There’s not a lot of military history for this kit. It’s a pretty standard European-style shopping cart. I have pushed a bunch of these around stores in Italy when I was TDY at Vincenza. From my experience working at Kroger’s I know that the American version has a different wheel setup and a shelf below the main basket.
This kit is a marvelously done piece of photoetch. Everything except the push bar, which is done in resin, is on one fret. The basket is one piece with the legs attached. The wheels and axle supports are separate pieces, and there’s a chain which attaches to the push bar. I remember that this chain hooks into a dispenser outside the store, and you put a coin in the dispenser to get your cart. When you’re done, return the cart, and you get your coin back. That’s one way for the store to make sure you don’t leave the cart out there in the parking lot. And if you do, some kid would probably take it back to get the coin.
The basic build was fairly fast and pretty easy. I cut the basket out of the fret and made the bends necessary to form the main basket. And then there was a problem. As you can tell by the photos, this is a tiny piece. There are two cross supports on the front legs. Both of them broke off and disappeared as I was working on the main part of the cart. This was not a huge problem, I just stretched some sprue and made a new cross brace. Not as easy as the kit parts, but I couldn’t find them anywhere.
The joints where the bottom and back of the cart met the sides were easily attached with a bit of thick CA and a touch of accelerator.
When that was done, I put in the “kid seat” which attaches at the bottom of the back panel and has a flat seat with leg holes in the back panel, which gives mom a place to put the tyke,
By this time I had fallen back on an old but useful tool called a jeweler’s apron. It’s an apron with a neck loop which I attached to the front of my bench. If anything falls off the workbench, it’ll fall into the apron, and I can find it. When you’re working with something as small as this, you NEED this. And I certainly needed it with the wheels.
The 4 wheels are mounted in tiny little U shaped supports, which are then attached to the ends of the legs. But even using a magnifying visor, I had a heck of a time keeping track of these parts. And I lost two of these assemblies. When I picked them up with the tweezers to glue them on, they went “ping”, and they were gone. Walt Fink calls the tool “tweezerpults”, and they certainly lived up to this name. I attached the two remaining parts to the back legs and prepared to scratchbuild new wheels.
The new wheels were actually pretty easy. I used a Waldron punch and made the wheels from plastic sheet. Painted black, they mounted on the front axles with just a touch of CA.
Except while I was doing the front wheels, one of the back ones came off. As I was reattaching it, the tweezers went “ping” again. More fodder for the carpet monster.
So I removed the remaining stock wheel and scratchbuilt two more. I’m going to have to ask for some advice at the next chapter meeting on how to handle these ultra-small parts. I’ll bet the ship guys have a technique I need to learn.
Highly Recommended. The cart is a super piece of workmanship, and I like it.
I plan to do a diorama of a street in Germany some time in the 60s, with an M-60 driving by a young lady pushing a shopping cart while the tankers wave. And maybe she’ll be waving back too. The cart is a little piece of daily life, and will be a real addition to the scene.
Many thanks to Hauler/Brengun for providing the review item and the Inspiration for a diorama subject. And thanks to IPMS/USA for the chance to do this review.