borax 20 mule team model

by Rick Seykoski

20-mule team Borax ready for another desert run

20-mule team Borax ready for another desert run

I am planning on building the Borax 20 Mule Team model. I want to airbrush the mules, wagons, undercarriages, and water tank. Can you please suggest accurate colors for airbrushing. After painting and detailing, I want to weather the mules, undercarriages, wagons, and water wagon. I plan on using Doc O'Brians colors. I plan on scaping the board that the model goes on. (45" x 3 1/2") Any suggestions on correct color (Paint) and weathering techniques would be greatly appreciated.
Thank you for this consideration.
Rick Seykoski

SMH Responds Rick, I envy you on this project and wish I could find a model of the 20-mule team. It would be ideal for a narrow shelf in my office.

I have done some research to help you make color choices and have posted several photos at: along with comments regarding painting and weathering tips.

Keep me posted. I would very much like to run photos of your finished model. This is one of the unusual ones.

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Jul 05, 2015
20 mule team NEW
by: Noel Mullan

I put some pic's on facebooks page. I dont use facebook so I hope I did the entries correct. making this model for my grandson has been so much fun and painting the mountains are as close as I could get. I still have a few things left but the detail takes time. As always I am open to ideas and easyer ways to do things. This is my facebook address to see the pictures.

Jul 04, 2015
Paint and mounting NEW
by: Noel Mullan

I was fortunate to have spent my summers on my cousins farm up in Canada. I was close with all kinds of animals. The mules however in many pictures I see are always brown. In reality many are grey and in many shades of brown and rarely are entirely brown. When I panted mine I would paint in many layers and at the end with cloth with the paint thinned and wiped on and let dry and if not the color I wanted I would layer more on until got what I wanted. It worked well for me. The mount everything went on was a oak board my soninlaw made with a 1/4 inch edge. I used a grout material and made the road using the wheels making the ruts that wheels would make. I used the mules to make the hoof prints. I then put down a fine level of glue and spread sand on top and it made a very real look. Most of all Have Fun so it will last for a long time.

Jul 04, 2015
Our presidents history NEW
by: Noel Mullan

I like many enjoyed our president on Death Valley days that provided entertainment that would drive the gun control promoters into spastic seizures. I put together my model and it hung on the wall in my bedroom for many years. Life goes on and I found it in a box my mother put it in when it fell from the wall. I saved it all thru the years and now like many have put it together again only with much more care and with research to get the correct paint. I will give it to my great grandson with a message that it was a combined effort from his PaPa and Grampa. The base to which I mounted the team was made by his grandfather he calls PaPa. The history of this country needs to be preserved. I will send a picture when I finish for I also painted a panoramic scenery of the death valley mountains for a background. My mane objective is he will have something to remember who I was.

Jul 04, 2015
Chenn's Comment NEW
by: Emery

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Mar 24, 2015
found ! NEW
by: AnonymousNoel Mullan

While cleaning in my garage I found a box I sat on the shelf when we moved in fifteen years ago. I was so happy to see it again. I had this model when my Mother sent for it when President Regan hosted Death valley days. I now have a great grandson who will now have the model. It fell off the wall of my bedroom and I gathered all the parts and put them in a bag where they sat until I married. I am hand painting everything and all the mule's will have different markings. I do have a few parts missing but will hand make them so it will be complete. I have obtained photos of where the wagons traveled and will make an oil painting for a background. My son in-law has made the base that is 48 inches long it will contain sand on the surface that will have the witness marks from the hooves and wheels I am hoping it will be as real as I can make it. This is over sixty years old so I work with all the care I can. I will take photos when I finish and post them.

Jan 05, 2015
20 mule team NEW
by: Al

To find out more about the age of the original sets you will need to find a site on the Death Valley Days television program of the 50's when it was hosTed by the "old ranger" prior to Ronald Reagan.

Jan 05, 2015
20 mule team NEW
by: Al

To find out more about the age of the original sets you will need to find a site on the Death Valley Days television program of the 50's when it was hosTed by the "old ranger" prior to Ronald Reagan.

Jan 04, 2015
What is my model worth? NEW
by: Harley

I got the "20 Mule Team" model kit when I was a child but I don't remember what year. I put it together and mounted it on a long board and still have it today. It is complete, as far as I can tell, except for the line that runs from the first wagon to the lead mule.

Does anyone know what year these were first introduced (had to of been around 1960 +/-).
Is it worth anything other than sentiment?

Sep 22, 2014
20n mule team model NEW
by: Al

I must have got the model box from hell. My kit has been short far too many parts to just be an accident. Most of the shortages have been handled but I can not complete the water wagon as is. My father had one of the original models but that is long gone and so is he. I had an uncle that taught wood carving in a VA Hospital and one of his students carved an entire set up for him back in the late 1940's. I have four of those mules and parts to their leather harnesses. The remainder of the set is between California and Nebraska. I WANT TO FINISH MY SET BEFORE I DIE.

Jun 26, 2014
20 mule team models NEW
by: Anonymous

I have about 12 boxes of the 20 mule team rolls that is still in the box. when they are put together they are about 45" long. would like to find out how old they are and like to sell them

Sep 03, 2013
by: Jim

After an eternity, this kit is back. I was visiting the Furnace Creek Visitor's Center this past week and saw the model, then the kits on sale. I had to have one. Remembering back to when I was around 10 or 12 (about 60-yrs ago), my grandparents gave me this kit from the Borax Company as a Christmas gift. I built it, but did not rig or paint it as it was very complicated for a 10yr old.
This will make a very nice model for the book case.

Sep 29, 2012
20 Mule Team Scale Model NEW
by: Al Navis

I have an unassembled 20 Mule Team Scale Model from (probably) the late 1950s.

Contact me if you are interested.

Al Navis,

Sep 22, 2010
20 mule team model
by: elliott

The 20 mule team model is now available again. See

Sep 15, 2010
another photo
by: Jerry

Here's a link to a 1908 color postcard of the team

The site also has a history of the 29 mule team with some specs on the wagons and how they operated.

I built a model, about 50 years ago -- it was a plastic kit from the 20 mule team Borax company and that looked really cool with all the mules - can't wait to see your real model :)

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