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In-Box Review
135
German Motorcycle Recon Trio
German Motorcyclists WWII, (Set V)
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by: Frederick Boucher [ JPTRR ]


Originally published on:
Armorama

introduction
German Motorcyclists WWII, (Set V), kit 35131 is a new 1/35 resin set of three German Kradschützen (motorcycle troops) by Armor35. They are sculpted for use with the Zvezda motorcycle.

Armor35 of Russia is a model manufacturer and online modelling store creating models for our friends in Russia and around the world. Since 2012 they have created a variety of 1/35 resin German and Russian subjects of the Second World War. Armor35 has branched out into offering a line of products, Project Armor35, of 1/35 railroad kits and accessories of resin, wood and photo-etch.

The kit
Armor35 packs the contents in a small card box that opens from the top or bottom. A photograph of the assembled models pasted over a sepia tone of a WWII scene. Seventeen parts are contained in plastic zip-top baggies for each figure:
    1. Driver (Kradfahrer)
    2. NCO (Unteroffizier)
    3. Officer

Three characteristics make this set unique from other model makers' Kradschützen: the three figures; the pose of the bodies; uniforms. The figures are looking and oriented off to the left, reconnoitering for the enemy. None of the three are wearing the rubberized greatcoat, although the 'brass' is dapper in gloves, peaked cap, and cuffed tunic.

Three figures are sharply cast in gray resin. Casting quality is high with no air pockets, mold seams, de minimis flash, or sink areas. Some parts are included attached to pour blocks and stems while some are loose. You can start assembly and painting immediately as there is almost no cleanup required due to the quality casting. Those figure components are separated in a common manner: single-casting torsos with legs; some individual arms; two heads. Most equipment and weapons - Kar 98 and an MP 40 - are separate, too.

details
It appears that these three figures are based on three figures in the sepia tone background of the box art. Clothing, insignia and equipment are cast with definite edges and folds in the clothes. Belt and straps have many holes and buckles are also well done. Armor35 does a fantastic job with collar litzen detail, making it a comparable joy to paint. Look at the shoulder strap detail, too! Hands and faces also show distinct and crisp details. Note the NCO looks rather grouchy.

I think the sculptor might have missed some details. The officer's peaked cap is not secured to his head by a chin strap against the wind of a racing motorcycle. "Might have missed some details" I say in that only the driver has goggles, as partially depicted in the sepia tone background of the box art which shows the officer without goggles.

Although he is armed with a handgun, the officer is ready for trouble, with a stick grenade stuck into his belt as well as a machine pistol on his back! He holds binoculars to his eyes. His crew brandishes a Kar 98 and MP 40.

These days many model manufacturers make models with optional parts. Each of these figures can be modified for another purpose by a clever modeler, yet these figures are obviously intended solely for use with a motorcycle model. That might be a drawback for some modelers but it is not for me!

painting and instructions and decals
No decals are provided.

The box art is your only assembly and painting guidance. You must find references for uniform and equipment colors. Enjoy debating what color the waffenfarbe should be; a September 1939 directive required all Kradschützen units to wear Meadow-Green (Wiesengrün). However, in practice Kraftschützenbataillone could be one color while the Kradschützen of, say the recon portion of a 1940 Panzer Division, might be different than an infantry unit. And those standards apparently changed in other orders in 1941 and 1943.

conclusion
I think this is an interesting set. These are very well sculpted figures with sharp detail and uncommon poses presenting a dynamic feeling to the figures. Virtually no prepping is required before assembly and painting.

It seems odd that the officer's peaked cap is not secured to his head by a chin strap against the wind of a racing motorcycle.

If you want a detailed and unique motorcycle recon team in your collection or diorama, I think this is an impressive kit to obtain. I certainly recommend German Motorcyclists WWII, (Set V)!

Please remember, when contacting retailers or manufacturers, to mention that you saw their products highlighted here - on ARMORAMA.

_______
Sources

513748°-43-1. Handbook On German Army Identification. War Department, Washington, April 9, 1943.

TM-E 30-451. Handbook on German Military Forces

Wehrmacht-Awards.com

http://www.thortrains.net/downloads/germanarmyid1943.pdf
SUMMARY
Highs: Well sculpted figures with sharp detail and uncommon poses presenting a dynamic feeling to the figures. Virtually no prepping is required before assembly and painting.
Lows: Perhaps no chin strap for the peaked cap is odd?
Verdict: If you want a detailed and unique motorcycle recon team in your collection or diorama, I think this is an impressive kit to obtain.
  Scale: 1:35
  Mfg. ID: 35131
  Related Link: 
  PUBLISHED: Nov 28, 2014
  NATIONALITY: Germany
NETWORK-WIDE AVERAGE RATINGS
  THIS REVIEWER: 87.00%
  MAKER/PUBLISHER: 93.83%

Our Thanks to Armor 35!
This item was provided by them for the purpose of having it reviewed on this KitMaker Network site. If you would like your kit, book, or product reviewed, please contact us.

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About Frederick Boucher (JPTRR)
FROM: TENNESSEE, UNITED STATES

I'm a professional pilot with a degree in art. My first model was an AMT semi dump truck. Then Monogram's Lunar Lander right after the lunar landing. Next, Revell's 1/32 Bf-109G...cried havoc and released the dogs of modeling! My interests--if built before 1900, or after 1955, then I proba...

Copyright ©2017 text by Frederick Boucher [ JPTRR ]. Images also by copyright holder unless otherwise noted. Opinions expressed are those of the author(s) and not necessarily those of ModelGeek. All rights reserved.


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Comments

Hmm, not so much my cup of tea, but the subject is interesting for sure! Thanks for the heads up Frederick!! There are a few slightly odd parts IMHO....like the side-car guy's helmet....looks a tad WW1ish, but maybe that's the angle of the photo!! And then his Schmeisser....it looks very thin and brittle..! Moreover, I would have seen the officer in the sidecar....and buttoned-up officers like him don't carry handgrenades, but that's just my opinion!! Cheers Romain
NOV 29, 2014 - 01:49 AM
The driver's expression says it all! There's got to be a PK photographer lurking around somewhere...
NOV 29, 2014 - 04:13 AM
Curious about the issue raised of the soft officer's hat having a "chin strap" Never saw an example of that.
NOV 29, 2014 - 05:06 PM
I have a photos of some general wearing the Peaked cap (Schirmmütze) with the strap down but can't find it. The silver bullion braid around the top could be used as a chin strap; NCOs had a regular leather band on their's; an officers' "old style" pre-1934 field cap ("crusher cap") did not have the strap but many officers found and installed one.
NOV 30, 2014 - 11:50 AM
I have a photos of some general wearing the Peaked cap (Schirmmütze) with the strap down but can't find it. The silver bullion braid around the top could be used as a chin strap; NCOs had a regular leather band on their's; an officers' "old style" pre-1934 field cap ("crusher cap") did not have the strap but many officers found and installed one. [/quote] Even to this day officers' wheel hats still have chin straps--they just don't get used much. What I do find unusual is that he's wearing a wheel hat at all. Surely he would have had a helmet on when riding on a motorcycle (as seen in the photo). I agree with Romain's observation the officer would have most likely been riding in the sidecar, but perhaps he gets a better view up there.
NOV 30, 2014 - 01:36 PM
These will be fun figures to paint! I hope to start them before Christmas.
DEC 01, 2014 - 06:43 AM
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