A must have for any CFD Fan
Wish all the members here a very happy new year! May this year be great for you. With the start of the new year, I present to you my first fire replicas model review. Today, we'd be reviewing the beautiful Fire Replicas-Chicago Fire Department Engine 50, a beautiful E-One Cyclone II Pumper.
To give you a background, CFDs Engine 50 (FDD662) is housed with CFD Truck 18 and Ambulance 1 in South Union, covering Englewood and Canaryville area. It covers a decent area and responds to a variety of calls in its area. I am told it is one of the busy stations in Chicago.
The model, one of many in the Fire Replicas CFD Series features over 450 parts, from resin, to photo etched, to stainless steel, to showcase even the finest details of the real rig. Just like all fire replicas, this model too was hand assembled and featured a lot of improvements from its predecessors.
I have never been able to visit chicago to personally have a look at any of the rigs. My passion and love for the CFD came upon from watching the show "Chicago Fire," after which, I decided that this beautiful engine was a must have. However, I present this review after looking at several reference pictures of the engine.
The model, just like all fire replicas, came in a white mailer, inside which, it was covered with soft padding on all sides, and a clean film to protect the case. It comes with two black strings, that help you lift the model case out of the white mailer box easily and carefully. While this new model excitement already makes it special, the model, just like with all Fire Replicas comes with a personal hand written and signed note from Nicholas Neumann, the owner of Fire Replicas. This just adds to the specialness of the whole experience, and makes the new owner of the model feel quiet significant and worthy.
The model comes screwed to the base, and in order to remove it, one must make access to the holes in the bottom of the case to remove it. I have removed it once, and can tell you that unless you have an extremely secure and dust free display environment, it is not recommended to display it outside the case. I chose to keep it displayed in the case. The truck offers free wheel functionality. However, there is no degree of wheel turning in the front axle. I already did not expect this, since it is a museum grade model. However, just wanted to mention for anyone who may want to buy this model in the future.
Right on the side, you see a beautiful shiny metal plate which has the CFD Logo, along with the Engine number, make, model and department. Something that adds to its value when it is displayed. The case, (measuring 12"L x 6"W x 5.25"T) has ample spacing on the sides of the model (measuring 7.5"L x 2.5"W x 2.5"T), to protect the model from damaging. While some may argue that there is enough "empty space" in the model cases, fire replicas has offered a perfectly valid explanation for it- "We have 5 display case sizes, because the cases are hand made, we cannot afford to custom build a case to fit every project. Our production runs are too small and it would be astronomically expensive. So, for every project, we choose the case that the model fits into the best. Some ladders and pumpers are shorter than others, resulting in more space per side. But if we go down to the next size lower, they are too big and customers will break off pieces when trying to put the cover on.
For this business to be sustainable, we have to standardize the cases. They are very expensive."
With this being said, Nic tries his best to offer us models at a reasonable price. If FR tries to change the size of the case per run, the cost of the model would go up, which in turn would make it costlier for the customer. I feel the case sizing per model is apt and is selected after taking into account a bunch of factors. None of us want something beautiful to get damaged.
The model, is still in stock, and is set to sell out very soon. It sells for a retail of $269. Available both on firereplicas.com, and eBay store of bja143. I would recommend you check both the stores, as the eBay store offers many of the sold out releases too. For this model, every $ is justified. It has been handcrafted with extreme precision and care. It is noteworthy to see that the shape of the cab and the body is extremely accurate to the real truck. The pump panels on both sides feature extreme intricate details that one would see just on the real rig. The nozzles, the levers, everything are true to scale. Nothing seems off or too big or small.
The hosebed features all the hoses neatly arranged and in a manner similar to that of the CFD. It is also noteworthy, that while many would not bother much, the laptop on the officers side also features a tiny "E-50" on it just like the real rig. While this is hard to spot to the naked eye, it just goes to show how Fire Replicas gives its best with every model, to bring out extreme accuracy. Even the tiny "cyclone" and other brand markings are featured, and can clearly be read, showing the fine detail.
It is just amazing to see each light. While fire replicas used to make simpler lights in the past, they have come a long way, and now showcase the tiny bulbs and details in each light. This is a feature that is loved by myself, and many. It just adds to the sheer beauty, accuracy, and specialness of the model. The mudflaps too feature the "E-One" even though most would not notice it.
Fire replicas has been very successful of meeting their goal -"Our goal with each release is that our customers may notice something new each time they view the model."
I have had this model for quiet a while and till date every time I look at it, I am in awe of the beauty this model has to offer. I always end up discovering something new when I look at this model, for instance- only today while taking pictures for this review, did I notice the "E-50" on the laptop. Just amazing.
The truck is limited to a production run of 100 units. I would suggest any chicago fan to get one of these models. I promise you that you would not be disappointed.
Fire replicas has tried everything in its power to make sure that the truck is accurate. However, while some may disagree with me on this review, Id just like to say, that it is not easy to scale down something so vast and complex into a tiny model that is the size of your hand. Some things may be a little here and there, but the price for this model is completely justified, and I would definitely recommend it to anyone.
To end, the model is featured with its counterpart, CFD Tower Ladder 37, another beautiful release from fire replicas.
I hope that this review would have helped any of you who had doubts about adding this beauty to your collection.
Have an amazing 2019 ahead!