Mr Moto Cross
My Revell 1/12th scale Husqvarna motocross bike
The Revell 1/12th scale Husqvarna 400cc motocross bike of the late 1960s or early ‘70s is far better engineered than the Suzuki kit of the same period and is perfectly good built ‘out of the box’ with no changes. Its only inaccuracy is it that it has trials tyres — with their squarer cross section and finer tread pattern — rather than motocross ‘knobblies’. I used the motocross rear tyre that came with the Revell Suzuki. (My Suzuki uses an even better rear tyre from the Tamiya Honda CR450R that I sacrificed for its parts. I cannot now figure out from where I obtained the front MX tyre on the Husky.)
The bike is 6.5 inches long, nose to tail.
The rider is from the Tamiya KTM 250MX kit, which I bought just for the rider. (As far as I know, the cornering rider is not available separately, although the jumping rider is – or was.) Originally I painted him in Suzuki colours, as you can see on my Suzuki page, but for this bike I painted him to resemble Swedish rider and author Torsten Hallman. I also had to cut off his right hand and re-attach it using plastic filler so he fits the different geometry of the Husky. (I already repositioned his left arm to fit the Suzuki and that side is OK also for the Husky.) Even so, his left foot is behind the peg on that side. Correcting that would be too difficult and not worth either the effort or the risk of trashing the model.
In addition, I replaced both sides of the crank case with an oval shapes more like that of the 250cc version that Hallman and many others rode. I cut up an unused airplane drop tank and I used plenty of plastic putty (filler) for that. I also switched the rear brake lever to the left side and the gear changer to the right for the same reason. The rod connecting the lever to the hub is on the right side, so that stays as is. (Clearly, a tube connecting the lever to the rod crossed from one side to the other. I did not try to replicate that. It is almost invisible even in the real thing.)
The only chrome I left bare is that on the fuel tank sides and the upper forks. The rest I either painted silver-grey or I coated with satin varnish to dull it a bit.
Good kit though it is, it is fiddly to build. I am amazed that I did such a good job on my first one all those years ago. I gave it away I think mainly because it had no rider.
It consists of some small and fragile parts. The rear frame loop over the mudguard is not wide enough, so it came apart when I added the mudguard. To remedy it, I inserted a length of ‘stretched sprue’. I broke off the clutch lever when cutting the handlebar from the runner. I did not expect to see such a tiny object again, but, amazingly, I glanced at the floor and saw it almost straight away.
That is an exception. To me, losing parts is the biggest drawback of plastic modelling. The effort and time that goes into building a fragile model pales into insignificance compared to the psychological impact of this reason-defying phenomenon. I should be able to build an Imperial Star Destroyer with all the parts that are hiding on this very floor. Yet, I see nothing except a few toothpicks (modelling tools) some dust, and the floorboards themselves. I note from the plastic modelling forums that I am not alone in this. I digress…
It comes with a toolbox, four fixed wrenches of differing size, a piston with connecting rod, huge pliers, cycle pump, adjustable wrench, hefty screwdriver, and prop stand (barely visible in the photos).
Torsten takes a tumble
Bear in mind that the rider is a fixed chunk of plastic. The body and limbs are not positionable (other than by sawing and re-gluing). Nevertheless, the cornering rider is somewhat adaptable…
Related (internal links)
20th century Fauss, my review of the 1970 motorcycle racing movie Little Fauss and Big Halsy
Motocross in miniature — Building Joël Robert’s Suzuki motocross bike in 1/12th scale