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75mm BMW R75 with figure


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I got this from China; it is all resin 3D printed. Unfortunately, it does not come with instructions, colors callouts, or even decals. So Jarrod and I have some work to do to get this kit up to speed. I believe I posted these photos in our egg build, but this is where they belong. Here is what it looked like upon arrival.

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You get the idea. So it took a couple days to get all the 3d print feed lines removed (there still may be a couple hiding in it somewhere that are not much bigger than a human hair). When finished it should look something like this: (this is just a rough and blocky photo)

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Just kidding, it should look something more like this (sorry the image is not great, from providers web site):

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Prior to getting into the build we want to share some information regarding the BMW R75:

In the 1930s BMW were producing a number of popular and highly effective motorcycles. In 1938 development of the R75 started in response to a request from the German Army. Preproduction models of the R75 were powered by a 750 cc side valve engine, which was based on the R71 engine. However it was quickly found necessary to design an all-new OHV 750 cc engine for the R75 unit. Its two-stage transmission offered one gear ratio for rough terrain and another for paved roads. This OHV engine later proved to be the basis for subsequent post-war BMW flat-twin engined motorcycles like the R51/3, R67 and R68. The BMW R75 and the competing Zündapp KS 750 were both widely used by the Wehrmacht in Russia, Europe, and North Africa. It was agreed that the R75 would cease once production reached 20,200 units, and after that point BMW and Zündapp would only produce the Zündapp-BMW hybrid machine, manufacturing 20,000 each year. Since the target of 20,200 BMW R75's was not reached, it remained in production until the Eisenach factory was so badly damaged by Allied bombing that production ceased in 1944. A further 98 units were assembled by the Soviets in 1946 as reparations. 

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The Germans’ lightning war required machines of high caliber in more ways than one. Although horses and even bicycles carried battalions of combatants, as did trucks and tracked vehicles, motorcycles led the way. These were often purpose-made BMW and Zundapp military bikes, as well as civilian models made by NSU and DKW and a host of other manufacturers, that “served” either by contract or requisition.

During the campaigns that spread across Europe and into the Soviet Union, motorcycle troopers served a variety of functions including chauffeuring officers, delivering dispatches and even hot meals, and scouting on patrol. Motorcycles also were point vehicles taking the brunt of battle, sometimes as specially equipped tank destroyers. As with all motorcyclists, there was a kinship among these soldiers who called themselves “kradfahrer” (meaning cyclist). They rode exposed without the armor plating of the Panzers, without the safety of hundreds of foot soldiers beside them—moving targets, as it were, or sniper magnets. And then there were minefields, artillery fire, and strafing aircraft to contend with. At war’s end, many if not most of the German motorcycles, along with their riders, did not return home. The grim words of a German motorcyclist’s poem called "The Hat, The Table and the Broom", relate the sentiments of these extraordinary soldiers.

In the East the cyclist’s lot was not light
and I often believe the prophet was right,
When I saw a cyclist engulfed in the flood,
Trying to free his machine from the mud.
And when I saw the man around Riga again,
A frustrated cyclist, with puzzled brain,
Stood there with a cycle that just wouldn’t start
A load on his mind and a pain in his heart The man said: “Your faith is delusion, of course.
You can only depend on the great iron horse,
Or a horse with a saddle, if not a train’s around.
In no other way can you cover this ground.


Overall, the detail that is molded into the printed items is done well. There are items the creator decided not to mold that Jarrod and I will try to add. While they make some "high detail" versions in 1/16, and 1/9 scale, this one has many little issues that will create a challenge to make a credible model. Like the smaller 1/35 kits, this model does not have any of the cables or wiring other than the spark plugs. Many other details like the shifting and high low range linkage, brake lines, proper air intake tubes, and many other items are missing or molded incorrectly. 

So up next we will begin the build. Thanks for following, expect an update shortly.

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Ben and Jarrod

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Moving forward on the build, here is what it looks like after some intense sprue/feeder removal and cleaning. I also cemented the motorcycle chassis and forks together. When putting them together there wasn't any pins or guides as to what rake or turn angle to pose the forks so I used the base as the former for posing the forks. If it looks like the lower rear wheel has too many spokes at the bottom, I agree, but the feeders are too close to to the real spokes to remove them without damaging the good ones. I suppose we will add some mud to the already muddy machine to cover them.


