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Fire Chief's SUV from...what else?...the Chicago FD

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  • Member since
    March 2003
  • From: Towson MD
Fire Chief's SUV from...what else?...the Chicago FD
Posted by gregbale on Saturday, May 25, 2019 3:14 PM

Having recently completed a Chicago PD Ford, I through I'd cross over to the other side of the public service street to show a little respect to the firefighters.

The Chicago FD's Special Operations Division has direct responsibility for some of the most challenging and technically-complex fire and public safety situations the department faces, including haz-mat, air-sea (and underwater) rescue, and 'technical' rescues like those involving trenches, structural collapses and high-elevation situations.

Revell's quite nice 1/25 'Snap-Tite' Ford Expedition SUV--though admittedly the wrong model year, by more than a decade--is used here to represent the Special Operations Battalion Chief's vehicle ca. 2010. (Hey, American-made SUV models of any vintage are pretty scarce.)

Revell's 'Police' release of their old kit comes with a few generic law enforcement details: a radar gun and laptop computer, cage partitions and a few duffle bags for the interior, and a light-bar and generic 'sticker' markings for the exterior. I kept the laptop, filled in the hole in the dash for the radar gun and left out the cage partitions, and scratch-built a multi-radio setup for the 'hump' using some Detail-Master etch radio faces. The rear cage partition had some equipment stowage molded I cut off the 'cage' part and used Plastruct 1/48 non-skid plate stock to turn that stowage into a 'command cabinet' of the sort commonly seen in chiefs' vehicles. I painted up the molded detail to represent equipment bags and the Chief's folded turnout gear, ready and waiting for the next crisis. I finished it off with few authentic laminated CFD area maps.

Final additions to the interior were a rear-view mirror and some printed-paper floor mats, fabric seatbelts and--since it was a Chief's vehicle--I figured there'd naturally be a fire extinguisher close to hand. (Later the Chief's well-worn and slightly soot-stained helmet would be added to the passenger's seat.)

Paints were Tamiya acrylics. Decals were unbranded 'generic' ones from Ebay...but of superb quality, with perfect registration and admirable opacity, even for the white stripes and lettering over red. The Special Operations door seals and hood marking came from old Chimneyville (I think) sheets. I switched out the kit's police-style light-bar for a flashier 'Vector' one I had in my spares box...and added the characteristic green 'starboard navigation' light peculiar by long tradition to the CFD's vehicles (also repeated on the front-grill flashers). Last step was to add reflectors to the side mirrors...and calling it done.

[Last note: having left the kit's components individually bagged until needed...I didn't realize until too late that the tinted rear-window insert had come cracked...oddly, on the side opposite from the sprue attachment. With Revell's current situation in flux, the 'order replacement parts' feature on their website is currently non-operational for US I just used it as is. Though the crack is plainly visible, thanks to the tinting, it doesn't 'jump out at you' unless you go looking for it.]

Enjoy the pics.



 George Lewis:

"Every time you correct me on my grammar I love you a little fewer."
  • Member since
    April 2003
  • From: USA
Posted by keavdog on Saturday, May 25, 2019 4:03 PM

Nice job.  Love the details.  Those pics look like the real deal!



Ain't no reason to hang my head, I could wake up in the mornin' dead 

  • Member since
    January 2015
Posted by PFJN on Saturday, May 25, 2019 5:53 PM


That looks amazing


1st Group Build

  • Member since
    January 2007
  • From: Narvon, Pa.
Posted by fox on Sunday, May 26, 2019 1:16 PM

Toast Toast

Jim  Captain

 Main WIP: 

   On the Bench:  Revell 1/96 USS Kearsarge - 70% 

I keep hitting "escape", but I'm still here.

  • Member since
    May 2013
  • From: Indiana, USA
Posted by Greg on Sunday, May 26, 2019 1:20 PM

You are two for two re the Chi-town first responders vehicles.

Excellent work, same on the photography. YesYesYes


  • Member since
    March 2003
  • From: Towson MD
Posted by gregbale on Sunday, May 26, 2019 8:16 PM

Thanks, guys!

Even 'out of the box,' it was much better detailed than I expected for a 'snap-tite' kit. Might just have to do another one in one of those colorful Canadian police liveries, or something flashy like the U.S. Capitol police.


 George Lewis:

"Every time you correct me on my grammar I love you a little fewer."


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