Almasy's Ford Model A (1:35)

Ford was the preferred manufacturer of cars of the desert explorers in Egypt in the 1930's. Our model here is a 1930 Ford A Roadster Pickup which was used by Almasy during his famous expeditions to the desert of Egypt in the year 1933.

The vehicle had to undergo several modifications before it was deemed fit for its use in the desert. The most obvious one was the change of the wheels and tires. The regular tires were replaced by Dunlops newly developped sand tires (or balloon tires) which made it possible to cross soft patches of sand where the cars with the original tires had serious difficulties.

It is also easy to recognize, that all parts which were not essential were rmeoved from the car. Engine hood, cooler cover, doors and mudguards (sometimes only the rear mudguards).

But beside the two spare wheels in the front, the car received an additional tank fixed beyond the loading bay and a water condensor which was placed on the left hand side just before the rear wheel.

Basic Models

Unfortunately, the Roadster Pickup was not the most common Ford A and the only scale model available was an old 1:32 Lindberg model. The Lindberg looked fine in the beginning but naturally the wheels were not these we were looking for, there was no engine included (what looks really bad if the engine hood is to be removed), there was no hood, the loading bay was in fact one of the older Ford Model T and finally: The scale was 1:32 but not 1:35.

The right size for the wheels was found rather accidentally from an old Italeri scale model of the famous Landrover “Pink Panther”. Not only the size was the right one but also the manufacturer: Dunlop.

And for the “Rest”, actuall for most of the parts of the car I relied on Zvezda's GAZ-AA which was a Russian license built Ford AA. The cabin did naturally not fit and also the engine needed some modification.

Finally, these three basic models provided all what is needed to build up the desired car.

The Assembly

The assembly was a bit tricky, in particular since I had not built any more plastic models since many years. All parts which were not available from the basic models had to be built in “scratch” from plastic sheet. And I have to admit – not everything fit in the first trial – not the “scratch” parts and not those from the three basic models.

A real professional would have added much more details – but for me and considering my actual skills, the car started to look better an better.

A really difficult taks was the soft-top. Here I had to take the roof of a Horch Kfz. 15 of the manufacturer Italeri. Naturally it did not fit at all and a heavy modification was required therefore.

Then the painting and the final assembly. Black is not a “lucky color” to make photos of – but it hides at least some not so nice things on the model.

The final model of Almasy's car looks now like this:

And to complete the story I was a bit playing around with the photos: