Thursday, April 5, 2018

Putting the cart before the... oxen

Working on a manuscript has kept me busy lately. Writing a synopsis is fun! (said no author ever). I've not had time or inclination to set to work on the gaming table yet, but I did fool around with some wooden strips, plastic grid and coffee stirrers to make a trio of carts for Dux Britanniarum gaming.

Almost done, and awaiting cargo and motive power in the shape of six oxen.
One of the scenarios for Dux B is Raiding a wagon train, a jolly jape whereby the Romano-British have to escort a trio of carts or wagons across the table before the naughty Saxons grab the goodies aboard and make off with them.

A study of archaeological finds and artists' impressions comes up with a basic boxy shape with solid, rather chunky-looking wheels. It's a rustic design that changed little over the course of a couple of millennia, and some examples can still be seen in out of the way places.

The base is a rough rectangle cut from a wooden tongue-depressor, and the sides are sections of coffee-stirrers, all glued into place with Aileen's tacky glue. The tops are cut from the plastic gridwork used by embroiderers, glued into place with E6000 adhesive. Plastic-to-wood bonds tend to be weak, so I hope these will hold. The yoke poles are cut from paperclips. I did intend to use mini-dowels but they looked way too big for the job, more like telegraph poles than a yoke-pole.

The wheel hubs are causing me problems, though. My first thought was to use 'puffy paint,' but it looks like the weeks in below-freezing storage has totally ruined the two bottles I had. I do have some small metal beads which would do the job, but they're still missing after the move. Annoying, but they'll turn up sometime.

Motive power will be three pairs of oxen. The highland cattle I made a few months ago worked out all right, so I'm going to try making oxen to pull the carts. I may even make the drovers/drivers as well, eyesight and patience depending.


Fitz-Badger said...

Nice cartwrighting!

Michael Awdry said...

They look rather splendid.

Millsy said...

They certainly look the business. Well done sir. No paint em up!

A J said...

Thank you kindly, gentlemen! Next step will be to paint them, probably with a dose of Rustoleum brown since it's about the only thing that will stick to the plastic. I hope to work on the oxen and drovers this weekend.


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