Mike Neale takes a look at some of the recently-released diecast and resin models of fire engines and brigade vehicles aimed at collectors.
Paul Slade, of Fire Brigade Models, has specialised in producing a wide range of 1/48 scale emergency services vehicles from the 1900s to the present day, including ambulance and police vehicles as well as fire engines, in resin and white metal for many years. All models can be purchased fully hand-built and painted, or in kit form. These are a few of the currently-available fire vehicles, all of which are modelled on specific, real vehicles.
Dennis is a name synonymous with fire engines. The Dennis Brothers set up in business in 1895, with fire appliances becoming a core part of the business after the Great War. Dating from the 1930s, this Dennis Big 4 Pump Escape (model ref. FBM30) of the LCC London Fire Brigade, was named thanks to its engine; a four-cylinder overhead valve unit with a bore and stroke of 120x150mm. The built model costs £175 while, in kit form, it can be bought for £120.
The Dennis Lancet Hose Laying Lorry (model ref. FBM86), registration DGJ 308, fleet no. HL-1, was new to the LCC London Fire Brigade in 1936, and was based in the Albert Embankment fire station next to the Thames, in the London Borough of Lambeth. £175 buys you the built version, while the kit is available for £110.
This Dennis Merryweather Turntable ladder (model ref. FBM97) in LCC London Fire Brigade livery (registered GGK 944, fleet no. TL30), was based at Woolwich Road, East Greenwich, as one of a batch delivered to the National Fire Service in 1940. The vehicle remained in service until the 1960s and this built model costs £185, and the kit retails for £120.
A 1956 Dennis F23 breakdown lorry of the LCC London Fire Brigade (registered SLD 661, fleet no. 13BL, model ref. FBM87) was based in its Lambeth workshops. It was fitted with a Herbert Morris crane from an earlier 1936 Dennis after that had been withdrawn from service. Sadly, SLD 661 was written off in an accident in 1960, so the model is all you can now get. The built model costs £185 and the kit £110.
A 1955 Commer Q4 ‘Bikini Unit’ (model ref. FBM51) comes in Auxiliary Fire Service livery. Around 300 of these were commissioned by the government as one of the Green Goddess family of fire appliances as transportable water units, part of the Home Office Mobile Fire Columns in readiness for a possible nuclear war. The chassis was a Commer 4×4 and they were equipped with nine portable 100psi pumps and three inflatable rafts, which you can see mounted on the roof. Each raft carried three pumps which could then pump water ashore. The model sells for £190 fully built, or for £90 as a kit.
Another variation is this Commer Q4 petrol carrier (model ref. FBM71), again in dark green AFS livery. The canvas tilt over the load bed looks particularly realistic on this model. The price is £170 built, or £90 for the kit.
You can get more information about these models (and purchase them) by visiting firebrigademodels.net or calling 02086 448730.
This item comes from the latest issue of Old Glory, and you can get a money-saving subscription to this magazine simply by clicking HERE