by: Damian Rigby [ ]
Opel Blitz S (3-ton)
Strictly speaking the Opel company built its first truck in 1903, but the forerunner of the truck generation proper was more of a delivery van. It was not until 1904 that the real count began, with 8 trucks based on the Opel 10/12 hp model with a bearing surface of 12 to 15 metric hundredweight load capacity. Sales of the Opel van and truck took off slowly. In 1905 it was only possible to supply three commercial vehicles to the customers every two months. Some years later, what had started so laboriously looked extremely promising. In October 1928 negotiations started between General Motors and Opel culminating in the purchase of the Opel shares in the Spring of 1929. In October J.J. Reuter, former head of the Oldsmobile Works, took over the management of the Opel AG. With him came engineers from GM, who were to develop a new Opel 2 ton truck. In November 1930, a prize competition was organised to name the truck that was to be made from summer 1931; that name was Opel Blitz. In the following years various models were made, such as the 2.0 and 2.5 tonners equipped with 1.2 and 1.8 litre engines. These vehicles went to tradesmen, carriers, brewers, stores, bus companies and local authorities. In November 1935 the first 3 ton production trucks rolled through the gates of the most modern works in Europe at Brandenburg. Already in 1935, the Blitz “S” received its new 3.5 litre 75 hp engine. At that time Opel had the lion’s share of the market in the 3 ton class. To enable them to meet the demand for Blitz vehicles the 3 tonner was also built under licence by Mercedes. In addition to the civil application, Opel built large numbers of cross-country vehicles for the army, so Blitz models were also used at the front as half-tracks, known to the soldiers as “Mules”. Between 1936 and 1944 over 120,000 Blitz 75 hp 3 tonners were built.
Permissible total weight 5.8 tons; engine 3.6 litre, 6 cylinder, 75 hp; maximum speed 85 km/h.
Source: Kit instruction manual.
Contents are contained in a solid end opening box. Parts are all bagged together, including the clear sprue, so there is likelihood of scuffing or scratching of clear parts.
65 Black parts on 1 sprue
23 Light Grey parts on 1 sprue
28 Beige parts on 1 sprue
7 Clear parts on 1 sprue
14 Black Styrene tyre halves on 1 sprue
1 decal sheet
The moulding is very good on all sprues with virtually no flash, and very little in the way of mould lines or sink marks to deal with that I can see. The detail is nice and crisp, the plastic is quite hard with a satin surface finish.
The larger Black sprue holds the chassis, engine, suspension and drive train parts, plus the seat and some cabin interior details, with some very light flash, mould lines and a few small sink marks to deal with, but nothing in conspicuous or difficult locations to deal with. The surface detail is very good and in this scale it should be easy to detail paint and add extra parts such as ignition leads and hydraulic lines.
The Pale Grey sprue holds the wheel rims and main cabin parts which all have very nice crisp detail and no deformity. The cabin exterior details are excellent. The floor pan and dashboard detail is very basic, but appropriate for a truck of this era, and it would be very easy to add the small control knobs that are visible in reference images. The wheel rims have no flash and are really nicely done for a complex mould, with the bolt heads and hubs prominent to give a great level of detail.
The Beige sprue is mainly the tray parts, plus a couple of external detail parts. The woodgrain effect, the support framing and tie down detail on these parts is excellent and will provide a really good canvass for detail painting and weathering, and plenty of room to add accessories to load it up.
As stated earlier, the Clear sprue is packed in a sealed plastic bag along with all of the other sprues, so there is a significant risk of scuffing or scratching. On my kit there are several small scratches on each of the larger clear parts so some polishing work will be needed. The quality of the clear parts is however very good, with good thickness and no distortion through the parts.
The 14 styrene tyre halves have some flash to clean up. The mould detail in the tread is simple but nice, with “Continental” manufacturer detail on the side walls. The fit of the two halves looks quite good so clean-up of the join line should be relatively easy.
The decals look very nice, solid colours, in register, and with virtually no excess carrier film.
The instruction sheet is in A4 booklet style. There are 31 stages with each stage being easy to follow and in logical sequence. Colour call-outs for the parts are consistent through the instructions, and call for Revell paint numbers.
Major sub assemblies are able to be located and removed for display, also making detail painting easier.
Front wheels are steerable if care is taken during front end assembly.
This kit looks great in the box and should provide a straightforward build of an iconic early light truck, with plenty of scope for extra detailing and/or weathering.
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