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Barrels, baskets, bales

Mikkel

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I’m still working on the goods items for my goods depot. Here’s a selection of various items I've been working on recently. Apologies for getting a bit long-winded with this, but I enjoy learning a bit about goods items as I go along – it’s all part of the scene, after all.

 

 

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H0 and 0 casks from Frenchman River Works. Great texture and six hoops, which is rare on model casks despite being very common in reality.

 

 

 

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The FRW barrels again, now painted. At first I thought they were too rickety for an Edwardian goods depot, but then realized that they represent “dry slack” casks with wooden hoops as used for fruit, tobacco, nails etc - as opposed to “dry tight” casks for eg flour and salted products, and “wet tight” casks for beer, wine etc. Slack casks were typically of inferior materials and workmanship, and were often only used once. An interesting topic in itself, see eg this website.

 

 

 

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White metal beer casks from Dart castings. They are reasonable mouldings, but do require some work on the mould lines and flash. This particular type represents Firkins. The whole topic of unit sizes is fascinating but bewildering. For example, a wine and beer Hogshead were not quite the same, and a particular cask unit could be either fat or tall.

 

 

 

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The Dart casks after painting. Pins on the extreme left, the rest are Firkins. The light ones are work in progress. There’s a slight “Warhammer” look to these casks, but then these close-ups are very cruel.

 

 

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Prost! Large beer casks from German Kotol. I’m a bit ambivalent about turned wood barrels: The wood grain is often too large for 4mm. Translated to 4mm I would say these are roughly equal to a Butt (a word of advice: don’t try to Google butt and beer in the same sentence!).

 

 

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These lightly modified casks from Hornby have a nice feel to them, and unlike many other model casks they actually have a bung hole (don’t Google that either). I’m thinking they are Hogsheads. Hoops can be hard to paint neatly, so I painted some masking tape in a rust colour, and wrapped it around the existing moulded hoops. Oxidization of the hoops seemed to happen very quickly on new barrels.

 

 

 

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The Hornby casks in place. Most 4mm casks only have four hoops, and at first I thought this was wrong for the larger types of casks. But photos from GWR goods sheds reveal several examples of casks with just four hoops, apparently irrespective of size and date. See GWR Goods Services Part 2A pages 6, 55, 59, 63, 92, 102, 163. On the other hand, there were clearly also many six-hooped barrels in Edwardian days, see eg the wonderful photo on p. 68 of the same volume. So both types would be appropriate, it seems.

 

 

 

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On to baskets. These wicker baskets are also from Hornby, now sadly discontinued. There are long debates about Hornby on here, but some of their goods items are fairly good - design clever, in fact!

 

 

 

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Gem whitemetal pigeon baskets (ebay seller’s image). At first I thought they were missing the external louvres for light and air that are evident on latter-day types. However, a bit of research suggested that some early types were in fact quite similar to the Gem offerings. See for example this drawing.

 

 

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It seems this type of pigeon basket was closed with straps, so out came the masking tape again, painted and folded to look like straps. Incidentally, for 7mm modellers Skytrex have some pigeon baskets in their large range of goods items.

 

 

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Hen’s teeth. After much searching I managed to track down this discontinued Preiser H0 “kit” for produce baskets.

 

 

 

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Painted hen's teeth. Photos from the 1900s show baskets of various sizes in goods sheds – both full and empty, and not just in large quantities but also individually or two or three together. The cabbages are a loose fit so far, would they have been covered with something during transport?

 

 

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Unsung hero. The humble goods sack, illustrated by a rather good whitemetal example from Dart Castings.

 

 

 

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More white-metal sacks from Dart Castings, now painted. I might make some more of the flat, stacked ones to my own design. When I was boy playing with toy soldiers, I made sandbags from clay and loo paper.

 

 

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I wanted some wool bales and decided to make them myself. I began with this type. Finding the right fabric is tricky. Hessian and similar materials looks overscale in 4mm. I ended up with a thin, soft and fairly tightly woven material for making sheets. It was wrapped around a length of plastic rod (several rods laminated to get the right shape), and fixed in place using Loctite Powerflex. The ends are individual cut-outs of fabric, soaked in glue and smoothed tightly to the rest of the bale, giving the impression of a seam.

