The Triumph motor cycle 3HW was first produced in 1942, and production continued throughout the war. After being bombed out in Coventry Triumph set about building a new factory and work began in 1941. The new factory was based at Meriden and went into production around April 1942. Forty to fifty thousands bikes were built for the military during the war, and out of a total of 49,700 motorcycles produced, around 28,000 of these were 3HWs. Triumph also made aircraft components, track links, steering housings and two-wheeled stretcher carriers.
The Triumph 3HW was a 350 cc overhead valve single cylinder machine based on the 3H civilian bike but with a modified cylinder head and barrel to make mass production easier. (Basically a Tiger 80 but without an air filter, which required major servicing every couple of thousand miles)
Motorcycles were used extensively throughout the war by the 3 Armed Services and also by all the Commonwealth Forces.
There is an interesting WH3 restoration on YouTube for those interested.
Video Clip #1
Video Clip #2
The British and Commonwealth Forces used a range of Bikes, BSA, Norton, Ariel and of course the Triumph, and I am delighted to see this kit come onto the market.
The kit comes packed in a smart cardboard box and contains two motorcycles and a 3 figure set consisting of 2 x British Dispatch Riders and 1 x British MP (Military Policeman). The box art is good and a fair depiction of the kit and figures. It is based on an IWM picture taken in Normandy on the River Oden Bridge on 16th June 1944. On the reverse of the box are the build instructions for the 3 figure set plus a suggested color chart for 4 different paint manufacturers.
Inside the box are three sealed plastic bags, one containing the figure parts and the other the two bike sprues and the 3rd the additional weapons/kit sprue. Along with the spurs you get a 4 page set of build instructions, in the blow out picture style. In addition you get two small frets of PE to add detail to the kit plus decals marking options for 2 different bikes and for the figures.
These are laid out in a logical style allowing the bikes to be built in sub assemblies. Most notably are the fine spoke PE frets for the wheels and I would refer you to Terry Ashley’s excellent build article on PMMS as highly recommended reading before you begin this kit.
Cast in an olive green plastic these are beautifully done with no flash I could see. There are 59 parts that go to make up each bike. Obviously being a motor cycle many of these are very thin and fragile so care will be needed during assembly, both in removing them from the spur and in ensuring the smallest ones don’t go to the carpet monster.
I am not a bike expert, but from the pictures and information I have looked at, with the exception of some wiring, you should have here everything you need to make an excellent representation of this machine. As previously mentioned the bike can be built in small sub assemblies. To add detail there is a separate PE fret for each bike and provided in the kit are 2 jigs to help construct the very fine spoke wheels. I strongly recommend that you read Terry’s article mentioned above before attempting to construct these delicate parts.
The kit represents a mid to late production model of the bike and rather than re-invent the wheel I have quoted here directly from Terry’s Review should you wish to consider an earlier example
“The early 3HW had two tool boxes, a small rear carrier without a pillion or panniers with an 8" headlight. From 1943 a 6" headlight was fitted as well as pillion-carrying facilities, a large rear carrier and standard pannier-frames.”
The parts seem excellently cast with little or no flash and have great detail, which should make this a build to really enjoy and delight in.
Two small frets of PE are included to help detail the bikes further; these are very finely done and hold the spokes for the wheels, drive chain and frames for the saddle bags plus some other small parts. These are covered with a fine film, so take care when removing this and handling the parts.
You get markings for two bikes, the first for XXX Corps in NWE 1944 – 45 and the second for 108th Regiment, Royal Armoured Corps, 10th Armoured Brigade, 42nd Armoured Division in England 1942-43. Opportunities then for the AM folks to add to the possible finishes! Also included are rank and uniform marking for the 3 figures which is a nice addition to the set. I would also like to include this information from John Harrris's review in Military Modelling
about the WD numbers.
"The serials supplied on the Triumph Decal sheet are C886687, C602241 and a series C5566925/C5566926/C5566928 so there are actually several extra options over the two markings shown on the instruction sheet. Serial C886687 was a Triumph 3HW, the first in a batch of 3HWs built April 1942 to June 1943. C5566925/C5566926/C5566928 are also a batch of 3HWs built sometime between June to October 1944. In addition there is also a set of individual numbers (four of each number plus 'C' in white) to enable the modeller to construct their own serial numbers, if required"
Three figures come with the set a Standing MP, a Standing Dispatch Rider and a Mounted Dispatch Rider. These are cast in light tan plastic.
