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Miniart European Tramcar, with crew and passengers, in Ukrainian colors ... grime and rust is the new pink ...


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Hello all,

After an hectic 15 weeks, I can now say I am settled in y new house, where the bench was rebuilt, and ready for some (old and new) projects.

I wanted to contribute to this group build, whilst satisfying my pet idiosyncrasies : no camoed subject, civilian or at least peaceful subject, and possibly, not an aircraft, which would give me the excuse of an OOB build, which I am unable to do with wingy things.

My choice has fallen on the Ukrainian manufacturer Miniart. I have been regularly impressed by their original subjects, and the impressive builds that could result with their kits, like for instance their Caterpillar dozer. I settled on their "European Tramcar kit". They have released other tramways kits, probably more appropriate for an Ukrainian city, i.e. the Russian-designed "X-type" tram. But, for this group build, I would not even want to choose of subject with a Russian or Soviet flavour.

Still, their European tram, most likely a replica of a Gothaer Waggonfabrik tramcar, could very well have been used in Lviv, which used to be Polish until 1945. And, besides, I have decided I would not go for a specific Ukrainian town tramcar, but more for a fanciful" model, in Ukrainian colors, i.e. yellow bottom and blue top (which - I found in my browsings on the subject - is a color set used on some trams of the town of Gotha in Germany).

Ok, on to the build !

The box is compact but filled to the brim with sprues !

IMG_2616-600x450.jpg

 

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I have not counted the parts, but read on the net that the base kit (without the passengers and crew) was made of 609 parts. We are in tank realm with this part count :) There is even a vacform base representing a portion of paved street with rails, at a tram stop, with a wrought iron bench and guard rails.

The original vehicle being essentially symmetrical along the transverse middle axis, Miniart have chosen to model a lot of parts along one longitudinal half, which has saved a lot of tooling. This is why most of the sprues in the box are duplicated, or sometimes in present in 4 identical sets.

IMG_2618-600x450.jpg

I followed the instructions and started with the two sets of left and right entry steps. These are made of 5 parts, on of them the support for the forthcoming suspension springs.

IMG_2620-338x450.jpg

Then I decided to depart with the assembly instructions by assembling the two main floor halves. I feared that any joint cleaning would be very difficlut once all parts were added to them. I was right to fear a potential issue with the assembly of the two floor halves. There is some shrinkage in the middle, which creates a gap needing to be filled.

Plus the bottom is smeared with multiple ejection pins marks. Even though this is underneath the tram, given that the bottoms are really very detailed, these marks need filling before going further.

IMG_2619-600x450.jpg

They have been filled, and I have resumed assembling some of the components of the bottom. However, this is currently stalled whilst the putty dries and awaits some sanding.

IMG_2621-338x450.jpg

So, to be continued another day ;)

Hubert

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Very nice choice of subject, Hubert. Leipzig in Saxony has also blue and yellow painted trams. You may find some pics in the net from some old trams, like the MiniArt kit. Will you include the passengers?

Cheers Rob

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Thanks for the pics, Martin. Was the stove a standard feature on these trams (well, I know, it was a Standard stove ;) ) ?

I was actually thinking of displaying the street section with a fine layer of snow ...

Hubert

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3 hours ago, Martinnfb said:

not sure about the stove

 

18364737_403.jpeg

tram.jpeg

Actually, why put a stove in a vehicle that has electric power, and henceforth heating, available ? It looks like a (cool) mod to a static museum example.

Hubert

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Hubert

Enjoy your new home and studio - I know the feeling oh so well. ☺️

Absolutely a fantastic idea and build for the GB and will be following trough the eyes of a former model railroader - I've always had a soft spot for trams, street cars and overhead electrics.

Nice start and from the part count, a true Miniart kit. I'll be the one seated right behind the engineer. :popcorn:

Keep 'em comin

Peter

 

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  • 3 weeks later...

Time for a much needed update...

As a general comment, I can understand John's (Mister G) comment about being overwhelmed by the number of tiny parts. The kit IS finicky, with plenty of small parts. The issue is not so much the number and size of parts, as the limitations of the molding process, where you end up for each part with a lot of sprue gates, which require careful, time-consuming, cleaning of the remaining "pips", and where it is especially complex when a squarish sprue gate meets a rounded section part.

Another comment is that you must forget about any macho temptation to do away with instructions ... Read them once, twice, thrice, and then again a fourth time ... Although many parts seem identical and symmetrical along the X and Y axis, a significant number are in fact handed, with a notch, or pip, or recess molding here or there. If you do not pay attention, I can safely bet that you will get at least a few parts reversed ;) . Ask me how I can be sure of having a winning bet 😁 !

This said, and knowing a bit about this field, I am VERY impressed with the mold cutting, the engineering, the quality of the design, and with such a complex kit, the overall fit. Well, at least so far...as I have read some reviews complaining about the fit. My only gripe is that, whilst understandable, the choice of symmetrical parts to minimise the number of original sprues can sometimes create issues.

