Scale 1/72
Manufacturer Academy
Kit ID 13403
Type Dodge WC-34 Ambulance
Date 1953
Aftermarket parts used White metal driver, lettering  from Roco
Other detail added None
Model built by Alex Hunger
Date Completed March 2010

Reviewing photos of the Korean war on the internet and in some of the Osprey books revealed that the Dodge WC-34 Ambulance had a useful role and carreer after WWII. I even remember seeing it on the trailers of the popular TV show M.A.S.H. un the 70s and 80s, even if this was Army and not USAF.

Nevertheless, the Academy World War II ground equipment set, which also includes a Clark towing tractor and bomb cart, provides a lovely way to fill out an airfield display. The Academy Dodge appears well thought out and is assembled almost like a real frame based SUV.

The frame needs a bit of cleaning up. The axles and drive shafts assemble nearly effortlessley. Academy did provide a drive shaft between clutch and the differential, but it doesn't fit in between the chassy frames, so it was left out of the instructions, amusingly enough. The cab floor plan and seats were also attached to the frame to round out the bottom module.

The entire drive train assembly was primed in Hallfords Grey. The front and rear bumper areas as well as the cab floor were spray painted in Tamiya Olive Drab 2 while the rest was brushed Tamiya gun Metal. The seats were brushed in a more faded shade of olive drab while a pre-prepared white metal driver from a wargaming firm was super glued in place. Since the driver had a steering wheel, the kit steering wheel was omitted.

Now the body could be dealt with. The front of the cab went together easily, except for the filler above the door, which had some fit issues. This was again primed and the insides were sprayed Tamiya OD green before being glued onto the frame.

The rear body was a bit more wobbly. The bench like stretcher attached to the sides confidently, but the fit between roof and side panels was more iffy. Again, the insides were primed and spray painted OD. The beds for the stretcher were hand painted in a more faded shade of green.

The whole lot was then glued to the frame and front body and the joint between front and back was filled. After a bit of sanding, the orifices in the cab and rear where closed up with tissue paper while the drivetrain was masked with tape. The whole lot was primed and the sprayed with the trusty Tamiya OD.

At this stage, the headlights received a dab of silver in the front and a the taillights touch of red at the back. The grill gaps were done up in Tamiya gun metal. Now, the front bull bars and the rear step could be installed. The rear step looks a bit odd, as if it is upside down, but it fit better that way, for now.

The entire lot was now coated in gloss in order to help the adhesion of the decals. The stencils, star and side red crosses were no problem whatsover. The top red cross was fine, even if a bit thin in the white areas, but the small filler decal for the top vent needed a lot of convincing with Microsol softener to fit. In the end it needed a touch up with red paint on some edges. The red cross on the rear doors, also neede a bit of triming and the door handles still didn't really show through well even after a couple of dabs of Microsol.

In the end, the hinges of the rear doors were also quite brittle and occasionaly decided to fall off, so they needed super glue to stay on.

The entire body was again sprayed in gloss to seal in the decals. The prepainted wheels could now be attached and the truck was again sprayed in Extracolour Matt varnish. Last but not least, the windows were installed and frames were touched up in OD. The drivers side window was left out in order to make the figure more visible.

The proud Dodge ambulance can now be placed on the side of your airfield, ready to medevac the pilots of aircraft returning from Mig Alley with holes in them.

Model, article and photographs by Alex Hunger