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John

Roden Vauxhall Ambulance - a look in the box

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I bought one of these recently. It's a nice little kit:

 

39428385120_bd1a319fe5_c.jpgVaux2 by John Walker, on Flickr

 

39428385620_3048a4fd10_c.jpgVaux1 by John Walker, on Flickr

 

39428384150_170e0dc8f8_c.jpgVaux3 by John Walker, on Flickr

 

39428383830_eaf45cce62_c.jpgVaux4 by John Walker, on Flickr

 

40524130954_7a9c870758_c.jpgVaux6 by John Walker, on Flickr

 

40524126614_d0c43a8c8e_b.jpgVaux5 by John Walker, on Flickr

 

Very neat indeed. I do wonder if Battleship Grey might be a more common colour for WW1 ambulances than khaki? I'll also have to think about how to display the interior, as the kit is designed to be built buttoned up.

 

John

 

 

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A friend has this kit and it does seem very nice indeed.

 

Cant help with colours though sadly

 

Ben

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Why grey?  Early tanks were grey but that was a hang-over from engineering practice of "factory grey".  Motor industry wouldn't have followed that practice.  A khaki-ish green seems more plausible.  If the vehicle was destined for home use only then it might well have been a semi-gloss finish and more green than khaki - a "factory" colour.  Period photos of ambulances in the UK clearly show some quite dark shiny finishes on the metal bodywork.

 

The rear body here was doped canvas over a wood frame, very possibly an RFC colour as this would have been readily available, and would have been a different colour from the bodywork as the box art shows. 

 

However there is certainly one photo of a grey ambulance, possibly another Vauxhall model, but this is most likely a posed photo of a prototype or first production model.  Grey showed up well on film of the time: railway locomotives were always painted grey for roll-out PR photos before being colour-painted.  There is a picture of an RN Sunbeam ambulance, and even that isn't grey: looks dark enough to be navy blue.

 

I don't believe that British Red Cross operated across the Channel.  That was FANY territory, although they also operated in the UK.  FANY had a wide range of vehicles, but I haven't seen any of this type of Vauxhall.  An overall matt khaki green would be appropriate in France: photos suggest that brasswork wasn't painted.

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On ‎16‎/‎04‎/‎2018 at 10:47 PM, Das Abteilung said:

Why grey? 

Because I'm reasonably sure that the horse-drawn ambulance that was on display in the RAMC Museum was grey. I  could be wrong about that though.

 

John

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I have the ambulance, the staff car and the NH etch set (for the ambulance).  They look to be very nice kits. The intention is to build the car as a civilian Prince Henry to place with my WW1 RAF pilots.  The sticking point is getting around to building wire wheels to replace those in the kits.

 

Al

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On 4/18/2018 at 12:50 PM, John said:

Because I'm reasonably sure that the horse-drawn ambulance that was on display in the RAMC Museum was grey. I  could be wrong about that though.

 

John

You're not wrong at all.  It is indeed a middle grey with a beige/off-white canopy.  IIRC horse-drawn wagons had long been grey pre-war, probably dating back to the Napoleonic wars if not earlier.  But its paint scheme would have reflected its status as a wagon rather than as an ambulance, stand fast the red crosses on the canopy.

 

But as motorised transport and other mechanical equipment became commonplace in greater numbers and the need for at least basic camouflage colouring became obvious, "service colour" - generally accepted to be a khaki green - became the official colour.  As  I said, I had a quick google surf the other day and I only found 1 pic of a motor ambulance that was clearly grey - and I believe it to have been the PR photo of the prototype or first production vehicle in keeping with the industrial traditions of the time.  No other photos that I found were the right tone to be grey: too dark.  But the exact colouring of much WW1 equipment remains uncertain for a whole range of reasons.

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