ICM 1/35 Opel Kapitan 2-door Saloon
|REVIEWER:||Scott Van Aken|
The Kapitän was the last new Opel model to appear before the outbreak of the Second World War, developed during 1938 and launched in the spring of 1939 at the Geneva motor show. The first Kapitän was available in many different body styles, the most popular one being the 4-door saloon. 2-door coupé cabriolets were also built. The pre-war Kapitän featured a unitary body, a modern feature for its time. The car inherited its 2.5-litre engine from its predecessor: in this application a maximum speed of 118 km/h (73 mph) was reported.
Civilian automobile production by Opel ceased in the Fall / Autumn of 1940, by which time 25,371 Kapitäns had been produced: a further three were assembled during 1943, giving a total production volume for the version launched in 1939 of 25,374. In addition, 2 were assembled in 1946, and one in 1947, but these were not officially recorded in the statistics.
Included in the production total were 248 of the two-seater cabriolets built for Opel by independent coach builders Gläser of Dresden and Hebmüller of Wülfrath in Wuppertal. There would, however, be no resurrection for the cabriolet Kapitäns in 1948 when the sedan / saloon version was reintroduced.
This adds to ICM's growing catalogue of military vehicles and is a nice addition to their staff car series. I like these sorts of things as they can also be built as a civilian vehicle. Thankfully, quite a few of these survived so the Internet can supply some color information for the latter.
ICM's Kapitan is a well detailed kit that includes not only a full engine, but also a highly accurate chassis and interior. Building the six cylinder engine takes up the first part of construction. The kit has a full chassis that fits under a body that is constructed from a rather large number of components. For instance, there is a flat floor onto which both inner and outer fender panels are attached. The front cowl piece includes the windscreen area. Up front, both inner and outer fenders are separate constructs. The hood area is built up of two sides and an upper section onto which the front piece with the grille and headlights is attached.
These cars did not have very complex interiors. Just a couple of bench seats with a nicely detailed instrument panel. The pedals are molded into the floor section so one simply adds the stick shift. I found it odd that the steering wheel was made of two parts, with the wheel being separate from the spokes and shaft. Each door is made of two pieces and one traps the clear windows between the halves. All the inner door parts (arm rest, window winder, door handle), are separate pieces. Also separate is the rear side inner window panel. The trunk and upper body are also separate pieces. None of the doors, hood or trunk are shown to be able to be opened, though it should not be that difficult for most modelers to do so. This kit differs from the previous Kapitan kit in that it has two doors. There is a new sprue to take this into account
Markings are for four cars. One is a gloss black vehicle from 1940. Next is one in overall panzer grey, also from 1940. There is one from Libya in 1942 in panzer brown with large grey stripes in a random pattern over the car. Finally, in panzer yellow with green mottles all over it is one from France in the summer of 1944. The decal sheet provides license plates and stencils when needed. ICM has been using white backed decal paper, making seeing the white markings quite difficult.
This is another very nicely molded and well detailed car kit from ICM. I like that these sorts of kits are making an appearance, not just because I like staff cars, but because it provides some 1930s civilian vehicle possibilities as well.
Thanks to Squadron Products for the preview kit. Your local shop should have this one. If not, have them order it for you.
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