This 1/72 scale offering by the Fujimi
company is my first exposure to this particular scale by them. Previously I had built a number of their 1/76 scale kits and have no negative memories about them. In fact, I recall that those older kits were well done and always seem to offer something a little more than their peers (figures, delicate parts, perhaps an interior).
To those with some knowledge of World War Two vehicles it will become obvious that this “German Military Truck” is the Opel Bliz 3 ton, 4 x 2 truck. Even a rendition of the lightning bold logo is present on the radiator. These vehicles were used to fulfil a multitude of roles. Production deliveries began in 1937 and continued into 1944. By most estimates some 70,000 were delivered out of German factories. This review will concentrate on this trucks cargo bed, as well as this reviewer’s impressions of this “new” kit. The subject of this review will be the Fujimi
“German Military Truck 3t” kit 72M-2(72227).
A link to a full build review of the Fujimi
German Military Ambulance by Matthew Lenton (firstcircle) can be found at the end of this review.
Residing in the box the modeller will find two larger clear plastic bags each containing two sprues of dark grey styrene. Three smaller bags are also present with one containing a sprue of clear plastic, the second with a larger sized sheet of water slide decals and the final one a pair of metal axles.
Sprue and parts breakdown is as follows:
- Sprue ‘A’ - 30 (Generic truck parts)
- Sprue ‘B’ - 9 (Specific cargo truck parts)
- Sprue ‘C’ - 19 (Generic truck parts)
- Sprue ‘G’ - 1 (Cab window part)
- ‘M’ - 2 (Metal axles)
- Sprue ‘W’ - 7 (Wheels)
Also present was a four sided instruction sheet with one page showing a parts and sprue diagram, two and a half pages of six instruction steps with exploded view line drawings with arrows for parts placement and one page showing painting and markings. The painting and marking illustrations are for a dark grey and green camouflage vehicle with either Heer or Luftwaffe license plates. Rather noteworthy is that the green camouflage has been provided for as decals. The colour references provided are for the;
GSI Creos Corp Aqueous Hobby Color, the same company’s Mr. Color.
As mentioned in Matthew Lenton’s review, it appears that each of the Fujimi
truck kits share four of the same sprues: wheels, cab, suspension/exhaust and the clear cab windows; then there is the variant sprue for the truck load area. After reviewing the instructions (that for the most part are written in Kanji characters (Japanese), one will see that the kit assembly looks fairly straight forward and simple.
First impressions of the moulding is that it is fairly crisp and where necessary, extremely fine in detail. Some minimal flash was present on a few parts but was fairly light. Moulding seam lines are present on many parts and were especially prominent on the edges of the truck frame and on the cargo area parts on the ‘B’ sprue. These in some cases, such as the cargo bed floor (B8), will require time to clean up. Ejector pin marks can be found on the inside surfaces of the cargo area sides, the same areas floor bottom and even inside the cab area. Although these depressions are fairly shallow the number of them on the load area sides will prove time consuming and tedious to clean up. This will only be a problem if the builder wishes to display the model without its canvas cover.
While the sprue attachment points are moderate in size, many of them are close enough to the sprue runners to impede using sprue cutters for parts removal. Taken in total, cleaning up the kit parts will definitely affect the speed at which this kit can be assembled.
The Matthew Lenton Ambulance version review of this kit covers many issues that pertain to the cab, frame and suspension. In this review the cargo bed will be the main area of focus. As such, the first four steps in the instructions that include the build-up of the truck frame, cargo box and its supporting framework will be examined.
Step 1 and 2
encompass the build up of the frame with its various additional components, including those for the suspension. This was necessary as upon the rear of the frame will be attached the various support beams/components to which the cargo box will attach. Other than cleaning up the various pieces, the process was fairly straight forward and overall parts fit were good. It was at this point that one will notice that the plastic used in this kit is somewhat hard and on the brittle side.
As with any kit, the builder should study the instructions and not necessarily follow the suggested build sequence in the instructions. As an example, this reviewer decided to not attach the spare tire to the underside of the cargo box until later in the assembly, after initial painting of components was done.
With parts of the above steps done I jumped to Step 4
which is the building of the cargo box. This seemed like a fairly simple construction but proved otherwise. Some of the parts, especially the floor (B8) had some fairly heavy sprue gates and seams that needed to be cleaned up. Once that was done I discovered that the box sides (B6, B7) needed attention. The bottoms that attach to the floor have a rather unique mating “mechanism”. Four vertical stays or ribs must sit on the outside of the floor piece, while the rest of the bottom of the side piece needs to rest in a channel cut into the floor. It requires that either the channel be widened or the bottom of the side piece be thinned to get a positive fit. In this reviewer’s case, I chose to use a pattern-maker’s pointed file to thin the bottoms of the two side pieces.
One important note: the cargo area sides are “side specific!” Part B6 is for the right side (when looking toward the front of the truck) and B7 is for the left. The instructions aren’t the clearest on this, as this reviewer found out the hard way (please see my notes about studying instructions carefully). Also part of this step is the placement of numerous pieces such as storage boxes, fenders, license holder and other smaller items on the underside of the cargo box. Parts fit was more than adequate but the instructions could have been clearer.
With the basic truck frame and cargo box reasonably complete, attention returned to Step 3
and the framework that supports the cargo bed to the truck frame. While there are only six parts to this subassembly, it is crucial that all these pieces meet exactly, otherwise the cargo bed may end up being askew. This reviewer anticipated problems getting all the pieces to interlock together and end up properly aligned. Surprisingly and happily, I managed to get things right on the first attempt. The use of slower setting glue (in my case Tamiya Limonene Extra Thin) will be helpful. Together, there will be twenty connection points that must align properly to connect the truck frame to the cargo bed. It is a credit to Fujimi that such a complex assembly fit so well.
of the instructions focuses on assembling the cab. As it is the same cab as Matthew’s ambulance version, I shall direct the reader to consult his review. The final step Step 6
has the modeller attach the completed cab and cargo area to the truck frame and add tow towing hooks to the front of the truck.
Despite a limited number of parts this kit will not be a quick build if you want it to look good. Depending on the builders’ skill level, assembly should not present any major issues. From an engineering point of view, this reviewer found assembly and parts fit superior to several of the last kits that he has reviewed. Granted, as with many kits, there are a few minor issues but most of these are common with most models.
Moulded details are quite good, even down to padlocks on the various storage boxes. Perhaps the most prominent disappointment to some will be the canvas cover for the cargo bed. It is rather bland and too smooth overall; in-particularly the vertical sections. A more canvas texture with some wrinkles in the appropriate places would have added greatly to the overall look of the completed model.
This kit proved to be a pleasurable build and will result in one of the better 1/72nd scale Opel Blitz trucks currently available (at the time of writing). For the more advanced modeller it holds great potential as a base to work with.
One point that will dissuade many from buying this kit is its cost. From my searches on the Internet the manufacturer’s suggested retail price is $34.97. The common price that one will find it selling for is in the $30 range with a very few offering it for $20.00 or less. That being stated, it will be up to the buyer to make their own decision if it is worth it.
Fujimi German Military Ambulance by Matthew Lenton