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3HW Kit

Bronco Models 1/35 Triumph 3HW Motorcycles (2) w/British MPs Kit First Look

By Michael Benolkin

Date of Review February 2010 Manufacturer Bronco Models
Subject Triumph 3HW Motorcycles (2) w/British MPs Scale 1/35
Kit Number 35035 Primary Media Styrene, PE
Pros Nicely detailed kit Cons No instructions for the figures
Skill Level Experienced MSRP (USD) $55.98

First Look


Triumph Engineering Company introduced their 349cc 3H model in 1940, designed as a single-cylinder touring bike. With Britain at war, the 3H was soon ordered for the British Army as the 3Hw, with some changes for military use. However in November 19400 the Triumph factory in Coventry was destroyed by German bombs and it was not until 1942 that the motorcycle began mass production. The 3HW was used mainly for communicatons and traffic direction. It was frequently the mount of Dispatch Riders who delivered written messages between army units. The 3HW was one of a number of motorcycles in the same class, which included the BSA, Ariel and Norton. These bikes were used by all branches of the British Army, and from 1939 to 1945 over 450,000 had been supplied, including American Harley Davidsons and Indians.

Information & research by Phil Greenwood - from the instruction booklet.

Bronco Models has released this interesting kit which contains two hi-tech motorcycles in 1/35 scale. Molded in olive drab styrene, this kit contains three parts trees, plus a single tree in tan styrene containing the Military Police (MP) figures, and two frets of photo-etched details.

While you've probably seen 1/35 scale motorcycle kits produced in styrene for far less cost, they haven't had the detailing of these two beauties. This kit isn't for the beginning modeler as there is some photo-etch bending and shaping required to build these bikes, but nothing difficult for the experienced modeler.

Construction starts with the wheels - the spoked wheels are photo-etch that are shaped around a styene hub and sandwiched between styrene halves. The fine detail of these spokes hasn't been replicated in styrene to date.

The engine is next and there is lots of detail here as well to capture the various details from carburetor to kick starter. The drive sprocket and chain are photo-etch as well.

The saddle bag racks on either side of the rear fender are photo-etch as are the fender brackets.

You can see in the top image the two trees of parts which are the two complete motorcycle kits plus the two corresponding photo-etched frets to the right. The third tree of olive drab parts are weapons and 'kit' for the MP figures, though I find it interesting that the instructions provide no help on assembling or painting these figures.

I remember reading about the first motorcycle in the Bible, in the Old Testament "...and Joshua's Triumph was heard throughout the land." Here are a pair of nice looking Triumphs that will build into nice models, or with the figures into a nice vignette or even part of a larger diorama.

Bronco Models continues to turn out some impressive models and this one is no exception. These bikes will definitely stand out on your shelf.

This kit is highly recommended!

My sincere thanks to Stevens International for this review sample!