Reviewed by Larry Lorance
August 2016


27-7638 or b2breplicas for a list of participating retailers.

The origins of the FDNY can be traced back to 1648 when the first Fire Ordnance was created by the Dutch Settlement of New Amsterdam. 

Shortly after the Civil War, insurance companies recognized New York’s fire loss were too heavy.  A committee was formed in 1864 to "promote the greater efficiency of the Fire Department."   As a direct result of the committee’s findings Republicans agreed to sponsor a bill in the New York State Legislature to create a paid department.

In January 1865 a politically sensitive bill was introduced called "An Act to Create a Metropolitan Fire District" that established a paid department, Fire District, and a Board of Fire Commissioners.

The bill passed on March 20, 1865 and was signed by the Governor that created the FDNY.

For a detailed history of the department, you can read an article by John Calderone and fellow collector Jack Lerch at F.D.N.Y, How it Got it’s Name.


To help celebrate the 150th anniversary of the FDNY partnered with Ferrara Fire Apparatus and the FDNY Foundation to decorate one of their existing ladders for use through 2015.   FDNY’s 100 foot rear mount Ladder 24 was chosen.   It was taken out of service and brought to the Ferrara factory to receive a new paint job and stunning graphics.  The artwork and design was created in collaboration with NYC & Company, Ferrara Fire Apparatus and FDNY.

“The beautiful fire truck is a tribute to the men and women of the FDNY who bravely serve our city,” said Fire Commissioner Daniel A. Nigro. “As we celebrate this historic year for the Department, New Yorkers can expect to see the FDNY150 Fire Truck proudly representing the FDNY in parades, at fire and life safety presentations, and at community events throughout the year.”

August 28, 2009
Photo provided by Fire Replicas



Working closely with the Department, Nicholas Newman CEO of Fire Replicas, designed a 1:50 museum grade model of this historic truck to commentate the anniversary.

The Fire Replicas #FDNY150 Ferrara 100’ Ladder comes securely packaged for both domestic and overseas delivery.  The packaging has been well thought out.  Rather than spend a great deal of time covering this, I’ve created a short video on the unpacking of this museum grade model.  You can click HERE to view this video.  To summarize, the model’s packing is outstanding, unpacking is very straight forward and make sure you save the packing material.  Be environmentally responsible and reuse the Styrofoam peanuts.

Once, unpacked you are presented with stunning model covered by a heavy clear acrylic case.

The bulk of the model is cast in High-Def resin, stainless steel, wire, rubber and other composites. 

They question always comes up, resin? We can all remember the days every fire apparatus model was die-cast.  There were 25,000 “limited edition” models cast.  For smaller runs, those days are gone.  Granted resin can be fragile but the results can be spectacular.  According to Model Collector Magazine, “I don’t think resin will replace die-cast. It is very much a case of horses for courses. Die-cast is always the most viable option for large production runs. However, resin does allow the luxury of more esoteric subject choices. The astronomical costs of tooling up for a new die-cast model means that manufacturers have to sell thousands of units before they start to break even, let alone make a profit; whereas runs as small as a couple of hundred units are completely feasible in resin.”  Resin is here to stay.

The model sits on top of a three piece flocked stand with a stainless steel name plate that show the FDNY Logo, apparatus name, and the  FDNY's 150 Anniversary logo.  


Fire Replicas FDNY #150 Top View Name Plate

Fire Replicas has spent an inordinate amount of time and effort getting this model right. 

The driver's side of the model, perfectly replicates the real apparatus.  The paint and decals are amazing! 

All of the emergency lighting is perfect.  Most of the running lights are all clear and colored plastic.  If has to take nerves of steel to glue these small parts in place with exacting detail. 

Fire Replicas FDNY #150
Driver's Side View

I've always been a believer models are always viewed from a distance of greater than two feet.  It is hard to judge a model by placing it under a microscope and looking a every part.  However, two particular details caught my eye:  the scene lighting on the drivers side.  Take a close look  at the photo below of the scene lighting on the driver's side.  both devices have lens but even more interesting you can see the bulb and reflector the rear light.  Hidden behind the front light is the electric cable that supplies power to the light.  I would venture to guess no one would have caught that small detail but Fire Replicas did!

Small details like the outlets on the driver's side are superbly cast.

Fire Replicas FDNY #150 Scene Lights Driver's Side

Outlet on Driver's Side

Like the real apparatus, the model closely matched the striking metallic silver cab top, silver leaf stripping and lettering and the blue silhouette and white stars of the New York City skyline representing the city’s five boroughs. 

