By: Glenn Morson , Associate Webmaster

Aircraft Rescue Firefighting Models 

ARFF Models is a new U.K. based company with a passion for providing Fire and Emergency vehicle collectors with high quality Aviation Crash and Rescue Trucks. The company feels this is an area of fire models that is constantly overlooked by the major diecast and resin kit manufacturers. Their aim is to bring the collector vintage plus modern vehicles in resin and white metal as affordable kits without sacrificing detail. The kits are 1/48 scale and there are also proposals for a larger scale range coming out at 1/35. All models produced by ARFF are available as built models or as a kit for the more adventurous modeler.

“Our first 1/48 scale model is of the OSHKOSH (TFFT), this is a highly detailed resin cast model with white metal add on parts. The kit was made possible by using the original drawings from OSHKOSH TRUCK CORPORATION. The project from start to finish took around six months to complete. Supplied in the Kits are jeweled headlights, orange jeweled side cab light and a parts list plus building instructions with images of the model during construction to assist the modeler.” Jonathan Whiteside, Aircraft Rescue Firefighting Models

Click on photo to enlarge

Photo: Courtesy of ARFF  MODELS

Photo: Courtesy of ARFF  MODELS

The TFFT combines the superior mobility of the Oshkosh HEMTT M977 with the cutting edge fire fighting capabilities of the industry-leading Pierce fire apparatus. The result is a multi-functional vehicle that deploys in any location for aircraft rescue, fuel storage protection, structural fire fighting, wild land fire fighting and also rescue extrication on most terrains. Built on a 210-inch wheelbase, the TFFT features all-wheel drive, a Detroit Diesel 450-horsepower engine with a cruising range of 400 miles. It can wade through four feet of water and climb a 60-percent grade at full payload. Other features include a 1,000-gallon water tank, a Darley 1000-gpm fire pump and a Pierce Husky® dual-agent foam system. Although currently designated for use by the US Army Reserve, the US Army and the National Guard, the TFFT has the capability to meet the tactical mission requirements of all branches of the US military.


The Model Kit comes in a white box with a photo of the real TFFT and a line drawing on the outside; inside you will find a number of zip lock bags that contain all the white metal and resin parts needed to complete your model. Also included are your instruction sheets with small photos of the model in various stages of completion. In addition to your kit you will need the following items to complete the project: various paints, Needle files, wet and dry abrasive paper, a craft knife, Super glue and an epoxy resin type glue…plus the most important thing of all is lots of patience.

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This is not a beginner’s model the instructions are sometimes vague, I did address this with Jonathon and he tells me he will revise them for future models. You need to be a competent model builder to complete this model with some experience in working with these types of materials. Clean all resin and white metal parts of grease before painting, I find white vinegar does the job, but you may know of other methods. In addition, you do need to clean all parts of casting flash. All the windows need cutting out with your craft knife, then you need to file them clean prior to painting. 

The chassis is well detailed with all the axels and drive shafts going into a transfer box then a shaft up to the pump .I think this was the most difficult part of the model to complete due to the vague instruction sheets. Nevertheless, perseverance and patience provided me with a finished and completed chassis. The body of the model is relatively simple as the main sections are one piece resin cast with the exception of the engine compartment that has some more additional parts to fix on.

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This is the first model from ARFF; I can see some room for improvement on the new releases like rubber tires and windshield wipers. The model does not have hoses for the hose bed; this gives the model a strange unused look. I also feel the pump panel is very basic. I asked Jonathan about these particular items, he said that there is a hose bed cover now available for the model that would be shipped out with new kits. He went on to say that windshield wipers would be included on all new models and there would be more detailing on future models, Jonathan says “I’m learning as I go on.”

Over all I think the TFFT from Aircraft Rescue Firefighting Models is a fantastic first attempt at bringing Fire vehicle collectors a crash trucks that may have never been produced. The model I built has had decals plus wipers added from my own supplies. The color scheme is painted to represent the truck in desert camouflage to Jonathan’s approval and is open to some artistic license, but I am sure you would agree that the final results are outstanding and a worthy addition to your collection.  The model measures 9 inches long and 3 inches from mirror to mirror.

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When did you start your company and what inspired you? 

The company was started about a year ago after I was unable to get good ARFF models made by other manufacturers, so I decided to have a go myself. I have received a lot of help from a good friend of mine who runs a company called Transport of Delight. He makes and sells a vast range of white metal and resin 1/48 scale models.

Why did you go with the Oshkosh TFFT as your first release over a U.K. truck?

My original plans were to release a model of the E-One P23 ARFF truck, but after various e-mails to them I received no reply and had no luck getting the info I required so I had to change my plans. The trouble is, to do justice to the real crash truck I needed detailed drawings so the master can be made accurately and as far as i know the only way to get them is to talk to the manufacturers, sometimes they help some times they don’t.

Is the built Oshkosh TFFT only available in gloss paint as shown on your web site or do you make it in flat paint too? 

Well the truck was painted in olive drab paint then when the lacquer was applied it became glossy. The model can be made and sent out with out the final coat of lacquer applied, I am looking into getting a different type of green paint ASAP. 

Will your models be released with real fire department names in the future or be totally generic? 

As for generic I am not sure about this, as far as I know from the info I have on the OSHKOSH TFFT it does not have any decals on it. All models will be made and marked for real departments.

Why did you go with resin cast tires and not rubber like other kit manufacturers?

The cost was one of the deciding factors in this and also the vast quantities I would have had to order would have meant I would have had a large amount of tires left over with no use for. I hope to have rubber tires on some of the future models. 

Do you plan to find distributors for your models in the U.S.A. or are you going to be the sole distributor?

Again on this question as I am relatively new to this, I plan to stay as the sole distributor at present.

From what other countries do you plan to reproduce ARFF trucks? 

The next model planned is one from the UK but as of yet I am not saying what, I still have to get all the relevant permissions to make the model. I also plan to do some more from the U.S. as there seems to be more ARFF trucks over there. 

Are all the listed proposed trucks for a 2004 release date?

No, there not all 2004 release dates, well not yet anyway, it takes about 6-8 months of planning before they even go to the casters to be made then another couple of months before I can get them out for sale. 

“If you have ideas for future releases or can assist me in getting information from U.S. Manufacturers,Please do not hesitate contact me.” Jonathan Whiteside

All photos provided by ARFF MODELS































For more information on Aircraft Rescue Firefighting Models please visit their web site

Web Site: 

Please Note: Jonathan Whiteside has recently moved
the address, telephone number and email address are correct on this article.
The ARRF website shows the old information and will be updated shortly.

 Alternatively, email Jonathan Whiteside at the link below


Phone: + 44 1522 531643

Aircraft Rescue Firefighting Models also stock model kits from various model companies inside the U.K.

Please email Jonathan Whiteside for a list of products and prices.

All images Copyright unless otherwise noted

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