by: Darren Baker [ ]
The Ford Model T was I believe the first mass produced vehicle and it saw life in many different guises. Of course the Ford Model T started life as a car for the masses and then they were modified into all sorts including fire engines and ambulances. The subject of this offering from ICM is an early ambulance as used in the fields of Europe early in World War One. The Model T in this set up was the most common ambulance seen in use by the Allies with this one carrying the markings of the American Ambulance Field Service.
This offering from ICM is packaged in the usual robust cardboard flip top box and another card lid with the artwork on it. Inside there is a single re-sealable plastic bag that contains all of the sprues for the model. There is also the instruction booklet with the decals for the model inside.
An examination of the contents of this model reveals only one issue that will prove problematic during the course of the build; ejector pin marks are that issue and they represent an issue due to ICM having supplied an interior. A look at the parts that make up the roof and the walls of the ambulance reveals a lot of filling during the build that is easy enough, but the clean up of the filler will not be so easy.
A is usual for ICM they have included a quite nice engine for the vehicle; the addition of some wiring detail will bring up to a pleasing standard. I really like the engines that ICM supply for many of their models, but the only view of the engine is from the underside due to the bonnet being too thick and not designed to be shown open. The exhaust will need to be drilled to improve its look. A good radiator is supplied and being on full view makes this a good thing. ICM has also supplied a fuel tank which will again benefit from some added wire to finish the look.
The chassis of the model is unusually for ICM a single piece moulding, but it still has a nice level of detail present. The axles of the model are well done and have a good level of detail; it of course is simplistic as was the case with the real vehicle. The suspension such as it was is present, but I am glad things have come a long way since then. The wooden spoke wheels are well detailed and add a visually pleasing look to the model. The solid rubber wheels are moulded as a single piece with the wheels and I know this will prove popular with modellers who are not keen on rubber elements in their models.
The external elements of the vehicle shell are very well done having excellent wood panelling detail where needed. The construction approach taken makes this a relatively easy build while still remaining true to the original and the assembly can be done before adding it to the model making painting an easy task. The interior will prove a tad more difficult due to the ejector pin marks that were mentioned earlier, this is not because the ejector pin marks are hard to access but clean up of the filler will be and so choose your filler with care considering this issue.
The interior of the rear of the ambulance has been kitted out with care and while minimal I like what I see. ICM has included two stretchers with the model for the rear which finish the rear off to a good standard. Looking this over I expect to see a following release with a crew in the near future.
I am pleased in the most part with what is offered here from ICM and I cannot fault any aspect of the models detail. The one complaint I do level at the model is the ejector pin marks which will prove problematic in some cases. ICM has provided three finishing options for vehicles serving in France during World War One; however the only changes are the numbers on the sides of the vehicles and so with a little work you can represent any vehicle that you have suitable reference for.