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In-Box Review
148
BMW R 75 with Sidecar
German Side-Car B.M.W. R/75 1/48 German Panzertruppe Series No.7
  • Bandai BMW R75

by: Frederick Boucher [ JPTRR ]


Originally published on:
AeroScale

history

The BMW R-75 with Sidecar (Schweres Kraftrad 750 cc mit Seitenwagen BMW R 75) possessed excellent cross-country performance due to the sidecar wheel being powered along with the rear cycle wheel. The vehicle could also run in reverse. More than 18,000 BMW motorcycles were used by the Wehrmacht in WW2. They served in all branches and in almost all functions: rifle units, an officer chauffeur, dispatches, reconnaissance, food transport, even specially equipped tank destroyers! Faster than trucks and panzers, noisy as the panzers but without the armor, the motorcyclists were, as today, a tightly-knit group and within this camaraderie the motorcycle troops knew each other as "Kradmelder." Famed SS commander "Panzer Meyer" taught, "The motor is a weapon!" Indeed, the Kradschutzen often pulled off coup de mains against fortified or superior forces. The September 1939 composition of a Kradschutzenkompanie (Motorcycle Rifle Company) was ten motorcycles, forty-six motorcycles with sidecars, and fifteen trucks and cars to transport four officers and twenty-three NCOs commanding one hundred forty-eight enlisted troops, armed with one hundred thrity-five rifles, nine MG 34s machine guns, two MG 34s with tripod mounts, and three 5cm mortars. A Reconnaissance Battalion (Aufklaerungs Abteilung or A-A) would include a motorcycle machine gun squadron with sidecar mounts, a squadron headquarters, three rifle troops (three sections armed with two MG 34s and one light mortar), and one heavy troop equipped with four MG 34s.

KIT

Released in the early 1970's, Bandai's BMW R 75 was built with sixty-three parts of beige styrene. Each sprue was sealed in a plastic bag, these being boxed in a sturdy two-piece carton with a dynamic illustration of two fierce looking SS men riding along in uniforms not represented on the included figures.

Look carefully at the pieces – crisply molded with no mold or ejector marks, nor sink holes. There is flash but most is minor except on the figures.

The BMW Boxer OHV 746cc 2-cylinder, 26 hp engine in reasonably represented. Rigging it with stretched sprue or wire for the ignition should be little problem. Nor should the adding of brake lines to the wheels.

The small parts are all slightly oversized. Squawks include:

• The oversize spokes on the wheels, fender supports, and handlebar.
• The MG 34 is acceptable (if you ignore the barrel without its cooling holes) but better ones are available now.
• The Seitenwagen (sidecar) had wooden slats in the bottom; these are omitted but easily made.
• Cooling vents on the muffler shield are molded as raised lines instead of open slots.

The three figures are the driver, passenger, and a “Stubbelhopper” foot soldier. The Kradmelderen are wearing the Rubberized Motorcycle Coat (Kradmantel) and gloves. The belts and ammo pouches are molded soft. The Kradmantel was very roomy to fit over gear, and photos usually show the belts synched up deep within the folds of it. Their personal gear are three helmets, three gas mask canisters, a Zeltbahn, a breadbag, a mess kit, a horribly molded bayonet-entrenching tool rig, and a water bottle. Two Kar 98 rifles are provided.

The courier satchels are molded apparently as leather. I know many of them were sheet-metal boxes with hinged tops.

Instructions, decals and painting

Bandai’s instruction sheets are a feast, featuring photos of the prototype, the model, the model in dioramas, drawings, cartoons, and ideas for detailing; they even experimented with multi-color printing. The translations leave plenty to be desired.

Decals for a Heers and an SS registered vehicle are provided. Remarkably, there are none for a Luftwaffe BMW. Afrika Korps, Grosse Deutschland and SS-Totenkopf are amongst the seven units provided, as well as two tactical symbols, a medical marking and a Swastika marking, and three BMW logos.

Painting instructions are poor. While they got Field Gray correct, “Emerald green” is subjective. No paint manufacturer is referenced.

Conclusion

As far as I know, this is the only quarterscale BMW available. Like the 1/48 Tamiya German 3 Ton Truck, it should be a hugely popular accessory for Luftwaffe vignettes and dioramas. This BMW R 75 is out-of-production but they can be found. The molding is good but the small parts are oversized. The crew is not very lifelike. The kit does build up to display nicely. Minor detailing can greatly enhance the detail. Available newly released figures and equipment will improve it, too. Until a new modern model is produced, quarterscalers can have a reasonable model of this seen-everywhere, do-everything WW2 German vehicle.

Photos of built Bandai / FROG / Fumans:
Bandai Gallery
SUMMARY
Highs: Crisply molded with no mold or ejector marks, nor sink holes. Incredibly useful model for modeling aviation or armor themes.
Lows: Oversized parts, soft detail on the figures. Out of production.
Verdict: A fine kit with great potential. The BMW R 75 is a desireable kit with its obvious applications for Wehrmacht and Luftwaffe dioramas and vignettes.
Percentage Rating
75%
  Scale: 1:48
  Mfg. ID: 8227
  Suggested Retail: $25 +/-
  Related Link: 
  PUBLISHED: Jan 16, 2009
  NATIONALITY: Germany
NETWORK-WIDE AVERAGE RATINGS
  THIS REVIEWER: 87.00%
  MAKER/PUBLISHER: 81.47%

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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Photos
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  • Bandai BMW R75
    Sprue A
  • Bandai BMW R75
    Sprue B
  • Bandai BMW R75
    Frames
  • Bandai BMW R75
    Frame detail
  • Bandai BMW R75
    Wheels and 745 cc flat-twin (OHV) engine detail
  • Bandai BMW R75
    Exhaust detail
  • Bandai BMW R75
    Sidecar and courier bags
  • Bandai BMW R75
  • Bandai BMW R75
    Crew detail
  • Bandai BMW R75
    Crew personal gear
  • Bandai BMW R75
  • Bandai BMW R75
  • Bandai BMW R75