by: Darren Baker [ ]
The Opel Blitz 3 ton truck was used in huge quantities during World War 2 by the German armed forces. Seeing service with every arm of the German armed forces, this is one of those models where you have a lot of options. Dragon Models has released an Opel Blitz 3 ton truck with a 20mm anti-aircraft gun that can be mounted in the back if so desired. The model is listed as a 2 in 1 kit and that basically boils down to do you want the gun in the back or not.
This release from Dragon Models is packaged in the usual card tray and card lid. Inside the various sprues and secured in a number of plastic bags, but there are mixed sprues in most of the bags. The contents break down as follows;
10 grey sprues
1 clear sprue
2 photo etched frets
Pre-shaped photo etched parts
A Dragon styrene part
1 decal sheet
A set of painting masks
An instruction booklet
An inspection of the contents of this model finds the usual quality that Dragon Models is/was known for. The parts are cleanly moulded and I did not find any areas of concern. I was actually very pleased to find a reasonable quantity of photo etch and even more surprized to find a pre shaped photo etched parts for the 20mm anti-aircraft gun. It has been a while since I have been pleased with one of Dragon Models recent releases, but this model looks to have bucked their recent trend offering less while charging more.
Dragon Models has provided a very nice model of the engine and gearbox for this kit. The detail looks very good overall and this should make a pleasing aspect to display on your finished model should you so desire. I especially like the effort put into the radiator and housing. The addition of some wiring detail will as always further improve this area of the model. The wheels have good rim detail, but the tyres are split around their circumference; however the detail looks ok to me despite being frowned upon by many.
The chassis of the model has been supplied as a single moulding and so there are no issues with keeping the model square, but this approach does mean that some of the detail has to be simplified for the moulding process. The drive shafts and axles have a reasonably good level of detail and the area generally should be acceptable to most modellers unless you plan to show the model on its side. One aspect I do not like is that the front wheels have been designed to point dead ahead only and I prefer to show them turned as it adds interest.
The cab of the model has a good level of detail despite being fairly barren. I can hear the grown from here, what I mean is that the detail that should be there all looks to be present and of a good standard. One aspect that I would like to see done better or differently are the seats as they have the new look rather than a lived in look. I like that Dragon Models has provided the doors and door cards as separate parts as it has allowed for some nice detail. I also feel that Dragon Models also deserves credit for having included painting masks for the clear parts as very few companies provide this.
One aspect that I really approve of with this model is the bonnet/hood and front grill, Dragon Models has done an exceptional job of moulding the side vents and front grill slots open and free from any flash. Dragon Models has also provided the bonnet/hood so that it can be displayed open or closed and I like that this has been designed into the model. The cab roof and windscreen has been provided with two options; according to the instructions either can be used for the anti-aircraft version and a specific one for a cargo truck.
The wooden truck bed and sides has again been well tackled by Dragon Models, and again you need to think ahead as the bed sides are different depending on which version of the model you intend to build. There is no wood grain present on the wood, but Dragon Models have texturized the finish and so it should look quite good when finished. The tools for the truck are quite good despite some of the brackets being moulded on the tools and while there are no photo etched tool clamps I can live with what has been provided.
The 20mm flak 38 is a nice model in its own right and can be assembled for use in or out of the truck, and I know that Dragon Models offers a crew for this gun out of the truck. The detail on the gun is of a high standard, the only thing I would consider changing on this model is the barrel, but that said it is not a must do addition. The photo etched parts supplied for the gun will improve its look that will provide details a person looking at the model will notice. Dragon Models has also provided a good number of magazines for the this gun, and this is an element many seem to skimp on
Dragon Models has provided eight finishing options for the model, two with the gun in situ and six as a cargo truck. The finishing options are all Eastern front based vehicles covering SS and Panzer Grenadier and unidentified units. The number plate designations provided are SS, Wehrmacht and Luftwaffe, the numbers are supplied separately and so any desired designation can be represented.
I have been disappointed with recent releases by Dragon Models, but this release is not one of those times; I really do like this offering from Dragon Models. I have no concerns about recommending this model to you as I believe you will be happy with what is provided in the box. Built from the box this will be a nice model with some great details and the gun is just a bonus to sweeten the deal. I will be adding a crew of six figures from MasterBox (MB35137) to this kit and I think it will add the final icing that the model needs. I believe the truck and gun model have previously been released as stand alone items, but regardless of that I really do like this offering from Dragon Models