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Opel Blitz Omnibus

KitOpel Blitz Omnibus
ManufacturerAlby
Scale1/72
TypeResin
PaintHumbrol,Vallejo, MIG Products
Accessoires


scratch
DocumentatieOpel im Kriege, Internet

History

Panhard vblThe Opel Blitz truck was the same workhorse to the German army as was the GMC for the US Troops and the CMP for the British. It was used on all fronts and in all guises from troop transport to mobile field kitchen, from light artillery tower to V2 tanker. Another version was a bus or omnibus; in civil or military livery. As a military vehicle it was more widely issued to staff troops for transport of rear echelon troops, as mobile office and even as an ambulance. It didn't have any off- road capacity and was very sensitive to bad roads.

The Kit

Al.By was until now the only manufacturer that released this bus as a 1/72 kit. Meanwhile, spring 2012, Roden has also released two kits of this bus and two civil versions should be on their way. This kit is completely resin, very fine and precise and delicate but with beautiful detail as we know Al.By likes to produce their kits. The wheels are magnificent. Interior consists of seats for driver and passengers. Only downfalls to me are the doors that form one piece with the body and some lack of detail at the front entry door. Photo reference material shows that a weapons mount for MG was standard issue. Be however careful with the interpretation of reference material as not all Blitz busses are identical. There is a difference between the ladders at the bus' rear to reach the luggage roof rack. The one in the kit is rounded at the end but a lot of pictures show a ladder with rectangular end. Both are correct, main difference being the period of build and the manufacturer of the coach body.

Construction

Panhard vblAs usual we start with the chassis than can be described as a rather simple build. You need to fix both axles and the exhaust and later on the wheels, taking care they all touch the ground. Next step is fitting the Seats in the interior part. I tried to give them a wood-like appearance as in those wartime days wooden benches must have been more than good enough for the soldiers. The driver's place receives a dashboard, steering Wheel and driver's seat. I added a gearshift lever from metal wire and a drop of superglue. More detail is not necessary as you can't see more once the body is mounted on the chassis. Test fitting is more than necessary. My kit had a little warping o none of the sides but this could be helped with some sanding. Take care to paint the body interior before fitting it to the chassis. Referring to period pictures I painted it Humbrol Dark Slate Grey, a slightly lighter shade than the exterior that will be painted German Panzergrey. The bus body had seven windows at each side. Pictures of several busses do give this general idea but in real there were only five windows each side. Two of these windows were double sliding windows that, when closed, gave the impression that there was a window frame where the two windows slide over each other. So check out your references and cut away the window frames where needed if you want to add windows. I used a piece of clear plastic where I did cut them out piece by piece and glued them with Clearfix. Take care when fixing the body to the chassis as there is some tendency to push the chassis part deeper into the body part than necessary. Good guidelines are the wheel arches. If they have a good fit, the chassis is ok. Next step is the further detailing by adding front and rear bumpers, towing eyes, headlights and a Notek light. I added two window washers made from metal wire.

Roof rack and ladder

Panhard vblThese are the most fragile and delicate parts of the kit. They are very finely detailed and very thin and need to be treated with respect. The roof rack is made up from four parts and two parts for the ladder running down at the back of the bus.

Painting

The complete exterior and the Wheel rims are painted Humbrol Panzergrey followed by a coat of Panzergrey + Light Grey on the interior of each panel. Tyres are painted Tyre Black with a Dark Slate Grey dry brushing. Wheel rims receive a MIG Black Wash especially around the six wheel rim openings. They are not open but receive a deep look. Rear lights red, headlights are covered.

Conclusion

Al.By is high on my list regarding resin kits both by the quality as by their originality. I have been looking out for several Al.By kits for a while and this Opel Blitz bus was one of the long sought after. Needless to say I enjoyed this build by the full 100%. This kit can be build OOB but the use of reference material is very useful because it helps a lot with the reading and follow up of the instructions that are rather basic. Let's see now if I can get hold on the Roden kits to see how they work out



Keep m building

Erwin Bovyn
IPMS Gent


 

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