Thursday, January 28

Build review Pt. II: 1/35th scale Model T Ambulance 1917 (early) WW1 AAFS Car from ICM Models

Today we have the second part of Andy King's build of ICM's 1/35 Model T Ambulance 1917 (early) WW1 AAFS Car. He has already built it up, but now he paints, weathers & dirties up this is lovely WWI ambo to a high quality standard. See how he did it in his article...
Build review Pt. II: Model T Ambulance 1917 (early) WW1 AAFS Car.
from ICM Models
1/35th scale
Kit Number #35665.

Today: Build review Pt. II: Model T Ambulance 1917 (early) WW1 AAFS Car from ICM Models
With construction out of the way, it was time to give the model a wipe over with IPA (Iso Propyl Alcohol) as this gets rid of any greasy fingerprints and dirt. The model was masked off where necessary and then sprayed with a rattle can matt black to act as a base coat. I've gone away from using Games Workshop Chaos Black as the soft plastic that ICM use (as well as Airfix) is easily damaged by that particular primer due to the solvent in the paint, instead, I use Holts automotive spray as it is pretty benign (and much cheaper).
According to the instructions, ICM would have you use Tamiya XF-25 Intermediate Blue for the base coat, but the box art and photo's of the actual vehicle in a French museum show it to be a darker colour so I sprayed the model with XF-18 Medium Blue instead and with some white thrown in for lightening the centre of panels the overall colour looked much better. The areas where the red cross emblems go were masked and sprayed white along with an area on the front panel as ICM missed it.
A compass cutter was used to cut circles of masking tape to cover the wheel centres then the tyres were sprayed a light grey rather than the white stated in the instructions. The model was then sprayed with Tamiya X-22 Clear followed up by a misting of Mr Hobby Self Levelling Thinner (SLT) which sort of reconstitutes the varnish leaving a very shiny finish.

The decals were applied next, and great care is needed as ICM decals are VERY thin and will curl and wrap around themselves at every step. The best way to approach this is to slide them off the backing paper directly onto the model and as close to where you want to place them (and even then they will put up a fight) then use a brush to nudge them into position.
Luckily there are a couple more red crosses on the decal sheet so you can use one of these for the front. The trickiest decal to get on was the American Field Service one that goes either side of the rear body but eventually, it went down OK with the aid of a decal softener. Thinking about it now it might have been a better idea to cut it into three sections and apply them separately but hindsight is a wonderful thing.
A further coat of gloss varnish was sprayed over the model to seal in the decals then when dry a dark brown wash was applied to pick out the details. Once the washes were dry the model received a coat of matt varnish then given a light misting of a very much thinned Tamiya XF-55 Deck Tan for a dusty effect. Various brown coloured pigments were then applied to build up the mud that would be a feature of vehicles of this period. The wheels also got a coating of mud with white pastel chalk applied over the tread.
Stains from the fuel tank were added along with grease around the wheel bearings. Before the roof was sprayed with Tamiya XF-49 Khaki I added rolled up tissue paper to the underside of the front as there is a drop-down cover for the driver that ICM missed and again something that is visible on the museum example and period photographs. Final details were then painted such as the canvas covers on the sides of the front cab, the front seat, steering wheel etc. The inside of the lanterns were painted with a chrome silver and the lens of the rear lantern painted with Tamiya X-27 Clear Red then the model was finally assembled.
ICM's Model T Ambulance 1917 (early) WW1 AAFS Car - Final thoughts...
Overall this has been a very enjoyable kit to build and relatively quickly too, so much so, I bought the R.N.A.S armoured car also based on the Model T chassis as the experience has made a change to my usual subjects.

The real thing...
...& ICM's kit
The only things to watch out for are the soft plastic that ICM use as it can affect getting the chassis square and all four wheels touching the ground, the tarpaulin roll under the front of the roof and the spare wheels on the roof as these have been simplified somewhat and probably better covered with tissue paper
Apart from those issues (and what kit doesn't have them?), this is an excellent little kit, it goes together well and makes a good weekend project. Highly recommended if you are going on an exploration of WW1 kits.

Andy King

Thanks to ICM Models for sending this to Andy to build and review for you...
Find out more about Andy's Modelling on Andy King's Model Blog...