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Armor/AFV: Vietnam
All things Vietnam
Hosted by Darren Baker
Building the Roden M43 Ambulance
Beast
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Michigan, United States
Joined: October 21, 2005
KitMaker: 50 posts
Armorama: 50 posts
Posted: Friday, August 16, 2019 - 07:12 AM UTC
Well after building their M37 a few years ago and being frustrated with the kit, I decided to give their M43 Ambulance a shot. Mainly because it is the only option for a Vietnam era Ambulance. I must say that having the difficulties with the M37 version, has helped me side step quite a bit of the fitment and alignment issues that these kits have. Building things out of order really helps because you can correct a lot of the fitment issues, especially when it comes to the cab and doors. My biggest disappointment with this kit is that the decals have blemishes or spots that are not fully printed. Plus the medical Caduceus are incorrect with white with black lettering instead of white and red.

Progressing along with most of the chassis. I will wait to install the air cleaner until after the fenders are mounted to make it easier. Plus I will hold off on the radiator and supports until I can align them with the fenders.

Working in some sub groups.

Building the patient box and cab together to help with fitment.

Tip is to build the doors and use them to find the spacing needed before adding the front cowling since there is no alignment tabs.


All in all it is coming together fairly decently.

As I progress I will keep adding pics. I wish that someone would make a 1/35 kit of the 60's Jeep M725 Ambulances which replaced the Dodge M43, since I have one of those in 1/1 scale in my collection.


27-1025
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North Carolina, United States
Joined: September 16, 2004
KitMaker: 1,232 posts
Armorama: 1,177 posts
Posted: Friday, August 16, 2019 - 08:02 AM UTC
Any place else we might be able to peruse more pics of your 1/1 toy? Looks like a great restoration.
SoftskinFan
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Georgia, United States
Joined: January 30, 2017
KitMaker: 96 posts
Armorama: 88 posts
Posted: Friday, August 16, 2019 - 09:03 AM UTC
Have you looked at Archer Fine Transfers for ambulance decals? I used their decals on my Peerless Dodge ambulance, as the kit decals were past help. Not sure if there is a difference for your version or not.

Gary
Beast
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Michigan, United States
Joined: October 21, 2005
KitMaker: 50 posts
Armorama: 50 posts
Posted: Friday, August 16, 2019 - 10:24 AM UTC

Quoted Text

Any place else we might be able to peruse more pics of your 1/1 toy? Looks like a great restoration.




Is a pic of the collection.

https://bigbeast56.imgur.com/all/
Should have quite a few pics of my trucks.
Beast
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Michigan, United States
Joined: October 21, 2005
KitMaker: 50 posts
Armorama: 50 posts
Posted: Monday, August 26, 2019 - 06:12 AM UTC
Well, been progressing along slowly as I find the time to sit and work on it. Did a little painting and pre-shading on it mainly so that I have the interiors done before I button the roof on it. I do plan on building it with the rear doors open and possibly the passenger side door.



One problem that has popped up is that once mating the body to the chassis, it wants to twist it and not sit level. A little bit of re-work on the suspension and I now have it sitting fairly level.

More to come as it moves along.
firstcircle
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England - South East, United Kingdom
Joined: November 19, 2008
KitMaker: 2,181 posts
Armorama: 1,944 posts
Posted: Monday, August 26, 2019 - 06:34 AM UTC
If the chassis still has a bit of a tendency to twist you might try sitting some suitable weights on it, enough to get all four wheels on the ground, and leaving it for 24 hours or longer. A gentle hairdryer from a distance might help it settle into shape, leaving the weights in place for a while longer.
Beast
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Michigan, United States
Joined: October 21, 2005
KitMaker: 50 posts
Armorama: 50 posts
Posted: Wednesday, August 28, 2019 - 06:37 AM UTC
A little more work, as I set the wheels on it along with the roof and doors to see how it's shaping out.


Added the stretchers to the rear and mounted the drivers door and the spare tire rack. Also fitted the windshield frame. Like most thing on this kit, take your time to check fitment as the instructions are not very clear at times and there is rarely a locating pin when attaching parts. But it is progressing along and should make a decent early Vietnam era Ambulance.



Beast
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Michigan, United States
Joined: October 21, 2005
KitMaker: 50 posts
Armorama: 50 posts
Posted: Thursday, September 05, 2019 - 06:46 AM UTC
Been a busy few days and I haven't had a chance to post the progress.
Masked off and sprayed the main color which is the OD Green #24087 which would be the correct color for Vietnam era US Army vehicles.



Then a few days ago I was able to finish the install of most of the rest of the small parts and wheels.



I plan on building with the rear doors open to show the rear patient compartment.
And last night I spent some time applying the decals. They were thin and brittle and I had to watch using the Micro Set so that it didn't eat them.



