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Opel 3.6-47 Blitz Omnibus Stabswagen

Roden 1/72 Opel 3.6-47 Blitz Omnibus Stabswagen Kit First Look

By Ray Mehlberger

Date of Review January 2012 Manufacturer Roden
Subject Opel 3.6-47 Blitz Omnibus Stabswagen Scale 1/72
Kit Number 0723 Primary Media Styrene
Pros Nicely Detailed Cons Nothing noted
Skill Level Basic MSRP (USD) $19.98

First Look

Opel 3.6-47 Blitz Omnibus Stabswagen
Opel 3.6-47 Blitz Omnibus Stabswagen
Opel 3.6-47 Blitz Omnibus Stabswagen
Opel 3.6-47 Blitz Omnibus Stabswagen
Opel 3.6-47 Blitz Omnibus Stabswagen
Opel 3.6-47 Blitz Omnibus Stabswagen

The practice of building buses on a truck’s chassis had existed for a long time, and therefore the most common types of buses which came into the German inventory were based on the most widely used trucks. One of the most popular trucks at this time was the well-known Opel Blitz. On it’s chassis was designed a standard army bus (at the time the more common term for it was “omnibus”).

The Ludewig firm, which was engaged in designing the bus, was located in Essen and had great experience in the manufacture of civilian vehicles. The standard chassis of the three ton truck was extended a little bit (up to 4,450 mm), and the frame structure was reinforced. The original all-metal body of the new bus was quite elegant in outline, and only the front part where the engine was hidden, and the classic radiator with it’s distinctive logo, immediately reminded one of it’s predecessor, the famous “Blitz”. Inside the cabin were several rows of seats which could be easily be dismounted if necessary (transportation of bulk goods, medical equiptment etc.)

Series production of the bus, officially designated the Opel 3.6-47 type W30, started in the second half of 1939, almost at the same time as the invasion of Poland by Germany and the start of WWII. At first, the number of vehicles produced per month was very small, but already in 1940 about one hundred units per month were coming off the production line in Essen. Series production lasted until mid-1943, when the situation became worse for Germany at the front. Basic industrial materials were in short supply, and as a result Ludewig had to seriously simplify the structure of the bus. During this period 2,880 units of the early version were produced overall, which were sent both to the Eastern Front in Russia, and to the Afrika Korps of General Rommel in N. Africa.

Roden is a model company based in the Ukraine.

The kit comes in a shrink wrapped end-opening type box.

The box art shows a Opel Omnibus tooling along across a desert landscape raising a cloud of dust. There is a knocked-out British Lee tank in the background. The Opel is in an overall base coat of matt ochre with wave bands of matt light olive over it. The roof rack is loaded with gear. However you don’t get any of that in the kit. You don’t get the driver figure of the bus either.

On the two side panels of the box are one paragraph histories of the vehicle in 7 languages including English. These paragraphs are marked with full color flags for each country that speaks these languages.

The back of the box is in full color and serves as the painting and marking guide. It just shows one scheme, which is the box art subject. No markings appear other than the license plates. The vehicle is assigned to an unknown unit with the Afrika Korps, Tunisia 1942.

Colors are called out in the Model Master brand of paints. Mention is made that MMD/Squadron company is the exclusive distributor of Roden kits. Roden’s street address in the Ukraine is shown and their web address. The kit is said to be not suitable for children under 14 years old.

Inside the box is a single sealed cello bag containing 6 gray parts trees, the instructions and a zip-lock type cello with a brass photo-etched (PE) fret, the decal sheet and a map printed in black and white and a clear sheet of thin plastic to use to make windows.

The instructions consist of an unbound booklet of 8 pages in 5 ¾” x 8 ¼” format.

Page 1 of the instructions gives the history of the Open Ominbus in Ukranian, English and German, followed by “Made in the Ukraine” and Roden’s street address there.

Page 2 begins with specifications about the bus, “attention useful advice”, international assembly symbol explantions, a list of Model Master brand paints suggested to use to complete the kit, all in the same 3 languages.

At the bottom of the page are illustrations of the PE fret and the paper pattern to do the windows with.

Page 3 has the parts trees illustrations for the plastic trees. Trees are alphabetized and numbered.

Page 4 to the top of page 8 give a total of 29 assembly steps.

The bottom of page 8 has a 4-view black and white illustration for the box art subject and a Opel Omnibus of an unknown unit, eastern front, late 1941. This one is in overall dark blue gray with a wood panel on the roof and a license plate and “Abstand 100m” in white on the right rear side.

The large gray letter A tree holds: the vehicle’s frame, fenders, grill, hood, engine, driver’s seat, dashboard, exhaust pipes, firewall, gear shift lever, axles, shovel, axe, steering wheel etc. (45 parts)

There are 2 identical small gray letter B trees. They hold: wheels, leaf springs, jerry cans etc. (15 parts per tree) There is NO letter C parts tree.

Small gray letter D tree holds 7 passenger seats.

Large gray letter E tree holds: the sides, top, front and rear of the bus and 3 boxes that mount below the floor (9 parts) Medium sized gray letter F tree holds: the wood roof panel, seat supports, radios, a typewriter, tables etc. (29 parts) The brass photo-etched (PE) fret holds the roof railings, side window frames, ladder, rear-view mirrors, fender curb indicators, windshield wipers etc. (21 parts)

The decal sheet, printed map and clear sheet for windows complete the kit’s contents.

At times some location holes have to be drilled into parts of the kit. No figures are included.

This is a very nicely detailed kit in this scale.

Highly recommended.

My sincere thanks to Squadron Mail Order for this review sample!