Here is another release from VLS’s Streets of Laredo range, their alterative “Wooden Wheeled Work Wagon”. This is not the typical buckboard seen in countless westerns where one sees leaf springs and a wider track with the wheels outboard of the wagon bed. The wheels have a narrow track, are all the same size and are located under the bed of the wagon. There is no representation of any type of suspension springs. This would have been one harsh ride! The pattern maker is listed as Ben Jakobsen
It consists of 17 parts cast in their typical cream colored resin. All parts have nicely done wood grain on all visible “wooden” surfaces. This kit comes very well packed in a zip lock bag surrounded by Styrofoam peanuts inside a reclosable corrugated cardboard box. There are no instructions, only the cover art and this presents some problems with a couple parts as we will see.
Upon opening the bag, the parts appeared to be pretty straight with no obvious warping. Examination with a straight edge confirms this. Kudos to VLS for this. The parts have relatively large pour plugs along one edge, but since most are rectangular is shape, clean up should not be a major problem as long as reasonable care is taken.
A couple wheels have films of resin between the spokes and this should clean up easily with a #11 blade. One wheel had four round blobs of excess resin in next to several spokes which will require more careful clean up. The good thing is they were in the inner edges so clean up won’t be overly critical. Wheels attach snugly to nubs on the axles. The front axle assembly consists of four parts and is posable; two of these are the hitch, though how the two parts fit together is not completely clear. There is not a full assembly to add horses, so the builder has the option of scratchbuilding this or showing a parked wagon.
The bottom of the bed has a couple locator nubs for the front axle support, the taller of the two front axle parts. This fits relatively securely in place. There is a locator nub on this for the axle proper.
The front end piece of the bed is shorter that the rear and the builder must refer to the box art for this. The seat fits on locators on the side parts, which also help indicate the right side part from the left. The back support is attached to the seat base.
The most confusing part of this kit is the rear axle assembly. The axle has “metal” supports that fit well between the rear axle locators. This leaves a mystery part, a “wooden” block. After a good deal of time examining the rear axle, I realized there was a film of resin at the ends of the “metal” braces. That matched up with the mystery part, which turns out to be a brace for the rear axle.
Once the purpose of the parts is finally deciphered, this will present a good addition to a western scene. Its generic nature could also find it in European scenes up through World War II.