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  1. European Farm Cart (35642) 1:35 MiniArt via Creative Models Ltd Farms move immense amounts of goods around, including fertiliser, produce, livestock and many other things that us townies wouldn’t have a clue about unless we’ve watched Clarkson’s Farm recently, and even then we probably don’t see it all. Before the advent of tractors there were horse-drawn carts, which were easily adapted to be pulled behind a tractor by removing the parallel traces, or shafts, and adding a simple A-frame to the steerable front axle. Ever cost-conscious, many of these carts had old-fashioned wooden spoked wheels with iron tyres, offering no bump-absorbing suspension to any poor soul doomed to travel on one with the hay. After WWII, metal-bodied trailers with pneumatic tyres and suspension started to creep in, replacing the old-fashioned wooden carts eventually in all but the most die-hard farms. The Kit This kit arrives in a figure-sized end-opening box, and inside are five sprues of grey styrene that will build up into a four-wheeled wooden farm cart of the type described above. The two larger sprues are supplied in pairs to obtain the requisite number of wheels, axles and sides to the cart, with full instructions printed on the rear of the box, and a realistic wooden texture moulded into most of the parts, along with a healthy quantity of bolts and bracketry that are holding it together. Construction begins with the steerable front axle, which first has a beam framework made, snipping off some small parts, with a circular ring added to the top. The front frame for the load bed has three cross-braces added to the front underside and another ring underneath those, while the rear frame has a fixed axle strapped to it with a pair of brackets on a flat plank that has slots in its top surface to accept the framework above it. The two halves of the chassis are joined end-to-end, adding the smaller spoked rear wheels that can remain mobile if you glue the caps on the axle carefully. The front axle assembly has a pair of wheels glued on in a similar manner, adding the A-frame towing arm, noting that the front wheels are noticeably larger than those at the rear. Interestingly, there is also an alternative pair of parallel traces on a curved frame that replaces the A-frame if you’d like to either put a horse in between them, or leaving it in a farmyard diorama. The load bed is similarly made from two flat planked sections that are joined together, then have the side walls with moulded-in outer framework, some small protrusions on the ends removed with a sharp blade. The back panel has a raised, curved centre plus some additional shackles near the bottom, and the front is a simple flat panel, all with framework moulded-in, which has caused some very faint sink-marks on the inside surfaces, but with some bales of hay, boxes or barrels placed in the bed they won’t notice. The last item to be made up is a little bench seat that is suspended between the walls near the front of the bed. It is made from two paired planks that are joined together by L-shaped brackets to create the angle between the seat and back rest. It sounds idyllic and bucolic, but your fillings won’t thank you after you take a ride in it. Maybe that’s why old farmers are portrayed in the media with terrible teeth? Markings There are no decals of course, and you can paint your cart any colour you like, with plenty of opportunity for weathered and distressed paintwork, plus options for rusty tyres, brackets and bolts all over it. Have fun and try some new techniques. The box art suggests a weary turquoise colour, but there are very few limits on what colour you choose. My view of what is turquoise is often at variance to my spouse’s, so don’t take my statement of the cart’s colour on the box too literally. Conclusion It took me forever to remember the word “bucolic”, so I’m going to used it again shortly. This cart can play a part in any rural, some might say bucolic, diorama, or it could be rotting in the back of a farmyard somewhere, or lying damaged in a field that has become a battleground. Just like the paint scheme, the choice is yours. Highly recommended. Review sample courtesy of
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