Something has to be the smallest model in my collection. As of today, there’s no doubt what it is.
Let’s take a look at motorbike in the German Army.
One of the stipulations imposed on Germany at the end of World War I was no armor. That meant no tanks or armored cars. We all know Germany had no intention of honoring the spirit of those rules, but attempted for a period to honor the letter of them. As early as 1920 Germany reformed a clandestine General Staff. Through the 1920s and ’30s the Wehrmacht was training and practicing for more modern, more mechanized warfare than they actually were capable of waging. A big part of that preparation involved mobility of a revolutionary sort.
That meant new generations of cars, trucks and motorcycles. The motorcycles were extra appealing because they could amass a number of them quickly and cheaply. They were classified by size, with the largest bikes allowing for a sidecar. The primary function was “communications”. That is running messages and messengers around as needed. It also included reconnaissance, although it was always understood armored cars were a better choice for that; but until the Treaty of Versailles was openly rejected in 1935 those were not allowed.
The largest bikes also could mount an MG34 machine gun to provide fire support.
This particular bike is a BMW R75, one of two types that fit the large bike category. Eventually the two designs were rationalized, or merged in a way to provide a standard, “best of” sort of design. The side car included a drive linkage so this is actually a two wheel drive vehicle (a 3 x 2 ?).
It was attached to the 5th Parachute Regiment in Tunisia, 1943.
This is the Tamiya kit. I believe this is the only “one-sprue” kit I’ve seen! Its hard to swear to that, many bigger kits include little bonus throw ins. Like the Kettenkrad as a tug for a larger aircraft or a separate bomb cart. But excluding those, I’ve never seen this in a stand alone box before! Oh, and the crew was half the parts count.
So construction wise this is very simple. Well detailed, well engineered parts… and not many of them. Painting made it a little more involved, and is the difference between a two day build and a two week build. That’s actually kind of funny, there were days when I’d do like 45 seconds work on it then decide it needed several hours to dry before I could move on!
Fun little project.