In-Box Review
European Cart
European Cart
  • move

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.

View Vendor Homepage  |  More Reviews  

About Bill Cross (bill_c)

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

Copyright 2021 text by Bill Cross [ BILL_C ]. All rights reserved.


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 are the dimensions of the wagon body? Many thanks!
MAR 03, 2019 - 08:24 AM
Either of the horses from Esci's older supply or ambulance wagons will work well with them. But remember that in a war torn area forging and feeding can be difficult at times. There are lots of pics showing emancipated horses pulling supplies and or refugees. Some historex horses might work in a pinch also
MAR 04, 2019 - 01:29 AM
The same cart appears in several boxings, so keep an eye out for the better deal - I picked up the one with US troops, refugees and nun. It also includes the original child and driver.
MAR 10, 2019 - 05:43 PM
One should differentiate between the LOAD on the wagon/cart/carriage and the FORCE needed to get the whole stuff rolling. It is on wheels! Due to the size of the wheels a heavy load rolls much easier, even if pulled by a single horse. In Europe, this size of carts was used on farms and by sales people, very frequently pulled by a single horse. I can remember having seen them used by vegetable sales men, who traveled through the city from door to door. With the present resin sets with various crates this could become a nice dio. Until into the 50-ies these carts were part of daily traffic in many towns. But it could also represent a confiscated cart with German soldiers heading home at the end of the war.......
MAR 10, 2019 - 07:49 PM
I think you've got this one confused with the Masterbox wagons, this one is by Miniart. Miniart also has a smaller cart, but no figures accompany it.
MAR 11, 2019 - 12:32 AM

Click image to enlarge
  • move
  • move
  • move
  • move
  • move
  • move