Cuusoo Project of the Week: Ambulance by SpacySmoke

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One of my favorite projects on Cuusoo is the Ambulance (Type 3 / Type III) by SpacySmoke. Sure I love all the giant, crazy, over the top sets too but this project is a ideal demonstration of compact elegant design with fully implemented playability.

The First and most obvious reason to appreciate this build is how accuratly it recreates a Type III Ambulance.

That might sound a bit mundane but the most recent Lego ambulance, 4431, looks a bit like a generic van with a Hospital logo on it, in my opinion. For example, compare it to the Satellite Launch Pad van from 3366.

This build is unmistakably an ambulance though. An ungainly box shape strapped to the back of a van. The use of the cabinet, grilled bricks, and snotted tiles and plates add a lot of nuance to the build. The cheese wedges above the rear tires are a great touch. The brick based stripe of color going down the middle is a fantastic integration.

What really sells me on this project is the internals though.


Ambulance InsideThe roof of this ambulance is anchored by three studs and can be removed easily to reveal a fully equipped vehicle. There are monitors, drawers, cabinets and instruments all over the the place and yet they appear to be logically situated for use, just like an actual ambulance.

This design not only accommodates all of these features but still has room for a stretcher, patient, EMT, and a worried companion.

To top off the long list of great features, this build uses an innovative design for the doors of the ambulance cabin. Instead of a simple hinge, the doors are connected via a pair of droid arms creating an effective double hinge system.

All in all this project is a fantastic fully featured design that I hope to someday add to my collection. If you like this project I recommend you also check out SpaceySmoke's Food Truck as well.

Its Chances?

Unfortunately this kind of build does not get a lot of support on Cuusoo. In fact, no service vehicle project has every gotten past 500 support. Currently this project accrues less than one support per day.

If it did reach 10k, well, there is very little chance that this would fail the brand fit or market review, as Lego has, as stated before, produced several ambulances. The largest issue would be their willingness to produce a project based on service vehicles, which tend to be its bread and butter in the "City" line. This scenario has not yet come to pass so it would be hard at this time to predict how the Lego Group would respond, but I would hope they would see this as effectively the "UCS" of minifig scale ambulances and produce it.

If you like this project then, by all means, support it. If you REALLY like this project then please support it beyond Cuusoo. This article has many options to help you get the word out!

 

Who is GlenBricker?

Hello! I am an AFOL who reviews the Cuusoo site and its projects. I have a blog dedicated to reviewing new projects as they come out and monitoring the progress of top projects. It can be found here. I also have several of my own Cuusoo projects (of varying levels of quality). I am probably most well known for my Corellian Defender project.

Cheers!

19 comments on this article

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By in United States,

I really appreciate all the work you do as a fan to bring attention to cuusoo. You are a great service to the AFOL community.

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By in United States,

Speaking of Cuusoo, the Space Marines is about 250 from 10,000.

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By in United States,

^^^ Yes me too, and welcome Glen to Brickset staff. I look forward to reading more of your contributions in the coming weeks. Don't feel shy about linking to your own excellent blog, http://blog.brick-hero.com/.

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By in United States,

Ok, will do Huw. And Wow! Look at that, your awesome readers are really helping out this great set!

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By in United States,

Ah shucks behemothjosh, you are going to make me blush. Thanks very much.

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By in United Kingdom,

Awesome set, probably more likely to see the light of day than most Cusoo ideas. I'd buy a couple of these!

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By in Canada,

I just bought 4431 and was very disappointed in it - it could have been so much better! When I think of an ambulance, SpacySmoke's rendition is exactly what I think. I would buy a couple of theses in a heartbeat!

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By in United States,

Hey! I supported your Corellian Defender! glad to see you here! look forward to future cuusoo reviews.

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By in United States,

Lego has produced many ambulances, but not as many as the fire and police vehicles (I think it has something to do with the fact that most children want to be police officers or firefighters and not EMTs)

This version is much better than the other ones that have been produced over the years

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By in United Kingdom,

I've admired this project for a while, and love the way you can see how it's based on the real world, where someone takes a standard cab'n'chassis, and then customises it to fit the job demands.

I think it's a good way to approach all of the minifig scale med/heavy vehicles. Design a stock chassis, then MOC the bodywork to get the specific type of vehicle.

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By in Germany,

SpacySmoke did an excellent job with the ambulance and I hope it goes far.

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By in United States,

Wow! Pretty cool to come to one of my favorite Lego sites and see my project on the front page! GlenBricker, thanks again for your continued support of the project and thanks for all hard work and research you do with Cuusoo! Good to see you're a part of this site and I look forward to seeing more Cuusoo posts from you!