 

 

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The rope was simulated by sewing thread. The thread was sewn to the bottom of the bale, wrapped around, sewn again to the bottom, etc. My wife watched with a strained smile, I suppose she would have preferred me to take up sky-diving.

 

 

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Despite pulling the thread tight, I wasn’t too successful in achieving the bulge between the “roping”. Experiments with a soft “core” of cotton wool didn’t seem to help. This is the best I could do for now.

 

 

 

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Next up was a different type of bale, the pressed ones illustrated here.I used the same fabric, but dyed it using an age-old technique: Dunk it in Carr’s sleeper stain and weather with baby powder. Apparently, manual bale presses were in use well before the turn of the century.

 

 

 

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To get that bulging look, I wrapped the fabric around H section plastic rod and stuffed it with cotton wool. More manly pursuits!

 

 

 

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The bales in place on the mezzanine floor. I'm not entirely satisfied. Even this fabric looks overscale in the texture. But I'm tired of fiddling with them, so apart from a bit of weathering this will have to do.

 

 

 

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Inspired by Nick’s cider boxes and Job’s whisky crates (many thanks gents!), I’ve experimented with making small crates from folded paper. I found some photos of this attractive Coleman’s crate on the web, allegedly correct for the period. The photos were scaled down, edited, and printed. As this is supposed to be a wooden crate, I glued the prints to sections of plastic rod in order to avoid the folds and sagging that would haved suggested a cardboard box. As far as I understand, cardboard boxes where only just coming into use as transport containers around this time, and I can’t recall seeing any in photos of 1900s goods sheds (but please do correct me if I’m mistaken).

 

 

 

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The Coleman’s crates came out OK, but most small crates of the period had an unpainted natural wood look which I find difficult to create in paper. So I’ve now ordered some paper-thin wood veneer that can be used in inkjet printers. Should make for an interesting little experiment.

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Fantastic stuff Mikkel, what a smashing range of goods you've put together. Crates of powdered Coleman's mustard - the perfect excuse for a consignment from Norwich in a GE van. Uh-oh, now you'll need a GE van... :)

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Fantastic review and modelling description of these goods yard items.

This gives your depot the lively and busy look that it needed.

I love the two last pictures of your depot.

 

As you know I like reverence pictures. So have a look at the NRM website of the pictures of Oldham Road goods depot from about 1924.

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Lots of fascinating information here.  I agree that the Hornby barrels look very good but why are the best items always discontinued? - 'no demand', I suppose.

 

I shall have to think about bales of wool for my railway, as well as the blanket trains out of Witney, so your 'material' will be very useful :)

 

Mike

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Breathtaking Mikkel: The depth of your research and quality of reproduction / finish is seriously impressive, I take my hat off to you.

 

I'm quite relieved to see in most of the pictures a member of staff present, apparently taking notes - if he could send a copy those notes at some point it would save me a lot of time when it comes to making my own similar items for Frankland :)

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Interesting and entertaining Mikkel! I enjoyed your "internet tips" :-) You've saved me a lot of time an effort researching suitable packaging to put inside my goods shed!

 

Best wishes

 

Dave

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Very interesting blog!

I do like the quality of painting on everything. What did you use?

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Shame - I can only rate it once! Cracking stuff sir, bloody excellent.

 

Kind regards,

 

Nick.

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Mikkel,

 

Absolutely fantastic!!!  I will have to bookmark this blog entry, the wealth of detail here is admirable.  I had started to look at different items to put inside my own goods shed (so far it has a few crates and sacks), and also for the goods yard on the Midland Area Group's St Ruth (although that is 1950/60's period) again a few crates and sacks.  

 

I love the Colmans Mustard boxes (and I noticed some Nestles ones too), and the painting of your items really does breathe atmosphere.

 

I think I need to do a bit of digging to see what I can find that is suitable for 2mm scale!

