This is another of the Preiser series of sets depicting motorcycles of the Wehrmacht in various conditions. This time it is with the crew pushing the bike, which brings to mind images of warfare in challenging terrains and weather conditions; none more so than the invasion of and subsequent expulsion from the Soviet Union. Motorcycles were a vital part of the army, and were used much as light cavalry had been in days gone by. The most widely used German bike was the Zundupp KS750, and that is what this set contains.
The set contains two bikes and four figures. The box gives a good idea of what the figures look like, which is just as well as these complex poses do not make much sense by themselves, as can be seen in our pictures. Basically three of the men are pushing a bike, while the fourth seems to be adjusting his helmet for no obvious reason. The pushing poses are reasonable enough, and most of the figures come in more than one piece, which will make it a little easier to introduce some custom changes to the poses if desired. As with all Preiser figures they are well done with good detail and very lifelike proportions. The lack of bases makes them more a display model than a gaming piece. Their costume is the usual motorcyclist outfit of steel helmet and M1934 rubberised greatcoat, both of which have been properly done here. There is little kit, but the included weapons sprue provides enough rifles, submachine guns, pouches and bayonets to arm everyone. None of the men are wearing goggles, and nor do they have them visible anywhere, which is a serious mistake as all motorcycle crews would have had goggles.
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 the wheel. All the wheels can turn freely, and the bike 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 interesting figures which are only missing some goggles. A challenging and rewarding kit to make up, but Preiser should have paid slightly more attention to the figures here.