The Opel Blitz was truly a workhorse of the Wehrmacht. It saw service in all the fronts of World War 2, from the burning sun of North-Africa, to the freezing cold winters of Russia. The Blitz 3-ton S type was launched into production in April 1937. It stayed in production until 1944, when the Allied forces destroyed the Opel factory in Brandenburg.
During the seven years that they were in production, 82,356 Opel Blitz type S trucks were produced. The power plant of this truck was a 3.6 liter 6-cylinder engine producing 75 HP, which was later reduced to 68 HP. The chassis was used for a wide variety of special and purpose-built bodies like fuel and water tanks, ambulances, radio equipment, buses and fire engines. In October 1942, Opel started to manufacture halftracks, based on the Opel Blitz type S. They were called ‘Maultier’ (mule) and about 4000 of them were produced.
The box contains one sprue of clear parts, two sprues moulded in dark grayish-bluish plastic, eight rubber tyres, the instructions and a small sheet of decals. The clear parts are moulded nicely, without any flash. The plastic parts unfortunately have some flash, pin marks and sink holes on them. Also, the plastic parts on the sprues aren't numbered.
The instructions are printed in black and white. On the front page there is a picture of the completed model and a brief history of the Opel Blitz. On the other side of the first page, there are pictures of the sprues with numbers next to them. The other pages are for the construction of the model. The only parts, where any kind of painting suggestions are provided, are the parts where you are supposed to paint the figures, the engine and exhaust system and where you are shown the four colour schemes. The colour codes for Model Master enamel and acrylic paints are included on the side of the box.
Chassis and Suspension:
The chassis builds up from many parts. These parts have some flash on them and there are also pin holes to fill and seam-lines to clean off. The parts to build up the front axle will need some clean up to do, to get rid of the pin marks. The back axle parts are missing bolt heads that should be on them. Also missing are the brake lines that should be connected to the wheels. The suspension leaf springs are moulded with great details, but they require some clean up to get rid of the central mould-lines. The drive shaft is moulded in one piece.
Engine and Exhaust System:
The engine is quite simplified, consisting of only five parts with soft details. The radiator has four pin holes on the inner side and also mould-lines along the side. The details on it are nicely moulded with detailed screw heads. The exhaust pipe is moulded in one piece.
The cab parts are moulded with good quality. The doors have shallow pin holes in them that should be filled if the doors are going to be left opened. The outer door handles are moulded on the doors. The inside details of the cabin are fairly good, although the details on the dashboard are a bit soft, but still nice. The back wall of the cabin has some sink holes that should be filled as they may be visible. The anti-skid plating on the floor is nicely moulded with good detail, unfortunately the brake, clutch and gas pedals are moulded on the floor. The seat doesn't have any texture on it. The gear lever and the handbrake have a mould-line running along the sides, and the front fenders have some flash to clean up, but that shouldn't be too hard to do. The front grill is moulded with great detail and has the Opel Blitz logo moulded on the grill. The front bumper has some flash on it but it can be easily scraped off with a hobby knife. The Notek blackout light has a sink mark on top of it, which may need some careful attention.
The cargo bed in this kit has the later six panel cargo bay sides. The cargo bay sides have pin holes in them that should be filled, and none of the bay panels have a wood grain pattern on them. The only parts that have wood grain on them are the three planks that should be placed in the cargo bed as seats for soldiers. Also a full cargo bay tilt is included in this kit. The tilt details are not amongst the greatest that I have seen, and the folds are very softly moulded.
Tyres and Wheels:
As stated previously, eight rubber tyres are included with the kit. The mould quality isn't the greatest, all the tyres have some flash on them and central mould-lines running around them. Also, take care when removing the tyre from the rubber sprue; be sure to cut the tyre from the sprue or you will have a nasty mark left on the tyre that will be hard to remove. The front wheels have 8 lightening holes, which is correct for a later version of the Opel Blitz, introduced in 1939.
Seven clear parts are included in the kit which are used for the windows and headlights, and are nicely moulded. On the windscreen there are moulded on windscreen wipers that are slightly undersized.
Four different decal markings are provided in the kit which are printed nicely with good details.
Figures and Equipment:
There are two figures included in this kit, both the same and the details on them are really simplified. The heads and the torsos are moulded together, and in general have awful pin marks and seam lines to deal with. If to be honest, I don't recommend anyone to use these figures. Also two field caps, two helmets, two gas-mask canisters, two ammunition pouches, two water canteens and two knives are included. The details on them aren't the greatest either, and they need some clean up to do, but they are great accessories for dioramas. Two pieces of weaponry are also included in this kit, an MP40 and Kar98. Also a shovel and a pick axe are included in the kit.
• The front wheels are missing the brake drums.
• The tyres have the wrong tread pattern. The grooves in them should be narrowing in, not squared.
• The front lights are located too high on the fenders.
• The front hooks are too big.
• Windscreen wipers are incorrect.
• The grill is wrong. When watching it from profile you can see that it is narrowing down. It shouldn't be like that, it should be straight down.
• The door windows don't have the front quarter panel. The windows in the kit are one pieced.
• The Notek black-out light is a bit big.
In conclusion this is a very nice kit from Italeri. Although it is a bit dated and has some inaccurate areas, it still builds up into a nice scale replica of the famous Opel Blitz 3(t) S type. It is also less expensiver than the Tamiya Blitz. Recommended.
The following books and websites have been used to do this review.
• Terry Ashley's review on the Tamiya Opel Blitz. Link
•Piet van Hees's Opel Blitz conversion. Link
•Opel im Krieg (Waffen-Arsenal )
•Trucks of the Wehrmacht (Schiffer Military History)
•Opel Blitz in Detail (Special Museum Line No.1 Wings & Wheels Publications)