I hit such an issue with the main floor parts. Rather than mold the floor as one part, Miniarthave molded two halves, that abutt in the middle, with a very thin contact line. In my previous post, I said I had chosen to glue these two parts together early, in order to fill and sand any gaps.

But, sure enough, my two halves soon decided that, if not going for an outright divorce, separate bedrooms were of the order of the day :(

This called for a radical solution to ensure a better match. I scraped the middle floor "planks" with a chisel :

IMG_2642-338x450.jpg

...and then glued some 20x40 thou strips, that would cover the whole middle section of the floor :

IMG_2643-338x450.jpg

Now I had a much larger gluing surface, and I could be sure that my two floor halves would stay together !

Time to start "dressing up"the bottoms of the car ;)

As designed, the central beams under the entry / driver's platform do not touch it along their whole length. Not very sensible form a mechanical point of view, IMHO

IMG_2645-338x450.jpg

The issue comes from the the two notches in the transverse beam, that rest on the two angled beams on the outside. That's an easy correction:

IMG_2646-338x450.jpg

On the left, above my thumb, the larger and deeper notch, on the right, the notch as designed by Miniart.

When I said some parts were small and needed cleaning of the sprue gates, the inevitable consequence is that you can sometime struggle to hold the said parts. Typically, the small axis that is the shaft of the brake command decided to try a ballistic trajectory on its way to meeting the carpet monster 😂 !

But a small piece of rod was an easy replacement (the white vertical rod on the picture)

IMG_2647-338x450.jpg

... Aaand fast forward to today, after a few hours of cleaning the parts separated from the sprues. I have finished stage 9 of the building, that deals with (a part of) the bottom of the car:

IMG_2651-600x450.jpg

You can see the puttying of the central seam and of the injection pin marks, dealt with courtesy of Tamiya putty ...

I have also assembled the two benches of the main cabin, as you can see ...

IMG_2652-600x450.jpg

Adn seen from above, with the said benches loosely placed in situ. This shows the new central planking made with strips.

IMG_2653-338x450.jpg

Missing from my update are the pics of some passengers, which I have started assembling.

I think I am now reaching the time to start spmasing some paint on this.

TAFN

Hubert

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Hubert

Amazing progress and your solutions to the floor issue was perfect. Yup, I too as the eyars have progressed, struggle with small parts both clean and even holding at time.

Thoroughly enjoying your build.

Keep 'em comin

Peter

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I second Gus, your Tram starts to come together beautifully. The solution with the floorboards is great, Miniart should have thought about it a bit more. It's hard to see at he pictures, but aren't there any beams under the floor, to form a chassis?
I sometimes thought about buying one of the Tram kits myself, but I can't stand repetitive work, if it can be hindered. For the same reason, I skipped the Roden Greyhound bus, as much as I like the design and braveness to produce such a kit. Speaking in wooden ships, I would never do ships bigger than let's say a heavy frigate, certainly no HMS. Victory.

Cheers Rob

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  • HubertB changed the title to Miniart European Tramcar, with crew and passengers, in Ukrainian colors ... with "La Vie en Rose" ?

One more update, with an experiment, you will see ;)

Last time I mentioned some paint would soon be necessary. The undersides will need some paint, which prompted me to skip the phases of the cabin construction on the instruction sheet, and jump to the undercart. This way, I can go painting and weathering the whole undersides in one go

So I have assembled the complex undercart, with engines and wheels, and the braking system. The sprues are progressively getting more empty ...

IMG_2655-338x450.jpg IMG_2656-338x450.jpg

 

... and the undercart mated (but not glued yet) to the main floor :

IMG_2657-600x450.jpg

And viewed from above ...

😎

Time for primer now, at least to check if there are outstanding seams to fill and sand (knowing I have to reson myself constantly that not many times will the tramcar be rotated upside down to see its bottoms, so chasing the tiniest seam is not a vital necessity, at least in the spirit with which I am building this one ;).

The bottoms are black in theory, but IRL they soon turn out into a mixture of dirty blacks, browns, and rusty shades.

Which is where I thought a reddish background could be interesting before spraying these colors, where rust will predominate.

Enter Tamiya pink primer in a rattle can. It's actually a great background color for red and chrome yellow wings. Hopefully it will be useful as well for the brownish/blackish/rusty underside.

I hope you guys have you sunglasses nearby 😂 😎, especially with the blue background for the pics:

IMG_2660-338x450.jpg IMG_2661-338x450.jpg

 

IMG_2663-338x450.jpg IMG_2662-338x450.jpg

That's all for now. I have to reglue some parts which got loose (and the eagle-eyed among you can spot them).

Hubert

 

 

 

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Hubert

Some mighty nice work and a good plan, in working on the complete undercarriage assembly together, allowing you to do all the painting and weathering for this area.  Going to have to buy a bottle of red primer and give it a try as it does have a lot of possibilities. 

The details look a amzing.

Keep 'em comin

Peter

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  • HubertB changed the title to Miniart European Tramcar, with crew and passengers, in Ukrainian colors ... grime and rust is the new pink ...

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