Mac Distribution 1/72 German 3t Vehicle Fuel Servicing Truck Build Review
By Loren Pike
|Date of Review||July 2005||Manufacturer||Mac Distribution|
|Subject||German 3t Vehicle Fuel Servicing Truck||Scale||1/72|
|Kit Number||72066||Primary Media||Styrene & Photo-etch|
|Pros||Nicely Detailed Kit||Cons|
|Skill Level||Intermediate||MSRP (USD)||$19.98|
Quoting directly from the directions for the “3-t Opel-Blitz, Typ 3,6 – 6700 A with provisional cabin…
“The 1920’s was the expansion era for the General Motors Company. In 1929, GM acquired the engine producer Adam Opel AG, based in Russelsheim, Germany, and with it, one of the most well regarded manufacturing plants in Europe. In early 1930’s, Opel introduced a fast light truck and called it Opel Blitz (lightning) and in 1935 opened the best and most modern truck factory in the world in Brandenburg.
Although light in weight, the Blitz design could carry a considerable payload. A proven six-cylinder engine from another GM company, Buick, provided the power, tones (2.76 tons), and finally to the three tones (3.31 tons) that the S type could transport cross-country. In the German Army the Opel Blitz was one of the most used 3-ton vehicles in use. The main body (undercarriage and cabin) were constructed for two types, the S-type a 2x4 version and the A-type a 4x4 version, there are only small differences in body and undercarriage. The payload increased in steps from the original 1.75 tonnes (1.93 tons) to 2.5. The greatest production figures were achieved by the Opel Blitz 3-ton S with 82,356 units produced with the 3.6 liter engine from April 1937 to the beginning of August 1944. This dependable, light 3-ton truck enjoyed great popularity among the units.
The simple, yet robust Opel design proved itself in the confusion of war and was superior to many specially-designed vehicles. The 3-ton Blitz was superior to many other 3-ton trucks on account of its low ground pressure which was a result of the vehicle’s low weight. The army term of this vehicle was Lastkrafwagen (Lkw) 3-Tonner Opel-Blitz, Typ 3,6 – 6700A. Opel supplied the 3-ton to the Wehrmacht with various standard body types. The Blitz as towing vehicle of the FlaK 30 and 38 AA guns. It was also as a platform for these weapons. In Deutsche Afrika Korps there was a special variant with open driver’s cabin. Vehicles of this type also served as alcohol tank trucks (B-Stoffwagen) with V2 rocket batteries. The final models of Opel Blitz featured material saving driver’s compartment, whose rear wall was made of wood (Einheitz Fahrerkabine).
In order to provide the fighting troops with supplies such as ammunition, fuel and provisions on the extremely hard terrain at the Eastern Front, standard 3 ton (4x2) vehicles had the rear axle removed and were equipped with running gear from the Cardan Lloyd chassis. The tracks originated from the armored tank Pz I. This conversion reduced the carrying capacity to 2 ton. This half-tracked vehicle, which was built from 1942 onwards, was known as the “Maultier” or mule.
By the war’s end, Opel factories had churned out over 100,000 Blitz trucks alone for the German war effort. These took many different forms, such as general-purpose trucks, buses, radio trucks, ambulances, gun carrying platforms and even large limousines for high-ranking officers. The Opel Blitz was one of the main workhorses of the German Army during WWII, carrying troops and supplies in all theatres of German operations. It was the standard, medium weight, truck used by the German Army all through WWII.”
The vehicle for this kit ( MAC Distribution #72066) is the 3t Fuel Servicing Truck. This is a 2x4 chassis with the “square-ish” cab. The version that I replicated served with 21.Panzer Division, DAK (Deutsche Afrika Korps) in 1942. Overall color was “Afrika Korps Desert Yellow”.
The directions lay out the history (which I repeated above), the parts layout on the sprue, what parts are used and what are not, and of course the order of assembly. The painting guide on the back page is fairly simple – spray it “Afrika Korps Desert Yellow” for the version I was modeling. After taking a few moments to familiarize myself with the assemble sequence, I first proceeded to cut out from the sprue what was NOT going to be used on this version. This went in one “zip-lock” bag and the rest into another for trimming and setting aside for assembly.
Steps 1, 2 & 3 were devoted to putting the cab and interior of the cab together. Step 4 brings the wheels and tires together. I left off part #6 and only glued the wheels together (for the rear duals) and cleaned up the holes on all the wheels with an appropriate sized drill bit and my #1 X-acto knife. Steps 5, 6, 7 & 8 make up sub-assemblies for the cab and chassis. It was here that I now glued on parts #6 to the ends of each axle.
Switching gears for a moment, steps 9, 10, 11 & 12 assemble the fuel tank body as another sub-assembly. In step 13, the lights are mounted on the cab and the cab to the chassis. I left the tires off to facilitate painting. Step 14 adds the fuel tank body to the chassis and again, I left part 42 (cab roof) and 48 (windshield) off for ease of painting.
After painting, the top of the cab, the windshield, and the wheels/tires were glued on and weathered a bit.
Step 15 & 16 add in most of the photo-etch parts, which I did.
I broke out the old airbrush and mixed up some “Deutsch Afrika Korps Yellow” and misted on a couple of coats. I’m not a member of the “Color Police”, so, if it looks good to me, I use it. For the DAK Yellow, I used, of all colors (pardon me) Israeli Yellow FS33238 from Pactra. When I needed to do some “weathering”, I lightened it with some Matt White from Xtra Color #x405 which I had on hand. For the tires, I used some Polly Scale F505204 “Grimy Black”. And to pick out some other details, like the headlights, mirror, and some minor wear, I used the old small ¼ oz. Testors #1146 Silver. My vehicle doesn’t have any taillights (I mixed up on some photoetch parts), but many of them were broken off in service anyway.
I used just a couple of decals, namely the front and rear licenses and a couple DAK “palm trees”. I had to guess where the “palm trees” for the DAK went as the directions and box art was totally lacking in any direction here. Of course, the front and rear licenses went on the front bumper and rear plate holder.
I only have a couple of complaints. First, while trying to cut out the muffler, I totally shattered it into several pieces. I tried to reassemble it, but resorted to using some copper wire instead (see attached photos of undercarriage). Once painted and weathered, it looks fine. Second, I would suggest that MAC look over their directions and give us some better instructions on where to place the decals and WHICH decals to use for each version as these guides were totally missing in my kit.
This kit was very well thought out, though. The addition of some basic photo-etch added a degree of realism to the finished model. The finished vehicle “looks” like an Opel Blitz 3t Fuel Truck!! It was a fun build and I would recommend it to anyone who likes to work with very small pieces! It will be a very useful addition to that DAK diorama of an airfield that you have always wanted to do.
Now, where is my other version, so I can have an open box Opel Blitz 3t…
My sincere thanks to Squadron Mail Order for this review sample!