|Picture source: SA KUVA|
There was a short window of opportunity - before Finland joined forces with Germany - when they were technically in the Allied fold and Britain did supply them with a certain amount of equipment. However, there was a second way that the Finns might have got their hands on this British manufactured ambulance. The Bedfords could have been from Lend Lease vehicles supplied to the Soviets, and in due course they may have been captured by the Finns.
However the Finns got these ambulances it offers a nice opportunity to add something else that's a bit different to the already highly eclectic inventory of vehicle models that I am collecting.
The fly in the ointment when it comes to the modelling of this vehicle is that - as usual for this Finnish project - an actual Bedford ML doesn't exist in 1/72 plastic kit form. But, the good news is that a closely related version of this vehicle - the Austin K2 - is available in the classic Airfix RAF Emergency Set.
There is very little differences between the Austin and the Bedford ambulances, they both used the Mann Egerton bodies built onto a common chassis. In effect the only noticeable difference, externally, was the different bonnet grilles.
|The Austin K2 ambulance, compare the bonnet sides and front grille design|
with that of the Bedford ML photo at the top of this post.
Picture source: Wikipedia - The Austin K2.
Once again I was in luck - of sorts - as there are 1/76 (OO scale) Bedford ML truck kits available. I found a very cheap plastic model - made for OO model railway modellers - by Cooper Craft (4017 Bedford ML Flatbed Lorry, £4.40). This model can act as a donor for the bonnet and grille portion of the project.
|Cooper Craft's 4mm/OO Bedford ML equates to 1/76.|
The Cooper Craft Bedford grille does look a tiny bit narrower, plus the sides of the bonnets have different vents but I am hoping I can easily fudge that.
OK, that's the plan. Hope you like the idea...It will be nice to have some British kit in this project.
And finally. One of the reasons that it will be nice to include the Austin/Bedford ambulance is because it was the star in my Dad's favourite war film - 'Ice Cold in Alex'.
Next: I begin the build with a test assembly of the bonnet.
|Another example of a Bedford ML in Finnish service.|
Picture source: SA KUVA