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German Military Motorcycle with Sidecar Kit

Italeri 1/9 German Military Motorcycle with Sidecar Kit First Look

By Michael Benolkin

Date of Review January 2017 Manufacturer Italeri
Subject German Military Motorcycle with Sidecar Scale 1/9
Kit Number 7403 Primary Media Styrene
Pros Nice details, easy build Cons See text
Skill Level Basic MSRP (USD) $69.99

First Look

German Military Motorcycle with Sidecar Kit
German Military Motorcycle with Sidecar Kit
German Military Motorcycle with Sidecar Kit
German Military Motorcycle with Sidecar Kit

In 1938, the German High Command released a directive for a motorcycle and sidecar for use in the German military. The directive was issued to BMW and Zundapp to develop such a capability using as many common components as possible to minimize the logistics required for repairs in the field. The wheel on the sidecar was to be inter-connected to the rear wheel of the motorcycle providing greater traction and stability on or off-road. BMW developed the R75 which consisted of a 750cc powered motorcycle that was paired up with the special sidecar. While the R75 went into service alongside the Zundapp KS 750, the German Army found the Zundapp was the better machine.

Italeri has been gradually reissuing kits produced by AMT/ERTL and ESCI which include the Triumph 3HW, BMW R75, Zundapp KS 750, and 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 sell for well over $150 USD on eBay until one is reissued.

This particular tooling was originally released in the 1970s by ESCI and features some nice details without being over-engineered. 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 opposing cylinder twin engine
  • Detailed transmission
  • Choice of early or late model fuel tank
  • Detailed sidecar
  • Detailed MG 34 maching gun and mount on sidecar
  • Ammo and stowage boxes provided

The kit provides a set of decals for the following subjects:

  • R75, schwere Panzer-Abteilung 508, Werkstatt-Kompanie, Italy, 1944
  • R75, 90. Panzergrenadier-Division, Panzer-Aufklaerungs-Abteilung 190, Italy 1944
  • R75, Fallschirm-Panzer-Nachrichten-Abteilung 'Hermann Goering', Rome, Italy, 1944
  • R75, 4. Fallschirmjaeger Division, Italy, 1944

This kit builds 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. The instructions compare well to contemporary illustrated assembly instructions though one will need to pay attention to the subtle difference between the black wavy lines showing where various parts assemble versus the black wavy lines which illustrate the installation of wiring/tubing. While the box art image looks nice enough, imagine what you could do with some mud, dirt, dust, and other weathering to bring out a combat veteran.

My sincere thanks to Hobbico for this review sample!