|1/35 WWII German Zundapp KS-750 Motorcycle with sidecar|
|Kit Number: L3508|
|Reviewed by Scott A. Bregi, IPMS# 32683|
Kit Supplied by Dragon Models USA: Website: www.dragonmodelsusa.com
The KS-750 was designed by the Zunder und Apparatebau G.m.b.H (Zundapp) in 1937 to meet a demand by the Wehrmacht for a heavy motorcycle with sidecar. The output torque of the engine was so great that the motorcycle could carry heavy loads. The engine cranked out a whopping 26hp @ 4000rpm and featured an horizontally opposed, 751cc, OHV 2-cyl, 4-stroke engine. It utilized shaft drive, a locking differential and a PTO output shaft that provided for a driven side wheel. The KS-750 as outfitted could carry four personnel plus pull a trailer, note the foot pegs at the front wheel axle! They were primarily used in the scout role in WW II from 1940 onwards. Zundapp produced over 18,695 units for the German Wehrmacht.
What's In the Box….
When I first heard word that Lion Roar was releasing a series of 1/35th scale motorcycle kits I could not wait to get my superglue encrusted hands on one! This kit new kit from Lion Roar is a welcome sight for modelers who last saw a motorcycle kit like this was well over 20 years ago as produced by Tamiya. It consists of 156 parts modeled in medium grey styrene, one clear parts tree, no less than nine sheets of extremely fine photoetched parts in steel and brass, two small metal coil springs and decals for three bikes.
The highlight of this jewel of a kit is the inclusion of photoetched spokes for four complete tire and wheel assemblies. The tires alone are made up of five sections each. An extreme high level of detail is evident on all parts I must say a note of caution at this point. This kit is not to be known as a "Shake and Bake" kit. Overall parts fit can best be described as FIDDILY at best and I do mean FIDDLY as most parts do not have positive locating points and will sometimes require three sets of hands to hold parts in place while cement dries. This being said lets dig in!
On the Bench:
As I have stated in previous reviews, when I start on a new project I will usually study the instructions and thru test fitting of the parts plan my own assembly sequence. I decided to completely assemble the engine and frame separately and install at the end of the step so I could make cleaning up seams easier. This also applied to the tire and wheel assemblies as they were assembled and left off until all painting and weathering was accomplished.
Construction began with the assembly of the engine. I attempted to assemble the cylinder halves but punch out pins prevented proper assembly. I cut these off along with any alignment pins and sanded on a flat surface to help get rid of any seams. Pay careful attention to which side is up as it is VERY easy to install the cylinders upside down on the crankcase. Of interesting note, the cylinders as viewed from the front were not parallel with ground. There was a 5-degree upward tilt allowing for added ground clearance and oil drainage back into the crankcase from the heads. The rest of the engine was assembled per the kit directions.
Next up I assembled all four tire and wheel assemblies. Lion Roar has thoughtfully molded the tires in multiple sections. When assembled correctly this results in a very nice thread pattern. Again careful assembly is needed here. Do not flip flop the tire sections. There should be an even space between each line of thread blocks. No two sections should be directly touching the other. You also trap the pre stamped steel wire wheel sections between parts E2-E3 and E4. When all is together align your spokes and set with a tiny drop of CA glue. This assembly results in the best spoked wheel and tire assemblies I have ever seen and look even better when given a coat of paint.
I then moved onto the frame. The only issue I had was that there were no real mounting directions for Part PE8 (engine skid plate) so I left it off until I mounted the rear fender. I scratch built sparkplug wires from stretched sprue and styrene rod as the PE part was too 2 dimensional for my tastes! The front forks were the hardest part of this build as I had stated before there were no positive alignment points. You have to install the upper and lower triple tree to the two forks, install the headlight and fender between the forks and all the while maintaining alignment of the wheel within the fender. This was a real PITA! I applied the cement to the triple trees and set aside to set for 30 minutes. Then I installed the headlight and fender and again set aside to set up for 20-30 minutes. After the joints have hardened I then inserted the front tire and tweaked and twisted this assembly until all three axis were in alignment. I left off the exhaust and gas tank so I could paint the engine after assembly.
