Saturday, 20 November 2021

Santa's Gotta Brand New Sack

The presents in the open wagon on 'Christmas Tree Halt' were troubling my mind a few weeks ago. The reduction in size of the originals was the obvious solution at the time but part of me wondered if the eventual solution was to have a sack of presents represented in the wagon. I thought nothing more of it until I took a trip to a local model shop that is sadly closing at the end of the year ( I was hoping to get some 009 flexi track but they were out of stock, however I did pick up a few bargains...

All were in the £1 box and being 7mm scale I was going to pop them in the "some day" box. I've no idea who NMB Models are/were, address on the back in is Immingham, but the more I looked at those sacks once I'd returned home the more it occurred to me they could be the answer to a present wagon load in 4mm scale. Even the smaller parcels might pass as presents if painted up in a suitable way...

In order to create the new load I started with a piece of 20 thou styrene scribed as a false floor, to hide the fact that inside the wagon it still has 7mm scale planking. I arranged the sacks to overlap, filling the area underneath the left-hand sack with Milliput, carefully shaped to match the casting. The parcel castings were cleaned up and used as larger presents (must be train sets and TVs!) to fill the gaps. I adjusted two of them in size to give a little more variety. All were placed carefully with the label hanging downwards.

After a coat of grey primer I gave everything a wash of watered-down Vallejo grey-black and once dry carefully picked out the floor planks in timber colour, and the sacks in a slightly darker red shade than the final shade. The presents were picked out in different base colours and then the actual red shade almost dry-brushed over the sacks giving a pleasing depth effect. the ribbon on the presents was picked out in Vallejo brass, as I had no gold to hand!

Once varnished the load was slipped into the wagon, it isn't glued in place but is a tight enough fit. I'm really happy with how this has come out, whilst the old present load worked to a degree I think this actually looks better and is more in keeping with tone and texture of the scene as it exists.


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