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Tamiya’s BSA M20 Motorcycle
And MP Set In 1/35th Scale
By Valentin “BSA?” Bueno

Check Out Club Meeting: September 2011 Meeting

Featured In: September 2011 Newsletter


The Birmingham Small Arms (BSA) Company created the M20 motorcycle in 1937. It turned out to be one of the longest serving motorcycles with over 126,000 being built. A BSA M20 was used in one scene n Raiders of the Lost Ark, but only briefly.

Tamiya pulled a surprise cat out of the hat with the impending October release of the 1/35th scale BSA M20 motorcycle. It is a very simple kit with British MP’s and a sign post. The parts are molded on two olive colored sprues with 20 parts for the bike and 24 for the MP’s. The molding of the parts is gorgeous. The cooling fins on the cylinder head are so clean and sharp, I feel like I can cut bread with them. Likewise the frame and yoke detail is cleanly molded and looks great.

But, and there is always a “but”, the spokes of the wheels are thick and a throwback to the 70’s when Tamiya first started. When viewed from the side, the wheel looks fine. From any other angle, it looks horrible. But, for a cost of $15, I’ll be happy to accept this. This is an obvious case where PE will come to the rescue.

The molding on the MP’s is also a lot less then what I had experienced with Tamiya’s recently released German Military Field Police set. The German figures were gorgeous and had fine detail molded into the uniforms. Badges, belt buckles and straps all full of detail and three dimensional molding. The British MP’s on this kit, not so much. The sprues are dated 2011, so it seems this was done by Tamiya’s B-Team.

Enough chatter, I’ll let the photos tell the rest of the story.

Gorgeous Engine Detail

Look at those fins!

Frame parts

Front wheel spokes look OK from here.

The rather plain tunic of the kit’s British MP.

But it is back to the 70’s from this angle.

The detailed tunic of the German Field Police. Compare to the sparse detail on the Brit.

Sten machine gun.

Nice leg!

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