1942 Harley-Davidson WLA by Italeri
As the United States prepared for the likelihood of war in 1940, Harley-Davidson was tasked with building a general-purpose motorcycle for the US Army. Based upon their existing W-series bikes, the resulting bike used a high-compression twin-cylinder 45 cubic inch (740 cc) engine. Over 90,000 examples were built between the WLA (US Army and WLC (Canadian Army).
Italeri has been gradually reissuing kits produced by other manufacturer’s all in 1/9 scale. The kits out of this series are easy to build and have some nice details straight out of the box.
Rumor has it (based in the inter webs…) that this particular tooling was originally released in the 1970s by ESCI in with its civilian fittings including fenders and chromed parts. The tooling was revised into a wartime configuration and issued a few years later by replacing the fenders, fuel tank, and adding the Thompson machine gun with scabbard along with a black-out light and other details.
My Take on the Build
I have to tell you, this kit was a ton of fun. It really took me back to when I built models as a teen. Flash to clean off, sketchy directions, etc. But in the end it was cool. The internet helps us these days find references to make the models accurate. Fill in the gaps that the issuer doesn’t. So, to all those who’ve built this kit before me, and shared they’re “how-to’s” a big tip of the cap.
I used soft pastels to do the seat & bags. Thought this would be an opportunity to use some of the tools in my artist bag to achieve the finish of leather. I think it came out pretty good. BTW-the decals shipped with this kit are actually really good! Not too thick, not too thin.
With that, I present you my 1942 Harley-Davison WLA. Build one if you can—just fun to build.
9 additional images. Click to enlarge.