Academy 1/72-scale German Cargo
Truck (Early and Late) (13404)
by Cookie Sewell
1/72 WWI Ground Vehicle Set 5; 94 parts (81 in tan styrene, 13 in clear
styrene) ; price US $19
Advantages: kit provides both cab options for standard production or
"Einheits" standardized production
Disadvantages: still only provides 4 x 2 truck variant; lack of "kit"
somewhat disappointing for the price
Rating: Highly Recommended
Recommendation: For all German WWII ground AND air "small scalers"
Building on its German Opel fuel tanker, Academy now adds a 4 x 2 cargo
variant to its nice selection of 1/72 WWII Ground Vehicles, primarily
designed to complement aircraft models, but which can also be used with
This kit continues with the 3 ton cargo variant of the Opel Blitz, but
surprisingly limits it pretty much to rear area use as the truck is the
4 x 2 variant; no parts for a 4 x 4 are included in the kit. The fuel
tanker has been replaced by an open cargo body with transverse seats for
personnel (two broad ones and one narrow one, so it can carry five rows
of seated troops or about 20-25 personnel).
The same Blitz standard chassis sprue of 39 parts is provided. But as
before, the kit provides a nice engine block and transmission with a separate
fan and generator assembly, but then as with the GMC provide no way to
see it once assembled. The panels on the sides of the hood will have to
be cut off before assembly if the modeler wants to provide a "field
service" type of vehicle, especially in a North African setting.
The kit also provides the late war "Einheits" cab for standard
military production; this one was used on all three-ton class vehicles
regardless of purpose, driveline, or manufacturer to speed up production
and also save on steel by using wood for the cab structure itself. Academy
has added totally new parts for nearly all of the cab, including new windows
and headlights. But again, none of the panels separate, so there is the
same glitch with the use of displaying the engine.
Both cabs comes with all basic details and a full set of offset (e.g.
flush exterior when installed) clear windows. With some care the doors
may be cut out and repositioned in the open position, but the kit does
not give a great deal of provision for that other than the separation
line for the door from the body on the inside of the parts. Headlight
lenses are also separate clear parts, and to their credit, for the fumble-fingered
among us they provide three with the kit. (It also immediately permits
the installation of MV Lenses of suitable size without drilling, a benefit
in this scale.)
The same decal sheet from the tanker is provided, e.g. markings are only
for Luftwaffe vehicles, alas, so the modeler is on his own to come up
with other branches of service markings.
However, for the money all the modeler gets is a choice of one of two
variants of the same vehicle and no "kit" – internal stowage,
gas cans, ammo crates, or tool kits – are included with it. This
is sort of a shame, as the modeler will have to either purchase separate
items or scratchbuild them to get it to have that "lived in"
Overall, the vehicle is well done and appealing, so kudos to Academy.
Thanks to Bob Lewen of MRC for the review sample.