Wheely Great Trojan Horses!

After a brief (!) hiatus catching up with all the excitement that came along with the world tentatively re-opening, we’re back – and we’re still making Trojan horses. Half-term seemed like a good opportunity to finally try out our Baker Ross Trojan Horse 3D Woodcraft kit. Their individual pack comes with enough pieces for two horses: all wood, all pre-cut, ready to paint and assemble!

The pieces are neatly cut with no jagged edges, and easy to paint. We used the kids’ paint pots from The Works and the colour showed up great! They also dried pretty quickly which made it easy enough to get both sides covered without making too much of a mess. I opted for boring brown, while the 5yo chose something a bit jazzier!

Jigsaws, but make it epic

Once they were dried we gathered all our pieces together. The instructions are fairly straightforward (luckily, as usually I’m terrible at following any kind of construction guide!). The 5yo enjoyed matching the pieces we had to what he could see in the instructions, and the visual step-by-step was easy enough for him to follow himself for the most part. For younger children, numbering the pieces would help with matching them to the instructions – especially as some aren’t quite the same scale as in the drawings.

One of my favourite things about this Trojan horse is that you get people to put inside it! Two little solider-shaped pieces of wood are included, to decorate however you like. I obviously went for a grumpy Greek – inspired by the description Odysseus gives in Odyssey 11 of Neoptolemus, the son of Achilles, impatiently holed up inside the wooden horse:

“And when we, the best of the Argives, were going into the Horse that Epeios made, all under my command – when to wait, when we should spring our close-built ambush— then the other Danaän chieftains and counselors had to wipe away tears, the limbs of all were trembling, yet him I never once noticed with my own eyes dabbing the tears from his cheeks, or his handsome features losing their color; he kept on pleading with me to let him out from the Horse, his hand was always on his sword hilt or bronze-heavy spear, impatient to get at the Trojans.”

Odyssey 11, transl. Emily Wilson
“Grrrrrr” – Neoptolemus

Once the paint was dry it was easy to add finer details using a Sharpie, and we also added more colours with paint sticks, because you can never have too many colours! Next it was time to fit the pieces together: most snapped into place no bother, but a couple of the holes weren’t quite the right size and needed a little bit of filing down. Still worth it though to not have the faff of glueing fiddly wood together!

The wheels have a small hole in the middle which slides on to the wooden dowels, and we added a bit of paper tape to stop them sliding off the ends. The two little Greek soldiers slot inside the body of the horse too, so they can keep an eye on what’s going on. The 5yo was so excited when they were finished! It didn’t take too long to do together – maybe around an hour and a half all in all – which was then matched by how much time he wanted to spend racing them. They move surprisingly fast!

Ready to trick some Trojans!

I’d definitely try more of the Baker Ross wooden sets, and I’m even tempted to get some of these wooden horses for our KS2 Classics Club! A whole class of kids racing speedy little horses, what could go possibly wrong?!

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