German 3t 4x2 Truck - Smart Kit
Reviewed by Cookie Sewell
|Stock Number and Description||cyber-hobby.com 1/35 scale Kit No. 60 (Dragon Models Limited ‘39-‘45 Series Kit No. 6670); German 3t 4x2 Truck - Smart Kit|
|Media and Contents:||220 parts (206 in grey styrene, 7 clear styrene, 7 etched brass)|
|Price:||price US$39.99 via Dragon USA Online|
|Review Type:||First Look|
|Advantages:||Modern, well molded state-of-the-art kit|
|Disadvantages:||Two-piece tires a bit old fashioned|
|Recommendation:||Highly Recommended 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 “trademark” 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 cyber-hobby.com 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 “German 3t 4x2 Truck.”
Regarding the actual truck the Opel Blitz “S” 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 cyber-hobby.com 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 – 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’s compartment is complete with all pedals, levers and “stick-on” 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’s 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 – 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 “Totenkopf”, Demyansk, Eastern Front 1941-42 (whitewash over grey); 4th Panzergrenadier Division “Polizei”, 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 “number jungle” 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 touch.
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/cyber-hobby.com variants (the box body radio van would be a good choice!)
A 16 Opel - cab, hood, fenders
B 18 Opel - body
C 49 Opel - chassis, axles, running gear, engine
D 83 Opel - cab interior, handles, details, lights
E 14x2 Opel - wheels and tires
F 7 Opel - clear styrene
N 12 German Generic - 3 x jerry cans
MA 7 Etched brass
Thanks to Freddie Leung for the review sample.