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20-Mule Team – August 2017

Posted by Mark Hembree
on Thursday, June 22, 2017

John LeSaffre

Melrose, Massachusetts

In 1953, fledgling model manufacturer Revell hedged its market bets with the Miniature Masterpieces line of historic subjects. One of those was the 20-Mule Team, adopted as a customer premium item by the makers of Boraxo, sponsor of radio and television’s Western series Death Valley Days (hosted for a time in the 1960s by a popular actor and spokesman named Ronald Reagan). Fifty cents and a boxtop proof of purchase netted the 1/67 scale kit for youngsters like John. He says, “I tried to put this kit together almost 60 years ago but couldn’t do it. I saved the original kit all these years to complete it one day. It required a new kit — still available and identical to the first one — but I succeeded in meeting a 60-year-old challenge.” He substituted finer thread (“too thick for the harness”) and used pins and costume-jewelry links to attach the jerk line. John painted with Humbrol and Testors Model Master enamels.

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