I have pretty much finished painting my Trek Cart scout group of Phoenix 43 figures, apart from gloss varnishing them.
At first it looked a little fiddly but fitted together well with little flash.
The Trek or Trek Cart is mentioned in very early Scout cigarette cards.
It is also pictured as an iconic bit of scout history in the 1990 Cub Scout Handbook history of Scouting pages:
Search around and you will find that trek carts were once quite iconic for the scout movement, such as this book cover illustration.
Pinterest is a useful source of images and there are Trek Cart sections on there, from which I have taken some screen-shots as reference pictures for painting my trek cart model.
I chose a dark green Gloss simple paint scheme for my trek cart with no wording.
The trek cart or baggage waggon train provides a good target or focus for many Wide Games / tabletop gaming scenarios.
Lots more Trek Cart stories and images at http://www.shurdington.org/Scouts/Trekcart.htm
I never made the link between scout trek carts and the Wild West type pioneer trek carts featured in this episode of Mormon and American West history.
This is a pioneer story as gripping and tragic as that of the Oregon Trail.
“To cut down on expensive wagons and oxen, some 3,000 of the [Mormon] pioneers subsequently used low-cost wooden handcarts that were light enough to be pulled across the Great Plains. One family or five individuals were assigned to a handcart, with 18 to 20 people sharing a tent. A cart hauled no more than 200 pounds — about 17 pounds of baggage per person. Each highly organized company was led by an experienced guide and was accompanied by at least four oxen-drawn supply wagons.
The first party of handcarts set out from Iowa City, Iowa, on 9 June 1856 with a company of 266 people from England, followed two days later by a second company of just over 200. These early handcart brigades successfully arrived in the Salt Lake Valley, but the trips were not easy. Pioneer journals recorded harsh weather, the threat of hostile Indians, the death of fellow travelers and the ongoing hardships of hunger and fatigue.”
The Mormon pioneer treks of American history are often recreated as part of youth camping activities within this church, pictured and described here:
There is also a Wikipedia article on the Mormon Handcart Pioneers https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mormon_handcart_pioneers
As mentioned before, the Man of TIN blog supports no particular faith denomination. All are welcome at the Man of TIN blog.
Trek carts which disassembled were made in the early William Britain’s Boy Scouts Range, seen here featured in James Opie’s Britain’s Toy Soldiers 1893 – 1932:
Trek Carts can also be found in smaller OOHO railway scale figures by Modelscene / Peco.
A historical Huzzah for the humble Trek Cart!
Blog posted by Mark Man of TIN, 15 July 2019.
8 thoughts on “Have Trek Cart, Will Travel …”
Another excellent post Mark. I really like the artwork on the cigarette card.
For an organisation that espoused the health evils of smoking early on, it is ironic that Scouting inspired so many cigarette cards – many of the ‘colour’ images we have of early scouting are on cigarette cards. Lots of examples on Pinterest, to freely browse through for research, as well as reprint versions.
The completed cart looks terrific and is shown off to perfection in your garden. The background to the carts is filled with images and information new to me ,thanks for sharing it with us.
There is a whole Trekkie (Cart) subculture out there … and not just LDS Mormons.
Lots of wonderful history there, and a lovely find. I was only briefly a Girl Scout, ages ago, but I got to do much of the climbing, hiking and boating with family and other organizations. Off to look at that scout set on the Plastic Soldier Review site!
My own boy cub / Scouting adventure was also very short, my dad being the assistant cub master, I had grown up with cubs and camping, so when it was officially my age and time as a cub, the novelty had worn off a bit. I made it to Bronze Arrow, the lowliest badge rank and retired young!
The Airfix American WW1 figures are still available and even more like early Boy Scouts of America uniform in its Mountie hat early days. Just received a reprint of the 1911 Boy Scouts of America handbook and the Girl Scouts of America equivalents which I will post about in due course. The Airfix 1/76 or 1/72 American WW1 infantry are newly reissued via the Airfix Vintage Classics range in their online shop. Enjoy.
Tremendous research here, Mark. A seemingly humble topic about a scout’s cart reveals are remarkable amount of historical precedent and information. You’ve done a really nice job with the model cart, too.
Who would have thought Trek carts could be so interesting, let alone their wartime role for salvage and waste paper, old tyres and saucepans for spitfires etc ?
I think the Phoenix 43 series are finely detailed enough to attract a painter of your calibre. They have great character, designed probably for railways. The arm lugs are a bit fiddly. A simple kit – I left the fine detailed wiring (supplied) off the trek cart. I wanted a shiny Britain’s old Toy Soldier / Boy Scout series gloss look, which should be there once fully gloss varnished.
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