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In the top photo you will notice that the outer portion of the handlebar is missing; it was molded as part of the figures arm. I suppose since he is grasping the handlebar with that hand it was easier. While the printed items is done very well overall, right away I noticed that the air intake was molded incorrectly. The round bonnet on top the fuel tank is actually the air cleaner. In the first generation of the bike the air cleaner was not mounted there and instead it was located under the tank above the engine. They found that the intake below the tank would get clogged with sand and debris while in Africa or mud or water while in Europe and the Eastern Front. The molding has the lower or earlier air intake runner but the updated intake above the tank (?). So one of the first things that needs to be done is correct the intake runner from beneath the tank to locations through the tank (see photo below).

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Even with my most careful movements when removing the incorrect air intakes the carburetor and throttle line came off with them. So prior to fixing the air intake I had to fix (reattach) the carb and linkage issue. Most of the work I'm going to do will be done with various diameters of solder or guitar string.

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When comparing the model to the actual photo you can see a few more items that will be added, such as the vent hose for the tank (discussed above), the data molded into the front engine timing chain cover, and the gear selector (metal lever with big rubber knob in front of the front foot peg. By the way, did you know that the motorcycle could be shifted by either the riders left foot or the tank controls, except reverse which is only by the hand controls? Also of note, some of the motorcycles had a colored BMW logo on the tank while others was nothing more than an embossed or pressed image in the tank metal (like in the photo above).

The model does not come with any panniers or saddle bags but the brackets are there. I'm not sure if I will scratch build either of them or not (?). 

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The next photo shows some details on what I believe is part of the electronic management system and battery that I may also try to add. You can also see the rubber hoses for the air intake real well.

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On the right side of the motorcycle, when comparing the kit parts to the photo below you can see several prominent things missing. 

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First is the shift linkage which we will add to our model. 

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This means we need to scratch build some very small actuator bars down by the transmission which is what the shifting rods attach to. I'm going to use the guitar string for the rods and the actuator linkage will be plastic with a small brass pin at the base.

Another item we will create is what I believe is either the high/low range selector or the lock out for the side car dirve wheel (?). 

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I'm referring to the small level behind the transmission linkage and directly below the seat. Behind the lever is a small block that will be added to mount it to. 

Funny thing, when removing the incorrect intake runner on this side the same carborator issue occurred. So after fixing the carb and throttle linkage we created the correct intake runner for the right side. 

In the photo you can also see a rubber collet or boot where the driveshaft leaves the transmission and another where it enters the rear differential. We will add those with either plastic or lead sheet. 

The last item we will create is the larger line coming down in front of the engine to what I believe is the voltage regulator sitting on top the magneto.

Note that depending on the source photos you find, the intake runners are normally either the color of the motorcycle or natural metal. The cylinder heads are also either all natural metal or a black cylinder wall with a silver head. The shifting linkage is normally either black or the color of the motorcycle. Also, depending on the evolutionary period of the bike, the retainer for the heads will be silver, black or body color. And speaking of motorcycle color, did you know that at the beginning of the bikes production, the first versions were all painted dark grey (aka Feldgrau). Around February 1943 forward all the motorcycles were painted sand camouflage, except for those that served on the Eastern Front.

Continuing with the modifications, the photo below shows the top of the fuel tank and controls. Modifications are needed on the kit here as well.

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While the 3D printed model does a good job in showing the details of the handlebar clamps, speedometer, and light switch, it does not have the air cleaner cover retaining bolt or what I believe is the choke lever on the forward right under the air cleaner element. Jarrod and I will add those items and will perhaps try to add some of the cables for the throttle, clutch, brakes, and speedometer. (wish us luck).

At the back of the bike we will also try to add the electric line for the rear light (see below). Something also to note is the BMW logo on the fender. Some bikes had them and others did not (?). The wing nuts on the fender are also something neat but perhaps too small to add. Also check out the coloring of the exhaust in the photo (nice).

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Since the kit did not come with decals, we will be searching for decals for the registration plates (front and rear), the speedometer, data plates, and other stencil markings. So far we are having difficulty finding anything near scale for any of it. 

So here is where we are at this moment, we have the right side mostly done, other than the black rubber hoses on the intake tubes. I think we're going to use lead foil for that and our smallest solder for the clamps. You can also see where I had to add the front fender brace for the right rear. I either accidently removed it when cleaning the feeders or it wasn't there. I noticed after building the shifting linkage that I did not include the bend in the upper shifting rod back by the levers (crap). I suppose I will have to remove it all and do it again hoping I don't destroy the levers on the transmission (?).

