by: Darren Baker [ ]
Diopark products have not been covered here on Armorama very often. However having had the opportunity to take a look at the new bicycle offerings they have, I think I will need to watch for their products more often. The offering being reviewed here is two bicycles that could represent any time period from about 1960 or possibly a little earlier than that and for that matter just about any location on the globe. I suspect those with an interest in the Vietnam War will greet this release the loudest, as the humble bike was I believe everywhere during that conflict.
The contents are packaged in an end opening card box with an artist drawing of the bikes on the front, and on the back are some finishing options along with some signage that can be cut out and hung on the bike frame. Inside the box you will find;
4 light grey sprues
2 photo etched frets
Small 4 page instruction booklet
The sprues and photo etched fret are double bagged inside the box.
The two bicycles that can be made with this product are light years ahead of any bicycle kit I have seen before. The finesse of the parts is very good as is the breakdown of the parts. They are so fine that great care is going to have to be taken during removable from the sprue for the most part or breakages will occur. The wheels for the bikes are supplied with very fair plastic moulded spokes, but you are also offered the choice of cutting these away and replacing them with photo etched spokes. Again great care will be needed when removing the photo etched spokes as they are also very fine. In order to improve the look of the photo etched spoke a former or Jig is provided with the kit, you place the photo etched spokes onto a centre pin and then close the two halves of the jig, and this imparts a domed appearance to the spokes.
The bicycle frame should be fairly easy to deal with providing no damage is caused while freeing it from the sprue. The separate bicycle chain and guard, stand, and pedal cranks should also be fairly easy to apply, but again are small and may test the eyesight. The basket frame that sits above the rear wheel will be easy to fit, but the separate springs for the suspension on the seat will I suspect make many a modeller swear.
Moving onto the front of the bike; you start by adding the front wheel followed by the handlebars, all very straight forward. This is followed by adding some microscopic photo etched parts that I am unable to identify, but I suspect are a part of the braking system. You are also instructed to stretch some sprue to replicate the brake cables, however i suggest some fine wire as it will be easier to place and shape. Supplied with the bikes you get a 3 draw box to sit on the rear basket support and a bottle.
The instructions with the model use black and white line drawings to guide you through construction, and I have to say look to do a pretty good job of it.
Another good product from Diopark which should be a great addition to suitable diorama or vignette. The light moulded on the front of the bike could have done with a clear lens but that is not the end of the world. Detail wise the models look very good with the biggest issue going to be removal from the sprue without causing damage. I would not recommend this product to a novice modeller, but for those of an average skill set and with care should manage without too much difficulty.