The 3-ton Opel Blitz was the standard cargo truck used by the German army in World War Two. The vehicle had not been designed as a military vehicle, but it proved so successful that Mercedes-Benz was ordered to stop production of its own L3000 3-ton truck in 1943, and manufacture the Opel Blitz under license, instead. The Blitz served on all fronts, and it was fitted with many different body types. Sheet metal shortages dictated that Mercedes-Benz produced its L.701 licensed version of the Opel Blitz with a standardized wooden cab, officially called Einheits-Fahrerhaus.
- Opel Blitz Type 3.6-6700A Cargo Truck
- Truck Driver
- 7.5 cm L.46 PaK 40
- Four Gunners
Excellent choice of subject. The 3-ton Opel Blitz was a standard military vehicle which served on all fronts, it can be painted in a variety of camouflage patterns. The Wehrmacht received 25,000 Opel Blitz 3-ton A-Type trucks, and over 78,000 of the 4 × 2 S-Type. The Airfix model is actually a kind of hybrid, its dimensions fall between the S-Typ and A-Typ. The vehicle is easy to convert to an S-Typ, by removing the four-wheel drive. In addition, the standard truck can be converted to an Opel Blitz Maultier, a half-track based on the S-Typ, with the rear running gear copied from the British Carden-Loyd carrier. The Airfix model of the British Universal Carrier can be stripped to provide parts for the Carden-Loyd running gear.
The emblem on the radiator grille is not representational, you can actually read the thing. Paint the vehicle with an airbrush, then lightly drybrush the emblem, and the OPEL BLITZ lettering will jump right at you. Thank you Airfix.
Scale model, loaded with detail. Hinges, panel lines, radiator grille, headlights, rear view mirror, and tire treads are nicely sculpted.
Very easy to build, only 47 parts. The Blitz went together beautifully.
The manual is superb, written in 10 languages, and beautifully illustrated. Every small part has a Humbrol paint reference number printed next to it to facilitate the detailing process. An entire page has been devoted to painting and decaling instructions for an Opel Blitz serving with 3rd Panzer Division in Russia, or 21st Panzer Division in North Africa.
The vehicle can be modelled with or without the canvas top. The truck bed is fully detailed, but the side walls are plain on the inside. These could be scribed to show the boards. Without the tilt, the truck really calls for interior detailing of the cargo bay.
The kit includes the driver, a PaK 40 anti-tank gun, and four gunners. The PaK 40 is a partially working model, the barrel can be raised or lowered, and aimed to either side. The gun trails swing into the towing position, and the coupling on the Opel Blitz is secure enough for a drive across the living room carpet.
The box cover lists the wrong dimensions for the A-Typ. The unusual stowage boxes below the cargo bed may be a field expedient specifically for this anti-tank gun tractor, or Airfix may have been inspired by the »Dackelbauch« (dachshund belly) stowage boxes seen on some Opel Blitz workshop vans. Whatever the case may be, these overly large stowage boxes need to be replaced with proper items if the vehicle is to be used as a troop or cargo truck.
The model scales out narrower than the A-Typ, the width is actually closer to an S-Typ. Vehicle height, and length fall between the S-Typ and the lower silhouette A-Typ Radkastenpritsche.
The standard Opel Blitz A-Typ Wagenkastenpritsche had the flat bed mounted above the rear fenders, and it was taller than the A-Typ Radkastenpritsche which had the flat bed mounted directly on the frame, with cut-outs for the rear fenders. The Airfix model is an A-Typ Wagenkastenpritsche, and it should have been 3180 mm tall.
The rear view mirror is a very fragile part. A replacement, mounted on 0.3 mm pianowire or bristle, will be more servicable, particularly if the truck is used for wargame purposes.
- German Army, 1940–1945
- Romanian Army, 1941–1945
- Opel Blitz A-Typ mit Einheits-Kofferaufbau (house type van body), 1940
- 2 cm FlaK-Vierling 38 auf Sfl. Opel Blitz (20 mm Quad AA)
- Gleisketten-Lkw 2 t Maultier Opel Blitz S-Typ (halftracked cargo truck,
using a rear running gear copied from the British Carden-Loyd carrier), 1942
The Airfix kit of the Opel Blitz A-Typ is an exceptional model, loaded with detail, yet easy to build. The gunners included in this kit can be used to serve anti-tank guns from other kits which are not as generously equipped with crew figures. If you collect models in 1:76 scale, this Airfix kit is probably an old friend, and you may be able to put it together in your sleep. Of course, there is always room for more Opel Blitz trucks, particularly if you wargame, and you need the extra transport capacity. Unlike Rommel, you can buy an Opel Blitz at your local hobby shop.