Thursday, December 5, 2013

Cowboy Chuck Wagon from Model Trailways - Prototype Completed!

Bob Crane, designer of numerous kits for Model Expo to include the Stagecoach by Model Trailways, hascompleted the prototype of the long awaited Cowboy Chuck Wagon - awesome work Bob! In addition to the completed picture, we have included a copy of the first page of the instruction manual below - all the details you love to read!

We're putting the manufacturing of this kit into our queue - should be produced by the Spring of 2014! And, Bob will be able to leverage the base of this kit to produce two additional Model Trailways kits: the Prairie Schooner and the Farm Wagon - TBD on development and launch dates!

Design, plans, instructions, and prototype model by Bob Crane

Technical Characteristics:
Scale: 1” = 12” (1:12)
Overall length: 10”
Height: 9”

The chuck wagon is an iconic symbol of the American old West and familiar to folks around the world. Countless western films feature a chuck wagon. The first purpose built chuck wagon is usually accredited to Charles Goodnight, a famous Texas rancher. To quote “Wheels West” by Richard Dunlop….”He bought the gear of an army wagon. It had iron axles instead of wood. He hired a Parker County woodworker to rebuild the wagon box of seasoned bois d’ arc and placed a chuck box at the rear end. Six oxen pulled the first chuck wagon.” 

The chuck wagon was used both on the trails, when droving cattle to the railheads for the Eastern market, and on the ranch during the round up. The “Cookie” drove the wagon, and had a status second only to the trail boss. As well as being a mobile kitchen the chuck wagon carried the bedrolls and belongings of the cowpunchers, branding irons and shoeing equipment, and sometimes a newborn calf.

On the trail the chuck wagon went on ahead of the herd, and would be laden high with bedrolls, coils of rope, feed for the horses and fuel for the fire. Buckets, pots and water drums would be hung all around the rear, and a water barrel might be lashed to the side. Often a cowhide would be stretched across between the wheels under the wagon box and this “possum belly” was used to stow wood and or cow chips, picked up on the trail for fuel.

1 comment:

  1. I have all the Model Trailways kits and can't wait to get this one.