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American LaFrance Tiller Aerial Fire Truck

 
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sfsppe



Joined: 23 Mar 2005
Posts: 19
Location: San Diego

PostPosted: Fri Aug 13, 2010 3:07 pm    Post subject: American LaFrance Tiller Aerial Fire Truck Reply with quote



I've long wished for more "Ready-to-Run" N scale emergency vehicles. Perhaps since I am a firefighter, I am a little biased in that desire. However I think most of us modelers share the desire to put something different, or "cool" if you will, on their layout. Brightly colored, chrome plated, equipment-festooned fire engines (and trucks) seem to fit the bill quite nicely.

Here is an article describing how I turned the tried and true Bachmann/Model Power "pumper" into a 1950's era American LaFrance 700 series TDA (Tiller Drawn Aerial). Oh course, much of the credit goes to GHQ, who provided many of the parts needed to compete this project. Here is the a couple of before and after pictures of the tractor portion...



Though this model is probably over 40 years old, it is a fair representation of an American LaFrance 900 series pumper. I removed the rear portion of the pumper with a saw and discarded it. I then constructed a new windshied and turntable portion with sheet styrene, using my reference photos. After all the body work was done, I painted the body red.

Reference photos are a must with scratchbuilding and my reference book is "American LaFrance 700 & 800 Series 1953 - 1958 Photo Archieve" by Iconografix.

Then I sanded the front bare, adding some clear headlights from MV Lenses; the large single lights resembling the earlier 700 series. I similated the diamond plate by embossing some Bare Metal Foil Aluminum over brass diamond tread from Gold Medal Models. Shiny diamond plate is a must for modeling fire apparatus and it also helps hide lots of mistakes! Running boards and top surfaces are all covered with this plating.

Two "Lift Rings" from the locomotive detail set from Gold Medal Models were added to the bumper. The red lights were simulated by painting a silver "dot" and then adding a smaller red "dot" on top, after it dried. A scratchbuilt "bell" and siren from leftover Micro Trains Brake details added detail to the bumper. The red light on top was anothe MV lense, glued onto shaped styrene rod. Wheels were robbed from the Bachmann mail trucks.



The interior of this model benefits from some new seats made from .020 sheet styerene. Color is "weathered black". Steering wheel is brass from a leftover Micron Art kit. Decals are from Microcale; lots of silver 1" stiping, gold striping, PRR passenger car lettering and their standard emergency vehicle set were used. I still need to add some side view mirrors...

Don't forget handrails from .015(?) stainless steel rod.



Ladder in next post...
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sfsppe



Joined: 23 Mar 2005
Posts: 19
Location: San Diego

PostPosted: Fri Aug 13, 2010 3:24 pm    Post subject: 100 ALF TDA, continued Reply with quote



This image should have been on the first post, showing the "before and after" shots. It's fun to update an old model!



I made the frame form the trailer using my reference photos. Lots of measuring and guesswork went into this. I have plans if anyone really wants to see... Styrene is evergreen, .020 .040, .060 etc. and sheet.



Oops as I view this photo I realise the wheel are from Athearn, not Bachmann...



Here is the nearly completed trailer. The GHQ aerial ladder and turntable are being test-fit at this time. Laser cut wood ladders really make a model like this stand out. I got mine from a friend, Tony B. Now there are other manufacturers who sell them. Make sure you measure to see if they fit first!



Here is the tiller seat area from the completed model. Note even the stowed ground ladders have decals so the firemen know which one to pull!





And that's it; our 100' TDA is ready to respond!

Thanks to GHQ for the parts and inspiration! Now perhaps they will make some more of these types of models. There are TONS of fire apparatus and eras that are waiting to be built!
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StarCruiser
E5


Joined: 13 Dec 2004
Posts: 206
Location: Houston, we have a problem...

PostPosted: Fri Aug 13, 2010 5:37 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Wow...another sow's ear to silk purse story...

I've suggested that GHQ consider classic fire 'apparatus' like this before, but nothing...
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sfsppe



Joined: 23 Mar 2005
Posts: 19
Location: San Diego

PostPosted: Sat Aug 14, 2010 10:06 am    Post subject: One more picture Reply with quote

I meant to include this one too...

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