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neil foster
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Austin K2/Y Ambulance ,Airfix ,1/72

March 24, 2018 · in Diorama · · 29 · 3K

Well at long last I got my second contribution to the Kasserine pass G.B. finished or nearly finished (More on that at the end... )

The Vehicle.

Based on the Austin K30 light truck and known affectionately as "Katy" by her crews the K2 had a 6 cylinder 3 .5 Ltr petrol engine and could make around 60 hp, not bad for a 3 ton truck in those days.

The ambulance could carry four stretcher cases or ten walking wounded but a veteran of the North African campaign claimed to have ferried 27 injured men to safety with the less severely wounded sitting in the doorways ,on the wings and bonnet and even on the roof, a claim I can well believe.

They produced 13,102 K2/Y's but sadly only around 50 survive, interestingly Princess Elizabeth ,now our wonderful Queen was trained to drive a K2 .They were supplied to every theatre of conflict in WW2 and were also used by the U.S. as part of the lend/lease policy between our two countries ,and even appeared in the Korean war.

The Kit.

The kit comes as part of the Emergency vehicles set and comes with a Fire truck, it is a very basic kit as is to be expected in a vintage Airfix offering ,there are around twenty parts including a driver, passenger and injured serviceman in case you should you wish to pose the kit with the rear doors open.The only thing I added was a windscreen made from very thin clear food packaging,for a tiny kit with a relatively small parts count it is remarkably fiddly and takes a bit of patience to get the body lined up nicely.

My inspiration for this build was the classic John Mills movie "Ice cold in Alex" in which the crew of a K2 drive from Tobruk to Alexandria in order to avoid capture from the advancing German army and the adventures they have along the way,if you have not seen it it is highly recommended.

Any how there she is,I hope you like her and my thanks once again to Dave for suggesting and overseeing this fun and interesting G.B., I know from experience how much time and effort running a G.B. will swallow up although ultimately rewarding.

Cheers guys ,Neil.

P.S. I said at the start the Dio is nearly finished because I intend to add a couple of Camels

and Bedouin Arabs from the Airfix set if I can get them for a fair price but that will have to go on the "to do "list.

Reader reactions:
7  Awesome

9 additional images. Click to enlarge.

29 responses

  1. Outstanding Neil ! Your little "Katy" turned out really well. Especially since by today's standards most modelers would describe it as a basic and now ancient kit. Nice addition to the Kasserine Group Build and the base makes the "Katy" look the part. Well done.

    • Thank you Tom, I should have said the base is made from a slate table mat with the uneven desert surface of plaster of paris and coated with a gritty stuff I found at a local builders yard and the little rusty sign just cobbled together with stuff found in my mancave.
      Thanks for your kind comments, N.

  2. Nice little dio, Neil...looks good. 🙂

  3. A great build! Nice to see something different.

  4. Neil, lovely diorama! I have yet to see the movie, but I.ll look out for it. The ambulance turned out really well.

  5. Thank you Bernard, it's a great movie ,typical war movie of that era with great actors,thanks for looking.N.

  6. Neil;, this is a fine addition to the GB, and you've done a great job with her, especially at that scale and with the diorama. Very nice! I appreciate the rustic look of the whole, as it surely would have been. Thanks also for the historical backgrounds. Good work!

  7. Amazing job with this Neil ! I had no idea they used these trucks in Korea too... I learned something there. The diorama base is very nice too... Tom B sent me some instructions on how he built his. Now after seeing yours too, I'll have to get it in gear and do something...

    Well done, the article, history lesson and model... all wrapped up in one nice package. Two thumbs up my friend !

    • Thanks Louis,I have enjoyed building something out of the ordinary,not as glamorous as a Tiger tank but (I think) far more important.
      Thanks for looking,N.

  8. Beauty of a build, Neil. There's something I can't quite put my finger on that I really, really like about this. I mean, other than it being built with skill and imagination. The shots where it's driving away from the camera really draw me in - maybe because there's such a 'cinematic' feel to it. Which is interesting as your inspiration was a movie.

  9. I know what you mean David, it is unusual to see a model moving away from the viewer but a think the rusty signpost tells you where they are going and sets the scene, when I display this at home I have the K2 well off centre as well ,I position it just entering the scene so the desert surface is the focal point.
    I'm glad you like it, N.

  10. Amazing what you can get out of such an ancient and basic kit, Neil, definitely an interesting and important addition to this group build.

  11. Very well done Neil mate.
    I remember the film well.
    I also had that kit many, many years ago, and basic it is.
    Good luck with your hunt for the camels etc.

    • Hey Simes ! nice to hear from you ,it's been a while ,hope your doing well pal. Yes it is a basic kit but just the addition of a windscreen brings it much more up to date.
      Cheers N.

  12. Profile Photo
    said on March 25, 2018

    Nice job all round Neil.

  13. Thanks for looking , Anthony.

  14. Very interesting, Neil. Great history, too. What I like is how you get a sense of how vast the desert is when you're in a vehicle all by yourself. It can be very daunting. Been there, done that.

    Well done, mate!

    • Thanks Jeff, I have visited this part of the world though only as a tourist and I know what an unpleasant place North Africa can be, thanks for your comments pal ,Neil.

  15. Great job on the Austin, Neil. I still like these sets from Airfix, and you showed that it is still possible to make a lovely model from it. I also like the desert base you made for it. Super!

  16. Thanks Ferry, N.

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