1969 American LaFrance Series 900 open cab pumper
Posted 05 October 2012 - 04:26 AM
Okay, so I built this one 35 years ago!
PS: I have built a couple of models since this one.}
My oldest surviving build is from my second return to my favorite hobby.
Built in 1977, this is a replica of the first-in engine I served on as I began my firefighting career in '75.
It's a replica of a 1969 American LaFrance Series 900 open cab 750gpm pumper. Roof removed from an AMT kit. Kitbashed beacon and some scratchbuilt appliances.
More scratchbuilt appliances, including the wye fitting on the compartment body shelf. Shoelace hose lay, and electrical wire booster lines.
Yep. Individual letters cut one at a time from the AMT decal sheet. There weren't aftermarket decal purveyors, ALPS printers, custom decal techniques with home printers, or any of the things we take for granted today. The ALF emblem was dry-brushed with silver bottlepaint.
More dry brushing (gauges).
I still have this rig in the depicted condition. I occasionally drag it out for a model show, just for kicks.
It still excites the kids and fire buffs!
Posted 05 October 2012 - 05:24 AM
By far the best build of this kit that I've ever seen. I love it.
Posted 05 October 2012 - 05:33 PM
Posted 06 October 2012 - 08:28 AM
Edited by BigBad, 06 October 2012 - 08:30 AM.
Posted 06 October 2012 - 04:58 PM
I almost forgot that this one was pre-bare metal foil. All the trim is Testors bottle Chrome Silver and very fine-point brush. I do everything BMF these days, but I'm suprised at how well the old chrome-silver has held up.
I also noticed the handle of the hose clamp is long gone. I don't know whether to make a new one or leave it as it is ... to commemorate the model's survival.
Posted 06 October 2012 - 05:54 PM
I say dont try to replace the missing part, leave it like it is
Posted 06 October 2012 - 08:33 PM
Some day I want to build the San Francisco Turbo Chief, their open top jet engine (Boeing gas turbine) powered ALF.
Posted 07 October 2012 - 02:22 AM
Stay tuned, Grasshopper.
Aaron, I've harbored (no pun intended) the same notion about the Turbo Chief for quite a while. I understand the powerplant from the rare AMT Titan 90 Turbo kit would replicate the Turbo Chief's motivator pretty well, but I've never had the opportunity to snag one. It would go well in any of the dozen or so AMT ALF kits I have in the stash.
And, by the way, a side note about this build. Since I failed to make mention of it in the original post, FYI, this is not the 1/32nd scale Aurora / Lindberg kit. As Aaron pointed out, it is a conversion of the 1/25 AMT American LaFrance Custom Pumper kit.
PS: Aaron, I split my time between B&Ws and the Red/Wet stuff. Ten years cop, 22 years firefighter, 34 years fire/arson investigator. Simultaneous, not consecutive. I'm NOT THAT old, despite what Jonathan thinks! I was a volunteer firefighter (Certified FFII & Instructor) with a couple of busy departments while I copped for pay. The two hats evolved into one as I became an Origin and Cause investigator (Certified, National Fire Academy, Court Qualified Expert). After retiring as a firefighter and moving to AZ I still played at it ... I volunteered at the National Hall of Flame for 7 years ... polishing red and brass, restoring and caring for and driving the vintage rigs. Highlight of that was when Rescue 51 came to live with us for a year.
Posted 07 October 2012 - 04:18 AM
Posted 07 October 2012 - 11:18 AM
I am pretty sure after all that time you have a lot of story's to tell, I know I have heard a few already
Posted 01 November 2012 - 04:11 PM
Again, great rig!
Posted 01 November 2012 - 05:13 PM
Joe, I think the open cab thing was just one of those tradition things ... a carry-over from the early days of motorized apparatus when most trucks were topless. In fact, closed cabs were luxuries.
We ran this 1969 American LaFrance ("Engine 4") in the moderate climate of the Front Range of Colorado. We had cold winters, but quite mild springs and falls. Our service area was basically small geographically, so the open cab just didn't seem to be a big thing.
Our older pumper, a 1965 Ford Ward LaFrance ("Engine 5") was a closed cab C600. Prior to that we had a closed cab 1953 Chevy Darley ("Engine 3"). Prior to that was an open cab 1934 Ford BB V-8 Chemical/Hose Truck. Before that was a 1921 White, also open cab.
In 1977, this "Engine 4" was totaled when the airbrakes bled off (leak) and the truck rolled down a steep hill for a city block and crashed into a 200-year old tree with about an 8' diameter trunk. Since the open cab "Engine 4" was our first-in primary pumper, American LaFrance sold us a floor-model demonstrator, a 1250 gpm closed cab Century pumper. By the way, the replacement was also designated "Engine 4." As a result, we referred to them as "Old Engine 4" and "New Engine 4."
Interesting point: We salvaged the big, old fashioned Federal Q mechanical siren from "Old Engine 4" and mounted it on the front bumper of "New Engine 4" as a nostalgic remembrance.
There have been no more open cab apparatus in that department since the death of "Old Engine 4."
As to tailboarding ... back before it was outlawed, I tailboarded our Engine 5 several miles to a fire in Colorado Springs (we ran as mutual aid) at a large candle factory fire in the dead of winter in the middle of a very cold night. I do not miss that. It took days to thaw out my face.
Posted 01 November 2012 - 06:12 PM
Sure has held up well over the years!