By Maz Woolley
Apart from one credited DeAgostini picture the photographs are by the author.
We have had several partworks featuring fire appliances in the last few years. The Del Prado series was a considerable disappointment to collectors as it was a complete mixture of scales. When excess stocks were sold off later collectors tended to buy the models that fitted with the scale that they collected. But many models though interesting were not in an established European collectors scale.
DeAgostini on the other hand has kept to a consistent scale for their Faszination Feuerwehr collection. However, yet again it is unlikely to please established collectors as it is to 1:72 which is a commonly used aircraft scale. It is close to the 1:76 scale which is popular in the UK but almost all the vehicles in the series are of Continental origin so are of less appeal here. It is considerably larger than the 1:87 scale so popular on the Continent which means that if the DeAgostini series is successful it must be selling to new or intermittent collectors for whom exact scale is less important. The picture below shows a selection of the models advertised by DeAgostini on their web site.
Taking advantage of some excess stock from this partwork being remaindered in the UK I bought three models to have a look at how good they are. They are all diecast in China for DeAgostini Germany to 1:72 scale some websites say that they are made by Ixo for DeAgostini but no markings confirm this.
LF 8-STA Robur LO 1800-A
This forward control vehicle was built from 1960 to 1967. The LO standing for Luftgekühlt Ottomotor, the 1800 for its payload in kilograms, and A for Allradantrieb (all wheel drive). It was powered by a four cylinder, four stroke engine delivering 70 hp.
In the version modelled it is fitted with wooden benches and a pump on the flatbed covered by a canvas tilt and is fire brigade livery. Many of these vehicles were supplied to the NVA – the pre-unification East German Army as well as to the Fire Brigades.
The model has a very high level of detailing which can be seen in the photographs. Light beacons are not only in translucent blue plastic but have the bases picked out in silver. Many small additional mouldings are used such as mirrors, lights, step bars, steps to rear, towing points and even spades to rear of the cab. A fine black washed grill is accompanied by neatly printed badging and livery. At the rear are fitted benches for the firemen a water tank area as well as a pump engine and points to attach hoses. The base has quite a bit of moulded detail.
TLF 16IFA W50
Introduced in 1969 by IFA in the former East Germany these fire appliances were based on the W50 L chassis. A steel double cab had seats for five plus the driver. Respirators are stored in the cab to fit whilst on the way to the fire. There is even a “self protection” system to spray under the cab to protect the appliance where there are surface fires or other surface contaminants.
The crew cabin is topped with horns and a nozzle to direct forward to fires. The roof is fitted with ladders and the rear with the steps to get on the roof.
To the side the vehicle was fitted with doors giving access to tools and pump controls. the piping to connect to is modelled in detail under the rear of the body.
As the photographs show this model has a lot of small additional parts fitted to bring it to life. The badging, grille and livery are printed very well. Mirrors, bumper position fitments, lights, spotlights, step and piping are all finely modelled. Take a look at the wing mirror assemblies. A metal cage is modelled and the separate mirror and its fitments moulded very neatly as if attached to it.
TLF 16 Magirus-Deutz Mercur 125 A
Here we have a vehicle from the former West Germany to contrast to the last two appliances. Again a crew cabbed appliance with ladders fitted to the roof. The distinctive rounded bonnet unit was current from the late 1950s and was popular with many municipal brigades.
As the photographs show the model is to the same high standard as the others with the hose reels beautifully painted. The billhook, boards, and hose on the roof are finely modelled and painted. Position markers, lights, mirrors, and beacons are all fine parts. The printing including the lovely Magirus symbol on the radiator and the Feuerwehr Sölingen logo is very neatly done. The photograph above shows the high quality of the wheels and tyres fitted with the matt greyish tyre finish contrasting well with the gloss steel wheels.
The only discordant element is the overscale and crude steering wheel and steering column but that is a minor comment.
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