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1/35 scale Land Rover 109" Ambulance and 109" GS

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These two models need a lot of explanation.


They were made for the then owner of both of the vehicles, a fellow member of Ottawa Valley Land Rovers, Bob Wood.


Bob was a real character. He was one of the core members of OVLR. Bear in mind that in North America, one dark day in 1974 (I believe) the company closed its doors and quit this side of the pond. It left owners high and dry without support.


Bob, being resourceful and keen to keep his transportation in the Land Rover brand, embarked on a scheme with other local owners in the late 1980s. They had heard of BATUS and the scrap vehicles that were CAST and sold off.


In an ambitious plan he and a few others traveled across the country and loaded a large number of vehicles in various forms of disrepair and brought them back east. Most of the vehicles were used as donors for their chassis as the local civvy vehicles had by that time come to the point of needing a transplant from being driven on winter salt covered roads.


There was also a need for body panels and spares. Importing from the UK was expensive for sea freight and the scrap vehicles of BATUS were sold as scrap at very cheap prices.


Myself, I landed in the Ottawa area in the late 1980s and getting involved with OVLR Bob asked me to make a model of two of the vehicles he had brought back and was in the process of resurrecting and putting back on the road using spares from his piles of vehicles.


So, to be clear, these models bear the registrations of the actual vehicles in his driveway. The paint colours are 100% faithful to parts from them both that he loaned me while making them. You will note that the ambulance is quite a different colour than the GS. Anyone who remembers one of Simon Dunstan's books will recall a shot of a similar vehicle in similar colours.


The colours at BATUS have changed over the years and markings have evolved over that time as well.


The way the wheels were painted reflect what was in the driveway. I question it but he showed me the wheels and they were done that way.


Anyhow, some of you sharper detail orientated types will notice some errors, which I freely admit. The main one is which way round the brake and turn lights and side lights are.


Bob wanted the old Italeri kit to better replicate his soft top and so after some discussion I used fine tissue soaked in water and glue to roughen up the surface a bit. It is out of scale but you get the idea.


Bob wanted the Tamiya ambulance kit left straight out of the box. I did take liberties with headlights which he was happy with. This is my favourite model.


Sadly at the moment I don't have a good camera and have tried taking these pictures under different light but coupled with my poor cell phone quality this is the best I can do at the moment.


I was making models quite a lot in those days but when my personal life unravelled and things got packed none of my completed models have survived the 13 years in storage and moving 5 times.


Two years ago Bob died. It was sad but considering his life style was inevitable. I had know Bob as a friend for a good number of years and he had been a good mate.


Sadly in his declining years the ambulance and the GS both went different ways and are no longer whole in their original form, so this is all that remains.


His executor and fellow OVLR member Bruce Ricker was charged with clearing Bob's estate up and asked me if I would like them back. So last year they came home after over 20 years.


So, here you have them, warts and all, "here is what I have made".





batus LR1.jpg

batus LR2.jpg

batus lr11.jpg

batus lr5.jpg

batus lr9.jpg

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A good story and the models still look good. I often think of plastic models as being quite transitory so it is odd to think of the original vehicles being no more while the models soldier on.




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Thanks Neil and Tim,


Yes they are keepers for sure, now I have them back!


Tim you are right on which survives, the model or the 1:1 scale version.


Strangely in later years I ventured into buying Land Rovers and purchased 3 of the last petrol vehicles coming from what was then BATUW, British Army Training Unit Wainright, also in Alberta.


One of those wrecks, which two were, lives on as a chassis under a civvy 88" locally.



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