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 ;) .

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”. Watch this space.