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Found 5 results

  1. Hi everyone. I'm back once again with yet another project that involved adding lighting to and this time I picked the MiniArt European Tramcar in 1:35 scale. I liked the idea of being able to create a small diorama with the included base and figures and was going to build it right out of the box. But once I looked closely as the instructions and then the actual parts I thought there was the potential to add some lighting and so it all began. The kit itself is quite well made with very little to no flashing and the level of details throughout is excellent. Some of the tiny parts are hard to cut from the sprues and the rails have far too many sprue joins to hold them in place. Why do you need about 6 joins to hold a thin rail that is about a half inch long? Other than that everything seemed to fit very well and I only had to make a few mod changes to incorporate the lighting. I don't pretend to be a pro and know very little about electronics and I may have used a little poetic justice with this build but I hope I have created a scene with many 'stories' within it depicting life in 1940's Germany. The German soldiers were a late addition to use up some of the spare space on the base and to give it some atmosphere. Anyway, on with the pics. I hope you enjoy them and thanks for looking. More pics can be found HERE
  2. Since I started building my tramway I always wanted an open boat tram. Alas all the options are gone these days from the conversion kit to hadfields model. I therefore decided to get some plans and scratchbuild. Since I'm good with card I decided to make a development model before creating in plastic. This would expose any flaws before using more expensive materials. This is my first trial.
  3. Cargo Tramway X-Series (38030) 1:35 MiniArt via Creative Models Ltd. Trams have long been used for mass transport within built-up areas of larger cities, using rails set into the street and making a familiar dinging noise just before they run you over. They’re making a comeback in some cities recently, but were far more numerous pre-WWII, and some operators took advantage of the lines to carry cargo deep into cities where the standard railways couldn’t reach. Soviet Russia operated these trams in their cities, carrying the daily necessities around, and probably pressed into service as munitions carriers when war came to town. The Kit This is new boxing is based upon the passenger X-Series tram, with new parts to fill the gutted centre-section where the passengers would otherwise be. These parts replicate the beaten-up look that would result from the rough handling of heavy items in and out of the cargo area. The kit arrives in a shrink-wrapped heavy box with typical MiniArt painting, and inside are twenty three sprues in grey styrene, nine in clear, an A4+ sized vacuum-formed cobblestone base with suitably gauged tracks travelling along the longest side. The package is rounded out by a decal sheet and instruction booklet that has the painting options laid out on the covers. Detail is excellent as we've come to expect from any new tooling from MiniArt, and the instructions are printed on good quality glossy paper in their usual manner. Construction begins with the sub-frame bogie, with two sets of motors and axles sandwiched between the brake actuators and wheels, then slipped inside the long frame along with their leaf-spring suspension mounts and cross-braces. The two axles are then integrated in the frame by adding end-plates and more cross-braces to stiffen up the assembly. The brake actuators are joined to the rest of the armature by a small cage and long rod that is connected to the driver’s cab later on. The body is made up on a two-part base with a laminated bulkhead with windows at each end and a framework wall with badly beaten and dented low side panels that can be posed up or down as you please. Two control uprights and a seat are made up and added to each end of the floor that makes them instantly reversible, then the two cab surrounds are fabricated with glass panels and interior panelling added along the way. The sides are added first, then the front is fixed in place, repeated at both ends and accompanies by a pair of two-panel folding doors on each side of both cabs, totalling eight panels made up into four doors that are handed, so take care when assembling them, their bars and handles. Crew steps are added to each door at each end (there’s a lot of repetition), then the big soviet star with integrated headlight that includes a replica of a bulb in the centre is plonked front and centre in the nose at each end – unless you’ve opted for the simpler and less ostentatious headlamp of course. Underneath the floor the linkages are extended with plastic chains to holes on the underside of the cabs, a receiver for the compressed air and small leaf-suspension mounts are fixed to each corner ready to receive the sub-frame that was made up first. A folded cow-catcher grille is attached under the front/back along with a single buffer, then it’s time to turn it from a cabriolet to a hard-top. The roof is made of two mirror image sections with panelling moulded into each cab end and on the curved sections where adverts would be placed on the passenger version, with a pair of lighting bars running along the rest of the length next to roof-mounted handrails. Upstands are glued to each side of the flat section of the roof and have a nicely detailed heat-exchanger unit fitted front and rear (front and front?). Lights, placards for route numbers and the big pantograph loop is assembled then fitted in the centre of the roof, angled toward the rea… whichever direction it has come from. If you’re not a diorama fan you can end it there, but it would be a shame to waste the base and accompanying catenary posts that suspend the wire above the track. The base is vacformed, so will need some method of