In 2013 I showed to you guys a weird project that used one of the few options (at that time) to build a bus in 1/35 scale: the vaccuform. Today, there are on the market (Thank the gods) injected options on the scale 1/35.
In this project, I will use a Roden 1/35 Opel Blitz Omnibus W39 3.6-47 Type Ludewig-built Early version (kit # 807). My inspiration was the building of my colleagues Andrew Tomlinson and Przemo Mrozek. I had previously talked with Andrew who I thought of built a workshop version on my bus and the building of Przemo was an inspiration and coincidence. Many thanks to my colleagues for the tips and suggestions ...Let's have some fun !!!
In 1939 Germany was rapidly preparing for global hostilities. The plans of the German command supposed an instantaneous capture of quite large areas of other countries, and therefore special attention was paid to the question of the greatest possible motorization of infantry units. Besides a large number of different types of trucks which were already in the Wehrmacht's inventory, staff buses also began to be taken on charge, whose main task was the conveyance of officers during offensive actions of the army with a likely prospect of minimal resistance by an opposing party in the conflict.
The practice of building buses on a truck's chassis had existed for a long time, and therefore the most common types of buses which came into the German's inventory were based on the most widely used trucks. One of the most popular trucks at this time was the well-known Opel Blitz, and on its chassis was designed a standard army bus (at the time the more common term for it was "omnibus").
|Opel Blitz bus|
The Ludewig firm which was engaged in designing the bus, was located in Essen and had great experience in the manufacture of civilian multiseat vehicles. The standard chassis of the three ton truck was extended a little bit (up to 4450 mm), and the frame structure was reinforced.
|Opel Bus chassis|
The original all-metal body of the new bus was quite elegant in outline, and only the front part where the engine was hidden, and the classic radiator with its distinctive logo, immediately reminded one of its predecessor, the famous "Blitz". Inside the cabin were several rows of seats which could be easily demounted if necessary (transportation of bulk goods, medical equipment, etc.).
Series production of the bus, officially designated the Opel 3.6-47 type W39, started in the second half of 1939, almost at the same time as the invasion of Poland by Germany and the start of WWII. At first, the number of vehicles produced per month was very small, but already in 1940 about one hundred units per month off were coming off the production line in Essen.
Series production lasted until mid-1943, when the situation became worse for Germany at the Front, basic industrial materials were in short supply, and as a result, Ludewig had to seriously simplify the structure of the bus. During this period 2,880 units of the early version were produced overall, which were sent both to the Eastern Front in Russia, and to the Afrika Corps of General Rommel in North Africa.
|Opel Blitz bus in transport...She worked on virtually all fronts...|
|Opel Bus in Afrika ...|
|..and in the Russian front. A Stalinetz S-65 tractor (captured) |
tugging a stucked bus. A good idea for a diorama..
In addition to its main purpose - the conveyance of Wehrmacht officers - buses had to perform various other functions such as those of mobile headquarters, telephone exchange and radio station, mobile bakery and laundry, etc. Special note should be made of their role in transporting wounded from battlefield to hospital - rows of seats were removed and in their place several stretchers with wounded could be easily brought through the back door that opened into the interior, thus leaving space free for the installation of medical equipment.
|Opel Blitz bus as command vehicle|
|Opel Blitz bus in transport duties|
|Opel Blitz bus with generator trailer|
|Opel Blitz bus kitchen|
|Opel Blitz bus ambulance|
Opel Blitz 3.6-47 buses were used by the army until the very end of the war, but immediately afterwards they quickly disappeared, giving way to more modern developments of the Opel concern during the early postwar years.(font: Roden)
|Opel Blitz bus with cammo, in 1944.|
|Opel Blitz bus|
|Type||personal transport vehicle|
|Place of origin||Germany - 8.336 made|
|Weight||2 t (bare weight) 6.0 t (total)|
|Crew||driver + 28 men or 5 wounded with medical assistance|
|Gearbox||5 speed gearbox with low noise 4th and 5th gear, middle shifting|
|Tires||190x20 (rear double 4x2)|
|Engine||Opel 6-cylinder 3.625 cc|
75 Hp at 3200 rpm
|Suspension||front: semi-elliptic, 10 leaf-spring suspension, forged I-profile with shock absorbers.|
rear: semi-elliptic, 12 leaf-spring with shock absorbers.
