Jordan Products Fire Trucks

Discussion in 'Product Review Forum' started by Jac's Lines, Oct 7, 2005.

  1. Jac's Lines

    Jac's Lines Member

    Jordan Products

    Ahrens-Fox 1927 Fire Truck

    This is a model of a mid-1920s pump and ladder truck. The completed model is approximately 24 scale feet long, and is packed with detail. Like all Jordan products, this requires extensive construction and assumes a fairly high level of skill. There are approximately 50 pieces in this kit, including some very tiny detail parts (e.g. valve handles) and the builder must assemble the very delicate water pump that sits at the front of the engine.

    My construction of a fully painted and weathered model took about 6 total hours, spread over several nights. A number of frustrations plagued assembly. First, the tiny detail parts on the pump mechanism necessitate pre-painting, which doesn’t mix well with the manufacturer-suggested styrene cement. Ultimately, I switched over to ACC gel, which helped a lot. Second, what the manufacturer gains in detail it loses in ease of assembly. Figuring out where specific parts went ended up being 50% guesswork. For example, there is no slot (or even a vague indication) for the brake lever assembly – in the end, it just has to be fudged. The same is true for the rails, water tank, and most of the detail parts. Fortunately, the instructions are reasonably clear.

    Despite these issues in construction, the final product is a real beauty. The photo below shows the model as built according to assembly – all of the detail is standard with the kit. This is a very nice model that with patience would add a lot to any layout.

    Price ($6.95): A

    Instructions: B

    Assembly: C+

    Appearance of Final Product:: A

    Attached Files:

  2. Jac's Lines

    Jac's Lines Member

    Jordan Products

    1924 American La France Fire Truck

    This is also a model of a 1920s era pump and ladder truck, although on a much smaller scale – barely 20 scale feet long. The La France is dwarfed in a side by side comparison with the Ahrens-Fox. Like its larger cousin, the La France has a lot of good detail parts, although the pump mechanism (which is obscured beneath the seat) consists of just one piece. This streamlines assembly significantly, and in my opinion takes nothing away from the model.

    Construction of this model took approximately 4 hours spread over a couple of days. Although there were far few pieces in this model, this kit was much more frustrating than the Ahrens-Fox. This is largely a reflection of absolutely atrocious instructions. None of the pieces are labeled, and unlike the Ahrens-Fox, the manufacturer does not include an illustrated parts list. Thus, the modeler is left trying to figure out which of the 7 or 8 similar straight bits is the rear axles, steering column, side rails, etc.. What instructions do exist are very general, and the accompanying illustrations (all five of them) do very little to illuminate these issues. Particularly towards the end of construction, the placement of detail parts became essentially guesswork. Adding to these problems, there were a number of pieces left over on the sprue at the end of construction, which are not mentioned in the instructions. Because the Jordan vehicles use no generic parts, I’m assuming that these are supposed to be on the final model, but the vague directions present a real mystery.

    Although these issues with construction were infuriating, the completed model is also quite nice. I think it makes a nice second engine for a city fire station, and would look good as the main source of fire fighting in any rural station. Like the Ahrens-Fox, the La France includes some nice detail parts, including lanterns, fire extinguishers, and ladders. The La France would make a good addition to any early 20th century scene or could make an appearance in more modern layouts as a part of a local parade.

    Price ($7.95): A

    Instructions: D

    Assembly: C-

    Appearance of Final Product: A

    Attached Files:

  3. Doc Holliday

    Doc Holliday Member

    Thanks for the review. They look great! I've got severalof their wagon, carraige and stage coach kits. So far I've been kinda afraid of trying them. Guess I'll have to take the plunge and see what I can do. Thanks also for the tip about the gel CA.
  4. shaygetz

    shaygetz Active Member

    I'm with Doc, I have several and they are intimidating...odd really when I figure how many I put together as a teenager. :rolleyes:

    Great work.

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