Accord to Nicholas Newman, “The base paint of the model is silver (top of cab)... and red (remainder). Then the rest of the model is a complete body wrap including the silhouette. Then, details are added with hand paint and additional decals (like the hinges). The model consists of multiple layers and facets of hand painting, mask spraying and decals.”

Fire Replicas FDNY #150
Officer's Side View

The model is made up of about 100 hand applied decals.  All of the markings are perfect.  They are clean, clear, easy to read and replicates the markings on the real apparatus.  No detail was left out. The decal below for the silhouette and white stars of the New York City skyline.

The front of the model features clear and colored plastic lens, the markings use the correct font, and even the smaller decals are easy to read.  Of particular note are the lights on the on the bumper guides, a really nice touch. 

The grill and siren cover is made of photo etched stainless steel.  Yes, that is a radiator behind the  grill. 

Front View of Real Apparatus
Photo by Matt Hinkle, Used with Permission

Front View of Model

The diamond plate is to scale and authentic looking.  The air conditioner cover is photo etched stainless steel. 

The four section ladder is constructed of 0.6mm stainless steel and does not move.



Photo Etched Stainless Steel Cover and Diamond Plating

Close up of non-skid Ladder Rungs

The display case is amazing, a .115 inch thick Plexiglas that tightly covers the model. I would never try to remove the model from the case to display it though.  The model is displayed with the rubber wheels slightly off the display's surface. 

The display case is amazing, a thick Plexiglas tightly covers the model. I would never try to remove the model from the case to display it.  The model is displayed with the rubber wheels slightly off the display's surface. 

Fire Replicas Plexiglas Case



I've collected model fire apparatus since I acquired my first Corgi.  I've seen these models evolve over 20 years. 

I worked with the folks at Code 3 on the development of their product line.  What started out as a marginal model turned out, at the end, to be a very nice detailed 1:64 scale model.  For a while, collectors could not get enough.  According to Code 3 staff in the early days, there were about 25,000 collectors of model fire apparatus. 

TWH Collectibles raised the bar quite a bit when they entered the market with their 1:50 scale diecast models.  I thought models could not get any better.  They were highly detailed and had a brilliant staff supporting a wide selection of models that included not only fire but large cranes, mining equipment, and earth movers.  Times were good for collectors who demanded highly detailed models.  Unfortunately, they went out of business.

For about two years, collectors had to relay on Matchbox or overseas model.  The selection was slim and slowly collectors moved to other things.

But there was a dreamer left from the former TWH staff, Nicholas Newman.  Knowing there was a market for these models, Nicholas talked with collectors and OEM fire apparatus companies and came up with a unique business plan.  He refined his plan and did get the buy in of the OEM companies and some cornerstone cities.  Finally, he put his plan into place.

Fire Replicas' #FDNY150 if the first model from this department.  There are four FDNY Tower Ladders 9, 59, 119 are shipping throughout September/October.

There are seven new releases by the end of 2016 including two Miami Dade engines one the Engine 3 Tribute and other a Blank Engine.  Other releases include a Seagrave Limited Edition, Meriden Engine 3, Kentland Tower 33, and a Columbus Engine.  November 2016 promises a "Secret Project"  release.

2017 brings additional releases including two from Milwaukee, an Engine and Rescue.  A lot of good models to look forward to.

This model kick start my interest in collecting again.  Like many collectors, I've moved on to other things but with the release of this model and others that are in the works, I am back. 

#150 represents one of the best 1:50 scale models I of have seen.  It is true to scale and offers real attention to detail.  In comparing the model to real apparatus photos, it is as close to 100% as possible.  In fact, when the apparatus was at the Ferrara plant, the front hubs had red centers on them.  However, once delivered, these hubs were removed and replaced with ones without the a red center.  Fire Replicas had these red centers on the decal sheet ready to go but did not add them once the updated FDNY#150 photos were viewed.

This model has got to be a must for serious collectors of model fire apparatus. It offers a rebirth of high quality, highly detailed, and accurate models we have not seen in years.  I am looking forward to Fire Replicas upcoming releases.  

On a WOW Factor of 1-5, I give this model 5 WOWs!




Ferrara is a trademark of Ferrara Fire Apparatus
 FDNY is a registered trademark on the New York City Fire Department
Fire Replicas is a trademark of Fire Replicas