by: Keith Forsyth [ ]
IntroductionI, like a lot of other modellers, was brought up watching war films. It is another hobby of mine to collect them on VHS (now on DVD), and it's having watched those movies that I find influence for some of my work. When Accurate Armour produced the Austin K2/Y Ambulance it sent me looking through the loft for the classic movie "Ice cold in Alex".
Having re-watched the movie again, I felt I wanted to build this kit, so at last years IMPS scale model world in the UK, I purchased the model, and now 5 months later, I have taken it out of the stash ready to share it with you first with a review and then with the build.
HistoryThe Austin K2 was introduced in 1939, and remained in production until 1945. The K2/Y was the most common British Heavy Ambulance in WW II, known as the "Katie", and used by all services. The body was of simple construction, a wood frame covered with leather-cloth, insulated and accommodating four stretchers or eight sitting patients.
The body, known as the No. 2 Mk I/L, was developed by the Royal Army Medical Corps and produced by Mann Egerton. It accommodated an attendant and four stretchers or ten sitting casualties. One Veteran stated he carried 27 wounded at one point in the Desert Campaign, this involved seating passengers on the wings, bonnet, the rear steps and even using rifles to suspend extra stretchers across the walkway in the back, he was mentioned in dispatches for this feat.
More than 13.000 were produced at Austin's Long bridge works where production was almost continuous from 1940 until the war ended, an estimated 50 still remain today.
Length: 5.49 m (216 inches).
Width: 2.21 m (87 inches).
Height: 2.79 m (110 inches).
Engine: Own 6-cylinder, 3.462 cm3 (211 cubic inches) displacement.
Horsepower: 60 at 3.000 rpm.
Fuel type: Petrol.
the kitThe kit comes in the now standard Accurate Armour Box, which is of a very sturdy construction, ideal if you like to order your kits via the Internet and have them shipped to you. A painted picture of the constructed kit adorns the top of the box, showing what it should look like once finished.
Opening the box you are presented with the build instructions, followed by 3 clear bags of parts. The first bag contains the red cross decals, a small photo etched sheet, a clear sheet of plastic, and 2 small rods one plastic the other brass. The other two bags contain the resin parts, one with all the main body parts the other with all rest of the bits all attached to the casting blocks. The bottom of the box is then full of shredded paper to help protect your kit in transit, a nice touch in my opinion.
the instructionsThe instructions come as a 12 page booklet with a colour front cover, and followed inside by a general description of how to build resin kits. If you have very little experience working in resin then it is a must to read the instructions, as they are never the same as a plastic kit. Luckily Accurate Armour do produce good instructions for their kit, its a shame others don't. The construction is broken down into lots of small pictures with indicates to which part you should use, these indicators are shown on the casting block and the back of the instructions has a list of all the parts. It's always a good idea to check them all before starting, and cross them off, should any be missing contact Accurate Armour as their after-sales service is excellent.
the main bodyThe bag containing the body parts has all the major bits in it, the chassis, cab section and the floor, walls, roof and doors for the rear cab section. Care will be needed to remove these from the casting blocks as they are quite delicate. The parts do show quite a bit of flash again down to the delicate casting of the parts but nothing major to worry about and easily fixed with a bit of effort.
the componentsThe other bag contains the rest of the parts to build the kit, including stretchers and full running gear and engine. Again these parts are attached to the casting blocks and extreme care needs to be taken to remove the very small pieces, without damaging them. All the parts are very nicely moulded and show very little flash compared with the body parts.
In conclusionThis kit will allow you to build a very highly detailed model of the Austin K2/Y Ambulance, a little bit of care will be needed to get the most from the kit, and it may not be for the beginner to try. As this vehicle was used in almost all theaters of war during WW2 by nearly all allied nations, the possibilities are endless. I fully recommend this kit to anyone looking for something a little different to build.