6 Volt, 12 Volt from 1942
As I said before, my idea would be to build an Opel Blitz bus adapted in the field as an itinerant workshop. For this project, I choose the Roden 1/35 Opel Blitz Omnibus W39 3.6-47 Type Ludewig-built Early version (kit # 807). To detail the project, I used the workshop's kits from Verlinden (#0584) and Italeri (#419).
|The players in the bench...|
|The engine. Detailed, but will be closed in the hood...|
|The vinyl tires. It seems smaller than the resin, but not ...|
|It seems narrower than the resin, but not ...|
|My option: the excellent Electric Products tires and wheels|
|The roof rack of my kit came warped ...|
I had to replace it with a Plastruct plastic rod
|Aligning chassis and suspensions ...|
|Making a wooden floor with thin plastic strips !!!|
|Building the tools cabinet from Verlinden. Heavy metal !!|
|Building the resin workbench...notice the metal cabinet in background...|
|Testing the internal layout....hmmm....|
|Building and reducing the Italeri´s workbench....|
|New layout. Much better!!|
|Chuck approves !!!|
|grinder, drill, engineer's bench vise, air compressor,|
acetylene gas cylinders, tool bags, etc...
|sun-visors and rear mirror made with plasticard...|
|Wooden floor and lateral details done|
|Testing the fit...|
|Tools and tools ...|
|Making air hoses and electric wires...|
|Aziz, lights !!!|
|The workshop almost done...|
|Space for specialized mechanical ...|
|Testing the roof...|
|Panther suspension blueprint in the bench...|
|I made a clipboard notes...|
|Clipboard notes and bench drill|
|Notice the benches...|
|Wood boxes for tools...|
|Grinder and tool metal box...|
|Small anvil in the metal cabinet...|
|Engineer's bench vise|
|Air compressor, air hoses and acetylene gas bottles...|
|Notice the transparencies...|
|The bus closed ( I hate "demountable" kits...)|
|Perfecting the cammo painting: Panzer-gray|
|Green stripes in the PG cammo...after many winters !!!|
My option was to place this vehicle in France, after the Day-D. A survivor of the old days of the early stages of the war. The girl wearing American equipment captured, such as the welding trolley which will be coupled in the rear of the vehicle.
|The allied welding trolley captured. My idea; wheels removed and|
the apparatus in a speciaql rack in the rear.
|The rack for the welding trolley. Notice in the left|
side the pin for the trolley's wheels.
|Right side view|
|left side view|
|Markings in the workshop bus...|
|1st Motorized Repair Shop Company|
12th SS - Panzer Division - "Hitler Jugend." France, 1944,
|Making the load in the bus top...|
And the girl was done; Opel Blitz Bus 3.6 - 47 - Model W39 Ludewig built (early) - 1st Motorized Repair Shop Company - 12th SS - Panzer Division - "Hitler Jugend." France, 1944.
|Notice the two logs in the roof rack, good for bogs and soft soils.|
|Opel Blitz Bus 3.6 - 47 - Model W39 Ludewig built (early) |
1st Motorized Repair Shop Company
12th SS - Panzer Division - "Hitler Jugend." France, 1944,
|Opel blitz bus with Kojak and Rover, the dog...|
|My two buses; the Roden and the|
vaccuform Airmodel Products built in 2013.
|DAK and 12th SS Pz.Division|
|The two girls face to face...|
Well, Gents...thanks for following !!!
Wir sehen uns bald !!!