Saturday 25 June 2016

Introducing the Steam Powered Armoured Tri-Ambulator Mk I 1877

The deadly weapons wreaking devastation on battlefields of the First Great Steam War made infantry movement in the open and during charges lethal. Many manufacturers created various types of armour to improve the survivability of foot soldiers most of which helped marginally but the True blue British firm of Sozzled and Pickled went a step further and presented to the Imperial War Departments Provost Marshall their patented Steam Powered Armoured Tri-Ambulator being impressed it was handed over to the highly secretive Military Intelligence and S.O.E. (Stealthy Overseas Executive) for further evaluation.

The machine was accepted but not for infantry use as to supply it to all the troops in the army was cost prohibitive but to the newly mechanised cavalry units. The Armoured Tri-Ambulator Mk I and Mk II where both to be used for reconnaissance ahead of the Landships and Armoured Steam Wagons. The Mk I model was to be armed with a rapid fire rifle weapon, popularly known in the Press as a "machine gun" and the Mk II carried a light auto cannon. Due to their size the Tri-Ambultors were quite fast and manoeuvrable. The armour offered the single crewman excellent protection and the telescopic viewing blocks used in the vision ports allowed extensive and long range viewing all around, essential for their roll. There were two areas where Military Intelligence and S.O.E. asked for development firstly ammunition storage it was limited and secondly increasing the operational range of the unit. The super high pressure boiler allowed the vehicle to sprint along at a top speed of 15 miles an hour on level open ground but the small fire box which could only be filled by engineers prior to action and could not be accessed by the crewman allowed for a maximum range of 5 miles. This was viewed as sufficient for combat operations but to become a truly great reconnaissance vehicle it would need to be improved.

Captains Darling and Ball evaluated the Tri-Ambulator and gave it the right Royal Thumbs Up! It was quickly deployed to the 1st British Heavy Steam Brigade where it was first photographed when deployed to the village of Little Tinkle, Essex. Below are two pictures of the daring Captains posing by the Tri-Ambulator Mk I they had used during testing...

Building the Armoured Tri-Ambulator Mk I

Well it was Saturday it was wintry and all my chores were done so i came up with the Armoured Tri-Ambulator Mk I. A friend of mine who always passes on model kit stuff he decides he doesn't need gave me a whole pile of 1/35 Panther wheels I thought they'd be good for a VSF vehicle. After some Coopers Pale Ale and nibbles I'd come up with a plan to make a three wheeled armoured car with them using a Trenchworx 1/56 scale FT 17 turret. I picked up four of these ages ago as I knew with Steam wagons and Landships they were bound to come in useful, in fact I just ordered four more to go with Trenchworx WW II late war Kickstarter but that's another story. Anyway this is what I started with...

A bit of assembly and I got things looking okay...

Because I used Super Glue I was able to get some rattle cans of paint out and then use some acrylic highlights and all done!

I like how this worked and will build four of them then I'll have to think about what a Mk 3 would look like to improve the range with a bigger power plant. Anyway red wine and dinner beckon so that's all for this time folks!

Next time the same as my last post before this little project got in the way...


  1. A lovely piece of kit and great addition to your forces.

  2. Thanks for the comments gentlemen!
    Three more have been constructed they just require painting.
    Now to finish off another contraption I started earlier this year...

  3. I'm always impressed by your ingenuity. Great stuff.

  4. Thanks Ogilvie!
    Nice to see you visiting!