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Academy Kit

Academy 1/72 WWII Ground Vehicle Set 5 Kit First Look

By Cookie Sewell

Date of Review August 2005 Manufacturer Academy
Subject WWII Ground Vehicle Set 5: German Cargo Truck (Early and Late) Scale 1/72
Kit Number 13404
Media 94 parts (81 in tan styrene, 13 in clear styrene)
Pros Kit provides both cab options for standard production or "Einheits" standardized production Cons Still only provides 4 x 2 truck variant; lack of "kit" somewhat disappointing for the price
Skill Level Basic MSRP (USD) $19.00

First Look

Academy Kit
Academy Kit
Academy Kit
Academy Kit

Editor's Note: This review has been updated with pictures of the kit sprues.

Building on its German Opel fuel tanker, Academy now adds a 4 x 2 cargo variant to its nice selection of 1/72 WWII Ground Vehicles, primarily designed to complement aircraft models, but which can also be used with 1/72 armor.

This kit continues with the 3 ton cargo variant of the Opel Blitz, but surprisingly limits it pretty much to rear area use as the truck is the 4 x 2 variant; no parts for a 4 x 4 are included in the kit. The fuel tanker has been replaced by an open cargo body with transverse seats for personnel (two broad ones and one narrow one, so it can carry five rows of seated troops or about 20-25 personnel).

The same Blitz standard chassis sprue of 39 parts is provided. But as before, the kit provides a nice engine block and transmission with a separate fan and generator assembly, but then as with the GMC provide no way to see it once assembled. The panels on the sides of the hood will have to be cut off before assembly if the modeler wants to provide a "field service" type of vehicle, especially in a North African setting.

The kit also provides the late war "Einheits" cab for standard military production; this one was used on all three-ton class vehicles regardless of purpose, driveline, or manufacturer to speed up production and also save on steel by using wood for the cab structure itself. Academy has added totally new parts for nearly all of the cab, including new windows and headlights. But again, none of the panels separate, so there is the same glitch with the use of displaying the engine.

Both cabs comes with all basic details and a full set of offset (e.g. flush exterior when installed) clear windows. With some care the doors may be cut out and repositioned in the open position, but the kit does not give a great deal of provision for that other than the separation line for the door from the body on the inside of the parts. Headlight lenses are also separate clear parts, and to their credit, for the fumble-fingered among us they provide three with the kit. (It also immediately permits the installation of MV Lenses of suitable size without drilling, a benefit in this scale.)

The same decal sheet from the tanker is provided, e.g. markings are only for Luftwaffe vehicles, alas, so the modeler is on his own to come up with other branches of service markings.

However, for the money all the modeler gets is a choice of one of two variants of the same vehicle and no "kit" – internal stowage, gas cans, ammo crates, or tool kits – are included with it. This is sort of a shame, as the modeler will have to either purchase separate items or scratchbuild them to get it to have that "lived in" look.

Overall, the vehicle is well done and appealing, so kudos to Academy.

Thanks to MRC/Academy for the review sample.