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Built Review
187
Opel Blitz Firetruck
Opel Blitz TLF 15
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by: Frederick Boucher [ JPTRR ]


Originally published on:
RailRoad Modeling

Roco Opel Blitz TLF 15
Item (Artikel Nr.): 1317
Scale: HO (1/87)


Roco produced this model Opel Blitz fire truck as one of their series of automotive to complement their large selection of railroad models and Minitanks. The vehicle is factory assembled and has three sprues of optional detail parts.

A military version is available in the Minitanks series.

Introduction
Opel Blitz was the name given to various German light and middle-weight trucks built by Opel between 1930 and 1975.

During the years preceding the Second World War Opel was Germany's largest truck producer. The Blitz name (German for lightning) was first applied to an Opel truck in 1930 and by 1934 there were four base versions offered of the 1 tonne model along with fourteen versions of the larger 2/2 tonne trucks. From 1973 to 1987 a successor vehicle produced by Bedford Vehicles of Luton, and based on the Bedford CF, was sold in some markets as the "Bedford Blitz".[1] More than 82,000 Opel Blitz trucks were produced between April 1937 and July 1944.

Opel was a subsidiary of General Motors. To what degree GM controlled Opel during World War Two is disputed.

The Opel Blitz TLF 15 was a civil fire department tanker truck. It was also used by the Luftwaffe and other branches of the Wehrmacht.

Roco Opel Blitz TLF Feuerwehr
Roco released this Blitz TLF Feuerwehr in 1983. This particular model is packed in a blue light card end opening box with a cellophane display window. The model is secure in a light plastic form fitted cradle. A small bag of four detail sprues and a separate part are included, as is a simple instruction sheet.

Roco molded this model to a good standard. I cannot find any noticeable seam lines or ejector marks. However, some parts were not removed from their sprues with finesse, causing noticeable burrs on several parts (tires, the ladder, the back of the cab). Flash mars some small parts. Additionally, a slight sink dimple mars the tank filler hatch.

Fine raised and recessed lines detail cab and body components. Roco used hard plastic for the well detailed tires. The model features basic chassis and underbody.

Details
This Roco model is a dichotomy of detail. A seat populates the visible cab interior but no steering wheel is included. And while headlamps and a spotlight are included, the spotlight has a blue-tinted lens while the headlamps and brake lights lack any lenses.

A power pump is mounted on an extended rear bumper deck. Over it is an A frame holding the hose reel, with molded hose detail. This reel can be exchanged for the optional empty one. Heavy braided hoses and a pair of ladders hang from the tank.
Three sprues and a separate reel provide 20 optional detail parts. Three-each short and tall clearance poles can be attached to mounting holes in each fender. Two separate windshield wipers are also included! All are molded very thin. Other detail parts are:

    2 fire extinguishers
    2 different towing hitches
    A two-piece jerrycan
    Empty hose reel
    2 overflow pipes
    Spray nozzle
    Bottoms for the storage lockers

All detail molding is impressive.

Paint and Markings
Rather simple. All parts are molded in color. The only printing is the fire department badge for Salzburg Austria on each cab door. Roco did not use decals and the printing is very sharp.

Summary
This Roco Opel Blitz TLF 15 is a good model. It has fine detail and molding. The small detail parts are a great addition, allowing the modeler choices for display. The burrs, flash, and the slight sinkhole detract from the model somewhat. As does the odd exclusion of some detail, such as lenses for the head and tail lamps.

Overall it should make a nice addition to your HO layout or diorama. Recommended if you can find one.

Roco
Roco was founded in 1960 by Mr. and Mrs. Roessler after Mr. Roessler recognized that plastic injection moulding (which was quite a new development then) made it possible to manufacture models with greater detail compared to the metal models that were produced at the time. Initially Roco made Minitank models only, but entered the model railroading market a few years later with HO- and O-scale models. Models in N-scale models followed in 1965.

In 2002 the company, which was privately held, was sold and extensive investments and modernization measures turned Roco into one of the most modern manufacturing plants in the model railway industry. Unfortunately, the investments also led to high indebtedness which ultimately resulted in a bankruptcy in the early summer of 2005.

In July 2005 the Roco assets and trade name were bought by Modelleisenbahn GmbH, this new company will continue production of the Roco models.

Early models
Additional information received from Frank Noeth
A part of Roco history that is less known.... copies of Wiking models that were made by Roco from 1965 until about 1972. The models appeared just after Wiking had switched to glazed models.

Miniatur-Modell series
This series of car and truck models was started in 1980 after ROCO had received a lot of requests from collectors to release the models from the well known ROCO Minitanks series in civilian versions. In the beginning, most of the models were therefor civil versions of the Minitanks models. Additionally, three of the former UMEX Caterpillar models were rereleased by ROCO in 1982. The first model that was specifically made for the Miniatur-Modelle series is the Steyr 91 truck which was released in 1982. Several packs of detail parts were also available.
The production of the ROCO Miniatur-Modelle was stopped in January 2001, with the exception of several models that were used as accessories to the railwaymodels. Additionally, there was one new release (a Mercedes-Benz Unimog wrecker, Australian prototype) to celebrate 50 years of Unimog.
After Modelleisenbahn GmbH acquired the moulds, several Roco models have been issued again but it is not clear if there is a seperate Miniatur-Modell series or if the models are released as accessories as Roco did before.
[2]
_________
References
[1]. Opel Blitz. Wikipedia. 12 March 2012.
[2]. Roco. 87thScale.info. n.d. http://www.87thscale.info/roco.htm.
SUMMARY
Highs: Fine detail and molding. The small detail parts are a great addition, allowing the modeler choices for display.
Lows: Burrs, flash, and the slight sinkhole detract from the model, as does the odd exclusion of some detail.
Verdict: Roco Opel Blitz TLF 15 is a good model. It should make a nice addition to your HO layout or diorama.
Percentage Rating
75%
  Scale: 1:87
  Mfg. ID: 1317
  Suggested Retail: $10.95
  Related Link: Opel Blitz Firetruck Walkaround
  PUBLISHED: Apr 15, 2012
  NATIONALITY: Germany
NETWORK-WIDE AVERAGE RATINGS
  THIS REVIEWER: 87.00%
  MAKER/PUBLISHER: 79.00%

About Frederick Boucher (JPTRR)
FROM: TENNESSEE, UNITED STATES

I'm a professional pilot with a degree in art. My first model was an AMT semi dump truck. Then Monogram's Lunar Lander right after the lunar landing. Next, Revell's 1/32 Bf-109G...cried havoc and released the dogs of modeling! My interests--if built before 1900, or after 1955, then I proba...

Copyright 2017 text by Frederick Boucher [ JPTRR ]. Images also by copyright holder unless otherwise noted. Opinions expressed are those of the author(s) and not necessarily those of ModelGeek. All rights reserved.


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