Lois & Co. Monowheel Mk.I

Published on
Review Author(s)
Scale
1/35
MSRP
$49.99
Product / Stock #
W19: 002
Box Art

Monowheel Background (from the instructions)

Lois & Co. was a British industrial combine, a group of businesses manufacturing military and sporting bicycles, motorcycles, iron castings, machine tools, and hard chrome process. It was founded by Spencer Lois, who had a passion for new innovative ideas, in the city of Birmingham.

Motor bicycles were added to bicycle products in 1910. The Lois & Co. Monowheel Mk.I was exhibited at the 1913 Olympia Show, London for the 1914 season. In November 1916 Lois & Co. launched their first military monowheel after a big contract with the British Ministry of Armaments.

The British Army version was armed with a Lewis machine gun mounted on a side swing arm. The ability of the monowheel to overcome trenches along with its high-speed performance and great firepower made it very popular with troops. Hundreds of monowheels were given to the French army (who mounted the FM Chauchat), ANZAC and Greek army as military aid. Several monowheels were captured by the Imperial German Army and Ottoman Army who rearmed it with the MG 08/15.

The Kit

The kit includes 50 parts cast in a light gray resin. The parts have nice crisp detail and virtually no imperfections. The largest part is the wheel and tire measuring 2 1/4 inches, or 6 feet 6 3/4 inches in scale diameter. Most of the parts are attached to pour blocks but some had detached in the packing bag. The large wheel was slightly warped but quickly straightened out by dipping in hot water and laying on a flat surface. A nicely sculpted figure is included, including eight different head options, all with gas masks and helmets:

  • British
  • Australian
  • German officer
  • German soldier
  • Ottoman - 2
  • French
  • Greek

The figure also is equipped with six holstered guns of different types, four ammo pouches, and two binoculars. Three guns are provided:

  • British Lewis gun
  • German MG ‪08/15
  • French FM Chauchat

The instructions are printed in color on two 8 1/4 x 11 1/2 sheets of paper. The assembly instructions are in one small diagram. The exploded assembly diagram shows the general location of parts but will need some careful fitting to get things in the right place. The color marking diagrams also help to locate parts. Part numbers aren’t included in the instructions but are easily identified.

Four color marking options are included:

  • British Army, 96th Brigade (1st South East Lankashire Fusiliers), Wester Front, 1919
  • British Army A Squadron 11th Hussars Divisional Troops, Sidi Barrani, 1920
  • Motorad Batailon 2, Western front, 1919
  • Lois & Co civilian version

No decals are provided with the kit.

Assembly

The parts fit together well, although some fit adjusting and reinforcing will help. I added brass pins to the headlight and rear fender brackets to reinforce the joints. The swing arm connection to the body was also reinforced with a brass pin.

I added wiring for the headlights and piping for the fuel tank to add some detail to the engine.

Assembly of the driver figure required some modifications. I shortened and bent the left leg to get him in the seat with one of his feet on the footboard. The shoulder/arm joints are pronounced and require some filling. The eight heads are nicely detailed and provide nice options for the figure. The guns and firearms also provide a lot of flexibility with the figure.

Finishing

Colors for each of the marking options are called out in AK Interactive Real Color paint numbers. For the review sample I used Mission Models steel and Alclad bronze and brass paints. The figure was painted with Vallejo acrylic paints.

Summary

This is an interesting and very unusual vehicle and makes an interesting model. Experience working with resin models is very helpful building this kit. Some minor fitting and shaping of parts is necessary.

Thanks to Weird Armies Reign for this interesting and imaginative kit. I enjoyed building the monowheel and would welcome other WAR kits.

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