Review: Antique Fire Engine

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View image at flickr

The second set I've been sent by the BrickLink AFOL Designer Program (ADP) team is Boone Langston's antique fire engine.

I asked to receive this one because I had the pleasure of meeting Boone, one of the Beyond The Brick team, at last year's Fan Media Days in Billund and he's a top guy :-)

I have to admit not really knowing much about antique fire engines, particularly American ones, but the model looked so huge and impressive that I was keen to take a look for myself.


It's often hard to tell how large models are without some reference so this picture with a minifigure standing next to it should help. It's about 50cm long and 15cm wide: in other words it's huge!

View image at flickr

As you'd expect a fire engine to be, it's primarily red but with lashings of gold detailing all over it.

View image at flickr

A ladder and water pipes are attached to the sides. I presume that more equipment and firefighters would have been bundled into the back of the vehicle: there's certainly plenty of space for them.

View image at flickr

View image at flickr

The vehicle's large scale has enabled Boone to add a lot of detail. I've no idea what, for example, the gold cylinder under the seats with genie lamps on the end is, but it looks great!

View image at flickr

View image at flickr

Driver controls are simple, I guess they would have been on an early vehicle such as this.

View image at flickr

The bonnet can be raised to view the engine underneath.

View image at flickr

It's a spectacular model and its impressive size has to be seen to be appreciated. The subject matter is a bit specialised but if old vehicles or fire engines are your thing you'll find a lot to like with this model.

Thanks to my daughter Alice and her boyfriend Archi for building it. I normally build all the sets I review myself but in this instance I wanted to get it done before May the Fourth weekend and I didn't have a lot of time, what with the LEGO Story one as well, so I asked them to give it a go. I thought they'd get bored after the first couple of bags but Archi really got into it and wanted to finish it before he returned home.

In fact, it was a good test of the instructions: if non-AFOLs can follow them then they must have been produced to a good standard. There was one part at the end that was not entirely clear and caused us to believe there were parts missing but I've fed that back to the ADP team who have said they will look at what can be done to improve it before they go to print. It probably wouldn't have been an issue if I had built it: the parts in question were used to strengthen and support the model at an earlier stage of construction and needed to be removed and used later on.

The 1277 part set is priced at $149.99 and can be ordered from BrickLink until the end of June.


Thanks to BrickLink for sending the set for review. All opinions expressed are my own.

45 comments on this article

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By in Poland,

It looks like biggest version of car from 10197 (another old fire truck, but in minifigurs scale)

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By in Serbia,

This is really a huge and amazing model! I love all those small but important details on/in it, especially the engine! I believe Boone said, that when you're building the model, it's pretty much the same process like building a vehicle in real life, so I'm sure the building experience was great!

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By in Canada,

That is a great review! Wholesome family connection, which is always nice to read. Great set which, I read in an interview or saw somewhere, has a connection to Boone's own family....perhaps his wife's father or grandfather collected firetruck models or was a firefighter? (My memory is failing me there.) Best of all, I love how Lego fans use minifigs as a unit of measurement in comparisons!
Also the reference to May the 4th as a busy time of year made my Lego fan self smile

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By in New Zealand,

Excellent model and I wanted to buy both this and The LEGO Story, but I don't accept being forced to set up a Bricklink account for a one-off purchase. So that's several hundred dollars that I'll spend elsewhere.

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By in United Kingdom,

What's the big deal with setting up an account, there or anywhere? It takes 1 minute, surely.

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By in United States,

@Block-n-Roll, lol. It’s not like they’re asking you to open a credit card. And you can just as easily ignore and delete the account afterwards. Otherwise your stubbornness is preventing you from enjoying a great set.

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By in United Kingdom,

Yeah but if he just bought it he couldn't make a stand here and have us all pay attention to him.

Not a model that does much for me - I'm generally more interested in small models packed with details than large models with large details. Might have looked better in dark red.

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By in United Kingdom,

Too bad they only ship from the US. Oh well....

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By in New Zealand,

@MisterBrickster ; Seriously? You have a strange view of the world if that's why you think I raised what's a valid point.

Everybody these days just accepts this data-sucking world we live in. The ease of setting up an account is irrelevant. The fact that I might - repeat, *might* - be able to use then delete the account is also irrelevant. Why can't we just give name, delivery address and credit card details?

