New from SBS Model comes a very welcome conversion set for Italeri's popular quarterscale Opel Blitz to produce a T-Stoff Tankwagen, as used to fuel-up the Messerschmitt Me 163 Komet.
Based on the set formerly produced by FM Details, SBS Model's conversion comprises:
24 x grey resin parts
14 x etched brass parts, plus a printed film
A length of lead wire for hoses
The casting in the sample set is essentially perfect, with not a bubble or blemish to be found, and excellent crisp detail throughout. Care will be needed preparing the parts for assembly as some of the casting blocks are quite large - necessarily so, in view of the size of the components.
Unlike SBS's earlier Tankwagen upgrade
, the T-Stoff conversion includes a complete new bowser section, split into two main castings. The front section features the T-Stoff tank itself, along with stowage drawers (moulded closed) for tools etc. Separate doors cover the drawer units either side, and there's a ventilator to add on the roof.
The rear section forms a hollow housing for the beautifully detailed 10-part pumping gear. Again there are separate doors, plus a fire extinguisher and lead wire to make the hose from, before attaching a resin nozzle.
On the side of the chassis is what I'd guess to be a draining/flushing unit for the T-Stoff tank, while the kit's spare wheel is mounted on a new resin bracket with etched retaining straps.
Turning to the cab, the etched fret provides a nicely detailed new dashboard, floor pedals (arguably a bit 2-dimensional, but perfectly adequate if the cab doors are closed), windscreen wipers, driver's mirror and a towing signal for the roof. Lastly, there's the all-important Opel Blitz badge to attach to the kit's blank radiator.
The instructions are very neatly drawn, and the conversion looks quite straightforward once the parts are removed from their casting blocks. The painting guide shows the Tankwagen painted overall in Grey or Dark Yellow, with Tamiya paint matches given. I'm sure there's scope for additional field-applied disruptive camouflage over the Dark Yellow scheme as the Me 163B saw service towards the war's end when Allied strafers were attacking Luftwaffe airfields regularly.
SBS Model's T-Stoff Tankwagen conversion is beautifully produced, and due to its top quality casting and relative simplicity, I'd rate this as suitable for anyone with a little modelling experience - in fact, with no major surgery needed on the Italeri kit, it would make a good first conversion on which to cut one's teeth. Highly recommended.
Please remember, when contacting retailers or manufacturers, to mention that you saw their products highlighted here - on AEROSCALE