Prompt service as usual from Ebob Miniatures! My order took less than a week to travel from the UK to New Zealand which is very quick. This post is a little late (curse World of Warcraft), but here’s a mini review of the Ebob 1/56th Opel Blitz!
All of Ebob’s products come packaged in nifty sealed clear plastic packages. I wouldn’t call them ‘blisters’ because they lack the traditional cardboard backing. They’re more like the packets used to contain fresh herbs in your supermarket (at least locally in New Zealand). They’re sturdy, give you an excellent view of the contents and are handy for storage too, being resealable if you open them carefully.
The Opel Blitz comes in a large packet with the smaller parts also contained in a plastic baggie which is thoughtful. No assembly instructions are included, but the artwork directs you to the web address for the downloadable PDF instructions which are excellent.
I ordered two but have only opened an assembled one Opel Blitz so far. All of the pieces were well formed, with nothing bent or miscast. There was a little filing to do around the edges and there was an acceptable amount of flash and molding lines. There was one annoying line that ran across the bottom of the main cab which had to be removed carefully without scratching the doors too much.
The pieces all dry fit fairly well, with the only problematic piece being the rear axle diff which didn’t quite drop into the position it was clearly intended to take – a little filing of the chassis fixed that. The three main pieces (chassis and two part cab) are very solidly cast and give the vehicle a nice heft which is important for a gaming piece as you want it to stay put while people move figures around it.
Putting it Together
I pinned the cab floor to the chassis and built up the front and back axles and transmission. I also pinned the cab top to the cab floor but didn’t glue it on yet as I want to paint the interior leather seats and dash board which is built into the engine hood. The pins just mean everything will be nicely aligned for the final assembly. The dashboard is detailed except for the fact there’s no steering wheel included! I thought that was a bit of an odd omission but hopefully it won’t be too noticeable in the finished vehicle.
There is a nice level of underbody detail with a molded on exhaust system running the length of the vehicle and separate diff and transmission axle pieces. Check out the instructions I mentioned above for detailed photos. The engine bay is left empty, but has been constructed in the same manner as a real vehicle so if you’re really keen, or want to use it for a diorama piece you could scratch build an engine to drop into there.
The Ebob site mentions there will be variants and passenger/drivers for this kit in the future so I wouldn’t be that surprised if we also see a white metal engine as well. I guess Ebob is just trying to gauge how well the ‘basic’ Opel Blitz will sell before committing any more valuable sculpting time to it.
The rear axle has leaf spring suspension cast into the chassis, but the front leaf springs are actually separate pieces you carefully glue over the front axle along with the steering bar. The instructions suggest you can build free running wheels with a couple of pieces of brass rod and tubing. There’s certainly enough clearance to do just that, unfortunately I didn’t have any bass rod handy so just went with fixed wheels. In my experience fixed wheels are easier to paint and game with as well, again because you want things to stay in place on the table.
The one bugbear with this kit is the back tray which took more time and effort to assemble than I would have liked, mainly because the tray floor comes in two thin halves which need to be glued together before you try and build the walls up. It’s a pity the floor wasn’t cast as a single piece because it would make the whole tray considerably easier to assemble and give a more sturdy end result imho.
The Opel Blitz
The real world Opel Blitz is a mid-sized truck judging from these photos of a restored version. However the Ebob Opel Blitz is 1/56th scale designed for use with 28mm figures which are technically closer to 1/48th scale. This scale difference of shows in the first photo on this post, making the Ebob Opel Blitz look more like a pickup truck against the Artizan Design 28mm DAK German.
I’m confident this is a deliberate choice on the part of the sculptor as a 1/48th Opel Blitz would be quite large on a gaming table given the height of the real thing. The scale issue is a minor concern but to be honest it’s hard to tell if anybody is really going to care during play.
It certainly doesn’t detract from the fact this is a lovely little white metal creation from Ebob Miniatures and I found it interesting to compare the model to the real thing and see how close a match Ebob’s Opel Blitz is, even down to the radiator grill detailing!