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European Tram

MiniArt 1/35 European Tram Kit First Look

By Michael Benolkin

Date of Review December 2013 Manufacturer MiniArt
Subject European Tram Scale 1/35
Kit Number 38001 Primary Media 609 parts in styrene
Pros First kit of this vehicle in styrene Cons Nothing noted
Skill Level Experienced MSRP (USD) $89.00

First Look

European Tram Kit
European Tram Kit
European Tram Kit
European Tram Kit

In larger European cities across the continent, the need for personal transportation was a luxury rather than necessity due to the established mass-transit systems. Between trolleys/trams, trains, subways, buses, etc., one could move just about anywhere in town and thanks to the state rail systems, travel between cities was also easy. Before buses were in regular use, trams/trolleys were the primary people movers between train stations and outlying destinations.

MiniArt never ceases to amaze me with the subjects that they'll tackle that have been largely ignored by other kit manufacturers. When I first heard that they were producing a tram kit in 1/35 scale, I wasn't sure about the wisdom of such a subject. Now that the kit is here, I am really looking forward to building it!

This kit is molded in light gray styrene and presented on 19 parts trees plus six trees of clear parts and one vacuformed styrene display base. With the exception of the first parts image, duplicate parts trees are not shown.

To say this kit is detailed is an understatement. At over 600 parts, this tram is very detailed inside, outside, and underneath. The layout is generic though most of these trams shared a common design so detail differences are minor and can help personalize your project after finding some interesting examples to work from online.

The tram has a central passenger compartment with a control cab on either end that doubles as passenger entry/exit platforms. The doors on either end of the passenger compartment as well as the four sets of doors for entry/exit are all positionable. The significant amount of glass all around this tram means that you will see all of those details inside once the model is completed. All you need do is decide how and where to portray this tram.

The tram has a raised pantograph to connect the tram to the overhead wire which is provided in the kit along with two catenary poles. You can pose your tram parked and simply stow the pantograph atop the tram.

When I had an idea for a diorama using this kit, I did some research online and found that you could depict this tram car just about anywhere within a larger city in Europe and in just about any time period from before World War Two to the end of the last century. You'll still see some of these trams still in use today, but more of a tourist attraction than transportation. One photo that caught my eye was a number of Soviet Army soldiers riding around in one of these trams after taking control of Berlin. I have something different in mind, but you might see something similar in Italy or France for allied soldiers on pass. As with any of the kits produced by MiniArt, they're only limited by your imagination.

So MiniArt, when can we expect to see some tram figures such as a conductor/driver as well as some seated passengers?

My sincere thanks to MRC for this review sample!