Voyager Models
WWII German Opel Blitz 3t 4x2 Cargo Truck
Shallow Cargo Bay

Voyager Model 1:35 Set # PE35246
Review by Terry Ashley

This Set:

Voyager Models have released this multi-media update set designed for the Tamiya German 3ton 4x2 Cargo Truck (kit #35291) and provides quite extensive updates along the lines of other sets as well as providing parts to completely rebuild the rear cargo tray from plastic card and etched brass.

The set consists of three large etched frets, five smaller etched frets, two resin parts, two 112mm x 102mm x 1mm sheets of plastic card (ABS), a small sheet of photo film dials for the instrument panel as well as an assortment of plastic and brass rod and steel wire plus an extensive instruction sheet in the now standard fold out style.

Standard of etching is again excellent with some very finely etched parts along with good relief and definition and the usual bending lines where needed.

There are many very small parts and some intricate bending and sub-assemblies involved with most of the 'basic' parts provided that require the moulded on detail from the kit to be removed prior to fitting but these modifications needed are not that extensive and shouldn't pose any problems.

But the same can't be said for the cargo tray which is totally rebuilt from the plastic card provided along with all the frames, lower supports, latches, hinges and brackets from etched brass and this is not for inexperienced modellers as some extensive work is required.

The cab interior has replacement driver's clutch, brake and accelerator pedals along with a new etched instrument panel with photo film dials, this requires the moulded on panel detail to be shaved of for the new parts. The cab rifle rack base and clip on the dash board is provided and the upper clip can be made workable to positioned open or closed.

The inner door handles are replaced with etched parts but these are the usual 2D etched brass and lack the look of full 3D handles although being on the inside this probably won't be noticed if the doors are left closed.

The set has the full engine hood in etched metal and the top/side panel has to be bent with a large curve and the insides of the etched hood have embossed recesses to aid in the bending which is best done around a thicker rod (or screwdriver shaft) to ensure the bend angle is not too sharp. You could also use the kit hood as a jig to aid in the bending process. Annealing the panels by running the part through a candle flame until red hot will also soften the metal making adding the bend easier, but take the usual care when using a naked flame of course.

All the louvers along the sides of the hood panels are open and you have to lightly press out the louvers to form the raised louvers and it's best to emboss the louvers after bending the main hood to shape as this will help reduce deforming of the hood as you emboss the louvers.

The two hood side panels are attached to the upper central panel but is not designed with workable hinges with the whole hood assembly replacing the kit plastic parts without alterations required on the kit.

Other detail added to the hood are the T securing latches with two part brackets and these are quite intricate requiring some careful bending to form the brackets fitted to the body and the hood panels, the T latches again have the 2D look but being so small should look okay when in place.

Other detail added to the cab/engine compartment is the "Opel Blitz" badge for the engine front grill and this set includes two badges with slightly different font styles, one plain and other with edging to offer a nice choice and this is simply added to the kit front grill. Mounting brackets for the head and Notec lights replace the kit brackets (the Notec light is also provided in resin) as well as all the tool clips and brackets including the larger fender brackets for the shovel and pick axe. There is also a new etched shovel spade that replaces the kit item as well as the multi-part jack brackets on the right running board and you also get a new resin pick axe to replace the kit part.

There are two styles of door handles provided as well as the fender width indicator brackets along with the rear view mirror brackets for the driver's door sill as well as the number plates for front and back.

The two cab running boards are also replaced with etched items which require you to emboss out the raised non-slip lines and care is needed when doing this to avoid excessive distortion of the part which commonly occurs with this sort of operation.

As mentioned the major part of the set is in building the full rear cargo tray from scratch and if you didn't want to go to this extent you can use many of the etched parts to detail up the kit tray such as all the side hinges and latches, rear gate latches and steps, turn indicator assemblies and the underside storage boxes made entirely from etched parts as well as the Jerry Can racks and rear tail/convoy lights.

But if you choose to go the whole hog then initially the lower chassis cross members are cut away and replaced with etched cross members and all the chassis support brackets for the tray are also built up from etched parts that will need some careful bending.

With the tray itself the sides and bottom panels are cut from the 1mm plastic card sheet provided with the dimensions of these included in the instructions so no need to try and match these with the kit parts, you have to then add the wood grain texturing to the card panels using a scribing tool or #11 blade.

Etched frames are provided for all the card panels and these are first bent to a U shape (with right angle corners of course) and these frames are attached to the edges of the card panels. Added to the inside are bolted strips and to the outside the hinge strips with separate lower brackets that allow you to make the hinges workable if you wish.

On the underside are the three W tray support brackets which again require careful bending to the U profile and these are added to the full tray underside frames and cross members again from etched strip bent to shape.

Obviously with all this fine bending of the U shaped frames and supports the use of a good quality etched bending tool would be essential to avoid any damage along the way and also soldering the joins of the frames especially the tray underside frames would be advisable for greater strength. You would of course solder these joins before fitting to the plastic card tray floor.

The remaining detail parts including the turn indicator assemblies and the underside storage boxes made entirely from etched parts as well as the Jerry Can racks and rear tail/convoy lights can then be added to the tray as well as the tilt frame rods made from the brass rod provided along with etched brackets.

The kit fenders are added to the brass support brackets on the underside of the tray and the completed cargo tray assembly is then added to the etched chassis supports added earlier in the construction and test fitting along the way to ensure everything will line up would be advisable.

Etched, Resin and Additional parts
Click for larger slideshow views

Voyager ModelsVoyager ModelsVoyager ModelsVoyager Models
Close slideshow window to return to review
Voyager Models
Voyager Models


These are now included as long foldout strips about 75cm long and 10cm high which when folded up fit neatly into the standard Voyager cardboard box these sets come in. There are two strips for this set with printing on both sides that are the usual exploded view drawings of the assembly sequences and I found these easy to follow in most cases.

As usual you should study the instructions carefully before assembly to avoid any traps and overall the instruction strips seemed to take up less space on the desk than the older style full page instructions leaving plenty of room to work.

The instructions are a little busy in places but for the "basic" updates there shouldn't be any problems but you will need to carefully study the instructions fully before launching into the cargo tray to ensure you determine to appropriate assembly sequence and get all the bends right on the many frames and support brackets.


This comprehensive update set for the Tamiya "Opel Blitz" that is sort of in two halves, the updates that could be considered the 'basics' and then the extensive rebuild of the rear cargo tray if you want to use the set to its fullest.

Some experience with scratchbuilding and working with etched brass will obviously be an advantage with this set and as mentioned if you didn't want to go the full rebuild route then using the cargo bay etched parts to detail up the Tamiya tray will still result in a far more detailed model.

The choice is your to the extent you want to go but overall this is a very detailed update set for the Tamiya "Opel Blitz".

Highly recommended

Also see the Opel Blitz subject page for reviews of additional update/detail sets available for the Opel Blitz


Trucks of the Wehrmacht
German Vehicles in WWII

Schiffer Military History
Reinhard Frank
ISBN 0-88740-686-6

Hard Cover
207 Pages


Opel Blitz in Detail
Special Museum Line No.39
Wings & Wheels Publications
ISBN: 80-86416-51-8


Opel Blitz in Detail
Special Museum Line No.1
Wings & Wheels Publications
ISBN: 1211-0671


Opel Blitz
by Albert Osinski
Kagero Topshots #11009
ISBN: 83-89088-78-9

43 pages with excellent colour walkaround photos of museum 4x4 Blitz with a bonus decal sheet included.

Thanks to Voyager Models for the review set.

Page created January 15. 2009