support underneath to prevent it from sagging under the weight of the model, such as balsawood, which can be glued to the underside of the base with epoxy. The two posts have a four-part base and single riser part, with a choice of a simple or decorative arm for each one. They are held taut by wires that you will need to supply yourself, and you will need to do a little research to correctly wire in the rest of the cables to your tram’s pantograph. Markings There are six decal and markings options out of the box, with a wide choice of colours but only a few decals for route numbers and vehicle identification. From the box you can build one of the following: Cargo USSR 40-60s Repair USSR 40-60s Repair USSR 40-50s Emergency USSR 40-50s Cargo USSR 40-50s Service USSR 30-50s Decals are by DecoGraph, which is a guarantee of good registration, sharpness and colour density, with a thin matt carrier film cut close to the printed areas. Conclusion A well detailed model of a cargo tram that was used in Soviet Russia for more than just hawking goods around. There’s plenty of scope for dioramas with the included base a healthy start, and lots of opportunity to practice your weathering techniques to depict a well-worn example. Highly recommended. Review sample courtesy of
  4. Grumman A-6E TRAM Intruder detail sets 1:32 Eduard The Trumpeter 1:32 A-6E Intruder has been out for some time now, and whilst it is a super kit straight from the box, Eduard have decided it needs some improvement. They have recently released four sets of etched brass which cover the whole aircraft and the weapons it carries with replacement, and in some areas, additional detail. Naturally, as is the case with most Eduard sets, some of the kit details will need to be removed before the etch can be added, so read the instructions carefully before starting. Interior Set (32863) This set consists of two sheets of photo etched brass. The larger of the two, printed in colour provides the larger parts for the cockpit, such as all the different panels that make up the instrument panel, side and centre consoles. The smaller sheet contains a new vent and other smaller parts for the coaming are also included. The canopy is also catered for with new rear view mirrors, handles, overhead console, frame-work and grab handles. The rear under canopy panel receives new rails and panels whilst the rear bulkhead also receives new fixtures and fittings. The ejection seat are fitted with new firing handles, pipework and head box fittings. Seatbelt Set (32864) I wish Eduard would include the seatbelts with the interior sets, but no, they’re still separate. I guess it does give the modeller more options. This single sheet of pre-painted tinned etched brass gives the modeller everything to make two very detailed ejection seats. Since some of the seat details are contained in the interior set, this set only provides the seat straps, lap straps and the all important leg restraints. Whilst not overly complex, items such as the buckles make the job of assembly rather fiddly. The time taken though will pay dividends and you will have some extremely good looking straps, and all without the need to paint them. Exterior Set (32387) Another two sheet set, which, whilst described as an External set and is pretty comprehensive. The majority of the parts appear to be concerned with the detailing of the various open panels with lots of new ribs and frames for the internal structures. The arrestor hook bay receives new internal panel work, whilst the chaff and flare boxes are fitted with new end plates. There are also a large number of parts to super detail the inner and outer wing fold panels, with pipework, ribs, brackets and panels, along with a very nicely detailed new Ram Air Turbine. The undersides of all the pylons get the Eduard treatment too making them much more realistic, particularly if you want to have your model bare of weapons. Talking of weapons, there are parts for these too, such as the Rockeyes, Mk82s, AGM-84As and AGM-45s. Undercarriage (32388) This single sheet set may be named after the areas it’s designed for, but in fact it covers more than that. Yes there are new panels, fixtures, brackets and other items for all three bays and their respective doors, but there are also new fixing rings, tie down points, pipework etc. for the main and nose wheel oleos. The main wheels also receive new brake details whilst the access doors/step interiors are almost completely replaced with new frames and steps. Conclusion These sets provide a superb level of detail for the big A-6E Intruder. The etch work is excellent and even the pre-painted sets look great. Just choose how much or how little you wish to add. I’m sure a Big Ed set will be released soon, providing all the sets in one package which does save a little money if you want to go the whole hog. I’m more than happy to recommend these to all, although, you will need to have some experience of working with etched parts, and even in this scale they are quite small. Review samples courtesy of
  5. European Tram 1:35 MiniArt There is very little to be found on the history of these trams, with only the odd photograph of similar vehicles and unfortunately MiniArt haven’t provided any background for the model. That said, from the little information that is available, shows that these trams or trams like them were first built in the 1920’s and were used all over Europe until the 1950’s. None of the available photographs show this particular type, but there are many similar, with variations in window style. This makes for a host of diorama opportunities, whether it’s in France, Germany, Austria throughout WWII or even up to Hungary 1956. What I have noticed is that the front/rear headlights on the kit are too high when compared to all the styles of tram that are viewable, and should be more centrally fitted on the front/rear face of the drivers’ cabin. Just wish anyone good luck on trying