Magnificent Tasmanian timber models


At Historic Vehicles we’ve come across some beautifully worked models over the years, but we’ve never seen anything better than these scratch-built examples. They were made by retired truckie, Mel Blunden, who lives in Mole Creek, Tasmania.



The collection we saw was in the safe hands of Ewan Stephens, of R Stephens’ Golden Bee and Golden Nectar business in Mole Creek. 

Mel Blunden used Tasmanian timbers and simple tools in the construction of these highly detailed models and everything is wood – even the brake lines and spark plug leads. The leaf spring packs are formed from individual leaves and the carved wood chain drives on the motorcycles are as flexible as the originals.







His model of the famous jet-powered Waltzing Matilda speed record truck is particularly interesting, because Ewan Stephens has the actual truck in his private collection. He bought it years ago, after the jet engine was taken off its back and it was brought back to standard prime mover specification. 


Ewan replaced the worn Caterpillar 3208 V8 diesel with a petrol V8. (Ewan is a dedicated petrol-Ford man, as you can see from this story in the Working Vehicles section of this website.) Mel used Ewan’s now-retired truck as the base for the model, right down to the petrol-engine spark plug leads that wouldn’t have been in the original, diesel-powered Waltzing Matilda.


We reckon Mel Blunden’s handiwork is good enough to have him rated as a national treasure: what do you think?

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