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WLA 750 Kit

Italeri 1/9 WLA 750 Kit First Look

By Michael Benolkin

Date of Review August 2015 Manufacturer Italeri
Subject WLA 750 Scale 1/9
Kit Number 7401 Primary Media Styrene
Pros Nice details, easy build Cons See text
Skill Level Basic MSRP (USD) $54.99

First Look

WLA 750 Kit
WLA 750 Kit
WLA 750 Kit
WLA 750 Kit

As the United States prepared for the likelihood of war in 1940, Harley-Davidson was tasked with building a general-purpose motorcycle for the US Army. Based upon their existing W-series bikes, the resulting bike used a high-compression twin-cylinder 45 cubic inch (740 cc) engine. Over 90,000 examples were built between the WLA (US Army and WLC (Canadian Army).

Italeri has been gradually reissuing kits produced by AMT/ERTL and ESCI which include the Triumph 3HW, BMW R75, and this Harley Davidson WLA, all in 1/9 scale. The kits out of this series are easy to build and have some nice details straight out of the box. It is interesting to see that these kits are selling for well over $100 USD on eBay until one is reissued.

This particular tooling was originally released in the 1970s by ESCI in with its civilian fittings including fenders and chromed parts. The tooling was revised into a wartime configuration and issued a few years later by replacing the fenders, fuel tank, and adding the Thompson machine gun with scabbard along with a black-out light and other details.

The kit is molded in styrene and presented on three parts trees in olive green styrene, one tree in silver-gray styrene, one three in clear styrene, and one tree molded in black vinyl (rubber) as well as a pair of rubber tires and a set of vinyl ignition and speedometer cables. A set of metal springs are also included for the articulated front fork.

Even though the tooling is around 30 years old, there is no sign of mold flash or other age problems. Among the features and options:

  • Articulated front fork suspension
  • Detailed V-twin engine
  • Standard and blackout lighting front and rear
  • Thompson and scabbard on right side with corresponding ammo box on left
  • Saddle bags on rear

The kit provides a set of decals for a typical headquarters courier though the decals were missing in this review sample.

These kits build beautifully out of the box though the AMS modeler could enhance the model with simple bolt details and some nice weathering to show how it would look with lots of mileage and action behind it.

My sincere thanks to Hobbico for this review sample!