No account is necessary for a one-off purchase. Or even for multiple purposes. It's something we, as customers, use/accept for convenience to save plugging in the same info each time we place an order, but other than the convenience thing it's not strictly necessary. But on the other side of the transaction, the vendor is always keen to gather data - for site/sales statistics, for marketing, or for on-selling to third-party organisations.

If I wander into a high street supermarket to pick up a packet of biscuits, they don't ask me to set up an account. If I buy a new fridge, or garden furniture, or a TV, then I can easily do that without an account. Hell, if I can buy big ticket items like cars, international flights, even *houses* without setting up an account then I don't see why I need to do so just for a couple of plastic toys.

If I had any intention to buy through Bricklink again then yes, I'd set up an account - for future convenience - but I don't, so I won't.

And @monkyby87, it's not stubbornness, just exasperation at this pervasive need for organisations to leech information from us at every opportunity. So I don't get the sets. So what? No great loss in the grand scheme of things. My life will be neither richer or poorer for not having those sets. I don't see LEGO acquisition as a way to enrich my life, it's just a fun distraction. Perhaps more people should look at it that way too.

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By in United States,

Block-n-Roll, I will let you use my Bricklink account. All you have to do is buy one for me and then you can be all set.

The world we live in is already hell, so why not stop worrying about something and lame and silly as an internet site?

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By in United Kingdom,

@zmarkella, not sure why only shipping from the U.S. was an issue, okay you may get hit with some import taxes but any shipping cost, regardless of where in the world you were, was free for the pre-order part of the process.
Nice review of the set and am looking forward to when all the sets get dispatched.
This was one of three from the 'Bricklink AFOL Design program' that I really liked and would have dropped coinage for but due to circumstances I had to narrow it down to one set only and the Saloon won out (the third was the Löwenstein Castle by the way).

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By in United States,

Seeing the scale makes it more impressive. But I passed on all of them. I didn’t feel like spending that much money on a MOC, no matter the quality.

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By in Luxembourg,

Does anyone know when they take the money for the preorders made during the funding period?

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By in United Kingdom,

@Soothe777,
I think it's as soon as it's shipped , you get charged for it.

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By in United States,

Thanks @Huw for the great article and new photographs!

@Kovjonas yes, the engine, in particular, is modeled after the most popular 4 cylinder engines of the early 1900’s. It is assembled as a single sturdy unit as a sub-model in the instructions, then “dropped in” from the top, the way an engine would be in real life. Thanks!

@mfg3000 yes, my wife’s grandfather was both a fire department commissioner and a collector of special fire department items. I sometimes wonder who will read those things, so thank you for caring and sharing!

@Soothe777 the first batches of pre-orders will begin shipping on May 6, so less than a week from now! As I understand it, the shipments will happen in waves and adhere to the Oder in which purchases were made as nearly as possible. Thanks for asking!

Thanks to everyone who supported my model during the crowd funding! If you haven’t purchased yet, there are still about 60 days! If you have any questions about the ADP or my Fire Engine specifically, please feel free to click my username at the top of this comment and send me a message here on Brickset!

Thanks again!

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By in United States,

@Brick-n-Roll, lots of people find Lego to be a fun distraction. That's why they don't get up in arms about having to create a simple and forgettable account to order a set.

@Boone, this is a fantastic piece! As a former firefighter myself, I really appreciate the detail and care put into this set. I've never been big into the realistic vehicles produced by Lego, but this is definitely an exception. Well done!

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By in Germany,

@Block-n-Roll, there is no "data-sucking" at Bricklink. To register, you need to provide two things: an email address and a country of residence.

Update: I just checked and for New Zealand a free text field needs to be filled with the value of "State / Province / Region, but it accepts any input, including obviously made up values. So please take off your tinfoil hat, nobody is sucking your data at Bricklink.

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By in United States,

And this is the crown jewel of Lego’s endless attempts at fire engines.

And what’s comical is that it took a fan to design it and Lego wasn’t super involved the whole time!

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By in United States,

@Brick-n-Roll is correct. Not offering a guest check out option is bad internet commerce etiquette. That a lot of you don't care about such matters is irrelevent to his point, which I believe to be valid. I already have an account and won't be buying any of these so for me it's just a matter of principle. Stand proud, Brick-n-Roll!

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By in Canada,

Funny the arguments you all get into over LEGO!

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By in United States,

A very good looking model but as someone who goes mostly for creator/city, it seems too large to fit in.

And, by the way, I too hate signing up for accounts.

