Opel Blitz ambulance conversion (15mm)

I'm in the process of building some Zvezda 1:100 scale Opel Blitz trucks, and my easily-distracted mind turned to thoughts of other variants even before I'd finished the stock-standard kits. One conversion that would suit 3d printing would be a set of tracks to turn the truck into the half-tracked Maultier variant, but the one I've started working on immediately is an "office" body to turn the standard truck into an ambulance.

I haven't done any plastic card conversion work in decades, so I'm pretty rusty.

I'm building up the shell of the body around the existing kit's truck bed, because that gives me a square base of the right size, and more importantly, because it already has all the mounting points and what-not moulded in place. The plastic card I'm using for the walls is about 1mm thick, so  after the vertical slats have been sanded off and the card walls glued on, any increase in dimension is negligible.

The curved roof was a bit of a problem, because I couldn't find an easy way to evenly and precisely bend the card I have available.

In the end I laminated some light cardboard around a tin can of the right diameter, cut it to size, and then slathered it all in liquid cyanoacrylate to make it sandable — the superglue works a bit like resin in fibreglass.

The door and window frames stand proud on the original vehicle, so I cut them out of paper and glued them down with PVA. Looking at them now, I could have cut them a bit thinner, but it's a bit late now unless I strip them right back and start again.... which I'm becoming more and more tempted to do.

Now I've got the framing applied on the other side — I cut these ones to about half the thickness of the other side, and I think they do look better, though it makes the paper a little bit harder to handle. This sort of thing would be ideal for a laser cutter, or for photo-etching.

With all the surface detailing done, I gave the whole thing a squirt with white primer. This really brings out all the flaws. In general I'm not too displeased, but there are definitely some areas that need attention.

Did I say all the surface detailing? I just realised that I hadn't applied the door hinges. Bugger.

Now the module is mounted on a chassis, and it would be quite usable on the tabletop in this form (assuming I'd finished the painting, of course).

However, for completeness' sake, there are a couple more bits and pieces to be added.

There should be a stowage shelf just above the cab, which would be full of all sorts of clutter, and there should be a set of footsteps that fold up against the rear doors when in transit. They'll be next.

OK, here we have our front stowage shelf with some bits and pieces from PSC's German Stowage & Tank Commanders set.

There really should be some ropes and things holding everything in place, or else it would all go straight over the bonnet the first time they put on the brakes. I'm not quite sure how I'm going to go about that.

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