by: Adie Roberts [ ]
From an automotive perspective, World War I was a major turning point; previously, in every war ever waged equipment and supplies were moved in and around the battle areas by some combination of horsepower or manpower. World War I saw the first widespread use of motorized vehicles in various supporting roles. Even during the first battles of the war in 1914, the Ford Model T was a major player as many privately owned Model Tís were commandeered for various military uses.
Knowing the tactical advantages provided by automobile use, both Great Britain and France approached the subject of acquiring Model T trucks for various military purposes early on in the war. Henry Ford, very much a proponent of the isolationist movement prevalent in the United States prior to its war entrance in 1917, was not exactly cooperative with the request. While Ford wanted nothing to do with the war effort during this time, he did authorize the sale of a modest number of Model T chassis to the British military strictly for ambulance use.
Upon the United States getting involved in the war, Henry Fordís mood shifted to fully supporting the effort. His change of heart prompted his selling the United States military thousands of chassis for various uses. In an effort to fulfil orders, Ford even pulled units from routine stock out of circulation to more rapidly respond to the war effort.
It should also be noted the chassis most often supplied was the basic and ordinary Model T chassis (not the heavier duty Model TT) upon which any number of aftermarket bodies could be fitted. It is even suspicious the first set of chassis sent to Europe were designed such that the shipping crate could be repurposed to construct the box body for the Model Ford T.
The model kit from ICM comes in its usual solid cardboard carton with a thinner cardboard lift off lid on top. The carton provides very stable protection during posting or if placed in a pile of other models.
The artwork on the top of the box lid is colourful and very well done showing you pretty much everything you will find in the box.
Contents are as follows:
1. Two light grey sprues which contain the model T Ford Ambulance
2. One clear sprue for the side windows and window screen.
3. One light brown sprue containing the figures and stretcher
4. One decal sheet
5. One large instruction booklet and one sheet for the figures
The first glance at the spures got me thinking straight away such is the detail level, the engine looks good with the sump engine block and head all being needed to be built first. There are some quite small parts to it but nothing that looks like it is going to cause you any issues.
I have commented before in a previous review just how much I like the way they have gone about the detail on the radiator especially with the embossed Ford logo, well this time I am really impressed to see this again as this version in comparison with the last Model T Ford still has the same embossed Ford logo only. Only this time is somewhat smaller a 1/35th scale version compared to the 1/24th scale fire engine.
The wheels on this version are moulded plastic including tires which again on the larger version are rubber, there is no tread on the moulded version though this can be hidden with weathering, mud, dust or crushed grass. One thing I thought was very cleverly done was the air valve sticking out between the spokes with air cap on. The front suspension is of leaf spring type this attaches to the steering rack and axles, a decent amount of detail on these parts. The rear axle and suspension are basically the same as the front but without the radiator.
The drive shaft is nice; the steering rack is quite thin and would need a nice sharp blade to cut it off without causing it to break, I like the exhaust which comes in two parts with the main length and back box a nice moulded fuel tank. Some small injector pin marks are present but should not be visible once glued together.
Part of the chassis is moulded in one piece and includes the floor for the back of the ambulance also the front wings. One of the very interesting and great features of this kit is the interior it carries benches and stretcher, it also includes some nice moulded wooden panels and floorboards. I personally like the idea of a World War1 ambulance with an interior.
The whole body of the back of the ambulance is very well done and is very pleasing to the eye, in particular, the roof which is wooden ribbed with canvas top from underneath the wooden framework looks amazing and from the top, it is easy to see the stretched effect on the canvas.
Some wooden lock boxes are present around the ambulance as are some essential tools like shovels.
There are four figures provided which include a nurse, a medic and two injured one on a stretcher and one walking wounded. The female nurses face is feminine and clearly has her features like nose, eyes, and mouth there are no ears as her hair covers that part of the head and has a hat. Her arm is posed to be helping the walking wounded onto the back of the ambulance.
The medic is posed in a kneeling position with a pad in which he is taking down the medical notes of the second figure. The face of the medic has all his facial features with ears the outline and lower lobes no inner ear detail the eyes are well proportioned as is the mouth and nose, his hands are well formed and detailed with a pencil in one hand whilst holding his notepad in the other. His body shows all the detail you would expect from a person in this pose all the creases are looking where I believe they should be.
The walking wounded has a bandaged hand and wrist it does have a mould line down the centre of the bandage which will be difficult to rectify without losing the detail of the bandage. The legs are in a step up position and all the creases in the trousers are where I would expect them to be. The face has great details well-defined nose, eyes and ears the helmet has the tiniest flash around the brim.
The last figure is the injured soldier who is in a sit-up position on a stretcher with one of his boots off, he has an injury to his right leg where he has some kind of pressure bandage on it. The detail of the bandage is quite good for the size of it and even has a holding pin in it. The facial expression is good and looks like he is worrying he has the best facial features of the lot with eyes, eyebrows, mouth and nose. He has his helmet removed.
The instruction book is of the normal ICM type colourful for the front and the paint profiles for the different ambulances.
The instruction book is 16 pages the front page covers a bit of history of the model symbols for the for the build and the paint numbers for the kit, these are for Revell and Tamiya paints
Page 2 is plan of the sprues showing you what you get and where it is on the different sprues
Page 3-14 is of the build which breaks down into 59 build parts.
Pages 15and 16 are for the painting and placing of decals on the model kit
There is a separate page which is for the build of the figures and also painting guide to them it is colour profile which will help greatly in the painting of the figures
The decal sheet is quite small and has various numbers that were allocated to the different ambulances, some small pictures/ artwork some red crosses and lastly two French flags. The decals themselves are quite nice looking and look quite thin and no real issues looking at them.
Model T 1917 Ambulance, USA, 1917
Model T 1917 Ambulance, 524 SSU A.E.F., France 1918
Model T 1917 Ambulance, 625 SSU A.E.F. France 1918
Model T 1917 Ambulance, 36 SS, French Army, France, 1918
My grandfather used to tell me that in life you get what you pay for and in a lot of circumstances I would totally agree with this sentiment! But I have to disagree when it comes in the main part to ICM kits I remember some years back getting some early spitfires from them, but were disappointing. But you can no longer say this about the new kits that they are producing; everything has changed from the way in which they box their products to the level of detail in their kits and instruction booklets.
This offering from ICM is no different the little model T Ford ambulance is very good with great detailing and the simplistic look of the build via the instruction book (I will be able to update you on that in the very near future as I am going to do a feature build on it) The added figures really makes it that bit special and almost Tamiya Esq.
I wished more companies would do this not only as it saves the wallet from taking a hit, but stops the wife from going on when you tell her you have the figures as well and they are included! Though if she is anything like mine she still wonít believe you anyway!