ARM: Review - cyber-hobby 1/35 scale Opel Blitz S 4x2

Kit Review: 1/35 scale Kit No. 60 (Dragon Models
Limited =9139-=9145 Series Kit No. 6670); German 3t 4x2 Truck - Smart Kit;
220 parts (206 in grey styrene, 7 clear styrene, 7 etched brass);
price US$39.99 via Dragon USA Online
Advantages: modern, well molded state-of-the-art kit
Disadvantages: two-piece tires a bit old fashioned
Rating: Highly Recommended
Recommendation: for German softskin fans
There is an unpleasant and curious demand in this day and age for the
payment of tribute for the use of certain logos or trademarks when
reproducing the items in model form. The first and most egregious
example in this in the US was the CSX railroad system which demanded
model manufacturers pay them for the privilege of producing their logo
in miniature. Others followed suit to include car manufactures (who
for years had considered model cars an extension of their marquee
names and good free advertising for them) and then aircraft and
military vehicle manufacturers. Ergo the second Tamiya Jeep kit came
with a =93trademark=94 logo - but for $19.95 for a jeep and driver whereas
the original kit provided the jeep, crew of five, trailer and choice
of tops for only $3.98 (1973 prices).
It would appear that DML - and their affiliate - have
run into the same problem with GM Europe and the Opel brand. While
every modeler and historian know that the most common German 3 ton two
axle trucks were made by Opel, and this kit is a representative of the
Sd.Kfz. 305 two-wheel-drive cargo variant, apparently they did not
want to pay the tariff for use of the registered trademark. As a
result, the kit is marketed under the very generic logo of =93German 3t
4x2 Truck.=94
Regarding the actual truck the Opel Blitz =93S=94 model was created in
1936 and in 1937 entered full production with a 3.7 liter six-cylinder
engine of 75 HP. It was the largest of three models with similar
appearances and designs (1, 1.5 and 3 ton capacity) and was built with
both 4x2 (from 1936 to 1944) and 4x4 (from 1938 to 1944)
configurations. Over 100,000 4x2 variants and 25,000 4x4 variants of
the chassis were built with numerous body styles including a tanker
and a bus.
While there have been two previous kits of the Opel Blitz S (Italeri
in 1975 and Tamiya from 2008) this is the first serious softskin
effort from DML and covers the basic Sd.Kfz. 305 cargo version. Since
it is being released as a kit, the probability of DML
proper releasing the 4x4 variant is likely. That is a bit odd as noted
more that 4 times as many 4x2 variants were built than 4x4 models.
Suffice it to say this is a typical DML kit of recent vintage with
lots of slide molded parts =96 and far fewer of them than the armored
vehicle kits. The kit includes a nicely done radiator shell with open
bars and etched brass Opel Blitz badging. It comes with a complete
engine and nicely done hood frame for opening the hood to view the
engine. Also the driver=92s compartment is complete with all pedals,
levers and =93stick-on=94 instruments for the panel (A16). Doors have
inside and outside handles and separate clear windows.
The chassis is nicely done but the wheels are two-piece styrene
types; they are not bad but seem a bit old-fashioned considering DML=92s
outstanding molding capability. The kit comes with eight wheels and
tires but only uses seven (two singles, duals and a spare).
The body has complete underside bracing and mounts but is accurately
spartan on troop seats =96 five transverse planks are it. Top bows for
canvas are provided but only in their stowed position at the front of
the body. Two tailgates are provided - one with top rails and one
without, but if you want a body without them you will have to remove
them yourself.
Technical support was provided by Tom Cockle and Gary Edmundson.
Six different finishing options are provided for the model:
Unidentified Unit, Russia 1941 (grey with white trim); 1st SS
Panzergrenadier Division LAH, Kharkov 1943 (whitewash over grey); 3rd
SS Panzer Division =93Totenkopf=94, Demyansk, Eastern Front 1941-42
(whitewash over grey); 4th Panzergrenadier Division =93Polizei=94, 1944
(white over sand); 2nd Panzer Division, Eastern Front 1943 (sand with
green stripes); Unidentified Unit, Eastern Front 1941 (grey with white
rings on the doors, white trim). A =93number jungle=94 is provided for
license plates as well as the divisional insignia on a Cartograf
sheet. Also masks are provided for the cab windows, always a nice
Overall, I am not sure if the modeling community needed another Blitz
but this one is very nicely done and heralds a large number of options
for future DML/ variants (the box body radio van would
be a good choice!)
Thanks to Freddie Leung for the review sample
Cookie Sewell
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