 

Ian

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It is all very interesting, I had to read all your links too. I am always suprised how many different things you learn in a day with this hobby.

 

Keep up the fantastic work.

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Firkin wonderful stuff, Mikkel. You've obviously a different mindset to me; I get lost in the research and don't build anything as a result!

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Very inspiring Mikkel as always I just never realized the differences that existed in the types of barrels etc. If you don't mind I'll certainly borrow a few of your ideas

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Fantastic stuff Mikkel, what a smashing range of goods you've put together. Crates of powdered Coleman's mustard - the perfect excuse for a consignment from Norwich in a GE van. Uh-oh, now you'll need a GE van... :)

 

Thanks Adrian. A GE van, that sounds very tempting indeed!  I'll have to be careful though. My mum told me to be wary of GE pushers, it seems once you're hooked there's no way out. Maybe if I don't inhale...

 

 

Fantastic review and modelling description of these goods yard items.

This gives your depot the lively and busy look that it needed.

I love the two last pictures of your depot.

 

As you know I like reverence pictures. So have a look at the NRM website of the pictures of Oldham Road goods depot from about 1924.

 

Hi Job, well I've picked up a lot of this from you, eg the paper boxes, Kotol range etc. And many thanks for the tip on Oldham Road, I hadn't seen those pics, they are very interesting and full of atmosphere! Eg this one: http://www.nrm.org.uk/ourcollection/photo?group=Horwich&objid=1997-7059_HOR_F_3653 I see baskets stacked on the left, and I wonder what the porter on the right is holding - that round thing?

 

 

Lots of fascinating information here.  I agree that the Hornby barrels look very good but why are the best items always discontinued? - 'no demand', I suppose.

 

I shall have to think about bales of wool for my railway, as well as the blanket trains out of Witney, so your 'material' will be very useful :)

 

Mike

 

I know Mike, it's odd that some of these useful little items don't seem to last long on the market. They do seem to sell out quickly. Maybe the profit per unit isn't worth it. The Hornby barrels seem to have completely disappeared off the web, and I don't have the reference number to help refine a Google search, sorry. I see that Hattons, Trains4U and others have some Bachmann barrels (44518) which look similar, but I haven't seem them in real life.

 

Blankets, that sounds like an interesting little project - and a tricky one. You'll probably need some very tightly woven fabric - I wonder if silk would work? Now that would be classy! :-)

 

 

Breathtaking Mikkel: The depth of your research and quality of reproduction / finish is seriously impressive, I take my hat off to you.

 

I'm quite relieved to see in most of the pictures a member of staff present, apparently taking notes - if he could send a copy those notes at some point it would save me a lot of time when it comes to making my own similar items for Frankland :)

 

Many thanks Mark, it doesn't come close to your 2mm detailing of Frankland, I was just admiring your grocer's crates and produce the other day. The checker is making sure everything is there, I get a little red cross in his book every time something falls off the table and is eaten by the floor-monster. There are a lot of red crosses!

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I had a closer look at the picture. It is something packed in fabric. You can see the closing line and the folds. So for the rest it could be anything from a large wheel to a table top.

What surprised me in those pictures is the large amount of the same products, and in this pictures all those different packages. That was parcel traffic at its best.

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Interesting and entertaining Mikkel! I enjoyed your "internet tips" :-) You've saved me a lot of time an effort researching suitable packaging to put inside my goods shed!

 

Best wishes

 

Dave

 

Hi Dave, glad if something here is of use, the Skytrex items look fairly good. There does seem to be a bit more scope for capturing the detail of goods items in 7mm. If you fancy a challenge then have a look at this German site - scratchbuilt baskets and other items in G scale: http://www.themt.de/mr-03870b-49.html

 

 

Very interesting blog! I do like the quality of painting on everything. What did you use?

 

Hi ullypug, the painting is mostly Vallejo acrylics on a base of sprayed white primer. After a basic coat of colour I tend to do a lot of dry- and semidry bushing in various colours.

