Vulcan Scale Models
1/35 " Zundapp K800"
Kit no: 56006
Sprues: 3 styrene + 2 metal spoke sheets +1 Brass P/E
Ages: 14 and over
Marking Choices: 2
Price: 9.95 - from model wholesale UK
Part 2 (See here for Part 1)
Today I will present part two of the Vulcan scale models 1/35 Zundapp K800 motorcycle kit build which continues from where we left the bike last week. Last week I previewed the sprues and the figure, built the front handlebars and the engine and put the front wheel together. This week I will put together the frame of the bike, seats and finish the rear assembly, investigating whether a complex multimedia bike like this is worth the extra time and effort over a cheap - out of the box bike kit.
Let's talk about those wheels first though, and for me they are the most complex and tricky part of the build. I have put them both together, and I have to say that the second wheel was much easier (shame there is only two really). They do take some sanding and dry fitting before they go together. My advice is to have many flat clamps to press flat the many layers of the bike's tyre together. The tyres I have constructed do look a bit tatty like they are, but with some pain they will look great and chunky, while the spokes will stay thin. It's a blessing and a curse really, as each wheel takes nearly an hour to get just right. But I have to say it is worth it!
The bike's frame goes together next, each side of the frame has its own sub assembly with foot pegs and a kick-starter. These all sit off the bike frame and give it some more depth. When you put the frame together the engine slips through and neatly notches inside the frame quite snugly. The fuel tank and internals all look realistic enough and are worth the separate construction. Being quite a large engine, it's great to have a good version of it. I put the back wheel together quickly (60mins again) and then slotted it all into the rear assembly of the bike. The rear seat/mudguard section goes together on the rear of the bike and is a pretty easy assembly. The well shaped mufflers go on easily and will look quite good painted up. They don't get in the way and give the bike the required depth.
The bike's fuel tank slips straight into the lower part of the tank without even gluing (I love that), and it sits plumb on the forward bike frame. By now the bike was going together a lot more easily, the smaller parts and PE were installed, and the build was becoming more enjoyable. The front handlebars go on to the rear frame with upper and lower connections, the bottom spigot being far too big for the whole it goes into, I just made the hole a bit larger on the bottom and it was all good from there. On to the seat and the neat little additions.
There are of course two seats, one for the rider and one for the passenger, they are neat and in the right shape and would look great without on with a rider on them. The neat thing that Vulcan have done is give you two little springs each to wit underneath them. These springs look great and aren't the fat old tractor springs like on earlier bikes I have in my collection. Be sure to maybe cut the back springs down just a little as the seat sits a little proud. Also be careful when using these to work from the bottom up - nothing worse than attaching them to the seat and having the springs floating in space!!
From there it all just feel together. Here is the bike fully assembled, It took probably two 8-hour days of relaxed modelling to put it all together and paint. Here it is unpainted, so you can see what It looks like before I go on with the paint. You can see the overall quality of the kit, despite the niggles I had with small PE pieces flying off into space and those wheels. The rider sits on well and, apart from the Charlie Chaplin-esque way he seems to be posed and the helmet needing a bit of a trim to sit better on his head, he looks real enough. As I said in the Part I of this review I would swap his head with a better spare you have lying around. Here is the bike next to the original for you to see the good job done here by Vulcan, the only thing missing seeming to be the left wheel guard.
One thing troubled me though - was it all worth the time? Was there a faster easier alternative ? Well there may be.... Introducing the Tamiya DKW NZ350
This £5 kit comes from Tamiya and can be found in several extra value kits from them, it can be also picked up separately - I thought - "Why not build it and see the difference between a hi tech and low tech kit?" well I was surprised to say the least... The kit went together - unpainted - in just UNDER an hour - such a different experience. It is a mainframe and wheel with the side parts and handlebars being glued onto the bike, so it's easy to build, but that's where the goodness stopped unfortunately. Here's how it looks glued together and unpainted compared to the Vulcan kit.
The ease of construction and the cheap price tag hide many things though. I know that this is not at all the same bike, but the picture below clearly illustrates the disparity in detail and quality. The Tamiya bike was actually harder to paint and more complicated to detail, as you have to get in and paint AROUND the rest of the kit instead of separately like the Vulcan kit. The difference is stark in real life. For a little more effort and time the far superior results are readily visible with this Vulcan kit over an older simpler kit. That's why I suppose it's worth the extra 5 quid and the extra day squinting at small pieces to make a bike that has great depth and detail.
Part 3 coming up next is the MiniArt Riverbank section - reviewed and painted up- stay tuned - Happy modelling to you all!!
Many thanks to Modelwholesale UK for the review sample used here.