Fighting fires is a tradition that goes back to the beginning of time; however, fire trucks as we know them are a relatively new invention.  The first fire engines, developed around 1700, were hand pumped and, surprisingly, pulled by men.  It wasn’t until the mid 1800’s that America was able to use the first steam powered fire engine created by John Ericsson and horses began to pull the heavy engines.  Self-propelled, motorized fire engines did become commonplace until the 20th century. Even though the style, shape, and functionality of the fire engine has changed over the years, the color and uniqueness has not.

Because fire engines have such a long and unique history, it is not unusual for people, both children and adults, to collect or replicate them.   One of the most popular ways to collect fire engines is through model building.  Regardless of your skill level there are sets out there for you. You can often find model sets at craft or hobby stores.  Some of the easier sets often come already painted and just need to be glued together.  If you are at a more advanced level, you will have your work cut out for you.  One of the first things you need to buy is model paint.    Pay close attention to the type of material your model is made of; wood, plastic, etc. Most model paint should work for any kit you buy and, if not, should recommend a different type in the directions.  The directions will also tell you the order in which you should paint and glue each part.  One area in particular you should pay attention to when painting is the fire truck wheels.  Depending on the year of your fire truck, you will want to paint them completely red or a combination of red, black, and white.  The key to building any model, especially the more classic versions, is authenticity.  Another important thing to remember, whether you are painting or gluing, is to let each piece dry completely.

With just a little bit of patience, in no time at all you will own a small piece of history with an authentic fire engine replica

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