BOLEY DEPT 1/87
Review of the newest model releases
by Tim McCue
After a series of setbacks and delays, the previously announced Boley Dept 1/87 HO scale models have finally arrived. This latest release of twenty seven pieces includes models of various types and themes and also sees the introduction of two new body styles.
The predominant number of themed models are seven vehicles in Boley’s Fire Agency Collection, in the official crème green color scheme and graphics for the U.S. Forest Service. Three of these vehicles mount the standard open bodied brush unit design and are all mounted on International chassis. These chassis include a 4300 Series four door cab, a 4900 series four door cab and a two door 7000 series cab. A new body design replicated by Boley is a wildland interface fully enclosed body with side compartmentation and rear hose bed . This type of unit is becoming popular in the west and is used by several forestry and state agencies. The Boley U.S. Forest Service units of this type are mounted on an International 7000 series two door cab and International 4900 series crew cab respectively. The USFS group is rounded out by a three axle tanker on an International 7000 series chassis and a USFS fire crew transporter on a GMC Topkick chassis.
The second group of Fire Agency rigs are six vehicles for the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection, commonly known as the CDF. All six of the models in this series and finished in red with white cab roof tops and striping and detailed graphics for the CDF. All of the models in this group mount the open bodied brush firefighting configuration with chassis configurations of two and four door cabs each on International 4300, 4900 and 7000 series. A lone International 4300 series open bodied brush unit in yellow has also been replicated with graphics for the U.S. Bureau of Land Management.
Amongst the more generic of the new releases are two versions of the Seagrave custom cab forward pumper. The first version is finished in solid red with white generic markings while the second version is finished in white over yellow with a red stripe. The New York City style body as used on the Seagrave rigs have also been previously released by Boley on several commercial chassis. This continues with the new releases with the FDNY style body mounted on International 7000 series four door chassis with white over lime green, white over red and black over red paint variations. Two additional “city fire engine” variations include a solid red and white over red version on the lighter International 4300 four door chassis.
The open bodied brush unit design has also been released in several generic versions. These include a four door 7000 Series International four door cab in black over red, and two versions of the International 4300 Series , one a solid red brush unit lettered for State Division of Forestry and a unique lime yellow Airport rapid intervention vehicle. An International 4300 two door brush unit has also been released with an unusual stars and stripes red, white and blue paint design as a memorial tribute to fallen firefighters across the United States. A four door International tanker, finished in white over lime yellow has also been released. This particular model is lettered “Federal Fire Dept” in tribute to U.S. Federal Department of Defense firefighting personnel across the nation.
Last but not least are examples of the two new body styles introduced by Boley. The first is the previously mentioned closed body wildland interface unit, this time finished in solid red and lettered “Fire Dept Rescue” and mounted on an International four door 4900 series cab. The second piece is an International 4300 series chassis mounting a beverage delivery type body with roll-up doors and lettered as a fire department urban search and rescue unit. This vehicle is typical of what is being used by fire departments throughout the country and will probably lend itself to several other configurations in the future.
For those of you not familiar with the configurations of the International chassis described above, the Boley International 4300 series is the newer grill style, painted and decaled into the front nose of the model. The 7000 International models have the grill configured as a separate chromed piece mounted on the nose, with a visor extension over the windshield. The 4900 Series International models have the squared off nose with a decal type grillwork.
All in all, it is heartening to finally see all of these anticipated models finally hitting the stores and vendors. Although there were some small glitches in graphics including the printing of “Fire Dept” on the drivers side of a cab and “Dept Fire” on the officer’s side of the cab on one vehicle, the models are all quite impressive. The rigs of the Fire Agency Series stand out with their outstanding graphics while the variety of the generic version rigs is an HO collector’s dream. I’m sure that these models will find themselves not only on scale dioramas but on collector’s shelves and work benches to be modified and customized even further. Let’s hope that Boley keeps up the pace with continued introductions of new and varied models in the future.
A special thanks to Melissa McCue for supplying the photographs!