The rest of the motorcycle proper was assembled according to the instructions with a few exceptions. Leave off all PE parts until just before painting. Secure all joints with a spot of CA glue to ensure strength of the joints. Leave off the rear tire until after painting and weathering has been accomplished. I left off parts A13 and A15 as almost all photos of the KS-750 in combat were minus the rearview mirror. I added all control cables and conduits after all painting were finished. And be careful of the supplied seat springs as they will launch on you!
The Sidecar and Trailer:
The side car was built by the instructions but I left off parts B39 and B38 as they will not be seen after completion. Lion Roar for some reason left out the side car mounting points where the sidecar mounts to the springs. I first ground a semi circular notch in the bottom side of the ends of the springs and fashioned a simple end cap. I then I installed the sidecar on its frame and drilled two locating holes where the spring lines up with the sides of the sidecar and inserted .030" rod. Now the body of the sidecar will be supported properly by the springs and front cross member, as it should be. Again attachment of the sidecar to the motorcycle frame is fiddly but doable with a bit of patience. I first tacked the lower frame supports on and let it sit for a few minutes. Then after gingerly cleaning up the support rods I installed them at their proper attachment points. You have a bit of wiggle room here so sit the frame of the bike on a flat surface and ensure the sidecar frame is square with the motorcycle frame. I then set this aside overnight to set up tight. I finished assembling the rest of the sidecar as per the instructions installing the storage boxes and fender assy. Again as before I left off the body, tire and spare tire until all painting and weathering was finished. I decided to finish the MG34 with the receiver cover open with rounds in the tray as a way to display the detail Lion Roar graced this little gem with. In my opinion it is the best rendition of this venerable weapon I have seen!
Lion roar gives you actually two different trailers for your consideration. I chose the one with the solid wheels and a flat sided box. It was assembled with no issues other then the almost nonexistent mounting stubs for the wheels, which were left off until painting was accomplished.
Painting and weathering:
I painted the whole model with an undercoat of Testor's Acryl Flat black. This was followed with a spray of Alclad Aluminum for the entire engine assembly. When this was cured I then set upon the tedious task of masking off the engine in preparation for the Testor's Enamel Schwarzgrau '39-'43 (Panzer Grey) paint. The tires were given a coat of Tamiya NATO black. Details were picked out and decals were applied over an area wetted with Future floor wax to prevent silvering. I painted the butt stock and floorboards in Tamiya buff and a wisping of Burnt Umber artist oils to simulate wood grain. I then added control cables to the handlebars using .010 black wire. The model was then over coated with Testor's Dullcote.
The entire model was given a wash of Rembrandt Sepia oil paint thinned with Turpenoid. Excess was dabbed off with clean cotton swabs and allowed to dry. I then gave it an all over drybrush with Rembrandt Titanium White tinted with Testor's Panzer grey and a drop of Linseed oil. The metal portions of the MG34 were drybrushed with Alclad Aluminum and Steel. I then gave the model an overall spray of Testor's Dullcote to seal it all up for the final weathering stages. Next I gave the wood painted sections a thin coat of Tamiya orange paint. Next a filter was applied with Turpenoid tinted with Testor's Panzer grey. This was applied by airbrush. I find this technique yields more control of where and how much tinting is needed and prevents puddles from forming. This was followed by another drybrush with the Testor's Panzer grey tinted with Titanium White. This was followed by another spray with Dullcote. Mig Pigments mixed with water were applied to the exhaust to impart a rusty appearance. Mig European dust was random applied to simulate dirt and dust.
The rest of the kit was assembled as per the direction. I added a length of brass ammunition to the MG34 breech. I installed all the tires and installed the gas tank into the frame and the sidecar body nestled into its frame. I added a drop of clear 5 minute epoxy to the speedometer to simulate glass. I added some resin Verlinden wooden boxes and AFV club jerry cans to the trailer.
A big hearty thanks goes to Lion Roar for providing this great review sample. I look fwd to finishing their BMW R75 with sidecar. I also hope that they continue the series with a Harley Davidson WLA.
Overall this kit was a hoot to build. It tested my abilities and although it was not the proverbial "shake and bake" kit it will build up into a VERY fine and highly detailed replica with a little bit of patience and perseverance.
Highly recommended. My thanks to Lion Roar and Dragon Models USA for a great kit and our review sample.