 

I've started using some of the "dry" range from Games Workshop: http://legendsbattlegrounds.com/products/citadel-dry-eldar-flesh This adds a lot of texture, so much that care is needed, eg on those barrels from Frenchman River Works you can see I've gone a little over the top in places.  All this drybrushing isn't good for the brushes of course, but Games Workshop do some weathering brushes that are fairly durable: http://www.games-workshop.com/en-DK/Citadel-Medium-Drybrush

 

 

 

Shame - I can only rate it once! Cracking stuff sir, bloody excellent.

 

Kind regards,

 

Nick.

 

Hi Nick, thanks a lot - well a lot of it is bought in of course, but there's a certain pleasure in cherry-picking the best items. Only problem is finding the balance between keeping things simple (less is more, and all that) and the temptation to just keep piling on more stuff! 

 

 

I've said it before, this guy is a genius. Brilliant Mikkel.

 

You're very kind Sir, it's all a bit eclectic and I'm not sure it follows Iain Rice's saying that we must above all aim for consistency. But hey, it's fun! 

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Mikkel,

 

Absolutely fantastic!!!  I will have to bookmark this blog entry, the wealth of detail here is admirable.  I had started to look at different items to put inside my own goods shed (so far it has a few crates and sacks), and also for the goods yard on the Midland Area Group's St Ruth (although that is 1950/60's period) again a few crates and sacks.  

 

I love the Colmans Mustard boxes (and I noticed some Nestles ones too), and the painting of your items really does breathe atmosphere.

 

I think I need to do a bit of digging to see what I can find that is suitable for 2mm scale!

 

Ian

 

Hi Ian, thanks, it's nice that we can share ideas across the scales. The Nestl

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Firkin wonderful stuff, Mikkel. You've obviously a different mindset to me; I get lost in the research and don't build anything as a result!

 

Hi Jan, not sure what I'm doing is real research, more like browsing really :-) But I agree it's difficult to stop, not to mention the danger of getting side tracked. Looking at historical photos of wool bales made me want model the US and Australian scene in the 1900s!

 

 

 

Hi Dr, sadly they are advertised but sold out at Gaugemaster, which seems to be the case everywhere else too. Maybe they will re-appear eventually. Meanwhile I think ebay is the best bet for these, I got mine on ebay from a seller in Nebraska!  

 

 

Fantastic work Mikkel - Always a compelling read :good:

 

Thanks Pete, it's good to see you are still here :-) BTW, are you aware of Craig's Moorswater here: http://moorswaterp4.blogspot.dk/

 

 

Very inspiring Mikkel as always I just never realized the differences that existed in the types of barrels etc. If you don't mind I'll certainly borrow a few of your ideas

 

Hi Steve, yes of course, I'm only passing on existing knowledge anyway. I was also intrigued to learn about the different cask types, I had a vague idea but didn't know it was so complex. Add the continental and US units and you've got a real minefield :-)

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I had a closer look at the picture. It is something packed in fabric. You can see the closing line and the folds. So for the rest it could be anything from a large wheel to a table top.

What surprised me in those pictures is the large amount of the same products, and in this pictures all those different packages. That was parcel traffic at its best.

 

Or it could be a trampoline - how is that as a background for a story :-)

 

It's interesting to study the decks of goods depots. In some areas, things are sorted neatly, which is presumably larger consignments that are stored over a certain period. And in other areas, things are lumped chaotically in big piles of many different items. I assume the latter reflects goods "on the move", as these will be grouped together according to where they are going and coming from, rather than who manufactured them or their shape and size.

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Thanks Mike, although I'm really only going for an overall impression of things. Photos from Edwardian goods depots show an amazing variation of materials and containers. I originally had a vision of doing actual replicas of some of the piles of goods that can be seen, but it would take forever.  So I'm just trying to give an overall feel of things, which includes highlighting certains materials like wood, wicker, cloth etc.

 

 We've just painted plastic stuff .    :sungum:

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 We've just painted plastic stuff .    :sungum:

 

And built superb locos from kits, etc etc! 

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