U.S. Scooter with Sidecar
If you are looking for a unique addition for your next 1/48 scale aircraft diorama, please allow me to direct your attention to the plusmodel offering of a scooter and sidecar. The kit comes with decals for a US Army scooter, US Navy scooter, as well as an airfield service scooter. The kit is simple and builds up with relative ease as long as you have some experience with small photo-etch items. I would highly recommend this kit to anyone wanting something unique to sit next to their 1/48 scale aircraft.
Although no manufacturer is mentioned for this kit, it appears to be a Cushman scooter manufactured during WWII, as these small vehicles could be used in place of larger ones, and manufactured much cheaper. This particular offering includes a sidecar, which was capable of holding additional items such as tools or ammunition. The company plusmodel released this item in 1/48 as well as 1/35 scale, and with and without the sidecar.
On opening the packaging for this kit, you will not find many parts, just six resin parts, a photo-etch fret with eight items, a piece of wire, decals for three vehicles and instructions. The resin parts are molded in two different shades of gray, which may seem a little strange. The instructions are on the inside of a single sheet of paper folded in half, with the front being the color photo of the completed scooter. Decal options are for US Army, US Navy, and “Airfield service” scooters.
I found that the kit built up quickly with no real issues slowing me down; although I would question how the manufacturer expects you to install the sidecar’s wheel, as I used a piece of the wire for this. I did seem to have an issue when attempting to use Gorilla Glue CA, but regular Thin CA worked perfectly on its own. There are some photographs online to help a modeler, but not in abundance for this particular vehicle.
In building my kit, I opened the two holes in the fork assembly to insert my wire supports as one hole was partially open, and the other was only an indentation. I used Model Master Acryl Dark Gull Gray for the overall color along with Vallejo Dark Rubber (for the tires) and Flat Black (for the accelerator and brake pedals as well as handlebar grips). The lights are Model Master Lacquer Silver with the brake light having Tamiya Clear Red added on top of the silver. I used Micro Gloss prior to installing decals, which worked fine with Micro Set and Micro Sol, and then Micro Flat provided the final finish.
As far as my hits of this kit are concerned, I really liked the uniqueness of the offering of a scooter, especially in this scale, as it will look nice parked next to a Corsair or Hellcat. The marking options are also nice as they cater to Army Air Corps and Navy fans, but could also be used with post-WWII air racers.
My only real miss for this kit was the instructions show a post on the sidecar to mount the wheel, but none exists. As it is easy to see where the axle is, I used a small length of the supplied wire that I inserted into holes I drilled in both the sidecar and wheel itself. The instructions do not clearly show the wires added to the front forks going through the lower plate, but they need to, and are shown on the photograph of the completed kit.
As I started my review, I would highly recommend this kit to any modeler wanting to pose this unique vehicle next to their 1/48 scale WWII aircraft or post-WWII air racer. Anyone having experience with small photo-etch items should have no difficulties in building up this kit.
My thanks to the folks at plusmodel for producing this unique kit, and for providing it as a review kit to the IPMS-USA Review Corps. I also always like to thank Dave Morrissette and the folks who keep the Review Corps running as smoothly as it does, and finally yet importantly, those who read my comments are always appreciated.