Cybermodeler Online

Celebrating 24 years of hobby news and reviews




The appearance of U.S. Air Force, U.S. Army, U.S. Navy, U.S. Marine Corps, U.S. Coast Guard, Department of Defense, or NASA imagery or art does not constitute an endorsement nor is Cybermodeler Online affiliated with these organizations.


  • Facebook
  • Parler
  • Twitter
  • RSS
  • YouTube

US Motorcycle WLA w/Rider

MiniArt 1/35 US Motorcycle WLA w/Rider Kit First Look

By Michael Benolkin

Date of Review January 2016 Manufacturer MiniArt
Subject US Motorcycle WLA w/Rider Scale 1/35
Kit Number 35172 Primary Media Styrene, Photo-Etch
Pros Beautiful detailing Cons Nothing noted
Skill Level Experienced MSRP (USD) $24.99

First Look

US Motorcycle WLA w/Rider 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).

MiniArt is back with another version of its Harley Davidson WLA wartime motorcycle kit. This kit is molded in light gray styrene and presented on two parts trees plus one tree of clear parts and one fret of photo-etched parts.

There is quite a bit of detail here just for this 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.

One figure is included, a soldier posed seated/riding on his bike. The rider is depicted wearing cold/wet weather gear and shows a protective cover over the stock of the Thompson sub-machinegun and a covered package on the rear rack. The part with the Thompson in the scabbard is included as with the other WLA releases, but you'll need to fabricate your own cover for the Thompson stock. The saddle bags are in this kit as with the previous WLA releases, but no covered package is included but this too is an easy item to fabricate out of folded tissue or whatever your favorite medium might be.

This is another nice kit from MiniArt and their figures really make these kits worthwhile.

My sincere thanks to MiniArt for this review sample!