Depicts a standing Dispatch Rider (Corps Military Policemen), with the right arm extended in the act of stopping traffic. Made up of 10 parts, (legs, arms, right hand, upper torso, head, helmet, goggles and pistol holster), the figure will require a little cleaning up, but the uniform detail looks quite good. The figure wears a Battle Dress blouse with the pleated pockets, and closed at the neck. The painting guide indicates the presence of a web belt but this is not the case as the lower fastenings for the BD are present on the part. The figure wears the whipcord breeches but the reinforced leather is not present on the inside leg. The lower legs are finished with a pair of motorcyclist’s high boots which look to be correct. A rimless crash helmet (Mk I or III) and goggles are provided to add to the head. A Pistol holster is also included which is unnecessary. The figure I would guess is based on a picture from the IWM collection showing a Corps Military Police Lance Corporal of 15th (Scottish) Division directing traffic on the River Oden on 16th June 1944 and as such is a good representation. There are nice folds and creases in the uniform and the figure should paint up very well indeed. Over the left shoulder is a strap on to which needs added a Sten gun and around the upper right arm is a small molded armlet. (See figure guide).
This depicts a seated Dispatch Rider dress in Battle Dress and wearing a leather ‘British Warm’. This time consisting of 9 parts (legs, arms, upper torso, head, helmet, goggles), plus a pistol holster will can be added. The figure looks nicely done left arm resting on the left leg and the right arm raised in a pointing gesture. The arms are shown complete with Dispatch Riders gloves and the figure is designed to be mounted on one of the bikes. A Dispatch Riders crash helmet and goggles are also included for this figure. On the lower legs anklets are worn giving additional variety to the figures. Again a little clean up will be necessary but the uniform has nice folds and creases and this figure too should paint up very well. Around the waist is a 37 pattern belt to which can be added a pistol holster and brasses are evident on the rear although a little faint on the front of the belt.
This depicts a standing MP holding a map board. The figure consists of 12 Parts (legs, arms, left hand, 2 x heads, 2 x types of Service Cap, upper torso, pistol holster and map case). And this time you get a choice of heads and headdress. The figure is dressed in Battle Dress without anklets. Over the lower arms are a set of traffic arm bands and the figure can be finished with either a MPs Field Service Cap or a 1937 Field Service Cap. The figure wears a 37 pattern belt with a cross strap commonly worn by MPs and molded down front the neck is a lanyard leading to the point of attachment for the pistol holster. Brasses are present front and rear on the webbing. The uniform detail looks well done as does the map board.
A little clean up will again be necessary but you have again the making of a very useful figure with nice uniform detail.
The addition of this sprue is a plus and it contains:
2 x Lee Enfield .303 Mk.4.
1 x Thompson SMG with round magazine.
1 x Bren Light Machine Gun with folded and extended bipod.
1 x Sten Mk.2 with alternate first and second pattern stock.
2 x Vickers K machine guns.
2 x Web equipment sets for 2 soldiers, with ammo pouches, small back packs, small digging tools, water bottles, Mk II helmets, pistol holster, and poncho.
This gives the modeler an opportunity to add some weapons to the bikes and also some nice items for the spares box.
I was over the moon when I read about this release, finally a 1/35 scale British bike and the kit I think will not disappoint. This is a very welcome addition to the growing number of British vehicles being produced. The Triumph should prove a popular choice with modelers and hopefully we may see a BSA or Norton coming along too!!
The set itself is a good mix with the 2 bikes and the 3 figures, so presents lots of possibilities for the modeler, whether as stand alone subjects or included in a diorama this kit will add great variety and interest to any build.
Although I have several Bronco kits, this is my first look at a Bronco Kit in detail and a very pleasant experience it was. The detail on the bike is sharp and clear, the kit looks very accurate and the figures although requiring a little clean up have very natural poses and a good level of detail with nice folds in the uniforms and are dressed in a variety of styles. The weapons sprue is a nice bonus. This is, I think, a cracking kit that with patience will build into an excellent representation of the Triumph 3HW. There are some very small and delicate parts so perhaps not a kit for the beginner, but a terrific addition for both Allied and Axis modelers nonetheless. Full Kudos to Bronco for taking this bold step and producing what on first look appears to be a truly excellent kit, with lots of potential.