As you will probably be aware by now, The National Motor Museum Mint has released its first continuity set of Fire Apparatus by joining up with Corgi Classics (U.S.A.) to bring us a unique set of 12 classic fire pumpers that covers vintage engines produced from the 1930ís through to 1970. This series represents a period of firefighting history with all the nostalgia and feel of the real vehicles that has never been offered to collectors before in die-cast metal. The set issued on a subscription basis of one model per month is well on its way with four of the twelve in collectorís hands; also donít forget the free bonus model of an 1886 American LaFrance Silsby-Manning Fire Steamer for signing up for the set! Making a total of five models to date, the line up so far has received raving reviews from collectors excited to have a chance to add some new and unique Classic models to their collection. Listed below is the projected release schedule from The National Motor Museum Mint.
In this review, we will look closely at release numbers two through five with photos showcasing the new Zoomify feature for your viewing pleasure; as with the first models in the set they come in the attractive National Motor Museum Mint packaging which I personally like better than the new blister packaging that Corgi is now using. Also included with each model is a collector card giving information on the relevant fire engine on one side and a photo on the reverse. This is a pleasant touch and can be displayed with your set in a gold-embossed sleeve wallet.
Now to the models, number two premiers new tooling for 2006 from Corgi; the Mack L in the generic livery of Springfield FD is my favorite in the set to date. The pad printing as you would expect is again crisp and very clear. The casting is flawless and sharp. On my example, there was white fogging on some parts from the super glue but this was easily removed with the wipe of a cloth. This model is a welcomed addition to the set that was well received, with comments being voiced by collectors on increased quality plus major improvements coming from Corgi. The improvements were made possible with the involvement of the National Motor Museum Mint by bringing in a member of their team who has real life fire service experience to help Corgi with all aspects of producing a historically accurate set.
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Numbers three to five are all castings seen previously from Corgi and to some collectors is the down side of the set. Many collectors have examples of these vehicles in various liveries in their collections; but if you are new to collecting or never collected this scale before these models will be a welcome addition to your set. I, personally, do not have any of these in my collection but are fully aware of them. In all, they are more refined with increased detailing; again we see flawless paint in bright vibrant colors. The one that stands out to collectors more than any is the Mack CF, for its out-of-scale cab and add-on parts. I tend to agree because this looks somewhat out of place alongside the others as you will see in the line up photo. I know some collectors are placing these three models on eBay. This is a shame as I feel they are splitting up the set; but also it is welcomed by some as a way for overseas collectors to get parts of the set. I will let the photos do most of the talking and remember to for a CLOSER LOOK.
As you can see by the photos these are beautiful well detailed models from Corgi. A far cry from what we have seen in the past. Hopefully, we will see more improvements in the future. I know from the preproduction photos of the 1936 REO Speedwagon and the 1936 Seagrave w/ Sweetheart Grille that are available at the American Fire Engine Classics website that we will not be disappointed.
Not yet a subscriber? Itís not to late go to the web site listed below for more information and subscription details.
Also to see part one of The National Motor Museum Mint review including photos of model number one the 1952 Ahrens-Fox HT go to :