Although in the last few years we have seen a major shift by plastic injection manufactures to fill the gap of some of the many British and Commonwealth Forces vehicles previously not available in plastic, as yet little has appeared in the 1/35 scale British truck range.
Soft-skin vehicles by far out numbered fighting vehicles during WW2, and the British and Commonwealth Forces used a wide range and variety of these types of vehicles, to support and supply their forces.
This year the well known Scottish manufacturer Accurate Armour
have added several excellent looking vehicle truck kits to their already extensive range in their WW2 genre, and this is a look at a widely used vehicle in the form of the Humber 8cwt 4 x 4 FWD Light Ambulance recently released at the Telford Model Show. The model was researched and designed by David Jane, with additional work on the etched brass and decals by Derek Hansen.
The Humber 8cwt ambulance saw service in all theatres of operations during WW2.
The kit comes packed in a standard Accurate Armour sturdy box with a colour picture of the completed model on the top and the manufactures details on the side. Inside the box are a set of instructions, decal sheet, etched brass fret, rod and the kits resin parts contained in three zip plastic bags.
The instructions are contained in a 12 page A5 colour booklet. Page 1 shows the kit details and four colour pictures of the completed model. Page 2 contains general instructions on safety, tools and general procedures. Page 3 starts with the build of the front suspension, showing 8 build steps. Page 4 and 5 show 11 photographs of the build steps for the engine bay and front cab. Pages 6 and 7 cover the rear interior and seating and is supported by 10 colour photographs. Page 8 covers the external details and page 9 covers the front and etched brass parts listing. On page 10 of the instructions are some suggested options for painting and marking and page 11 outlines the general build steps in text format, so this should be read first. The final page contains a listing of the kit parts so that you can check the contents. All the build pictures have corresponding part numbers so the sequence should be fairly easy to follow.
The kit parts are moulded in light grey polyurethane resin and are highly detailed and excellently cast. I could see no damage or cause for concern, there will be a little film and flash to remove and of course the pour stubs will require removal with a good razor saw. The build gives you a detailed engine, interior cab and ambulance house body, so a detailed model can be re-created.
The chassis comes as one part with the floor and engine fitted to the frame forming the main building block of the vehicle. Detail on both sides of the chassis is excellent and this arrangement should provide a good solid base for all other panel and parts alignment. The engine detail looks good with only some flash to be cleaned out either side. The cab area has nicely moulded floor detail as does the rear interior. On the underside, the lower engine detail is crisp and the sub-frame comes with the petrol tank moulded in place. A minimal amount of clean up is all that should be required here.
There are detailed front and rear suspension units to be attached and further details to be added to the engine and the front cab area. Options are provided for the finishing of the drivers cab doors with the addition of no doors, half doors or half doors and screen tops. The doors are a separate item and can be modelled open or closed.
The side and front panels for the ambulance house are cast in individual pieces. These are nicely done and again require minimal clean up. Several options are given for how you wish to portray the ambulance interior with stretchers in place or with the stretcher rails in the open or stowed position and alternative cushion seating arrangements in place. Two open stretchers are provided for the kit to be used as needed. The front wall of the rear interior comes with the stretcher handle extension pockets shown but blanked off so you need to remove two of the stretcher handles as pointed out in the instructions if you wish to show one fitted. Alternatively you might choose to drill these out! Arrangements are provide for the stowed rails and seating area and it would have been good if a couple of stowed stretchers had been provided too should you wish to choose this option.
Additional details are provided on a sheet of etched brass, for example the radiator grill, the left and right window screen frames that can be modelled open or closed, all of which will add additional detail to the kit.
A small sheet of decals comes with the kit and contains Divisional signage for 7th Armoured, 11th Armoured, and the Guards Armoured Divisions with additional signage for 3rd Infantry and 51st Highland Division as well as several other Divisional units. Arm of Service (AOS) markings for the various medical units are included as are bridging classification numbers and War Department (WD). A set of vehicle numbers plus red crosses are to be used as appropriate. Also on the decal sheet are some tyre pressure numbers seen above the wheels. So a fairly good choice of finish options that should suit most folks.
A sheet of clear plastic is also provided for the windows and some brass rod for the engine area.
This looks to be a cracking little kit, well engineered and finished. There are plenty of options as to final appearance and with such wide deployment only your imagination will hold you back.
The detail on the parts looks excellent as one would expect.
The bonnet comes cast as one piece but I would have liked to have seen the side panels as separate items as a fairly detailed engine is provided. Of course you could leave the bonnet off or alter the sides to show as open.
The kit should interest both vehicle builders and diorama builders alike. Perhaps Accurate Armour will do a few medic type troops to accompany this one and the Austin which would also be good.
Iím a big fan of British soft skins so my opinion is perhaps biased, but for me this is a very welcome addition to the range of small trucks and vehicles operated by the British and Commonwealth Forces.
You get a good choice of finish with this one so plenty of room for some individuality. A couple of medical type haversacks and maybe a medical box of some description would also have been handy to include in the kit.
Resicast have some wounded troops that could occupy the stretchers and there are a few walking wounded chaps around so lots of potential here.
This kit could be a good starter kit if you have some experience working with resin, but perhaps not a kit the beginner. Overall, a cracking little vehicle of a widely issued and important Allied vehicle, that offers lots of potential to the modeller.
A walk around of the vehicle can be seen here on Armorama:
Humber Light Ambulance