Life is short, break the rules. Forgive quickly, kiss slowly. Love truly, laugh uncontrollably and never regret anything that makes you smile. - Samuel Longhorne Clemens (Mark Twain)

Sunday, February 9, 2014

Wagons for Calamity - Part 4 Sarissa Precission Gypsy Box Wagon

There are two different gypsy wagons and for some reason I bought two of each one. I'm not sure what I'm going to do with four of them but I'll figure that out later. The Box wagon is a very visually interesting wagon and will look good on the table. It could also be used as a drover's wagon (sheepherder) although those usually had a canvas roof. If you get your hands on a bunch of sheep then I would use this wagon. This kit consists of both mdf and cardboard parts and is more complex than the freight wagon, stage coach and hearse.

Let's go through the pictures of the build and I'll point out the areas where I had issues and some tips on dealing with them.

One page instructions. Please, I need bigger type face!

The mdf parts. I really like how these are laid out. Everything arranged in sub-assemblies. Makes finding parts so much easier.

The cardboard parts. These are for the roof and the steps.

You start off with the basic box. I included the picture of the tool box to show where it goes. The exploded diagram on the instructions doesn't really make its exact location clear. Once you see where it goes how it goes together makes more sense.

This is the front steering sub assembly. I have already put together part of it. As you can see they manage to make the steering work. Be sure not to get any glue on the edges of the smaller disc in the center. The axle piece pivots around this and glue would freeze it in place. (Well, unless you don't want it to steer which is actually pretty likely).

Here is the steering axle assembly all put together

Another view of the steering axle

Here the steering axle assembly has been glued to the under carriage per the instructions. I found that this made gluing the roof into place quite difficult. I would leave both axle assemblies off until the main cabin is finished. It just makes everything easier to put together.
Now what is going on in this photo is putting the trails on with a centerpiece to keep them in place. I found it much easier to glue the centerpiece in place on one side and then shimmy everything into place. Again this would also have been easier if I hadn't glued the steering axle assembly into place.

And here everything is together in the front

Building the stairs. This was pretty straight forward and should be left as a separate piece unless you are going to setup a permanent gypsy camp.

The cardboard roof. Here I have glued (off to the left there) the ends into the wagon itself. The cardboard is almost to thick for this bend and I would have preferred they had used thin scribed wood (like the wrapper for the watertank from Banta Modelworks). At each score mark carefully bend the top until you get the rough shape. Be careful here its easy to over bend things (like I did).

The roof roughly bent into shape. You then apply glue to the round portions of the wagon ends and wrap this around. There are four lugs and four matching holes in the cardboard to help with this. bending the cardboard before hand is critical or it will feel like there is not enough cardboard to wrap all the way around. Its fairly tricky. Its not helped by the fact that you have to try and get the chimney glued in place on the inside at the same time. So be patient and dry fit it a couple of times before you apply glue. Have rubber bands ready to fix it into place. It would have been easier to use the rubber bands if the axles hadn't been glued into place already. That's the reason I would glue the axles and wheels into place last. The other issue you will run into is that the curve is so pronounced where the wagon sides meet the roof that you will likely have to hold the bottom "board" in place till the glue dries. Of course I was so involved with getting everything to fit right that I forgot to take pictures. Not that I had a hand available for that anyway.

Okay, that looks pretty good, the chimney is a little crooked.

And from the front. Here you can see where I "over bent" the cardboard and it formed a little kink right at the peak of the roof.

This is a much more complex kit. The layout of the pieces makes things much easier to deal with though. As noted in the picture captions I had a lot of trouble with the roof. Hopefully the second one will be much easier. This kit took about an hour to get together, including picture time. I figure I could put together the next one in 30-45 minutes depending on how much trouble the roof gave me.


  1. A lovely Little model and The Little kink gives it character

    1. It really turned out well, and I really didn't think about the kink adding character. I guess I was to focused on getting the whole thing to wrap around properly. I'm looking forward to giving it a nice bright paint scheme.

  2. agree with Paul !
    I imagine that it have been difficult to build and install the roof on the cart ...

    I'm waiting to see all your chariots painted !

    1. I think I'm going to move these up the priority list for painting. I want to see them painted as well!

  3. You might need a bigger board for Calamity! The Undertaker must be in cahoots with the Rail and Cattle Barons. The arrival of the Gypsies just iritated everyone! ;)

    1. I think you nailed the politics down quite succinctly there. Yes, I'm already envisioning extra boards for Calamity. The scandals are just beginning!

  4. Really interesting little kit there. Great post!

    1. Thanks! The prices aren't to bad either, Sarissa gives pretty good value for the money even if I wish they would enhance more of their detail occasionally.