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By in Belgium,

Fantastic model, had not expected it to be that big. Too bad sets ship from the US though, that makes it just a tad too expensive for my taste after customs and import duties :(

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By in United States,

Amazing model! Love all the intricate detailing, and great techniques - looks absolutely awesome! I really want to get this eventually. @Boone, how long did it take you to design this beauty?

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By in United States,

Not that I want to keep the argument going, but Bricklink is designed around you having an account and ordering pieces that way. It operates differently from most retailers online. It's a rather unique setup really, because you're shopping multiple stores under one roof. Kind of like Ebay. So having an account is rather crucial to the operation. These sets being offered individually, like a regular Lego set on Lego's website, is unique and different for them. So having you create an account to work within their already existing system is normal. I understand people don't like having to create an account to just buy one thing, but I don't think anyone should get up in arms over this instance.

I won't comment on the idea of not getting something you enjoy over the "principle" of it...-_-

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By in United States,

Very nice piece. It looks gorgeous. And huge. As someone who helped restore and research a number of the real ones of the vintage approximated by this, it gets most right. There would just be a few minor details that could improve it. There should be a space between the back of the seats and the front wall of the hosebed. In that space would be the pump. Generally just an exposed tangle of pipes. The input and output hose connects would be there. I assume that is what the gold cylander under the seats represents? The rear step should be larger. It was a flat platform that fireman stood on while racing to the fire. That top rail on the hosebed should also go as a single bar across the top of the rear. That's what the Rear Step Firefighters help onto. Riding the Rear Step wasn't outlawed until the 90's. And every truck built until the 80's was rigged for it. If you want to get real detailed, there would also be a large lever just below the side step on the drivers side, which would be used to switch the transmission from driving the wheels to driving the pump.

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By in Australia,

I'm just trying to take in the idea of an AFOL without a Bricklink account.
.
.
.
Nup. Still not working.
Seriously?

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By in United States,

@Brick-n-Roll, I do notice however that you made a Brickset account. Just sayin'...

Also, is this set to scale with, for example, the large Creator Expert cars like the Mustang?

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By in Australia,

I LOVE the idea of this program and really want to get this set, the only issue is there are so many sets that I want and only a short window in which to get them. 6mths for pre and post ordering seems like a long time, but when you consider Lego sets are usually at least 18mths on the shelves, it has made it harder to fold the expense in. This seems like a common problem from comments I've read on a number of different places, that people would love to have got more, but could only afford 1 or 2 in this time period. I hope that the program is so successful that it continues and that these sets can be available again in the future or for a longer period now. Best of luck Boone, it's a great set and if able, I'll try to get it before the time runs out. Cheers

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By in United States,

@Koolbrix2018 thanks! It took me about 3 weeks.

@Squidy74H thanks for the support and kind words!

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By in Canada,

@Block-n-Roll

Keep in mind that BrickLink is not a store, but an on line community of Lego users who sell Legos. They don't have the infrastructure for guest checkout. You can always not use it. From all of the data mining cooperation out there they are the least of our worries, if at all.

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By in United Kingdom,

@Privatematrix: I also do not have a Bricklink account. I have never bought anything online, if I want something I buy it from a shop, the reasons for this are multiple,: I like to examine goods physically before I purchase them, (although I concede that I buy goods from Argos, but at least I can handle them in the shop before leaving the premises), I am wary of online security and do not wish to put my bank account details online, and I worry about the slippery slope of low impulse control, once I start buying online I might get carried away and spend far too much; (also I try to leave as little opportunity for Skynet to track me as possible ;-)). I am not saying that others shouldn't create accounts or buy things online, but it is not for me and I try to create as few accounts as possible, and only do things online when a physical or telephone based option are impossible. (Climbs off of soapbox).

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By in United Kingdom,

@Boone: This is a very impressive set.

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By in United States,

@boone can you describe what the gold cylinder represents under the seat? My guess is that they represent a rotary bell or small water tank. Such a small water tank would not be used to put out a fire but to prime a pump that would be connected to a larger water source? Do tell?

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By in Singapore,

Yeah, I didn't realize how big that was until I saw the minifig comparison. That's enormous! And the funny thing is it doesn't even seem to be in scale with the Creator Expert vehicles (maybe it is with the Volkswagen T1 Camper Van?). Interesting how there's practically no Technic in the build, but maybe there is some in the internals.

