by: Alan McNeilly [ ]
World War 1 was the first truly industrialised war. The age of the horse wasnít quite over but was drawing to a close and machines and equipment that could wreck havoc at a scale and level never witnessed before were developed at a lightning pace.
The late 1800s saw the introduction of the first automobiles and innovation and development quickly followed. By the early 1900s vehicles had developed into a format we would easily be comfortable with to day and were slowly taking over the role previously filled by horse power.
The first Model T Fords came off the production line in October 1908 and production continued until May 1927 by which time 15 million had rolled off the production line.
The Ford T then was already an established means of transport when war broke out in 1914 and had been tried and tested in a number of expeditions and had proven itself as an all terrain vehicle. The world was a very different place then only towns and cities had paved roads and the Ford T was as much a tractor and portable engine as it was a motor vehicle.
Henry Ford wasnít a supporter of the first WW1, and very much against Britainís involvement, but despite that Ford T's saw service across the globe and the military being the military thought adding a machine gun to a vehicle would be a logical step.
The Machine Gun Corps (MGC) was formed in October 1915 and consisted of Infantry, Cavalry and Motorised branches. In 1916 the Heavy Branch was added to the mix.
The kit was mastered by Giles Sabatier and retooled and re-released in February 2013.
The kit comes packed in the standard Resicast format of a medium sized strong box with the manufacturer and product detail on the top and a couple of pictures of the finished unpainted model on the from to aid building. The kit is cast in a light grey resin and my example is free from any damage or cause for concern.
The instructions are contained in an A5 twelve page booklet. A listing of the parts is contained on page 2 and the build steps laid out in a logical fashion in black and white images across the following pages.
The parts are contained in 7 zip plastic bags with the chassis and truck bed as separate items. The truck bed has nice plank detail on the floor and good detail on the fixings and fitting in and around the truck body. The lower chassis has the running boards and front mudguards moulded as one piece so fitting should be easy, detail is extremely good. Front and rear tail lights are provided to insert in the appropriate light fittings. You get 5 spoke wheels, all very nicely done. A Vickers 1914 MG, some ammo boxes/belts and fuel cans and the remaining vehicle fittings, lights, gears steering wheel, rear mudguards, seat etc. Pedals , break leaver, horn and horn crank, lantern and front light are all separate items. The axle and suspension units are neatly done, some rod is provided to complete the fittings. The front radiator seems a good representation of the real thing and a separate exhaust is also provided as is a starting crank.
This is a simple straight forward looking build offering a high quality finish of a Ford T adapted as a Medium Machine Gun Carrier during the Great War.
The quality and detail of the parts looks excellent and this one should make for a very enjoyable build. From the few references I have for this vehicle I canít see anything critical missing, the Vickers MG is the 1914 version and comes complete with a stand for stowage in the vehicle. The format of the cut down body was I believe a War Office design?
Whilst the driver clearly had a seat to sit on the machine gunner had to make do with sitting on the vehicle floor. The rear bed is given over as a stowage area.
Normal precautions apply when working with resin.
What you have here is a very credible representation of the Ford T as a MG Carrier as used in the 1st World War. The casting looks sharp and detailed, the instruction should be easily followed and the build should be reasonable quick!
This kit has been around for some years but the re-release and new tooling should mean that it will be available for a few more years to come. If there is a down side then perhaps the lack of an engine (that being cast as a whole bonnet) might be an issue for some.
The MGC saw action in all the main theaters of war, including France, Belgium, Palestine, Mesopotamia, Egypt, Salonika, East Africa and Italy so there should be lots of possibilities for location including the UK.
As a stand alone model or incorporated into a larger setting this one should be a fun build of what was probably the first real commercial motor car which was affordable by many. Transport and patrolling played a key role in WW1 so choose your setting and have fun.
Scheduled for future release by Resicast I believe there is a suitable driver for the vehicle and they also market two other versions of the vehicle in the form of the Ford T Ambulance (35.1118) and Ford T Draisine (53.1154) showing the versatility of this famous little vehicle.
No vehicle marking are provided with the kit so you will have to improvise there.