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Set 514

Munitions Wagon and Ambulance Wagon

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All figures are supplied unpainted    (Numbers of each pose in brackets)
Date Released 1997
Contents 2 wagons and 4 figures
Poses 4 poses
Material Plastic (Medium Consistency)
Colours Brown (Grey Wheels)
Average Height 23 mm (= 1.66 m)


For a very long time wagons were almost impossible to come by in this scale. Today things are very much better, with several sets of vehicles including this one from IMEX, which is dedicated to the American Civil War.

The set has two vehicles, both of which were used in large numbers during the Civil War. First there is the munitions wagon. The civil war witnessed vast numbers of men using ever more sophisticated weaponry, so the need for stores and ammunition was enormous. The wagon in this set is a pretty standard vehicle that would be seen on many farms, and could easily be used to ferry such supplies. A one-piece insert is included which has piles of boxes, sacks and barrels to instantly give the wagon a payload, which is a nice idea, and the insert could also be used to decorate battle or camp scenes simply as a pile of stores. However the wagon does suffer from the same problems found in other IMEX vehicles. Firstly, the horses (or mules?) are very short, and their legs seem much too short for the length of the body. Second, the animals are 'hitched' using the Airfix method, whereby they are connected via a peg going directly into their sides - simple but toy-like, and it spoils the whole model. Finally, photographs of wagons of this size show at least four horses in the team, and usually more - two would struggle, even if they were full size rather than the midgets used here. Experienced modellers might like to substitute a better team from other manufacturers.

All the parts fit together pretty well, though the driver's seat has to be glued, and the driver himself is also unsecured. Leaving aside the horses, the vehicle is very nice, with no particular trimming requirements. As already noted, all the munitions look like they are food or other stores. There is no ammunition, and that is for a good reason. If you carried ammunition around, you would cover it up to avoid it getting wet and to reduce the danger of accidents. This model has no cover, so is not really appropriate for an ammunition carrier. However, another look at contemporary photographs tells us that even general supply wagons were usually covered - wet flour is no use to anyone - so we would have liked to have seen a cover.

The other vehicle in the set is an ambulance. Though the huge number of casualties surprised many people at the time, medical care was much better than at the beginning of the century, and with the aid of both state and private resources, many men had cause to thank the ambulances which delivered them to hospital. The style of ambulance seen here was typical of the time - a basic wagon with a cover that could be let down or strapped up, as on this model. In order to allow the mould to sculpt all the required detail, this cover, which is separate, has been manufactured in a slightly 'flat' style, and needs to be flexed to fit in the sockets around the wagon. This is OK, except that the cover is now 'sprung', and is liable to come out of the holes and resume its flatter shape if handled too much - gluing is recommended.

The ambulance also suffers from most of the defects found on the munitions wagon. The horses are badly proportioned and too small, and there is the same simplistic method of attaching horses to vehicle. However unlike the munitions wagon a team of two horses is plausible.

The two drivers in the set are wearing civilian clothing, though they could be painted to represent somewhat scruffy soldiers as well. Union drivers would normally be properly uniformed, and appropriate figures could be 'borrowed' from artillery sets. The ambulance also includes two stretcher cases, as shown above. Both are reasonable, though it is a tight squeeze to get both in the ambulance side by side.

These are two good models of unglamorous but essential elements in any Civil War army, let down by very poor teams of animals. However with suitable substitutes from other manufacturers these would grace many a Civil War model, and be a necessity in any general battle scene. IMEX are to be cheered for producing such interesting and useful items, though in future they should avoid so many disappointing shortcuts.


Historical Accuracy 7
Pose Quality 6
Pose Number 0
Sculpting 6
Mould 9

Further Reading
"Battle in the Civil War" - Field Books - Paddy Griffith - 9781869871000
"The Civil War Album" - Bison - Tom Robotham - 9780861248056
"The Gettysburg Companion" - Aurum - Mark Adkin - 9781845133412
"The Horse Soldier 1776-1943 Vol.2" - University of Oklahoma Press - Randy Steffen - 9780806123929

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