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In-Box Review
135
Opel Kapitän 2 door saloon
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by: Robert Blokker [ FAUST ]


Originally published on:
Armorama

History

The pre-war years were very good for the German automotive industry. Demand was high and all the manufacturers wanted a piece of the pie. One of the contenders on the market was Opel. The first mass produced car by Opel was the Olympia and it proved to be a big success. As with any car producer of the era they had different price ranges for their cars. And in 1938 Opel introduced the most luxurious of their cars The Kapitän (the Captain). Featuring a unitary body which was pretty modern at the time and powered by a 2,5 litre 6 cylinder engine it also was quick hit. It was available as a 4 door saloon, 2 door saloon, 2 door saloon convertible. When production stopped in 1940 due to the war 25,370 Kapitäns had rolled of the assembly line 3422 of which were of the 2 door saloon with hard top. During the war the Kapitän was very popular among the German army and many were commandeered and served on all fronts. After the war the Kapitän remained Opel’s top class model and production continued till 1970.

We modelers for years have wanted kit manufacturers to produce civillian pattern cars in 1:35 and it seems the last few years that the manufacturers really took note. Giving us modellers a whole load of cars from several nationalities to choose from. Be it FIAT, Citroen, Simca, Mercedes or Opel. And one of the most prolific of the bunch is quite probably the Ukraine based ICM holding who for the last few years really improved their place in the market by bringing well engineered, well detailed kits of very original subjects. And one of their latest offerings is a 1:35th scale kit of the Opel Kapitän 2 door saloon.

Contents

The kit is packaged in a slide top box of flimsy (but strong enough) cardboard measuring 23,5 cm deep, 4,5 cm high and 32cm wide. With a rather simple box art of a Gloss black Kapitän 2 door saloon driving on a dirt road through a wintery forest. Note the most inspiring box art I have ever seen but hey it is all about the contents.
Inside the box you will find;
  • 3 sprues in tan plastic
  • 1 transparent sprue with the windows and headlight lenses
  • a small decal sheet giving options for 4 vehicles
  • The instruction sheet which is A4 size and shows the built in 21 steps, the last 2 pages have the paint and decal instructions


review

As I said before ICM holding really upped their game and started to produce kits that can compete with any other brand on the market. This kit is a really fine example of that as far as I can see. There is no flash. Just the occasional seam line to remove but since that is a problem shared by any injection molded company it is a detail hardly worth mentioning. What is worth mentioning is that this is a very complete kit.

Engine
The engine without assembling it looks pretty much a carbon copy of the 2,5 litre 6 cylinder line engine that the Kapitän was fitted out with. Nice and sharp detail and the only thing you would have to add yourself is a bit of wiring. The same goes for the front suspension that the engine sits on before installing it to the body of the vehicle.

Interior
The interior looks to be complete as well. The firewall comes with a well represented firewall which got all the right details. On the inside you have to install a neat dashboard that seems to match all the pictures I have seen of that detail online and on real examples. The Benches look the part as well.

Tin and Trim
What I like from looking at the sprues is that ICM holding did a really thorough job of making sure that detail is visible on both sides of parts or at least make sure that things get constructed in such a way. The fenders mostly are made in 2 halves allowing for good sharp details inside the fender wells, The grill is well represented with opened radiator grill, the radiator itself consists of 2 parts allowing detail on both sides. The only part where this does not go up is the bonnet of the car which is smooth on the inside but should have strengthening ribs from pressed metal in it. Another detail that is not there is the device that keeps the bonnet up when opened. Some research is needed to get those details right if you are a stickler for detail.

Wheels
ICM holding did something clever here. They molded the wheels in plastic and they consist of 2 parts each. A tire with part of the rim and an insert that you put in from the back. Size seems pretty much spot on. There is a but… 2 of the wheels have a dent in the hubcap. They are pretty uniform on both wheels but they don’t belong there and need be filled. The tread pattern conforms with period pictures .

Doors and Roof
The doors and with that the sidewalls of the carriage are mostly three piece affairs, the outside panel, the inside panel and in between you sandwich the window. The detail like chrome trim and piping is well executed, as far as I can see correct and is complete up to and including the ashtrays in the armrests. ICM holding allows you to have it modelled with the doors open which is pretty neat. That way you can show off the work on the inside. The roof finishes the whole thing off and so far this is the only part in which I think could pose a fit problem. That has to do with the way it is constructed. It starts at the front of the windshield and slopes to the back. It might be possible some filler is needed to get rid of the seam at the front window but I can only tell that for sure when I reach that step in building the vehicle. Another point worth mentioning is that the kit comes with 4 wheels, which is enough to shoe the car but the Kapitän also carried a spare inside the boot lid. So you can’t model it open really because obviously you have a whole lot of nothing in the space where you’d expect the spare.
You get a bunch of extra parts like Notek lights and such to make the militarized version of the Kapitän.

Decals
You have a choice of 4 paint and decal schemes with the decal sheet; 1 Civilian pressed into Werhmacht service, 1 wehrmacht and 2 Luftwaffe. The instruction sheet describes them as follows.
  • Kapitän 2 door saloon Germany 1940 gloss black with chrome trim and Luftwaffe License plates
  • Kapitän 2 door saloon France Summer 1940 Dark grey Civilian license plate Wehrmacht markings
  • Kapitän 2 door saloon Lybia 1942, Afrika Brown with broad dark grey bands and Wehrmacht markings
  • Kapitän 2 door saloon France Summer 1944, Panzer Yellow base with green flecks and Luftwaffe plates and markings



Conclusion

At first sight this kit really seems to match up to the real deal, certainly when it comes to detail. Dimension wise it seems to do quite well too, But at this point it is hard to say for sure because of how ICM holding engineered the kit. I will go deeper into that when I do the build review. I could not hitherto find any flaws in the instruction sheets but always study them well and dry fit before gluing it can save you a lot of possible trouble later on. I like the fact the wheels are made of plastic. Pity about the dents in two of the hubcaps but nothing a little putty and some light sanding won’t fix. That said. It could be my review sample incidentally had it and your Kapitän could be perfectly fine in that aspect.
Generally the kit is well engineered and ICM holding did their homework on the details. The only little flaws I have spotted up front are the inside of the bonnet which should have detail on it certainly when you model it open and the missing spare wheel inside the booth lid. There is probably a seam to fill on the roof just behind the front window. Again more detail on that in the build log.
Having said that I think this is a hit from ICM holding, Great subject, well made and it should be fun to build as well.

Reference

Kit Instructions
Wikipedia, German, Dutch and English.
SUMMARY
Highs: Great subject, nice sharp and correct details, plastic wheels, very complete.
Lows: no detail on inside of bonnet, missing sparewheel.
Verdict: A versatile release that should be welcomed by 1:35 armor modelers and diorama builders.
Percentage Rating
80%
  Scale: 1:35
  Mfg. ID: 35476
  Suggested Retail: $ 34,99
  Related Link: 
  PUBLISHED: Jan 24, 2014
  NATIONALITY: Germany
NETWORK-WIDE AVERAGE RATINGS
  THIS REVIEWER: 87.08%
  MAKER/PUBLISHER: 84.60%

Our Thanks to ICM Holding!
This item was provided by them for the purpose of having it reviewed on this KitMaker Network site. If you would like your kit, book, or product reviewed, please contact us.

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About Robert Blokker (FAUST)
FROM: NOORD-HOLLAND, NETHERLANDS

Started modelling when I was about 7 or 8 years old had a little break in between (school, girls partying) and eventually returned when finding this site in 2002. Main interest WW2 German army, wheeled vehicles and radio and communication troops or every other thing that manages to catch my interest...

Copyright ©2019 text by Robert Blokker [ FAUST ]. Images also by copyright holder unless otherwise noted. Opinions expressed are those of the author(s) and not necessarily those of AeroScale. All rights reserved.


   

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