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In-Box Review
European Cart
European Cart
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by: Bill Cross [ BILL_C ]


You aren't going to find a farm or a rural diorama without some sort of cart. Whether it's hauling produce to market or manure out to the fields, carts have been a fixture of rural life since the invention of the wheel. MiniArt has been on a tear recently releasing a variety of styrene kits meant to populate rural dioramas with all manner of objects, including carts. They have already released a "dog cart" styles (see here). Now they have put out a closed wagon that looks like it could fit in almost anywhere.

the kit

The kit comes in the usual MiniArt black box with a nice painting on the front, and an exploded-view assembly guide on the back. Inside you'll find four sprues of gray plastic. There is no painting guide.

the review

Reviewing books like Panther have made me more aware of the tremendous potential for well-done dioramas. But good dios require lots of detail, and so it's encouraging to see many companies now releasing things like farm implements, barrels-- and carts. The possibilities with this release are wide-open, whether having a group of soldiers filling it with war booty or supplies, or simply putting in some "hay" or produce to add a level of realism, as if the farmer has just fled in advance of the armies.

The molding is crisp and details are sharp. The wood grain is too deep and out-of-scale, but consistent with other styrene wood items in 1/35th. If you enlarged the grain to 1-1, it would be 2-3 fingers wide! But it's nothing that can't be sanded down or partially filled with putty. Flash is minimal, though the seam lines are somewhat heavy inside the wheels, for example. Those seam lines will require some time with a hobby knife or needle file. Overall, there aren't that many seams that show, so this is definitely minor.

I couldn't really find any problems with the instructions, they seem very straightforward. Even the absence of a painting guide didn't bother me greatly: wagons are wood, so proceed accordingly. Your options range from newly-shellacked brown grain to paint in a variety of weatherings all the way to distressed, bleached wood.


This seems just the sort of item to help add a crowning touch of realism to a diorama or even could be the basis for a dio in its own right. Now, if only MiniArt would put out a horse to go with this wagon!
Highs: A very useful item for any European or Eastern Front diorama. Crisp molding and no real flash.
Lows: Some seam lines inside the wheel spokes, but nothing exceptionally bad.
Verdict: Highly recommended. You can fill this with hay, war booty or whatever floats your boat.
Percentage Rating
  Scale: 1:35
  Mfg. ID: 35553
  Suggested Retail: na
  PUBLISHED: Jul 16, 2011
  NATIONALITY: Ukraine / Україна

Our Thanks to Dragon USA!
This item was provided by them for the purpose of having it reviewed on this KitMaker Network site. If you would like your kit, book, or product reviewed, please contact us.

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About Bill Cross (bill_c)

Self-proclaimed rivet counter who gleefully builds tanks, planes and has three subs in the stash.

Copyright 2019 text by Bill Cross [ BILL_C ]. All rights reserved.


Hi Bill, Thanks for the review. They are coming out with some useful dio stuff. I picked up their Furniture Set and the Wooden Barrels and Village utensills last week, handy items. I have a couple of their carts already, just need the time to build them. Cheers Al
JUL 16, 2011 - 07:42 AM
Just to be picky, this cart has a single horse yoke and I think one horse would not be able to pull a laden cart of this size. I would replace the double yoke with a single pole for multiple horses. With a bit of modification this wagon could be turned into an old west covered wagon (just to be different!).
JUL 18, 2011 - 12:57 PM
Biggles, I think you're underestimating the strength of a farm horse, who isn't supposed to go fast. In any case, check out the horse on this site.
JUL 19, 2011 - 10:00 AM
Not exactly Lucas McCain's buckboard. This one is built for hauling and those farm horses are really strong. Big like the Budweiser Horses.
JUL 19, 2011 - 12:38 PM
Poor horsey! Some of those carts have pneumatic tires, does that make it easier for the horse to pull? Does anyone make a Belgian draught horse in 1/35?
JUL 21, 2011 - 08:37 AM
Well, one of the horses in Tamiyas (or Academys) old "Field Kitchen" is a good deal sturdier and has the "shaggy" hoves common to many cold bloods
JUL 22, 2011 - 02:36 AM

What's Your Opinion?

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