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In-Box Review
135
German Military Bicycle
German Military Bicycle, WWII Era
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by: Todd Michalak [ TRM5150 ]


Originally published on:
Armorama

Introduction

Severely restricted as a result of the Treaty of Versailles the German army, infantry specifically, was more limited as they were forced to mobilize on foot that made non-motorized means of transport more commonplace. Other than horses, the Truppenfahrrad or Troops Bike was one largely use means of travel for the military and as of 1943, the German High Command required the military to incorporate these bicycles into all infantry divisions and even the motorized divisions as well.

These were very simple bikes manufactured by several different companies and quite literally produced in the millions and distributed throughout all the forces. They incorporated a simple front braking system with a small lever on the handlebars leading to a piece of rubber that was pressed directly into the pneumatic tire. The rear braking was controlled through backpedalling. The seat was constructed from coil springs and was made of leather, cloth, rubber or felt. There were several different configurations to these bikes depending on their use at the time; anything from holders for a variety of machineguns, mines, anti-tank weapons and tools not to mention a rack mounted over the rear tire for stowage.

The Kit

German Military Bicycle, WWII Era kit from Master Box Ltd. supplies the builder with parts to construct one German military bicycle with several variant options. The kit is made up of injection molded styrene and photo etch parts. The frame is nicely molded and appears to be what was typical for Truppenfahrrad (troop’s bike) for the time period. The detailing of the frame is well done and the fenders and even the small triangular shaped leather tool pouch which is located behind the seat post section of the frame are cleanly molded.

There are two minor items I did notice with this kit; either of them is acceptable as is or can easily be corrected. First being the location of the small hand pump which is molded to the bottom of the front edge of the frame. In most cases that I have seen, the pump is attached to the top bar of the frame. This is not a big issue at all and if you wanted to move the location, a simple removal of the part and cleaning of the frame after with a reattachment of the pump or a scratch built part to the top frame. The second item I noticed is the lack of detailing under the bike’s seat. There is typically on front spring and two rear springs that hold up the saddle. The rear springs a configured in a blockish shape. This can easily be corrected by removing the two blockish shaped spring and replacing them with some coil springs fashioned from small gauge wire wound into the simple coil shape.

The photo etch supplied for this kit helps make the bike into sever different configurations. The photo etch spokes provided add a great deal of detailing to the bike and are much more scale representative of the spokes. There is the fine added detail of the front braking system with the lever and cable leading to the brake itself. Provided with the kit is the option of a stick grenade box which was, in some cases, attached to the lower side of the top cross bar of the frame. There is an option to add a teller mine and holder which also was attached to the lower side of the top crossbar of the frame.

The kit also gives options to add the MG34 or handlebar and front forks mounted Panzerfaust. The rear wheel mounted rack has a styrene supplied part as well as the option to construct this piece from photo etch parts with or without straps.

Construction

The construction is fairly straightforward; however, some care is needed in working with the delicate photo etching provided. There is little cleanup needed with the styrene parts as they are molded very clean. There is a small seam line that needs to be cleaned up on each of the crank shafts where the peddles are attached to. The hardest part of building this kit is deciding which variant you would like to make. You may want to consider adding a small gauge piece of wire to the tiny generator attached to the front wheel forks. Although the light on the bike was often powered by a battery, the use of generator was used and would of course need a wire to supply the light with power.

Conclusion

I feel that the German Military Bicycle, WWII Era from Master Box Ltd. would make a fine addition to any diorama or vignette. The detailing is excellent and the parts are represented very well for the scale intended.

While I do find the cost verse the quality of this kit acceptable some may consider even the lower online pricing, which is about $4.00US lower than the MSRP, a bit high for the one piece. With all the added options of the kit, it might have been a better choice to add a second bike which would also allow the use of the alternate variants a bit more.

I will recommend this kit as it is a great way to add some fine details to any diorama with the parts being quality and with a little patience and some photo etch experience the German Military Bicycle, WWII Era kit will build up into a really nice accessory piece.
SUMMARY
Highs: A finely detailed representation of a German military transport bike in several variants.
Lows: The inclusion of only one bike is a minor downside but outweighed by the quality for the most part.
Verdict: All in all this is a great diorama or vignette add on piece with a fine amount of detailing.
Percentage Rating
93%
  Scale: 1:35
  Mfg. ID: MB 35165
  Suggested Retail: $18.99 US
  Related Link: 
  PUBLISHED: Sep 07, 2014
  NATIONALITY: Germany
NETWORK-WIDE AVERAGE RATINGS
  THIS REVIEWER: 95.50%
  MAKER/PUBLISHER: 84.05%

Our Thanks to Dragon USA!
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 Todd Michalak (TRM5150)
FROM: MASSACHUSETTS, UNITED STATES

I am building what I like, when I like and how I like it; having fun doing it. I have been building and finishing models on and off my whole life but the past ten years things really exploded. Just about anything goes when it comes to hitting the bench, but wrecked armor, rusted hulks, ships or ...

Copyright ©2018 text by Todd Michalak [ TRM5150 ]. Images also by copyright holder unless otherwise noted. Opinions expressed are those of the author(s) and not necessarily those of AeroScale. All rights reserved.



Comments

Theirs a picture on the net with a whole squad of troops on these bikes, 2 Panzerfausts per bike, tank hunters lol
SEP 07, 2014 - 02:41 AM
One is reminded to the line in "Band of Brothers" about the Germans taking on General Motors. This is a terrific little kit. Thanks, Todd, for the review.
SEP 07, 2014 - 10:16 AM
That is a cool shot there! Funny seeing the guys on bikes riding into the "stuff" and the motorcycle and side car heading away!! Good reference Bill!!
SEP 07, 2014 - 11:31 AM
Todd, Great review! David, Cool photo! —mike
SEP 07, 2014 - 02:27 PM
Thanks Mike!
SEP 07, 2014 - 02:38 PM
Thanks for the review! I actually have a couple of these ordered. Was sure there would be two bikes per set so you saved me the disappointment
SEP 07, 2014 - 04:58 PM
You're welcome Johan! Quick note...the spoke rims might be a bit of a snug fit...give the PE a good sanding on the outside edge all the way around. I found it best to put the rim between my thumb and forefinger to prevent bending. You can sand the inside of the rim to help things out as well/
SEP 07, 2014 - 10:21 PM
The "Tour de France" it's not! (But it is one way to win!)
SEP 08, 2014 - 01:48 AM
Too bad there is no driver, or figure at all, included. But MiniArt does have a Hitler Youth brat included in their German civilian set - aufwiedersehen kleines Fritzi!
SEP 08, 2014 - 01:56 AM
   

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