Saturday, 26 November 2016

A bumby ride!

MiniArt released a model of the WLA motorcycle in a few different varieties. The motorcycle is the same but the figures are different. The real motorcycle was produced by Harley and Davidson during WWII and the Korean War and was basically the civilian version painted olive drab. The headlight received a blackout light and the fenders where smaller preventing the buildup of mud.

The model from MiniArt is really a complicated affair with plastic, photo etched and clear parts topped off with a decal sheet. A total of 130 parts make up the model although the box it states 160 parts are included I consider the 130 more then enough. The photo etched parts include the spokes, metal rods holding the bags and rifle holder on the bike and other small details. A range of jigs if included to bend the parts in shape. In general the parts fit well but it was a difficult model to assemble due to the fact that a motorcycle is still small in 1/35 scale and many parts making up the frame have to be aliened perfectly. I noted the following when building the model:

  1. The photo etched spokes are not completely right when the come from the folding jigs included. I think the best thing to do before gluing them is to pull then through the wheels. Be careful though, they are extremely fragile.
  2. The spokes are made out of three identical photo etched parts and one that has a slightly larger hole for the inner axes to accommodate the front brake system.
  3. The parts making up the fore fork don't seem to align up in such a way that the fender is placed so the photo etched fender supports actually support to fender. I like to stress "don't seem to" because the alignments of these parts seems to require a precision far smaller then a tenth of a millimeter (0.004 inch) and I could have very well misaligned them. So be careful when assembling these parts.
  4. One side of the rifle holder must be hollowed out before the halves are glued together when it is to be build not holding a rifle.
  5. There is wire provided for the handbrake cables so you have to add your own.
I had trouble keeping the parts of the luggage carrier (top aft of the frame) together. The whole frame is made out of parts that though each other at the end points only they are misaligned easily and don't have a large surface for glue to stick on so the frame tents to tear itself apart quite fast making construction difficult. Also I lost quite some of the smaller parts. The engine is also made out of quite a large number of parts but they fit together well. As said the motorcycle is released in a few boxes including different figures. I made the version with a soldier lying on the ground hiding behind the cycle. As said I lost some of the smaller parts, where there where two of them I left the of the side laying on the ground. Unfortunately I also lost the rifle, I only had a German one as a replacement. Not a very likely scenario as I painted the figure as wearing a uniform only seen on the Pacific front.

The available sets are:

Recommended for experienced modelers only because the large number of very small parts having to fit perfectly together.