Motorcycles were a vital part of the functioning of the German Army in World War II, and many thousands were used over those six years of war. The most common, and often considered the best, was the Zundupp KS750, and this set is one of several by Preiser that showcase this machine in combat.
In this set we find two bikes and a total of five figures. Two are riders, and there is a pillion passenger, a man for the sidecar and a rider standing on his machine and using a map. The box artwork illustrates the poses very well - better than our photographs do. All the poses are very typical and look lifelike, and the men fit their motorcycles very well. Apart from the standard steel helmet all the men wear the standard M1934 rubberized fabric coat issued to such troops, and this has been properly done with double-breasting and the rear yoke with vertical vent. All the men are correctly following procedure and have their gas mask case on a shortened strap on their chest, but are otherwise largely lacking kit. The pillion has a rifle slung across his back, but apart from that the men have no visible weapons, ammunition pouches or any other kit. A separate sprue of weapons and pouches allows the customer to make up for this however. Most importantly of all none of the men are wearing goggles, and nor do they have them ready, such as around the neck or on the helmet. This is a serious omission by Preiser as the lack of goggles would badly impair what these men could do.
The bike is astonishing. The many parts that go to make up this gorgeous little model are often delicate and tiny, but luckily there are comprehensive instructions on how everything is put together. The end result is beautiful and remarkably detailed for something no larger than a sweet. The box mentions that the set is for the experienced modeller, and we would agree that a fairly high degree of patience and skill is required to put this together. Once assembled, this is really too delicate to be 'played with', but simply looking at it is reward enough, and it would make a great centre-piece for many a diorama. The tyres are made of a soft 'rubberised' material and each needs to be placed on each individual wheel. All the wheels can turn freely, and the bike even steers just like the real thing. Other manufacturers have made models of this bike in this scale, but this must be the best out there.
There are also a whole host of optional extras to choose from. The kit includes:
- a towing hook
- a foul weather cover for the sidecar
- choice of mounting the spare wheel on the sidecar
- choice of pannier types, and the ability to include or exclude them
- mountings on the sidecar for machine guns (guns not included)
- paper registration plates for both front and back
So this is a superb model of the motorbike, with some very worthy figures which are fine apart from the complete absence of goggles. A challenging and rewarding kit to make up, but Preiser should have known better with the goggles, although of course at this scale it is not too hard to create them with paint.