ICM 1/24 Opel Admiral With Open Cover
The Opel Admiral was produced from 1937 to 1939, and then again from 1964 to 1977. The older Admiral was a luxury automobile designed to compete with cars from Horch, Maybach and Mercedes-Benz, but at a substantially lower price. The Admiral had a separate chassis, unlike its smaller sibling, the unit-body Opel Kapitan.
The chassis could therefore be fitted with bespoke custom bodies like the competition. It was powered by a 3,626 cc 74 horsepower, straight six cylinder engine. A 70 liter fuel tank allowed a range of nearly 250 miles. Admiral production ended abruptly with the onset of World War Two, when the German Military insisted that its six cylinder engine be installed in the 3.5 ton Opel Blitz army truck.
The model comes in a very sturdy top opening box, with nice artwork of a black Admiral with a gray roof. It consists of 144 pieces, 4 of which go unused, on 9 sprues. 6 of these sprues are molded in gray plastic, 1 sprue is chrome and 1 is clear. 4 rubber tires come on a "sprue" of their own. The unused parts are for the "open" version of the kit, but I suspect that you can build the model with the top down if you have the instructions for the other version.
The kit is well detailed. The mold quality is good, but not quite as nice as Aoshima, Fujimi, Hasegawa or Fujimi car kits. The chrome parts are very nicely done, they're not overly shiny, and the sprue attachment points are well positioned. If you have a very sharp scalpel blade or sprue cutters, you might be able to remove these parts from the sprue without marring them.
The clear parts are also well done. I initially dismissed the head lamps as overly thick, but given both the large size of the headlamps and their prominence, the thickness of the lamps is appropriate. That way you won't notice the absence of BULBS in the reflectors...
Both the engine and the chassis are multi-piece, well detailed assemblies that will look great when painted. The engine in particular will look quite impressive with an oil wash and dry brushed details, especially with the hood opened up. The 4 rubber tires have good tread detail.
The interior is very well done. It accurately depicts the sort of luxury the wealthy took for granted in the days of coachbuilt automobiles. I recommend a light interior color, lighter than one might ordinarily choose. Otherwise most of the interior will be invisible, due to the small size of the rear window. I'm not suggesting the use of an inaccurate color, just a light one.
I also recommend that you pick up a copy of issue 239 of Tamiya Model Magazine, and read Fabrice Marechal's article on Tamiya's new Mercedes 300SL. He did a masterful job on the interior, and all of his methods will work quite well on the Opel.
There is a small decal sheet that includes instrument panel gauges, hubcap logos, and 4 pairs of license plates. One pair of the plates is for a solid black car and another pair are for a 2 tone (blue and gray) car. Both cars have a medium gray convertible roof.
The instructions are well printed and well illustrated with a parts map and logical build sequence. Color callouts are for Humbrol enamels.
I like this kit. It is accurate and well detailed. It's also the sort of subject I might ordinarily expect to see in a 1/43rd scale die cast or an expensive resin kit, rather than a 1/24th scale injection molded model. I think the market needs more, off-the-beaten-path subjects like this: it's a nice alternative to all the muscle cars, drag racers, and sports cars out there. I would like to thank ICM for the review sample.
2) Tamiya Model Magazine, Issue 239, September 2015 (for detail painting of model car interiors)