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The left side is still a WIP. We initially added the retainer bolt for the air cleaner but now seeing in our photo it is too large so we will remove it for something better. 

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Always some rework somewhere when scratch building, right? There are still several items to work on on the left side.

I want to leave you with a couple rather ODD photos of German two wheeled vehicles.


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Along with some period photos in action:

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I'll be using some of those photos in the next update (when working on the figure). As always, thanks for following and feel free to add comments or constructive criticism as needed. 

Ben and Jarrod

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small update, this afternoon Jarrod and I tried our hand at making the left pannier:

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Everything looks really close to scale so we may use it. The hinge may be ever so slightly larger than scale but the paint will most likely make it look OK. We will paint the motorcycle first before adding it to the bracket.

Along with the the pannier we corrected the air cleaner cover bolt (more to scale) and added the electric line going from under the tank to the regulator sitting on top of the magneto. 

What do you think of the pannier?

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Jarrod and I have managed to get more done on the motorcycle, for instance:

- fixing the securing bolt for the air cleaner cover and a small piece of solder for the choke (on the other side of the air cleaner). In the photo you can also see the lock out lever (brass) to the right of the seat and shifting linkage.

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- ran the electrical line from the front of the bike back to the tail light.

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- began running the lines for the speedometer, front brake, and clutch (still have the twin throttle lines to add. 

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Getting close to calling the updates done on the bike. We also added a switch to the left handlebar in the riders left hand. A couple more clamps on the intake and the throttle lines and it will be complete enough for us.

If anyone has a lead on the front fender and rear registration plates for 1/24 please let me know. We do believe that we have some decals in our spares that can be used for the data plate and speedometer. 

Thanks for following along and your comments. Next up will be the figure.

Ben and Jarrod

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All our modifications to the BMW R75 motorcycle are done. Here is how it looks prior to primer.

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And this is the button on the handlebar we referenced in the previous comments.

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While looking at some of our decals in 1/35, Jarrod and I got the idea of taking a picture of them and enlarging it for the registration plates for the front and rear fenders.

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We printed them on glossy photo paper, filed off the ones lightly molded in the resin, and checked the printed fit which will be nearly perfect. The fine print on gloss photo paper made them look very realistic (hopefully, at least thats the plan). 

And now we have cleaned up and are starting to work on the figure. In our photos the arms have already been added. Everything else you see was molded into the figure. We are happy to reveal that the details on the figure are very molded very well and appear complete. For example, even the stitching and material textures are accurate. All belts, hooks, and fasteners paper accurate and complete. The clothing on the figure even has a good sharp look and not over done. I guess this is a good thing even though it will be difficult to add uniform decals or PE because of all the "stuff" that is strapped on him. Also, like the motorcycle, check out the mud on his boots and legs. The binocular strap is also a nice touch.

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I do wonder how he was able to place the Panzerfaust in his load bearing equipment straps (?). After checking every photo I could find of a German soldier carrying one I never found one being carried like this(?). With that said, being a motorcyclist myself, I can tell you that we do have a strange way of finding how to carry things while riding (smile). Being he has all his gear on and not tied down on the rear seat tells me he is ready for an immanent confrontation (no time to park and put his gear on later). 

Yes, that is a mold flow line between his strap and gas mask canister. It was removed after the photo.

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The figure will be a little more difficult to paint cleanly with all the gear molded into it and not separately, but so be it. Here is how the helmet looks after clean-up (with goggles molded in). Jarrod and I may use wire to better define the goggle clips & bits and tape or lead foil for the strap (we will see), but it is all there.

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And the face, well it is 1/24 so its a little better to detail than 1/35 or 32, but far from 1/16. It will test my abilities in the smaller scale but overall looks well done.

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Just a little cleaning left then primer and paint (yippie).....

Again, thanks for checking in. Let me know what you think about the kit and if you have any suggestions for further improvement (thanks again).

Ben and Jarrod

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Gotta take a break as I hyperextended my knee and boogered up some internals. Being my hobby cave is in the basement and I have to keep my leg elevated with the RICE method there will be no building for me for a little bit.

 

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20 hours ago, DRUMS01 said:

Gotta take a break as I hyperextended my knee and boogered up some internals. Being my hobby cave is in the basement and I have to keep my leg elevated with the RICE method there will be no building for me for a little bit.

 

Well, that sucks !

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