FWIW, I'm in agreement with Block-n-Roll, specifically how the prevailing argument is "it's just a free account that takes but a minute to set up, what's the fuss?" and how that has created a culture where we're made to jump through seemingly unnecessary hoops just because doing so doesn't take much time and effort. I don't need to be leaving an indelible, potentially personally identifiable mark everywhere I go on the internet. And even if I can delete my account afterwards, why make me make one in the first place?

Full disclosure, I have a BrickLink account because I do very much use it for parts shopping — in fact, I just placed my most recent order a couple of days ago and will be picking it up in a few hours — yet I've not ordered anything from the ADP simply because I have prioritized other LEGO projects of my own, and they are too expensive for me anyway, even taking free shipping into account. Nevertheless, I've personally had a fantastic experience with the parts marketplace, if only because my very first seller (from Australia) took extra care of me as a first-time buyer. I did feel very uncomfortable listing my shipping address at first, but that's largely been alleviated by the fact that, besides BrickLink themselves, only users I do business with will be able to see it. I'm not terribly apprehensive about BrickLink keeping records of my address because I plan to continue using it for the foreseeable future, but I can understand not wanting to have it lying around for eternity after I've done a one-time deal with a company.

But the gatekeeping here is getting ridiculous and part of why I'm uncomfortable identifying as an AFOL despite technically being one (even Brickset forces me to label myself as such in my reviews). How is an adult that loves LEGO any less of an AFOL just because they choose not to use just one third-party website called BrickLink for whatever reason? Seriously? I thought an adult was someone who could make informed decisions for themselves and not judge others for doing the same, but I guess I was wrong, in which case, I never want to be an AFOL, and I should probably relabel myself a TFOL in my Brickset reviews or something. After all, I do still call myself LegoSonicBoy (my old LEGO Club username from 2001) and not LegoSonic—ugh—Man.

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By in Australia,

A great build! I wouldnt call it 'a bit specialised' though. I dont see how it is any more specialised then an official Lego large vehicle (or anything Star Wars for that matter)

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By in United Kingdom,

@bandit778 'some' import taxes is a bit of an understatement. The £114 set immediately becomes £144 with the VAT + RM handling fee you have to pay.

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By in Germany,

I would have loved to buy this set, but seeing that they ship all your preorders together would have meant having to pay import duty plus taxes not only for this set but also the LEGO story which was the second one I was interested in (and did actually preorder). This would have made the total cost prohibitive, even if shipping itself was free.

As it is, I will only get the LEGO story set, only pay taxes but no import duties on top. Sure, I will miss out on this great fire engine set, but can't be helped. Can't have everything.

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By in United Kingdom,

As to having to have an account, it is simple: these sets are for BL users only. They aren't LEGO sets, they are BRICKLINK sets. In fact, they are really "Studio Shop" sets, which is owned and operated by the BrickLink Corporation.

They ask for an account as they want to impose a limit of three of each set per account.

In that sense it is very similar to LEGO's VIP scheme. If they have a VIP-only offer, you aren't going to get it if you refuse to join the scheme.

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By in Singapore,

^ That is a very fair point.

And on that note, another successful parts order of mine closed!

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By in Australia,

@block-and-roll
you spent more time writing that massive comment than it would take to make an account

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By in Germany,

@ALFIE22: you did realize that his point was NOT the amount of time it takes to open an account?

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By in United States,

@Seeker Bear:
I'm probably not the right person to answer this question as I don't own any of the large scale Creator Expert vehicles, (although I hopefully will soon :) ) but I have seen most of them in person (mostly at LEGO stores in display cases). This one's quite a lot larger than the Mustang, and actually all of them. The Mustang is roughly 13" long and 5" wide, while according to Huw's measurements, if you convert centimeters to inches, the Antique Fire Truck measures about 19" long and almost 6" wide (if my calculations are correct). Sorry for being long-winded!

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By in Canada,

This looks like a replica Maxim Motor Co Fire Truck of some sort, 1923.
http://www.firegold.com/2maximEngines.html

I picked this set up and can't wait :)
Not a licensed set, but in some way you can say its a Maxim truck made to LEGO.

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By in United States,

Can someone direct me to any past article that explains what connection LEGO has to these builds? Do they officially endorse them in any way or if it is a kind of 'wink wink' from them. I am super interested about the process behind it. I ordered the Story set with the factory setting...am very tempted to order this if I can get the extra funds before the cut-off time. Spent a lot of my LEGO budget this weekend.

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