Zvezda 1/35 R-12 Motorcycle with sidecar and crew

KIT #: 3607
DECALS: Several options
REVIEWER: Scott Van Aken
NOTES: Includes three human and one porcine figure.


The German BMW  R-12  motorcycle had been produced from 1935 to 1942. During that period more than 36000 BMW R-12 had been manufactured both military and civilian variants. The sports variant of R-12 reached a speed record of 279.5 km/h which was held for 14 years! Because of high reliability and significantly lower cost in comparison with other army motorcycles BMW R-75 and KS-750, BMW R-12 has become the most mass motorcycle in the German army. R-12 was used for delivery of ammunition and hot food, evacuation of wounded men in rear, delivery of messages, going for reconnaissance. In a word, it is hard to say about all army specialties of that vehicle. Moreover, BMW R-12 was mass used as a combat vehicle in a special motorcycle troops. In such cases its buddy seat had been equipped with a machine gun.


Zvezda has produced a fine model of the R-12 with sidecar and figures. The molding is superlative in both respects with no flash, sink areas or pesky ejector pin markings. Each of the wire wheels is in two halves so that joining them will produce a very realistic spoke effect without having to resort to photo etch.

There are a considerable number of small parts with this one so it is not for those without some skills in dealing with small parts like this. I am surprised that nothing was broken on the sprues as Zvezda does not package the sprues; just puts them in the box with the instructions and decals.

There are two ways to build this kit. One is with fully equipped rider and driver. The other is more interesting and based on a photograph that is included in the instructions. This one has a driver with his shirt sleeves rolled up, no helmet, holding a hog-tied  pig in the side car. The box art cannot be built as such as it is a composite of the two options.

Instructions are quite thorough will well done construction illustrations. These show you all the optional bits and the colors of everything. Paint references are generic and Model Master. There are four options, most are unidentified and all in panzer grey. The decals are well done and with a bit of help, should work out well.


IAnother interesting subject and another German motorcycle for those that like building them in this scale. I'm often wondering why we don't see bikes from other countries as surely the British, Italians and Japanese had them. Anyway, this is an especially nice one and the pig does add interest!

August 2009

My thanks to www.dragonmodelsusa.com for the preview kit. Get yours today at your local shop or on-line retailer.

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