|KIT:||Tamiya 1/35 British Ambulance, Rover 7|
|NOTES:||An old kit, but quite accurate.|
Even though Tamyia call this British Ambulance Rover 7 the vehicle is know through out the British forces as the Land Rover Ambulance. The Land Rover ambulance was a classic design that has been associated with the British Army during much of the Cold War era. These were used by all sections of the British Army, RAF and Royal Navy, the majority by the Army and in particular the Royal Army Medical Corps. Based on the Series IIA 109" vehicle, it had an ambulance body built by Marshalls of Cambridge. Designed for evacuation of forward areas, the ambulance can carry four stretchers and a medic, however for most peace time operations 2 stretchers was more the norm with the others folded up.
For all of the time I was growing up my Father (who ended up serving for 38 years) was in the Royal Army Medical Corps. In Germany he was with Field Ambulances, and then the 1st Armored Division Field Ambulance (1 ADFA). This was attached to the 1st Armored Division and moved with them. In the field tracked ambulances (FV432’s) would evacuate any wounded back to casualty clearing stations located someways back from the front line. Here patients would be triaged and then sent back to field hospitals in Land Rover Ambulances.
It has always surprised me that Tamyia kitted this particular vehicle, as outside of the UK I can not see where the market would be for a piece of obscure British Army Equipment, I guess this is why it now shows as discontinued?
The kit is up to the normal Quality you would expect from Tamyia, moldings are crisp and the kit goes together really well (I remember building this at about 14 and I turned a fairly good kit out then), there is a lot of detail on the chassis which really cant be seen when made up.
There are 3 main sprues in dark green with all the ambulance parts and the driver figure on them A clear sprue is provided for the Windscreen and the side + rear windows. Now the side and rear windows are moulded clear, however in reality they were smoked glass so you will need to tint this. A simple decal sheet with one option is provided. Now if you wanted to model a specific unit you would have to add unit / division badges etc.
As far as an accurate representation of the real thing, well I can say that having spent a lot of time in these they did a really good job. The drivers compartment contains all the bits which it should right down to the separate gear levers for 4 wheel drive. The rear casualty carrying compartment has been done very well also. It is set up for 2 stretchers on the floor, 2 more could be carried but rarely were as they could affect what was already a uncomfortably high center of gravity. The rear doors and rear step are designed to be able to open and close, if you want to do this then you have to be careful applying the rear Red Cross decal; as it crosses all three.
The main kit comes with a driver figure which can be placed behind the steering wheel if required. In addition the kit comes with a separate sprue with four figures. This set was also sold separately by Tamyia as “British Stretcher Party”. These figures are; a wounded soldier on a stretcher (note is molded on so you can not separate), two stretcher bearers and an officer in charge (well he is standing there doing nothing with a clipboard so I assume he’s an officer). The box quotes these as “realistic figures”, however dad suggests that more realistic poses would be; sleeping, smoking, having a cup of tea, or playing cards! I am sure those of you who are in, or have been in the military can add a few more!
Tamyia should be thanked from a British point of view for making this vehicle as it was a very well used vehicle in the British Army. I would be interesting to see how many of these they managed to see outside of the UK?
There still seem to be plenty of these about even though they have now been discontinued by Tamyia, in fact Hannants list the kit twice for some reason, once in “Limited Availability” for £11.99, and once in Special for £9.30. I managed to get all of mine from ebay at less than this.
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