Saturday 21 April 2012

Late War German Motorcycles.

Some of you may, much like myself, have first hand experience with the ability of earthquakes to damage wargaming armies. While on the grand scale of things, a damaged toy army is not the most pressing of problems, it does limit the amount of gaming that you can use it for. One of the most heavily hit units of my wargaming horde was my WW2 German Motorcycle units. Pre-earthquake they were a mix of paint schemes, largely unbased, and not the best. But what they lacked in quality, they had in quantity. For these toys, the earthquake presented an opportunity to rebuild, and possibly expand the size of the units.
Late War German Motorcycle Stands based for CD3.
The expansion came about as, due to a number of factors, I had lost a number of riders for the motorcycles. The solution, and more motorcycles, came in the form of the Italeri German Motorcycles set. ( PSR review here) The set contained some spare riders and gunners, so the extra bits could be used to fill the missing bits on my existing motorcycles. I purchased two packets, and started the rebuild. Broken fiddly bits like handlebars were not replaced, as these are gaming pieces and any replacement would most likely not last through the handling received in a normal game.
Where there are Recon stands, Patrol stands may appear.
 One of the first things I wanted to make were Patrol stands. in Command Decision stands designated as Recon have the ability to split into two smaller Patrol stands. In addition these stands could also serve as markers, akin to horse holder stands, should someone wish to dismount their troops from their motorcycles.
Unknown Metal figure and M/C. Possibly SHQ?
Unknown Metal figure. Micro Machines BMW. Totally legit....
 It also gave me a way of using some single bikes, and some of the metal standing bike riders that I had acquired in the distant past. The inclusion of the Micro Machines BMW is a joke to see if anyone notices a modern German bike in the mix. Previously I had used this model with a different paint job, and a British Para rider, without comment in a British armoured force during the late 1990s.

Unknown Plastic. They came with horrible sidecars. Bikes look great, Riders are naft.
 I have no idea of the maker of  these two plastic figures. They are cast as one piece with the motorcycle, and were a dark grey plastic. I acquired them second hand years ago when at least one of them had a crude combination car attached. I liked the bike so painted them up as patrol stands.

Front on they look worse. But the actual motorcycle is great.
The painting and rebuilding of this unit was halted for quite some time, as I was reluctant to paint any camouflage on the motorcycles as I didn't want to ruin my efforts with a bad job.  So for about a year the whole unit sat with nice dark yellow ( actually Vallejo German Camouflage Orange Ochre 70824) motorcycles. Then I saw the recent postings from Paul at Plastic Warriors, showing how good his guys looked with camouflaged motorcycles, and I took inspiration from his efforts. A chat with the Archduke also helped to make up my mind about posting my efforts, so I added on my standard camo colurs, and then gave them all a wash of GW Devlan Mud to help hide my sins....

Hasegawa M/C and rider with metal figure. I use this as a joint Command stand in CD.
Motorcycle MMG or Weapon stands. All bikes are Hasegawa. Riders LtR are: Italeri, Hasegawa, Hasegawa, Italeri. Passengers LtR: Standing unknown metal, converted Hasegawa, Italeri, converted Hasegawa.

 The Hasegawa motorcycle comes as part of a kit with a Kubelwagen, and is quite a pleasant kit to put together. It does suffer from the omission of  a passenger for the sidecar, although one can be converted from those provided for the Kubelwagen. It has also been one of the more numerous plastic German WW2 motorcycle kits I have seen on gaming tables over the last ten years, most likely due to the fact that it was readily available when the Fujimi and Matchbox ones were not.

German Motorcycle SMG stands. Bikes LtR: Hasegawa, Hasegawa Fujimi, Hasegawa. Riders LtR: Hasegawa, Italeri, Italeri, Hasegawa. Passengers including standing figure are all Italeri.
German Motorcycle SMG stands. Figures and motorcycles are all from Italeri.
Motorcycle stand painted by my friend Andy. Motorcycle and rider are Hasegawa, but passenger is from the Revell German Artillery set.
Readers will note that I have not presented these stands as being part of any particular  unit organisation. This is because that I will use these stands to represent motorcycle elements of various German
 formations from 1943 onwards and as such tried to keep them as generic as possible. The early war, and Afrika Korps motorcycle stands I am also working on are going to be more closely tied to an appropriate  table of organisation.


  1. very nice. I must do some motorbikes for my moderns. I just need to find a modern bike that is to scale

  2. Thank you all for your kind words.

  3. Yep: looking very good. Even those naff riders (of which I have a considerable number) don't look too bad... from a distance... I see in the background a very interesting looking AFV - Russian shape; German colours... What does that remind me of...? ;-)

  4. Good work on these Brian. They really have come up well. I agree with the generic basing.