About Me

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No Fixed Abode, Home Counties, United Kingdom
I’m a 51-year-old Aspergic CAD-Monkey. Sardonic, cynical and with the political leanings of a social reformer, I’m also a toy and model figure collector, particularly interested in the history of plastics and plastic toys. Other interests are history, current affairs, modern art, and architecture, gardening and natural history. I love plain chocolate, fireworks and trees but I don’t hug them, I do hug kittens. I hate ignorance, when it can be avoided, so I hate the 'educational' establishment and pity the millions they’ve failed with teaching-to-test and rote 'learning' and I hate the short-sighted stupidity of the entire ruling/industrial elite, with their planet destroying fascism and added “buy-one-get-one-free”. I also have no time for fools and little time for the false crap we're all supposed to pretend we haven't noticed, or the games we're supposed to play. I will 'bite the hand that feeds' to remind it why it feeds.

Monday, March 16, 2015

K is for Krad (Kraftrad)

I think a couple of these shots used to be on my Imageshack account but I closed it years ago (it never worked properly?), so they can go here and then the originals are off to the dongle-jail!

When Hät Industries first hit the hobby with their Mamalukes (could they have chosen a more esoteric, yet popular stater set?), it was  a real breath of fresh air. They then added some nice ACW (some since 'enhanced') and a lot of 'Nappies' (Napoleonics to normal people), each set being eagerly anticipated...after which they sort of went a bit off for a while producing some stumpy Napoleonics and some ancients that appeared to be sculpted from sun-dried snot.

By the time they were issuing/experimenting with crumbly 'glueable' hybrid plastics (that wouldn't glue) I gave-up keeping-up and couldn't tell you what they've issued in the last few years - some nice camel troops I picked-up a couple of years ago and lots of good-looking WWI artillery types, I do know of! - but Dave's PSR will have them all listed, and looked at beautifully.

The above comments are not meant as an attack, just a gentle gibe at some of the less memorable sections of their prolific history. While everything else was going on (experiments with painted 54mm's, introduction of 28mm's etc..) there was the advent of a range of 'Quick Build' vehicles under a slightly separate branding (Armourfast), since hived-off, but not really?

Explained (as is the Cotes and Shine tale) several ways, around the Internet by people who talk as if they know what they're talking about, but clearly don't because the tales are all slightly different? Probably only 'H' knows what the truth of the two brands is? And after the years-long "Don't admit they're Airfix" approach to the 7000 series I've learnt not to ask!

Under that branding, these arrived, and they were brilliant; a bit chunky, but they are aimed at the war gamers not modellers, and several years before all the other makers sets came out (as a direct result of these - no doubt), they are made of a pretty rigid PVC (not as rigid as Galloob or Wizards of the Coast though), and can be glued (for ever, it's a kind of chemical welding and is almost instant) with plumbers pipe-sealant.

The set 'German Motorcycle with Sidecar' is available in either Hät or Armourfast boxes (same artwork same material...same batch?) and I felt they needed a little...more.

One of the things about German Motorcycle combinations of the Second World War is that model companies like to give them an MG34 or 42, usually on a pintle-mount, when in reality most had no machine-gun, and when they did have one it was often clamped to the crab-rail, given a dedicated, raised rail, or fitted anyhoo as a field-modification.

So, a [hand?]-rail was the first thing. I could only get a heavy-gauge brass-wire, but not having the patience to wait, went with it! I never resolved the bracket, so the MG is rather 'plonked' at the moment (I say - as if I didn't do these in 2007!), and a little bandage of Evergreen strip is still required. I added a US Halftrack's Jerry-can rack to the side car.

A body-swap improved the out-rider and I removed the parcel from the spare wheel to give this a more businesslike look, they're out looking for something and they think they've just found it.

This one lost it's machine-gun completely and's been loaded to the gunnels for a long distance convoy escort...or something. they're eating-up the miles anyway!

The overall chunkiness of these is not an issue, but the tyres are, they're quite poor, but they are what you get, so this one got an extra spare...spare! I also added the dispatch-case's released by the other two models; one to the motorcycle the other squeezed in on the left-hand side of the side-car.

There seem tro be three main 'factory' configureations; one satchel/box on the left/inside of the side-car; two cases, both sides; or an inside dispatch case and an outside Jerry-can rack. But all other possible combinations can be found.

The third machine lost its side-car all together, there is a second set with single Zundapps, but I've yet to track one down...when (if) I do, I'll give one of them the spare side-car!

For dispatches, this machine got a Tamiya (or Italeri?) 'bread bag' from a 54mm 'multi-pose' kit and some blanket rolls or such-like, also from 54mm kits and a heavy stand from the same brass-rod, this looks OK, due to the heaviness of the models, they are much bigger than their styrene forbears or even a lot of the resin/white-metal contemporaries.

As I say; I did these in 2007 and they remain unfinished and unpainted! I used to have a link to a site with thousands of photographs of German machines from WWII, but I've lost it somewhere along the way, however this forum thread is good for a quick game of 'spot the machine gun'!


The 'combat units' (reconnaissance and motor-infantry) seem to have a 50% issue, but most of the lone combinations (scouts, dispatch riders/staffers, signallers, engineers, medics etc...) have none at all.

And the burning question de jour; side car, side-car or sidecar?

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