And thanks to everyone who supported the project because of this article and for the comments! I really appreciate it!!

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By in United States,

I don't know how much SpacySmoke knows about Ambulances, but he did a great job. You can trust me, I'm a Paramedic, and have been involved in EMS for over a decade. I think the most clever thing SpacySmoke did was using the Cabinet element in 2 directions to make both interior and exterior cabinets. I've been involved with purchasing a few real ambulances, and when asking for recommendations we always get people wanting cabinets facing inside AND outside in the same space. Obviously it doesn't work (can have doors on both ends, for somethings it's useful). I've been supporting this CUUSOO entry for a long time, and liked it before that when I saw it on flickr, one of these days I'm going to build up one very similar.

I do have to say, as a medic, that 4431 really isn't bad. In Europe Sprinter van ambulances have become the predominant type of vehicle and they're making inroads here, I remember seeing my first one in 2002 or 2003, but now many agencies here in NYC are using them. There's a lot of advantages to smaller vehicles like them and I'm a fan. As for the set itself, it played a big part in bringing me back to LEGO when it arrived in the Lego Store last year, after I'd been going there for a few months on and off, and asking every single time for a LEGO AMBULANCE! =-D My biggest gripe with the set is that the stripes are red, as are the outfits on the minifigs. For non-fire service based EMS this is a very uncommon color in the US, and the UK (I know Green is most common over there, blue and orange are long associated here). One of these days I'm going to rebuild mine to have orange and blue stripes instead =-)

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By in United Kingdom,

Much as I like the model, it's hard to get excited over Cuusoo given the snails pace of approval, and general lack of feedback from the Cuusoo side. The Eve online ship reached 10k votes back in April! Total speculation on my part, but I imagine there are lots of people in TLG who want the site to vanish entirely, but some who like it, and the Cuusoo team are stuck in the middle.

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By in United States,

@ nodnarb162: Thanks for the support!

@ spaceysmoke: Thank you for posting such a fantastic build to the community.

@ murphquake: Thanks for the feedback on the international Ambulance design. I know that European vehicles tend to be more compact than American ones. Knowing that the Americas are not the primary market for Lego I had assumed that their design might better reflected the European norm but I didn't want to push that point without more information.

@ richselby: Your comment is a common one, I hope to address my opinion on that in an future article.

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By in United States,

Glen, it's great to see you here on Brickset! I'm a big fan of your blog and appreciate all the time and attention you've given to so many worthy, overlooked Cuusoo projects.

@richselby - I agree with everything you wrote. Cuusoo is Lego's red-headed stepchild. It simply isn't promoted or mentioned anywhere, and as a result its membership doesn't seem to be growing at a substantial rate. It just gets boring and annoying to watch all your favorite projects gain 10 votes in a week and be 5 years from 10,000.

Not to mention, there is just a ton of garbage there. Every week, Cuusoo is flooded with dozens more poor LDD designs, obvious kid-created projects, and impossible licenses. It's great that everyone gets to feel special by seeing their own project up on Cuusoo, but it makes it extremely difficult to sort through it all.

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By in United Kingdom,

This is a great model and a really fantastic version of the real thing with lots of neat functional features too. It got my vote! My wife just laughs at me when I go looking for Lego ambulances and their medevac helicopters but it's just one of those inevitable things; if you work in EMS it's just so exciting to see an emergency vehicle that's NOT a police car or a fire truck!! In fairness, I have to say that I actually quite like the current ambulance and helicopter sets.

@murphquake:

The ideal UK version of this would be much the same as the type 3 Cuusoo model with a retrofit box-back on a cab-chassis (yes, often a Merc Sprinter). The main changes would be the colour scheme (or *color* scheme if you prefer!), pale yellow for the cab and main body colour with green and yellow chequer-pattern for the side markings and (stickers, blecch...) orange and yellow chevrons on the back! Oh, and dark green for the minifig uniforms!

If I could find the required parts on Bricklink, I'd love to have a go at building one. Engineering the brick-built broad stripe down the side in green and yellow checks could be kinda tricky though. That and I don't think the necessary parts exist in pale yellow.

A challenge...! ;o)

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By in United States,

Oddly, enough my city also has a Sprinter as well, they are in some US cities as well.

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By in United States,

@murphquake: Thanks for your comments and insight. I don't work in EMS and don't know a whole lot about ambulances, but I did do a lot of research and looked at tons of photos of ambulances. I also found myself staring at any ambulance I passed while driving and took mental notes of all visible details.

Thanks to everyone who supported both the ambulances and the food truck! The food truck is nearly at 500; even if it never hits 10,000 votes, I'll be happy with just hitting 500.

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