Reviewed by Larry Lorance


Photo provided by Code 3 Collectibles

I am using a new feature with this review called Zoomify.  Every time you see the  logo, you will be able to click on the photograph and take a close up and clear look at the photo. 

The Ventura County Fire Department American LaFrance Rear Mount Ladder is the second Ventura County release from Code 3 Collectibles.  The first, Engine 50, was another American LaFrance model and all 1500 models sold out in a matter of days. 

Ventura County Fire Department History

Founded in 1928, the Ventura County Fire Department (VCFD) serves a land area of 1,873 square miles including 860 square miles of forest reserves.  The adopted operating budget for 2004 2005 was $92.5 million.  Protecting 473,604 citizens, the department serves the unincorporated areas of the county and Seven cities within the county: 

  • Ojai
  • Port Hueneme
  • Moorpark
  • Camarillo
  • Simi Valley
  • Thousand Oaks
  • Newbury Park


2004-2005 Calls Summary

The VCFD consist of (2004-2005):

Personnel
 

Uniform 470
Civilian 89
Reserve & Seasonal 21

Facilities

Fire Stations 30
HQ 1
Training Center 1
Communication Center 1
Support Facilities 1

Apparatus

First Run Fire Engines 30
Reserve Engines 16
Heavy Equipment (dozers, etc.) 9
Wildland Engines 11
Ladder Trucks (inc. 1 reserve) 3
Rescue Engines (75' ladders) 2
Command Vehicles 10
Paramedic Squad 2
Patrol / Utility Vehicles 17
Water Tenders 3
Other Emergency Vehicles 24
Fire Boat / Rescue Water Craft 3

The Real Truck



2005 view of VCFD Truck with Paramedic designation
Photo provided by Jason Giszewski of Jason's Collectibles

Rescue Engine 40 is a 75' American LaFrance Ladder housed out of station 40.  Station 40 is located:

Mountain Meadows
4185 Cedar Sprints St.
Moorpark CA 93012

Station 40 also houses Rescue Engine 140, a FMC 50' ladder, and USAR 40, which is a 1968 Mack tractor / trailer. 


2004 View of VCFD Truck 40
Photo provided by Allan Perkins (2004)

 2005 view with Paramedic designation
Photo provided by Jason Giszewski


Photo of VCFD Truck 40 before Paramedic designation
Photo provided by www.LAFirePhotos.com


Rear photograph of truck
Photo provided by Jason Giszewski

Review

Available from Code 3 Collectibles

12753-0000
Ventura County, CA ALF Rear Mount Ladder

Markings: RE40
Dimensions: 7.5 inches in length
Release Date: Feb 2006
Edition Quantity: 1500

Regular Price: $79.99
Club Members: $69.99


Photo by Larry Lorance


Photo my Larry Lorance

As mentioned before, this is the second Code 3 Collectibles Ventura County Fire Department release.  The first release was the VCFD American LaFrance Rescue Engine 50.


Code 3 Collectibles VCFD Engine 50 (Sold Out)
Photo by Larry Lorance

The mold used on this model has been used before on other Code 3 Collectible releases such as the Fort Worth ALF.  Like all models, the department's representative reviews and approves the model throughout the project's production cycle. 

This model sports the unique color scheme of this Southern California department.  Like all models released by Code 3 Collectibles, the paint is flawless and they have done a very good job reproducing the yellow with wide blue stripe. This model, like the real apparatus, has RE40 (Rescue Engine 40) printed on the bumper and rear.

The graphics are reproduced in great detail.  Take a look at the photos below.  The photograph on the left is from a VCFD apparatus the one on the right is of the model.  Code 3 Collectibles has long mastered the art of pad printing this model is no exception. 


Photo of apparatus graphics
Jason Giszewski photograph

Photo of model graphics
 

The word "PARAMEDIC" does not appear on this model.  I can only assume this model was based upon data collected prior to being designated as a "Paramedic Engine."  Remember, it takes about a year to produce a model (concept to release).  According to a fellow collector, Rescue Engine 40 became ALS Medic Rescue Engine 40 on April 1, 2005, along with ME36 and MRE27.


Photo of apparatus pump panel
Jason Giszewski photograph

Photo of model's pump panel

Code 3 Collectibles did an pretty good job reproducing the model's pump panel. Keeping in mind, this is a 1:64 scale representation, the detail of the gages and connections are pretty accurate.  The weathered hose above the pump panel is very well done. 

The model's front bumper is an extended bumper but the bumper on the real apparatus is not.  This does not distract from the beauty of the model but presents an accuracy problem.  Excluding the bumper, the front of the model is accurately represented. 


Front of apparatus
Jason Giszewski photograph

Front of model

The other problem is the rear of the model does not represent the real apparatus.  However, keeping in mind it would have cost Code 3 Collectibles (and us) more money to accurately reproduce the apparatus rear, I am satisfied with how it is presented. 

The emergency lighting is accurate and detailed. Most lights are lens, not painted. 

The medium duty LTI ladder has a pre-piped waterway and appears to be accurate.  It rotates 360 degrees.  The models has working stabilizers.

One axel has a yellow hub.  A fellow collector explains the purpose of the the "tag axle" is to increase maneuverability by shortening the truck's wheelbase measurement while retaining most of the weight bearing capacity of a 'twin-screw' setup.

A tag axle WB is measured from the center of the front axle to the center of the first/drive axle. A 'twin-screw' WB is measured from the center of the front axle to the midpoint between the rear axles. The difference between those two measurements can greatly influence a large rig's turning radius.

Conclusion

This is a welcome addition to the small number of highly detailed West Coast models produced by Code 3 Collectibles.  For those of you who were lucky enough to grab an Engine 50, this will be a welcome addition to complete your set.  Otherwise, this model will be a great addition to any Southern California fire / rescue model collector.

On a WOW scale of 1 to 5, I give this model a 4....

A special thanks to Jason Giszewski, Allan Perkins, Code 3 Collectibles, and www.LAFirePhotos.com for allowing me to use their photographs for this review.  |

I would also like to thank Zoomify for supplying a copy of their program. 

Finally, did anyone notice the new Code 3 Collectibles Fire / Rescue logo at the top of the page?