Number 6035 in Tankograd’s popular TM series covers US Dodge ambulances from WWII and Korea. This means mostly the WC-54 and WC-64 (KD) vehicles, but also includes info on other variants that preceded them.
As the world spiralled into war again, the US Army was developing a new field ambulance on a 4x4 chassis for improved cross-country performance. This entered service in 1941 as the WC-9, followed the same year by WC-18 and WC-27 models. The full flowering of this hard-bodied series came in 1942 as the well-known WC-54 – familiar to anyone who grew up watching the TV show MASH. This vehicle not only served on all fronts til the end of the war, it went on to be a mainstay of medical units in the Korean conflict. In my preferred scale of 1:35 we have been blessed with the Max kit, since re-popped by Italeri. A later development aimed at reducing size for shipping was the WC-64 (KD) or “Knock-Down” ambulance based on the Dodge truck with soft cab. This vehicle had a box body that unbolted to lay flat for shipping, effectively reducing the height of the shipping crate so two could occupy the same space as a single crated WC-54. While there is no firm evidence that they arrived in time to serve in WWII, they certainly served in Korea a few years later. I know of no kits, but with a little effort the Dodge WC-62 (for hood & cab) and WC-54 (for the 4x4 frame) could be kitbashed together and a new box body scratched.
Following the usual A4 format with glossy pages, this 48-page book is written in English only. After a few pages of history & specifications, there is a section of monochrome photos of all the vehicles mentioned, mostly two to a page with detailed captions. The “meat” of the book, however, are the photo sections examining the cabs and bodies of both the WC-54 and WC-64 (KD) – these are a modeller’s dream!
This useful book will be invaluable to anyone planning to detail the old Max/Italeri WC-54, or indeed anyone wanting to build a WC-64 (KD) from available parts. Let’s hope it inspires a manufacturer to give us a full WC-64 kit in plastic!
Highs: Useful text, great photos.Lows: Not really a "low", but drawn plans would be nice.Verdict: Worth having if you plan to build an ambulance!
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