MiniArt 1/35 US Military Police Kit First Look
|Date of Review||December 2010||Manufacturer||MiniArt|
|Subject||US Military Police||Scale||1/35|
|Kit Number||35085||Primary Media||Styrene/Photo-etch|
|Pros||Two complete Harley Davidson WLA miltary motorcycles with figures||Cons||Nothing noted|
|Skill Level||Intermediate||MSRP (USD)||$43.99|
Among the many duties performed by the military police (MP), traffic control and security were among the list of tasks performed by military policemen in any army around the world. During World War 2, US Army MPs were key to the success of moving combat vehicles, troop convoys, and supply trucks around the theater. In a perfect world, they'd be where anticipated traffic bottlenecks were and keeping traffic moving. In the real world however, they were called upon to get to where the problems were and that required a degree of mobility that could only be achieved by motorcycle.
The US Army had several motorcycle types operating in the European theater, one of the more common being the Harley Davidson WLA with over 90,000 produced. Harley Davidson produced a similar configuration to the Canadian Army as the WLC. Some 30,000 WLAs were sent to Russia under the lend-lease program. Production of the WLA ceased at war's end, but production resumed again during the Korean War.
MiniArt has reproduced the WLA in photo-etch and styrere with two complete kits in this box. Being careful not to evoke the brand name/licensing lawyers, the box merely identifies this kit as US Military Police and indeed the kit includes a nice pair of figures as well.
This kit is molded in light gray styrene and presented on three parts trees (duplicate motorcycle tree not shown) plus one tree of clear parts and two frets of photo-etched parts.
There is quite a bit of detail here just for each bike. Construction starts with the wheels and each tire consists of three parts that laminate together. The spokes are photo-etched parts that are pressed into a jig that is included in the kit to properly shape the angles of the spokes from the hubs to the rims.
The two-cylinder 740cc engine is next and I'm quite surprised how many parts go into replicating the engine. The only things missing are the spark plug wires.
With the engine together, the bike frame, axles, fenders, gas tank, seat, cargo rack, and front fork all come together. The kit also provides a scabbart for a Thompson machine gun, saddlebags, windscreen, and kick stand.
Two figures are included, one MP directing traffic and the other seated/leaning on his bike (see the image above). These figures are really nice and MiniArt is definitely keeping the standards high on their figure quality.
This is another nice kit from MiniArt and these figures really make the kit worthwhile.
Thanks to HobbyTerra for the review sample.