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Civil War ambulance

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#1 Harry P.

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Posted 07 January 2013 - 06:40 PM

This ambulance was introduced into service late in the war, replacing previous models. It was called a Rucker ambulance, having been designed by Gen. D. H. Rucker. It was state-of-the-art at the time. Here's a shot of a real one:




My model is a 1/16 scale version, made by the same company that makes the stagecoach and the doctor's buggy that I posted in other threads, so again, mostly laser-cut wood pieces, along with cast white metal parts (mostly the suspension pieces), brass rod, tiny nails, nuts and bolts, and in this case a large sheet of cotton cloth that you use to make the side curtains and the roof.








I painted the model with thinned down acrylic craft paint, to give it a worn and slightly weathered look. I doubt these things had a high-gloss fancy finish! I also used a black wash to bring out the details. All of the cast metal and brass parts were painted black. The roll-up side curtains and roof are cotton fabric supplied with the kit that I dyed to give it a slightly yellowish-brownish "canvas" look. On the roof, I pieced together the various panels that make up the top covering (they give you cutting templates for each panel) and glued the panels together along the seams with white glue. Then I brushed a mixture of white glue and water on the top to create a realistic "sag" between the wooden roof arches.


On the inside, the ambulance could accommodate soldiers either sitting up or lying down, depending on how the various hinged upholstered panels were configured. If the seatbacks were folded up, they acted as a flat surface for two soldiers to lie on, in a sort of "upper bunk" layout. When the interior was configured that way (upper and lower berths), the louvers on the sides of the ambulance allowed for airflow to the men in the lower berths:




At the front left was a large water barrel:




And on the right side was the braking system:




Soldiers were loaded in through the opening tailgate that had spring-loaded latches:




The red cross and "US" markings are decals. For the crosses, I first painted the panel white, then sanded the red cross decal while it was still dry and on the decal sheet, to give it a slightly weathered look, then applied it to the white painted panel. For the "US" marking, the trick was applying the decal to the rough wooden surface without it "silvering." I first painted the panel with Future, then applied the decal onto the wet Future. Once dry, I sprayed Dullcote over it to knock down the gloss and make it look as if the letters had been painted or stenciled onto the wood.

#2 Bartster


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Posted 07 January 2013 - 06:54 PM

Wow, you have been on a roll ! I'm loving these "alternative fuel" vehicles ! I hope you have more !

#3 Harry P.

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Posted 07 January 2013 - 07:05 PM

Wow, you have been on a roll ! I'm loving these "alternative fuel" vehicles ! I hope you have more !


I have a few more that I'll be posting. I've just now gotten around to posting them, they were all built some time ago. This ambulance is the latest one, I finished it several months ago.

#4 Danno


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Posted 07 January 2013 - 08:59 PM

Very nice. Very convincing replica.




#5 GeeBee


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Posted 08 January 2013 - 12:54 AM

Very nice model Harry, good to see something a little different on the forum ...

#6 cobraman


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Posted 08 January 2013 - 03:16 AM

Another great looking build. You have these old wagons (?) down cold.

#7 Nitro Neil

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Posted 08 January 2013 - 03:55 AM

Cool model.

#8 Agent G

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Posted 08 January 2013 - 07:10 AM

I like it!



#9 Jim B

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Posted 08 January 2013 - 07:28 AM

Nice ambulance wagon.

#10 Scuderia


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Posted 08 January 2013 - 10:54 AM

Great touch and attention here love it.

#11 vaughn


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Posted 12 January 2013 - 12:54 PM

I likem all !!!

#12 rmvw guy

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Posted 12 January 2013 - 01:07 PM

Each one of your models is like a history lesson Harry, why couldn't they do that when I was in school to make it more interesting?  :D

#13 Swamp Dog

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Posted 12 January 2013 - 06:04 PM


#14 Ramfins59


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Posted 12 January 2013 - 06:54 PM

Harry strikes again with his craftsmanship.  Very, very nice work Harry.

#15 bowtieboss


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Posted 19 January 2013 - 12:39 AM

Very nice if you did the horses also it would be mind blowing look fwd to the challenge