Thursday, May 7

Build review: 1/35th German Military Bicycle of WWII Era from Masterbox

We have the new Masterbox kit of the German Military Bicycle of WWII Era on our desks today. This nifty little push bike can be made into all sorts of load outs with all sorts of equipment. Or even just left bare, we thought we would make it up in our review so you can see just what it’s like.
"German Military Bicycle, WWII Era"
Masterbox Models

1/35th scale
Kit no# 35165
1 grey sprue
1 Photo Etch Sheet

Available from Masterbox's  Distributors Worldwide.

Bicycles were a decidedly useful tool in WWII – the British, Japanese, US, Canadians –everyone used them at some time. The Germans used them extensively – cheap, easy to make.
 SS Kampfgruppe Peiper’s soldiers – known for their massive tanks like Tigers and Panthers used their silent bikes very effectively during the Ardennes campaign. What a good subject to make in injection moulded plastic!?

Obviously people liked to keep in shape during the war as well?? :-)
Here is a picture of a Spanish bicycle soldier from the Blue Division serving with the German Army outside of Stalingrad during WW2 (1942).
The kit...
Last week we looked at a very similar kit from Masterbox. The rather “mannish” looking boxart and sweet little kit of “Frau Müller” was a lovely looking kit but more than a little different to the kit we are looking at today. We thought in the interest of fairness we should build this kit of a German pushbike as well. Let’s have a look at the outside and then the inside and then put it all together for you.
The kit comes in the usual Masterbox black and white box, with artwork of the bike looking great on the front and the rear of the box has a merge of pictures of the painted bike and accessories and the different load outs of equipment that can be secured on the bike. It also has a colour call (Vallejo & Life Color) & a sprue map.
The bike is made from one medium grey sprue which only features the slightest of seams to scrape from the often quite small and delicate bike parts. The frame is a high bar men’s style and different to the woman’s bike we looked at last week. This isn’t just a re-pop for the sake of it.
 And the reverse side of the bike
There is a small sprue of weapons included in this kit. Two panzerschecks, an MG34 machine gun and ammo box.  A mine, a water flask and steel German helmet and gas mask canister. Although you cannot put all of these on the one bike you have the choice to mix and match as you like. 
This plastic it is added too with some photo etch provided by Northstar Models who make some great model kits and additions of their own.  The large fret has the wheel spokes, the chain in two parts and the chain guard as well as the mudguard frame, straps for the cargo and a brake lever.
Black and white instructions are a novelty for Masterbox kits - and these are a help with this kit but just as helpful are the CAD drawings we will include at the end of the review.
 Building the bike:

The parts of this bike are relatively interesting to put together and a little easier compared to the women’s bike we looked at last week.  The bike is simplicity in itself. Though the PE chain and spokes are not easy to make without mess just use some super thin CA glue and you should do ok.

Here are the weapons put together – I hollowed out the ends of the rocket launchers and the MG34
Here is the bike in a pretty plain form. This is a good view of the bike which shows the chain and spokes off to good effect. The seat is again different to the women’s bike. There is a small puncture repair kit and a bike pump strapped to the frame as well as an electrical generator for the front wheel.

The back tray is a little thick but you can see here how the thin PE straps hold things down quite well and that there is a fair bit of room on the bike.

So here is the rest of the bike put together.  It looks great with this minimal set up I have used here – I am not sure of a final layout just as of yet but the kit is full of options which I really appreciate. 
The ease of construction and nice PE detail from North Star certainly make this bike. We could do with the slight bending disks we see on other bikes to create the correct shape of the spokes but otherwise I was able to bend them ok.
Perfect for a civilian or German army dio.

Adam Norenberg.

This new kit and all of their other great stuff can be seen on the Masterbox Website
The CAD images showing you all the options..