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 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.
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!