by: Adie Roberts [ ]
The Model T Ford Fire Truck in 1914 was a fire fighting vehicle designed and built by American LaFrance on a Model T chassis (the sales brochures of the companies are in the Henry Ford Office Papers files - and they are in colour.) The fire truck that ICM produced was based on the 1911 model Ford T. The closest Ford Motor Company came to producing a complete fire truck were the 10 fire cars that were built especially for the New York City Fire Department. These were essentially 1911 open runabouts with a fire extinguisher and a wood box mounted on the back. They also had simple front bumpers and were Right Hand Drive. They were unique in this respect.
1. Five medium grey sprues for the fire truck 1914 model T
2. One clear sprue for the glass
3. Two white rubber/vinyl tires
4. One instruction booklet
The box is one of the sturdiest boxes used in the model industry, it is a complete box with a separate thin card board lid with artwork on.
Having been a fire fighter, and before becoming disabled, used to have my own collection of fire engines including historical vehicles, when I heard that ICM were doing a Model Ford T version and Editor-in-Chief Darren Baker asked me to do a review I was delighted to be able to have a proper look at it the kit.
So looking at the kit I was very surprised again at the overall detail that ICM had put into it at the first impression was very refreshing.
The kit comes with a fairly complete engine, now I am no expert on engines but for the age, it is surprising just how much the engines into todayís vehicles come from that very first design.
The sump comes complete as one piece and seems to have everything that I would expect to see on the sump in place. The block or middle section of the engine comes in two parts with some small detail with parts to be added that will make it look good, the head itself has plenty of detail with spark plugs showing on the top of the engine.
The front axle comes connected to the leaf spring suspension that goes across the front of the vehicle instead of the usual leaf spring either side.
The detail level is high with each metal plate on top of one another showing in the mold. ICM have a way of making some parts that really stand out! I am not sure how realistic the fan is to the original but I love the way that ICM make their fan blade.
The radiator is really well reproduced and certainly looks just like the real thing, like all the old cars some brass outer edging around the radiator and with the Ford logo blazed across it make it look very vintage.
The drive shaft comes in two parts with the drive hub having a cover again they have really worked hard on the detail and actually make this quite realistic. The drive shaft fits onto the rear axle which is pretty similar to the front axle though does have a different type of leaf spring.
The exhaust is a pretty standard looking but then I am sure in those days it pretty much was what it is, the only thing is the back box or silencer which has the final part of the exhaust extending out from it could do with being made hollow for the realistic effect. This could be done with a precision drill bit though it would have to be done very carefully so as not to break or damage it.
The steering rack is next and once again it has not changed that much to this day reasonable detail at each end of the steering rack helps with the overall look of it.
The wheels are spoked with the traditional solid rubber tires and look really good, checking with old pictures of the Ford model T they are very accurate looking.
The chassis and lower body of the car really make it, the level of detail is extremely good and really is a focal point of this model, side steps have nonslip patterning and embossed Ford logo. The front and back of the floor of the car also have some nonslip patterning which is a plus when you think of the job that these fire fighters would be doing. The wheel arches look really good and flow aerodynamically to the back.
There are no doors to this vehicle as it is open for the fire fighters to be able to get out and fight fires as quickly as possible.
The bonnet is very well replicated and look like the real bonnet from an original photograph, the car seat is a bench type allowing for two to three fire fighters to be able to travel to the scene.
The rear of the car has been removed to allow the water tanks to be placed in the back with a basket on top of the tanks for equipment, like fire hoses and various tools. The basket is again well detailed and looks the part adding to the realism.
The interior controls and steering column have all been replicated to a high standard the lantern type lights are really good.
The ladder is a two stage with holding arms on the driver's side a tool box come, first aid box also sits on the side step.
The bell I really liked the look off molded well, in one piece so no seam lines, finishing off is the search light which is a good size, two hand held fire extinguishers and a powder canister makes this an all round good looking model kit.
The instructions are an A-4 size booklet with a total of sixteen pages which is broken down the front page which gives you some history and paint colours which are for Revell and Tamiya paints.
Page two and three are the keys to the sprues showing you what parts you use and donít use.
The build is over nine pages broken down into fifty-two build stages the final page is the colour guide.
It is the subjects and the way they go about their new tooled kits that really starts to make ICM one of the top climbers in the manufacturers in the modeling industry, add to that the price, I do feel that you really are getting good kits for your money. I maybe a little biased with this particular kit being my connections with fire fighting and fire engines, but I do really think this is a good kit, it is a big kit of a very small car in 1/24th scale. They have now done a set of 1/24th scale fire fighters which will enhance the kit no end and I will be doing a review on these in the near future.
For anyone that likes dioramas and have the scratch building skills makes this a great build prospect.