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European Tram. 1:35


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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.



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.

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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40 sobs at the big H...so probably a bit cheaper elsewhere


They've just brought out a German version as well, with ( in my opinion ) better decal options


I'll be getting one...something different!

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It's a boxful of plastic though. I had a looksee inside before I sent it over to Dave to review, and there's a shedload inside. One of those boxes that has you raising your eyebrows and uttering a mild profanity at the sheer quantity of styrene in the box. Not much space for air at all. Once you factor that in, and how cool it'll look on a diorama, it's pretty good. :)

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  • 2 weeks later...

Bought one of these a surprise for my Dad who's a bit of an expert when it comes to trams and he was pretty blown away by how good it was. I've subsequently had a look through the kit and it really is a big box of plastic for your money, very good value I'd say and the options for a diorama's are endless really.

Can certainly recommend it to experienced builders.



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  • 8 months later...

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