Next up will be some weathering and then to attach the windows and rear doors.
namengr
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Illinois, United States
Joined: September 01, 2014
KitMaker: 277 posts
Armorama: 273 posts
Posted: Thursday, September 05, 2019 - 11:46 AM UTC
Been following with interest. We have one on display at our Veteran's Home here and always wanted to build one. Wayne
varanusk
Staff MemberManaging Editor
ARMORAMA
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Santa Cruz de Tenerife, Spain / Espaņa
Joined: July 04, 2013
KitMaker: 1,042 posts
Armorama: 748 posts
Posted: Friday, September 06, 2019 - 10:39 AM UTC
Good job Dave, looks nice
joepanzer
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North Carolina, United States
Joined: January 21, 2004
KitMaker: 710 posts
Armorama: 660 posts
Posted: Friday, September 06, 2019 - 02:13 PM UTC
Dave,
nicely done!!

What is your overall assessment of the kit?
Beast
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Michigan, United States
Joined: October 21, 2005
KitMaker: 50 posts
Armorama: 50 posts
Posted: Saturday, September 07, 2019 - 01:59 AM UTC
Finished up with some weathering to make it look as if it has been bumping down the dirt and muddy roads in Vietnam on the way to an Evac Hospital.


Modeled it with the passengers windshield open to get some air on a hot day and cut the door windows down to show them rolled down in various states.


I have not been impressed with the decals from the start and they started to silver after just a couple days. Oh well since they have been sealed under, I'll just live with it.




Overall the Roden kit is OK. It takes a lot of patients as something's don't fit well together and the lack of locator pins makes some alignment difficult. Especially if you try and follow the instructions step by step. You are much better off trying to figure out how some of the fitments will effect things down the road and working around them to build most of the major groups separately and them combining them later in the build. Luckily for me as that I had already built their M37 truck before and had experienced some of those pit falls. And like when I built the M37, there are still some things that are out of proportion from the real vehicles. For one the stance appears to be too tall. When compared to a real one it looks like the Roden is about 3 scale inches too tall.

m75
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California, United States
Joined: July 20, 2002
KitMaker: 611 posts
Armorama: 606 posts
Posted: Saturday, September 07, 2019 - 07:34 AM UTC
I also built the M37, and found that the entire front suspension came out rather "spindly", weak and not what I expected.

There was an earlier post regarding compressing the model o get the chassis/body to sit straight; this model wouldn't even come close to supporting that type of pressure.

On the right side, is that a large seam running along the top of the side panel, where it joins the roof?
Beast
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Michigan, United States
Joined: October 21, 2005
KitMaker: 50 posts
Armorama: 50 posts
Posted: Saturday, September 07, 2019 - 08:30 AM UTC

Quoted Text

I also built the M37, and found that the entire front suspension came out rather "spindly", weak and not what I expected.

There was an earlier post regarding compressing the model o get the chassis/body to sit straight; this model wouldn't even come close to supporting that type of pressure.

On the right side, is that a large seam running along the top of the side panel, where it joins the roof?



It's a molded drip rail that is present on the real vehicle. Roden did a crappy job because one side is nice and the other side had like 4 or 5 pour blocks along it, making it hard to keep the fine molded drip edge. And yes, I find the suspension on these Roden kits to be questionable as far as strength.
Beast
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Michigan, United States
Joined: October 21, 2005
KitMaker: 50 posts
Armorama: 50 posts
Posted: Monday, September 09, 2019 - 10:00 AM UTC

Quoted Text


Quoted Text

I also built the M37, and found that the entire front suspension came out rather "spindly", weak and not what I expected.

There was an earlier post regarding compressing the model o get the chassis/body to sit straight; this model wouldn't even come close to supporting that type of pressure.

On the right side, is that a large seam running along the top of the side panel, where it joins the roof?



It's a molded drip rail that is present on the real vehicle. Roden did a crappy job because one side is nice and the other side had like 4 or 5 pour blocks along it, making it hard to keep the fine molded drip edge. And yes, I find the suspension on these Roden kits to be questionable as far as strength.



Here is a good pic that shows the drip rail along the roof edge. This is on my 1967 M725 Ambulance, but has the same basic roof style of the M43 it replaced in service.
bat_213
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Canada
Joined: January 07, 2019
KitMaker: 42 posts
Armorama: 38 posts
Posted: Monday, September 09, 2019 - 03:46 PM UTC
your build looks great ,well done .
Beast
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Michigan, United States
Joined: October 21, 2005
KitMaker: 50 posts
Armorama: 50 posts
Posted: Friday, September 13, 2019 - 03:42 AM UTC
I decided to add a few last details to the M43 after looking at it for a few days. I wanted to add the blackout curtains to the rear doors. Using the old white glue over tissue paper trick, I was able to make some that look fairly decent looking ones. I also had enough left over that I made a couple of GI blankets to place on a couple of the rear stretchers. One folded up and the other draped across.





And a look into the rear of my real M725 ambulance to show what the blackout curtains look like.