the Italeri Opel Blitz, I considered the possibility to use it to improve
the Pegasus Mercedes L3000 S. I had already seen the preview (here)
and I was aware of the features of this quick building kit.
The kit is composed of two twin moulds and an instruction sheet. There
are no decals nor any transparencies, but each truck has a driver.
In a very simply way, just two pieces compose the whole vehicle; the
solid chassis and the cab with the flatbed. A few other pieces are given
to complete it. Before starting modifications I dry fitted the model
and it didn't look bad, although the eye of a display modeller immediately
notes how it needs urgent intervention. The smaller details are missing
(lights, tools, dashboard) but the general look is well represented.
Two faults can be noted almost immediately: the wheels of the two axles,
though quite well done are a little undersized, are wrongly different.
The front axle are the 8 holes/8 bolts type, while the rear axle are
the 6 holes/6 bolts type. On the basis of the photos I've seen, the
L3000 wheels were of three types which had 2, 4 or 8 holes. The second
fault is with the chassis. As with the Blitz, the L3000 had two types
of flatbeds. The first was fixed to the chassis and the second was elevated
over it, but (as far as I know) in a very different way from the Opel
truck. This feature can be barely seen in the WW2 b/w photos, but looking
at the photos of a restored truck the thing is well visible. Pegasus
moulds have the spare wheels on the right side of the chassis. I can't
tell if this is really wrong, but in the photos I've seen, it was fixed
on the left side. In some way this kit looks to be directly inspired
by the 1/35 Italeri kit. On the L3000 were placed most of the closed
bodies styles seen for the Opel Blitz (see article), giving us a wide
range of conversion possibilities.
The Blitz and the L3000 were dimensionally similar and this suggested
me that parts from Blitz kits could be used to improve the Pegasus kit.
Measurement comparisons indicate the Mercedes was 15.0 cm (2.1 mm) longer,
2.5 cm (0.3 mm) narrower and 20.0 cm (2.8 mm) higher. The wheelbase
was 20.0 cm (2.8 mm) longer compared to the 4x2 Blitz. The cab is 26.4
mm wide. Compared to my drawings it is slightly wider (+/- 1.4 mm).
This is not serious, because the rear edge is moulded vertical and straight.
The real truck had domed sides and the thickness of the plastic will
allow filing without causing other problems.
Height w/ tarpaulin
13.6 x 3.2
12.3 x 2.7
As told, the L3000 was produced as a 4x2 chassis (L3000 S) or as a 4x4
chassis (L3000 A). Unlike with the Opel Blitz, its wheelbase remained
the same. If the front axle is not visible the difference between the
versions can be seen by the space between the wheels and the mudguards.
From the photos I've seen, the front axle looks to be different from
the Opel counterpart so the Airfix part wouldn't be useful.
I found very little info on the net. No dedicated sites or restoring
forums. Useful walkarounds can be found here
but these vehicles have some modern details missing on the WW2 trucks,
such as the rear bumper.
With this little information and some photos here is what I did.
cut off the cab from the flatbed and sanded the rear flush.
drilled open the engine crank hole at the base of the radiator and
added its cap.
opened the little window on the rear wall.
the ceiling there are two ejector marks. I removed them using a
made a new dashboard with plastic sheet.
added the gear lever in the centre and the hand brake to its right
using stretched sprue. I didn't add the pedals as they're not visible
from outside the cab.
rear vertical edges were filed and sanded to reach the wished domed
profile, after having engraved the door line. Also the sides and
the doors were inserted. On the doors I made the rain shield moulding
with stretched sprue.
handles, filed off during the shaping, were replaced using stretched
roof was shaped to a less sloped profile.
narrow panels between the bonnet and the doors weren't flat. They
were curved inside. I filed and sanded to have the correct shape.
added Italeri details: the lights and the Notek. The latter had
its support made using stretched sprue.
the roof I scratchbuilt the towing indicator.
added the mirror using metallic wire and a plastic punched disk.
little adjusting was needed to correctly fit the cab between the
having filed flat the interlock bulging present on the frame I glued
the forward suspensions to the Pegasus chassis and then I cut off
the chassis just behind the spring coil.
glued the cab floor to the Pegasus chassis' front, after having
glued a shaped plastic piece to make the fuel tank.
cut the Italeri chassis (57.0 mm from the rear) and I glued it to
the Pegasus front. The chassis floor helped to strengthen the assembly.
being cleaned, I added steps, bin and tow hook, taken from the Pegasus
glued the Pegasus rear suspension to the Italeri chassis.
Italeri drive shaft was cut in two parts as for the Opel Blitz.
The forward segment was horizontally assembled.
front bumper was cut off and glued in its place after having the
overhanging supports reduced to 2.0 mm. On its ends I glued width
indicators made from metallic wire and glue drops.
the bumper I glued the Italeri hooks.
front axle received the steering rod made from metallic wire.
replaced the first segment of the exhaust with stretched sprue and
aligned it with the Italeri pipe.
wheels are well done, but have the problems already mentioned above.
I chose to use the Italeri wheels. They have 6 holes, but they are
identical between the axles. The better option would be replacing
them with those from the Roden kit that has 8 hole wheels. I don't
know of any aftermarket manufacturers that produce the 2 or 4 hole
filed off the floor and the front plate using a motor tool. Then
I very carefully cut off the benches, and after having refined these
along with the interior, they were glued to their places.
interior sides are flat, but I didn't engrave the planks because
I planned to use the fabric cover which is quite good, however the
whole body could be replaced with the Italeri one to improve its
replaced the front plate and the floor with the corresponding Italeri
ones. The latter needed to be adjusted to fit.
the floor I glued the rear fenders, after having shortened their
rear part to make them symmetrical.
far as I've found, the way the flatbed was fixed to the chassis
was very different from the Opel Blitz. I made the transversal raised
supports with shaped plastic strips.
the photos I found, the spare wheel was mounted to the left, not
the right. I separated it using a motor tool and opened the holes.
A staple provided the rack. A stopper made from a plastic strip
segment was fixed just beside its position.
two rear bins were taken from the Italeri kit, modified and put
in place. On the right a large bin was fashioned from a resin kit
sprue adapted to replicate those in the photos. The layout of the
bins varied and jerry cans racks could replace one of them.
Italeri kit also provided the rear plate.
added the Italeri shovel and pick to the sides.
fabric cover has a nice detail, but it has a straight bottom edge
where it meets the flatbed side's edge. As far as I've seen, the
fabric edge overlapped the body sides. Furthermore its inside is
almost completely flat, which is ok if one leaves it closed, but
I chose to have it opened. I softened its appearance using a motor
tool and I glued a plastic strip over the bottom edge. When dry,
I worked the plastic and used cyanoacrylate glue to give a soft
edge that overlaps the flatbed sides and open its rear. Inside I
glued the braces made from bent metallic wire.
As for other quick building, this is a very good choice for war gaming.
In my point of view it is a good base for inexpensive conversions. I
mated this kit with a flatbed truck, but I'd could have used an "ambulance"
kit as well, to make one of the many closed body variants. Seen in this
way I consider it a very good modelling opportunity.
sample purchased by the author.
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