Code 3’s Boston Ladder 23
A Review
By Doug Boudrow - Boston MA

Code 3 Collectibles released the long awaited Boston MA Ladder 23 in June of 2004. This is the last piece in the station set. Code 3 previously made models of Engine 24, and the quarters of Engine 24, Ladder 23.

Click on any photo to enlarge

The real Ladder 23 is a 1997 Emergency One, 110-foot aerial ladder truck, and carries Boston shop number 231. Ladder 23 is quartered with Engine 24, at 36 Washington Street, Grove Hall. Ladder 23 is part of Fire District 7, however their first alarm area includes parts of Districts 7,8,9, and 12. In 2003, Ladder 23 responded to 3.094 runs, making it the fifth busiest ladder company in the city.


Code 3 did an excellent job replicating this model. The graphics are excellent, and even the minor details such as the American Flag decals, and 9-11 stickers were accurately added. If you have a Magnifying Glass, you can actually read the FDNY Sticker on the front of the truck. The cab looks to be very well detailed and accurate, with the exception of the engine cover, which is missing from the jump-seat area. The body of the truck has been done perfectly, and Code3 did an excellent job replicating the unique placement of the ground ladders on the side of the truck. The rear of the truck has removable ground ladders. This is a good feature, but the ladders fall out too easily. It would be nice if there were a way to secure them. The warning labels have been put on the rear steps, and are actually readable with a magnifying glass. The warning lights are all accurate, except for the LED lights over the rear wheel well. They are there, but Code 3 did not paint them to indicate that they are in fact lights, rather than part of the diamond plate. The ladder pipe is in place on the officer’s side, mounted on a bracket to the right of the aerial ladder. There is also an axe accurately mounted to the toolbox located on the turntable. The wheels are accurate to the real truck, and the tires are made of better rubber than on some of the previous Code 3s. The “A frame” jacks extend, and look to be very accurate to the real thing.


While almost completely accurate, this truck has several minor flaws. The engine cover should be visible inside the rear jump-seat area of the cab. On the real truck the jump seats on each side are actually separate compartments, divided by the engine cover. As I mentioned before, the LED lights on the rear wheel well are painted the same color as the diamond plate, and do not look like lights. The most noticeable flaw is the overhang of the aerial ladder off the front of the truck. It appears that Code 3 made the stops on the aerial too far forward, and the last two sections of the ladder do not fully retract. The fold-down steps under the ladders that lead to the turntable are missing. It is odd that Code 3 left those out, considering that they did a good job replicating them on the Tower Unit model.

Code 3’s Ladder 23 gets a 9.9 out of 10, and it is one of my favorite models. I strongly recommend this for any Boston or E-One fans, or anyone else that collects model fire trucks

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