Ford T Ambulance
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 Kit                               : Samochod Ford T Ambulans
Manufacturer             
: RPM
Scale                           
 : 1/72
Type                           
 : Injection moulded
Paint                             : Humbrol
Accessories                  : Scratch
Documentation
          : Internet. 

I have said this many times before: if you are looking for something special and it comes around, you must buy it before it is too late. Some years ago, this happened to me at Trucks & Tracks in Folkestone where I found an armoured car based on the chassis of a Ford T.

Now, years later, I saw an advert in Steel Masters stating that a Ford T ambulance and a recce version did exist but I had big doubts about finding those in Belgium. Till the day I found both kits in a local shop where I bought them immediately. Good thing done because since that day, I never saw them again in a shop. By the way: Samochod means truck in Polish. 

The kit:

For those who like big things, the kit is not even 2,5 inches (6 cm) long.

Parts come on 2 sprues, one for the chassis and one for the body.

There is a very nice box-art and you can use it as a reference because there is no further documentation or explanation provided. The building plan is provided on the back of the box.

I photo copied the box art and the building plan to size A4 and this seemed to be a good thing done because it provides more detail. A small decal sheet is also provided for only one version. 

 

     

Documentation:

Not existing until I decided to have a look on the Internet. It all started with the question: how many foot pedals does a Ford T have? I knew it had a hand gas lever on the steering wheel so the discussion arose but it was finely sorted out in the club: 3 pedals. 

But great was my surprise when I saw on the Internet that a lot of information could be found about the Ford T Ambulance. It seems that those vehicles were used in big numbers in the later years of WWI. They did with those trucks what US forces would do with the “Deuce” in WWII: part of those trucks was shipped in the whole from the US and part of them were shipped as a chassis in order to build the body on those trucks in France.

For this reason, we can see that there were two kinds of body versions: those made with sheet planking (USA) and those made with ordinary planking (France). The kit shows the US version. 

Many of those Ford T ambulances seem to have survived both in the US as in France. Many of them have their pictures placed on the Internet and I even found a picture of the ambulances interior. Enough for a new challenge. 

The chassis:

Comes in 15 parts + wheels. The biggest problem seems to find the right place of the rear transmission ball on the rear axle that looks like a small golf ball. Parts 5 and 8 (each 2x) must be placed in a 45° angle from the chassis towards the wheels. The drive shaft was a bit too short and was replaced by a larger one. The chassis was painted black as usual in those days. The exhaust was drilled out and was painted rust. 

         

The body:

Two main assembly stages: the ambulance part and the engine part but both need joining together before mounting them on the chassis. Even if you want to add pedals, you have to join them. 

The ambulance body comprises 11 parts. If you want to add interior, do that before fixing the roof. I constructed this interior basing myself on the pictures and with use of Evergreen strips from which the following parts were made:

- There are vertical beams visible on the outside of the ambulance body. You need to add   some beams on the inside too on the same places as the exterior beams.

- On the floor lies a so-called “blood gutter”. I cut two pieces of plastic card and glued those   on the floor plate against the sides of the body. The opening in the middle is the blood   gutter.

- Glue a horizontal strip against the vertical beams on the inside, as well against the rear wall   as on the sidewalls. These will serve later as a support for the stretchers.

- There are two small benches at the end of the ambulance body; they need to be made of   strips.

- Either side receives, right above the horizontal beam, a frame destined to receive the   stretchers. I made this from   recuperation photo etching, bended in a long U shape. At the   end of each frame comes a fine metal wire running in an angle from the frame to the ceiling   of the body on the place where there is a beam. This metal wire kept the stretchers up. 

On the outside I added some detail in form of a small window frame on the bulkhead between driver and rear part.

I constructed some hinges on this window as well as on both wooden windows and the cases on the outsides. 

I you want to expose the interior than it is necessary to lower the rear ramp and detailing this ramp costs a lot of effort. Again with the aid of pictures, I added some strips as well as a small step. I constructed a wide U shape with straight edges from Evergreen U strips. One side was cut of in order to become an L shape. 

The ambulance body does not fit that well on the chassis. I added two strips of Evergreen on the undersides in order to thicken the beams. 

One special item in this kit are the lights of the ambulance. In front there are two big electrical lights that need some drilling, a drop of silver and a drop of Kristal Klear. There are also 2 big and 4 smaller lights that can be described as “carbolic lamps”. I decided to drill those out too, add a drop of silver and to paint them black on the outside (with grey dry-brushing) and add a drop of Kristal Klear too. 

   

 

   

Painting:

According the paint references on the box, the ambulance needs to be painted in Humbrol 102. I did this but there was a big difference with the colour of the ambulance on the box-art that could be described more as a form of khaki. I found a tin of Revell paint that matched the references of the Humbrol WOI Green. It is a sort of brownish green that gives a better result when sprayed. 

This was followed by a dry brushing of this colour + white and it looks good. Next came a first wash with Raw Umber, a second dry brushing of the main colour + sand and a second wash were needed. The rooftop got a khaki dry brushing. 

Wheels are of the artillery type with wooden spokes. They are very decent according to this scale and needed only minor cleaning.

Tyres were painted German Panzer Grey, rims in wood Humbrol 110 and a bit of the body WOI green on top; as to add a somewhat blathered effect. I did this because I think that those wheels must have had very bad times on the then existing roads if there were any left.

The ambulance will receive a layer of dust at the end in order to accentuate this. 

The rear end also received a roll of canvas on the upper part, painted in khaki. 

 

   

 

Decals:

Both sides receive a red cross, an emblem and a registration number. The decals are printed on one sheet and need to be cut out. The emblems most find their place in a hatch and are a bit too big. In all they can be called rather good, I used Decal Cote 1 and 2 from Humbrol and sealed them with a coat of Klir (Future) and a coat of matt varnish. 

Conclusion:

Small and very fine and certainly not one to start with. But it is something special that few will want or have in their collections.

A welcome acquisition for my WWI airfield. 

 

   

 

Keep ‘m building
Erwin.