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Armourfast

Set 99011

WWII German Zundapp Motorcycle

Click for larger image
All figures are supplied unpainted    (Numbers of each pose in brackets)
Stats
Date Released 2005
Contents 21 figures
Poses 5 poses
Material Plastic (Fairly Soft)
Colours Grey
Average Height 24 mm (= 1.73 m)

Review

Motorcycles were used in large quantities by all armies during the Second World War - they were usually the quickest way to get dispatches delivered and were less likely to be stopped by the poor state of the roads or congestion. When the German army was offering a contract for motorbikes in the late 1930s, 750 cc models were submitted by both BMW (the R75) and Zundapp (the KS750). Both were to see service in large numbers, but the Zundapp was considered the better machine and by the war's end over 18,000 had been made for the military. The bike in this set is indeed that KS750.

Looking at the bike first of all, it is a very accurate model of the KS750 given that it is largely in one piece rather than a kit. Only the handlebars are separate, but although the model is produced in a soft plastic, it takes glue very firmly. The level of detail is very good, but the wheelbase is longer than it should be, although with no flash this is a clean little model.

The six bikes in the set come with six pillion passengers and nine riders, so there is a choice. As can be seen, one is an officer who wears no helmet or goggles and the other is more suitably dressed. Both these figures come with separate arms, but again these are easily and securely glued in place. The two standing figures are also dressed as if about to ride the bike. All are nicely proportioned, with the riders leaning in to their machine as they should.

Apart from the officer all are wearing standard dress for bike riding. They have greatcoats which could be the rubberised version often issued to such troops, and goggles on their helmets. However one item distinguishes these men, and that is the gorget hanging quite low down on their chest. This marks these men as Feldgendarme or military police, and motorcycles were often used by these men. The gorget is correctly sized and positioned, but is not engraved, which is fine as several different designs were used.

This set gives a pretty positive impression overall, but there were a couple of surprises. One is that the bikes have no panniers, which seem to have been fairly standard in the field. This could quite easily have been provided as a separate part in our view. The other surprise is that none of the men are armed apart from the officer, who sports a machine gun on his back. As Feldgendarme they should at least have had a pistol, and we would normally have expected some sort of ammunition pouches as well. Having these men unarmed while at war is very strange indeed, even if they are doing no more than acting as dispatch riders.

The sculpting of the figures is fairly good, but faces are not great and some detail such as on the machine gun is a bit basic. Still apart from the omissions and wheelbase problem we have already mentioned this is a nicely produced set.


Ratings

Historical Accuracy 8
Pose Quality 10
Pose Number 10
Sculpting 7
Mould 10

Further Reading
Books
"German Soldiers of World War II" - Histoire & Collections - Jean de Lagarde - 9782915239355
"The German Army 1939-45 (1) Blitzkrieg" - Osprey (Men-at-Arms Series No.311) - Nigel Thomas - 9781855326392
Magazines
"Militaria (English Language)" - No.7

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