ChristopherLeeMiller

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American LaFrance Fire Pumper

Started: 12/10/2021Updated: 12/10/2021
BrandTrumpeter
Scale1/25
Kit Number02506
Year Released2006
ScalematesLink
CompletedDec 24, 2019
Build Time

Back Story

When I first laid eyes on this kit my intentions with it were pretty clear, I wanted to build it for my younger brother who works as a firefighter in a rural community. The kit looked beautiful and well detailed and like a great project to build, so I set on.

Never having done anything by Trumpeter before I was unsure what I was about to get myself into, especially as I flipped through the pages of the instructions and looked at all the sprues but it didn't look like anything I couldn't handle. Taking the build one step at a time and not going any further allowed me to focus on one sub-assembly and move on from there.

Instructions were somewhat of pain though, giving very lacking painting diagrams much reference online was needed and was plenty to be found. If they'd improve on this it could have been an even better build. The final results though were stunning and brought my brother almost to tears.

Pump Unit

Construction of the American LaFrance starts very deep inside the model, at the pump unit itself and the few pieces that detail it, albeit when done what you can see is enough! The paint is silver by Mr. Color on it.

From there construction moves to the pumper controls, with a box being built and a few pieces of PE getting added where the ejection molding process just can't do so. Again this section was painted silver then various detail bits were added to it, such as the hose outlets and reels of the hose up top. I also went ahead and decaled this section and sealed it all up at this point.

Pump UnitPump PaintedPumper ControlsControls PaintedControls DetailedControls FinishedControls Finished Opposite

Chassis

Starting off the construction of the chassis is a one-piece frame to which many details are added including air tanks and a battery bank, this all then received a semi-gloss black paint finish. The exhaust was then built and painted but wasn't added till much later in construction, simply to prevent breakages.

Battery BankChassisChassis FinishedChassis PaintedExhaust

Wheels

The wheels on this kit are of the vinyl type, with chrome centers (what else would one expect on a fire engine) and they contain a great amount of detail.

Wheels

Interior

Interior detail isn't the best on this kit, but that's not the main draw of it in the first place. Seats are visible along with the dashboard and basic controls but not much else. The seats are made up of 2 parts, the back and the bottom, the joint between them was vague but with some work I was able to go together and fit into the interior just fine.

Seats AssembledSeats paintedCab InteriorDashboard

Body

The last part and most involved in this kit is the body of the fire engine with all the hoses and various lights and sirens and such that adorn the engine. The most critical part was the paint color, with samples being done first to verify the final color before committing it to the model. The rear portion of the engine was one fairly substantial piece with which the sides fit it and then some PE details. Fire extinguishers were painted and put inside but on the final model no clue they are there.

The front end on this model was much easier, with a lot less detail being there however some chrome bits needed a highlight, Molotov to the rescue. The lines weren't the best in some places but with some touchups the final result was presentable, next time I'll figure out a better method.

Once all the pieces were done they headed for a clear coat and decals, looking at references of his fire companies engines I picked out and placed the lettering to get it as close as possible to their truck.

Paint SamplesRear Body constructionRear End PaintingCab PaintBefore decals

From there look to the review for the final images of this beautiful model. Glad you were able to follow me on this journey spanning almost 6 months!

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