Opel Blitz (Daimler built, L701 Einheitsfahrerhaus)
Roden continues with their line of 1/72 Opel Blitz truck kits in 1/72 scale. The Opel Blitz was one of the most popular three ton trucks produced by the Germans during the Second World War. Manufactured in a 4x2 and 4x4 version, this kit represents the last production model of the truck. Rather than using sheet metal throughout the vehicle, the cab was manufactured from wood. Production continued until 1948 with a production run of 11,000 vehicles.
The kit is molded in light grey plastic in three sprues with 115 parts. There is a sheet of Mylar for the three windows and there are decals for one vehicle. The parts are crisply molded and there are many small and fragile parts that must be removed from the sprues very carefully. Try as I might, the drive shaft, snapped and flew across the room. I was able to retrieve the two broken pieces. The kit does include an engine with many small components.
The kit begins with the engine. There are no pins in the two halves of the engine block, so it must be carefully assembled to keep it square. For this scale, the engine has a nice amount of detail. The exhaust manifold is fragile and the attachment points are tricky. Similarly, once the engine is in place, the attachment point for the exhaust pipe is, well, just a very small flat surface. Once attached it is very fragile and must be handled with care.
Once the engine was assembled, it was time to go on to the chassis. The attachment points between the chassis and the bed of the truck are all individual pieces that must be attached with care. The bottom of the truck bed has dimples for attachment points that must line up precisely with these brackets for a proper fit. Test fit the truck bed while the glue is still pliable to ensure a proper fit. The axles are fairly straightforward, but as mentioned previously, the drive shaft must be removed with care or else it will break. The rear axle is attached to a pair of springs. The placement of the springs on the chassis is imprecise, resulting in a drive shaft that wouldn’t exactly fit.
Once the chassis is assembled, the rear bed of the truck goes together with ease. The four sides of the bed fit snuggly, though what I can only assume are benches do not. The ends need some sanding and trimming for a correct fit around the contours of the stake bed. Joining the bed with the truck is a chore. As mentioned previously, the supports for the truck bed are very fragile and the connection points are very shallow. It took several tries to get the bed and chassis to fit. The cab also needed some trimming to fit flat against the back of the bed and over the fuel tank. The remaining pieces on the truck body are small, i.e. headlights, hand tools, etc. Even though they may break later, I prefer to put them on before paint goes on to insure consistent coverage around the vehicle.
As mentioned in previous reviews, I like using Tamiya paint. There are decals and painting instructions for one vehicle. It is finished overall in dark yellow (XF-60) and camouflage in red brown (XF-64) and dark green (XF-61). Since this truck was used in the field, I gave it a wash of and very light dust coat of buff (XF-57). A gloss coat of Future was used. The decals, just three, went on without a chore.
Roden has produced a very detailed version of this iconic German truck. Given that this is braille scale, beginners may get frustrated with the less than ideal attachment points for many of the smaller component parts and, well, the very small pieces. I lost the headlights and the driver’s side mirror. As I said, frustrating. Nevertheless, it’s a nice rendition of the Opel Blitz.
My thanks to IPMS, Squadron MMD, and Roden for giving me the opportunity to review this kit.