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Set 16596

Bicycle Unit Cycling and Walking

Click for larger image
All figures are supplied unpainted    (Numbers of each pose in brackets)
Date Released Unknown
Contents 6 figures and 6 bicycles
Poses 6 poses
Material Plastic (Very Hard)
Colours Grey
Average Height 21.5 mm (= 1.55 m)


This is another one of those sets that is pretty hard to review because the pictures tell you almost everything you need to know. We will start with the bike, huge numbers of which were used by the Wehrmacht during World War II. The one pictured is a beautiful model of the standard bike of the war (since 1935), but an alternative frame is also included. Preiser have made many superb models that are delicate yet strong and perfectly engineered, and this bike is one of them. Made in a hard plastic, the frame is unbelievably slender and elegant, yet is no more fragile than might be expected. Even the wheels, which are separate, turn freely (should you want that) and while the spokes are not quite as thin or numerous as the real thing (which is as well as they would be practically invisible if they were), they are nonetheless astonishing in the delicacy of the production. It is only a humble bicycle, but it is accurate in every way and a fantastic little model. Even the pedals have not been forgotten and come as separate items.

With a bicycle must come a cyclist of course, and this set contains six of them. As usual with Preiser, all the figures come in a variable number of parts, and are copiously supplied with alternative headgear and kit of all kinds. The poses are pretty much set in stone, but the smaller details are largely up to you, and almost everything you could want has been included, including bundles for attaching to the handlebars. The first three figures are walking and guiding their bikes, while the second three are riding them. The multipart aspect allows for some thoroughly well done poses that would simply be impossible with a conventional one-piece figure. Our photo does not show them at their best, but luckily the box artwork does, and gives you a good idea of what can be achieved with these.

While the engineering and design of the bikes is breath-taking, the figures are well done too. Detail is fair and the separate items make for a more realistic, three-dimensional figure. Basically, the figures do exactly what is required of them, and in a hobby with almost no other German cyclists for this conflict this set will certainly find favour with many an enthusiast of the period. Their 1/87 scale makes them quite small by comparison to 1/72 sets, so we can only hope to see the set reproduced in the larger scale in the future. In the meantime, we can certainly encourage you to enjoy these precision models.


Historical Accuracy 10
Pose Quality 10
Pose Number 10
Sculpting 10
Mould 10

Further Reading
"Axis Cavalry in World War II" - Osprey (Men-at-Arms Series No.361) - Jeffrey Fowler - 9781841763231
"Cavalry of the Wehrmacht" - Schiffer - Klaus Christian Richter - 9780887408144
"German Combat Equipments 1939-45" - Osprey (Men-at-Arms Series No.234) - Gordon Rottman - 9780850459524
"German Infantryman (1) 1933-40" - Osprey (Warrior Series No.59) - David Westwood - 9781841764627
"German Soldiers of World War II" - Histoire & Collections - Jean de Lagarde - 9782915239355
"The Bicycle in Wartime" - Star Hill Studio - Jim Fitzpatrick - 9780980748017
"The German Army 1939-45 (1) Blitzkrieg" - Osprey (Men-at-Arms Series No.311) - Nigel Thomas - 9781855326392
"Weapons & Equipment of the German Cavalry" - Schiffer - Klaus Richter - 9780887408168

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