Testors 1/35 Opel Maultier






Four vehicles


Scott Van Aken


Reboxed Italeri kit


The Maultier was developed to handle the immobilizing road conditions encountered on the Eastern Front. Conventional wheeled vehicles were useless on the unpaved roads; the supply columns could not get through the mud and snow. To remedy the problem, a field workdshop of the 2nd SS Division removed the rear suspension and wheels of a standard 3 ton truck and replaced them with the running gear of a captured Soviet light tank. This improvised halftrack proved superior to the regular trucks in rough conditions and several more were converted. The Maultier went into production by a number of manufacturers and over 6,000 were eventually built.

The best known Maultier conversion was built by Opel who reclassified their sturdy and reliable 'Blitz' 3-ton truck as a 2-ton because of the tracked suspension. Some Maultiers were  fitted with an enclosed house-type body and were used as ambulances, command vehicles and radio vans. Because of the lack of raw materials near the end of the war, many were built with cabs made of cardboard and wood.

Almost 600 of the Opel Maultiers were produced with an armored body. Half that number were used as mobile rocket launchers while the other half were ammunition carriers. The armor was from 6 to 10 mm thick and the vehicle weighed 7.1 metric tons. The Maultier saw service on all fronts and saw limited use post-war in civilian service.



I've always had a fondness for trucks when it comes to military subjects and this one fits into that category....sorta. It also should appeal to those who are into tracked vehicles. From what I can see, Italeri took the the body of the standard Opel Blitz kit and added a replacement sprue for the chassis and running gear required for the Maultier. The overall level of detailig for the kit is superb. I found no flash, no sink marks, and no ejector pin marks in the 'wrong' place.

This is no curbside as there is complete interior and engine detail, though the engine could stand a bit more in the way of aftermarket stuff to have it really stand out. You also have to do a bit of modification to the rear cab area because of the tracked suspension, but the instructions have a very clear description of what needs to be done. You have the choice of a stake-side or solid-side body. You can also have the rear tarp up or in the folded position as a folded framework is provided. The tracks are of the 'rubber band' variety and need to have the ends melted to be properly joined. Those wanting more detail here can find separate link tracks from a number of sources.

Instructions are quite good and typical of what Testors provides in their reboxed kits. All color info in given where needed. There are markings for four vehicles. First is a Desert Sand colored one from the 5th Panzer Army in Tunisia. Next is an Ochre version from the 96th Motorized Infantry Division in the Ukraine. A Panzer Grey version for the 13th Luftwaffe Division in 1943 is next followed by another Panzer Grey one of the 11th SS Motorized Division, also in Russia. Basically we are talking about different plates and small unit markings. The decal sheet is well done by Microscale so will respond to all the known setting solutions.


It looks like a really nice kit. It has oodles of pieces so should keep the builder busy for a while. I've seen this kit built and you'll like the results.

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