes included AM, HR, MR, MW, and WV. A random example been 'AAM 123'


Keep up the good work. Great modelling.



Link to comment
  • RMweb Gold

Hi Will,


Thanks for those regional codes. I actually tried looking for them on the web, but couldn't quite find them, so this is much appreciated.

Link to comment

Re the barrels, could you not saw them apart into two single layers and stack them sideways somewhere? That way the centre band wouldn't show if they were partly sheeted over.....



Link to comment
  • RMweb Gold

Good idea Doug. I'll give it a try when I get to the detailing stage. It seems to be hard material this stuff, I might need to get my proper hacksaw out!

Link to comment

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

  • Create New...