to find references though. The kit comes in quite a deep top opening cardboard box, which, on opening is jammed to the gunwales with styrene. The base, in the usual vacform style used by the company, is of square paving stones with a pair of tracks set into the surface adjacent to the footpath. The kit only provides two cable poles for the pantograph wire to be hung from and may need a selection of other street hardware found in most of their other dioramas to add a little extra interest to the diorama. The tram itself is contained on nineteen sprues of darkish grey styrene and six sprues of clear. The moulding is good on all the parts, with no sign of flash and only a few moulding pips. Detail is very nicely done, but it does look like MiniArt have made the kit overly complicated, particularly with the amount of parts and detail on the running gear that will be nigh on impossible to see. This is not necessarily a bad thing, as it will give you plenty of modelling time/pound, but it may put off less experienced modellers who may have like a tram in their collection. The tram is a game of two halves, basically made up of two mirrored sections. Each section consists of the floor, suspension leaf springs, support beams, and ancillary items such as the steps, bumper beams, hydraulic and electrical lines. With each floor half built up they are then joined together with longitudinal supports. The central bench seat assemblies are then constructed, along with the central side panels and the separate halves for each of the fixed internal bulkhead panels, plus the opening section. These are then attached to their respective positions on the floor assembly the fixed and opening parts of the internal doors are fitted to the bulkheads and glued into position. The folding entrance doors are constructed at this point and one half of each fitted into each of the four entrance points. Each of the drivers stations are assembled and include details such as the wood panels, which are very nicely done, the electrical contactor box, drivers speed control, control handle, and brake handle. When assembled, these are fitted to each end of the tram floor, after which the cabins can be constructed out of the main front/rear panel and two side panels, each with their respective clear parts added. Smaller details such as the front/rear lamp glass, grab handles, folding door hinge points are also attached before the assemblies are fitted to the tram. The opposite halves of the folding entrance doors are then fitted into position along with the drivers’ cabin bulkheads with their associated windows and protective bars/hand rails attached. The outside sections of the roof are then attached, followed by the additional central roof supports. The four upper window rails are constructed and attached each of the centre roof sections. Internal details, such as the pair of triple bulb light fittings and hanging hand holds are fitted, before the roof sections are attached to the rest of the tram, effectively finishing the car section of the tram. The running gear consists of a single four wheel bogie situated in the middle of the tram. Each axle appears to have its individual motor attached and this is built around the axle from three parts, to which a two part brake system is added to one end. The bearing housings for the axles are made up of three parts to which two wing nuts and a lubrication nipple are added. Each of the two longitudinal beams are dressed with numerous small details, followed by the fitted of the four leaf springs, bearing housings, supports and brackets. The wheels are then fitted to the axles, which are then slotted into one of the main beams along with four cross-members, before the opposite beam is attached closing off the assembly. With the bogie upright, the fore and aft end plates are fitted, as are two angled beams in the centre section. These are followed by a pair of control rods and their associated connecting links. Before fitting the bogie to the tram body the protective screen needs to be attached, consisting of four parts it literally surrounds the bogie. Before turning the model over the protective wood slatted screens are fitted to the underside of the tram body. With the bogie now fitted to the tram construction returns to the roof. Three access panels are assembled and with the access foot boards, fitted to the roof, followed by the pantograph support structure. The pantograph itself is assembled from three parts and attached to the structure with two, two piece hinge parts. The central spring which keeps the pantograph in the correct position needs to be cut back as it’s been moulded to show the pantograph in the storage position. When fitted with the four end plates and connecting parts it can be attached between the roof structure and the pantograph bottom bar. The final parts to be added are the roof grab handles, entrance door handles, entrance door stops plus the front and rear route plates. The base can now be suitably painted up and weathered. After which the electrical wire support poles are assembles and attached to the base. The wires which span the spreaders and the main electrical will need to be supplied by the modeller. Decals The small decal sheet provides the modeller with only one option of Tram number 321 on route 7 which is painted in a dark red over white with a grey roof. Running gear is generally black, but with much wear and tear this will be a great area to go to town with the weathering. Conclusion MiniArt are bringing out some really nice kits lately and this is no exception. An unusual subject to say the least, but it does give the modeller some great options for dioramas, whether on its own, or in company with other vehicles and figures. I would like to have seen some appropriate figures included, and hope that some will soon be released. Highly recommended. Review sample courtesy of
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