World War Two is often thought of being the first large scale mechanised war, however that is not the whole story. Incredibly large numbers of horses and horse drawn vehicles were used, and the humble bicycle was also pressed into service to get infantry from A to B a lot quicker than marching. The Japanese used incredible numbers of bikes during World War Two as did the British, and it is a British World War Two design of bike from Diopark
that is the subject of this review.
The product is supplied in an end opening card box, inside you will find a double sealed bag containing the kit parts. These are;
- 4 light grey sprues
- 2 photo etched frets
- A small 4 page instruction booklet
I am sure a number of people who see this product will think “yeah so it’s a bike”, this product is so much more than that. Those who remember the pedal cycles that Tamiya released very many years ago will clearly see just how far injection moulded plastic technology has come since then, and the two bikes that can be assembled with this kit are little gems that will I believe prove surprisingly popular. The contents of this product allow you to build two pedal cycles either folded for storage or ready for use.
Starting with the photo etched parts you get;
- 8 wheel spoke sets
- 4 brake leavers
- 4 multi tools
There are some other parts on the fret that are not indicated for use with this product.
The spoke frets are flat however Diopark
has been cleaver here, as on two of the plastic sprues there are formers or jigs if you prefer to give the photo etched spokes the correct domed look. I for one think this shows a lot of thought went into the model, and while the plastic spokes look reasonable these will lift the model that little bit and you gain the valves which are depicted on the photo etched spokes . It should be mentioned that I believe bike wheels from this period had solid rubber wheels with no inner tubes. The inclusion of photo etched hand brakes is a good touch, with the tools just being icing on the cake. I can see this product being very popular with the vignette and diorama fans, as well as those who just want to add an unusual and eye catching piece of stowage on a truck or a tank for that matter.
The plastic sprues in the kit are very well laid out, but due to the very finally moulded frames there are a lot of gates and in some cases moulding nipples to cut to remove the parts. Due to the very small size and finesse great care will need to be taken or damage and breakages will occur. In order to help you realise what has gone into this kit here is a break down of the separate bike parts included in the belief that most will take the photo etched route.
- Tyre and wheel rim
- Spoke frame left and right
- 2 hubs (2 spares are also included)
- Chain and pulleys
- 2 part rear and front frame
- Rear brake calliper
- Bicycle pump
- 2 cranks and pedals
- Bicycle seat
- Tool pouch
- 2 multi tools
- Handle bars
- Bike bell
- Handle bar adjuster
- 2 hand brake2
- Locking nuts where the bike folds
- Front brake calliper
And while not included there is a guide for adding the brake cables from stretched sprue, however I would recommend you use thin wire. As a bonus with this product there are also 2 children’s wooden scooters, which could also make for some interesting vignette possibilities.
The instructions that are provided with this product use the black and white line drawing method to guide you through construction. I feel the instructions are very clear with no area of construction being poorly explained.
It could be argued that the model is over engineered, but on this occasion I would have to disagree as the level of detail is stunning and is truly a model in its own right, that could be as stunning as any other vehicle built. This is especially true I suspect in that as the viewer’s eye starts to take in all of the included details, you begin to see the work that has gone into it both by the manufacturer and the modeller.
This product is not for a novice due to the very small parts, and the number of other skills required such as working with and forming photo etched parts. However for those that feel they do have the skills this kit does have the possibility to build into two stunning if diminutive models.