BMW R75 Escaping from the Falaise Pocket
Robert Doepp and AFV Modeller Publications capture for its readers a comprehensive detailed construction of a BMW R75 in 1:9th scale. Inspiration for this 112-page softbound book, “BMW R75 Escaping from the Falaise Pocket” comes from a rare black and white WWII image found in, Pallud, Jean-Paul. Ruckmarsch! The German Retreat from Normandy: Then and Now. Battle of Britain Internat., 2007. The German wartime image depicts a crew of 4 German paratroopers retreating on a BMW R75 with a sidecar attached.
Before this undertaking, several model magazines have showcased Robert Doepp’s work including Tamiya Model Magazine, Model Time, Dioramag and Steel Art. As well as being a contributor to several magazines, he has won numerous awards.
What you get is a 112-page softbound book with 425 illustrations in color with many historical images in black and white. The book is printed in A4 print size on matte paper with construction pictures photographed in high detail. Numerous black and white historical images were used in reference along with color images of restored motorcycles. The front cover has the completed diorama in color with the back cover showing the author’s construction before painting with a comparison image of the wartime image. The book is divided into 10 sections.
- As a prelude to what follows, the author gives a background on the inspiration for the build before the actual construction including images of himself at the age of 26 and current. A half-page image is presented with a full-page wartime image on page 74 including a description of the historical photo.
- Chapter 1 Construction: pages 8-27
- Detailed construction of the motorcycle and sidecar are described by the author on pages 8-27. The basic kit the author used was the Revell BMW R75 in 1:9th scale. The author breaks down the construction into sub-assemblies describing each beginning with the wheels and frame and ending with a couple of two-page layouts illustrating the completed model. The level of scratch building using plastic, metal and resin and the minute details he added are truly amazing. As one goes through each page reading and comparing the images the level of modeling skills Robert Doepp has attained shines through. Whatever your area of interest, be prepared to be astonished. His writings and description of his techniques are clear and concise.
- Chapter 2 Painting: pages 28-41
- In these pages the author describes in detail his painting and weathering processes. Due to the scale of the model and attaching many assemblies using screws, he was afforded the opportunity to disassemble the motorcycle for painting. During the painting process he describes his use of various brands of paints not relying upon one brand. All along the painting process he captures remarkable up-close images and adds text describing the painting in detail. Additionally, he explains his weathering process using oils and pigments. His discussion of the painting and weathering process will allow the reader to follow on with his own model builds. At the end of the chapter the author adds a large photo spread showcasing the completed model. After reading the first 2 chapters this reviewer was left with a feeling of aw and left with the conclusion that he too would be able to follow along using Robert Doepp’s techniques in a future build.
- Chapter 3 Figures: pages 42-53
- On pages 42-53 the author describes his techniques for construction of the 4 figures perched upon the bike and sidecar. Using a single black and white image he describes how he was able to define the size of the figures then in a step-by-step process sculp using plastic card stock, plastic rods, copper wire and Magic Sculp. As with the figures, he also presents in the same format the construction of the uniforms and accessories on the motorcycle. Wrapping things up at the end of the chapter as he did with previous chapters, he has a photo spreads of the completed figures. The level of detail is amazing as seen in the images along with captions and for this reviewer a “How-To” guide to figure construction.
- Chapter 4 Figure Painting: pages 54-67
- In this section Robert describes his entire painting process dividing the chapter into head painting, uniform painting and painting the accessories hanging from the figures. Several pages are included in his step-by-step detail painting with up close color images. All along the chapter the author provides actual images of the containers of oils and paints he uses. This undoubtedly would be of benefit to the modeler if he chooses to use some of the same techniques. What this reviewer found remarkable was how ingenuous he used rods to construct his figures in sub-assemblies. Thus, permitting the body parts to be painted individually before final attachment to the body. He describes this detail in the previous chapter. The finished painted figures are included on full page layouts as he provided in the previous chapters.
- Chapter 5 Base: pages 68-71
- One of the shortest chapters in the book was chapter 5 the base. The author decided to place his model on a round wooden base with a glass dome. He gives the reader a step-by-step description of the making of the diorama to represent his historical picture he was intending to represent. As he had done in previous chapters, he includes the materials he uses.
- Chapter 6 Wartime: pages 72-83
- In this chapter the author presents twenty black and white wartime images of BMW R75 motorcycles in various surroundings one of which is the basis for his build. As he states the image of reference picture is of high quality.
- Chapter 7 Restored: pages 84-93
- The author in the next 10 pages includes color photo images of a restored BMW R 75 with up close views of various sections of the motorcycle. All the images are of excellent quality and high resolution. The author further expounds by adding captions with each image. A nice addition for reference.
- Gallery: 94-110 Items Used, Acknowledgements, References and Links: 111
- In the next several pages the author presents the completed model on photo spreads from different views sitting on the completed base. He adds notes to some of the pages to explain his thinking about the mistakes he may have made.
If the author’s objective was to present a detailed build in chronological order with imagery capturing his techniques, he did in fact meet this goal. What becomes apparent while reading the book is how talented the author is from the way he explains scratch building parts of the motorcycle and figures to his approach to painting. The author presents all facets of his build in a clear, concise easy to read book with images and captions explaining his progress leaving the reader with another approach to model building.
This book will make an excellent addition to any modeler’s library.
Thanks goes out to Casemate Publishers and AFV Modeller Publications for this review sample.