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Bedford TK Fire Engine - 15 years ago/Volvo FL today.

Bedford TK Fire Engine - 15 years ago/Volvo FL today.

Oxfords first fire engine at 1:76 scale was the Bedford TK and I measured it up 16 years ago at a car show that was held in Singleton Park Swansea. It was parked up on the hill, just below Bishop Gore School - which I attended between the ages of 13-16 years old before joining Mettoy. Seeing the release of the Volvo FL this month bought back fond memories , it also made me reflect on how things have changed in what is a relatively short space of time and how I am blessed in two ways:

  • Size 9.5 feet, so my trainers are a foot long
  • I am 6 foot tall

What does that have to do with anything I hear you say. Well for years I would measure up vehicles using my feet and height. That is what happened at the car show when I saw the TK and thought, yes that will be our first fire engine. I borrowed a pen, sketched it out and paced around it for about 1 hour - design cost zero (in my head anyway!). It's always important to get some side on/front/rear pictures. I searched back through my old hard drives in the last few weeks. I keep everything- I have so much data that a future project is to centralise everything - that should keep me out of mischief. Anyway I found the pictures and here they are below.

Bedford TK - Singleton Park 2007 used from the design of the Oxford DIecast 76TK001

Bedford TK - Singleton Park 2007 measured for use in the design of the Oxford DIecast 1:76 scale model.

Bedford TK - Singleton Park 2007 used from the design of the Oxford DIecast 76TK001

In the background Bishop Gore School - in the classroom lower right I was taught Spanish - failed dismally, which was a bit of a shame as I moved to Spain for a year in 1985 and it would have been most useful !!!

Bedford TK - Singleton Park 2007 used from the design of the Oxford DIecast 76TK001    Bedford TK - Singleton Park 2007 used from the design of the Oxford DIecast 76TK001

We used the pictures and measurements to make a 2:1 sample, from which we were able to create drawings - there was no 3D scanning back then. Capturing the curves and shapes was always a challenge, but eventually we would get there.Bedford TK - Oxford DIecast hand made pattern.

Then the parts list.

Oxford Diecast Bedford TK parts list.

Then the toolmaking and finally a 1:76 scale Bedford TK! 

76FIRE001 Oxford Diecast Fire Engine

What make me smile is that we coded it as 76FIRE001, assuming I presume that it would be our only fire engine. Since then we have made so many different variants and of the course the Volvo FL is our latest offering.

Today my feet and height are not used, as we use a combination of great drawings or/and 3D scannings and go straight to CAD. 3D scanning has come on so much since I first trialled it in around 2011. You fire a laser at the subject over different positions and create a point cloud - as the name suggest lots of dots, then you create the surface. It was Lotus Elan back in late 2011 when the penny dropped that measuring would never be the same again. 

Below is some CAD from the latest Volvo.

 76VEO Oxford Diecast 1:76 Scale CAD

 76VEO Oxford Diecast 1:76 Scale CAD

Then BINGO, a bit of toolmaking and we have a new release to join our fleet of fire engines.

76VEO001 Oxford Diecast Volvo FL Emergency Pump

You can see more about the Volvo FL on this link.

 Volvo FL

So I wonder what our next engine will be !

Below a selection of appliances in the Oxford 1:76 range. 

Product Description Bodyshape Scale Picture
76AM001 London Fire AEC Mercury TL AEC Mercury TL 1:76 76AM001
76ATV006 Austin ATV London Salvage Corps Austin ATV 1:76 76ATV006
76BD002 Essex Fire Brigade Bedford OW Luton Bedford OX OY OW 1:76 76BD002
76BHF002 London WLG Heavy Unit Bedford Heavy 1:76 76BHF002
76DL4004 Dennis Light Four New World British Railways Dennis Light 4 1:76 76DL4004
76DN001 London FB Dennis RS Fire Engine Dennis RS 1:76 76DN001
76F8001 London Fire Dennis F8 Dennis F8 1:76 76F8001
76FHP002 Fordson Heavy Pump Unit London Fire Brigade Fordson Heavy Pump 1:76 76FHP002
76GG008 Teesside Green Goddess Green Goddess 1:76 76GG008
76LAN188015 British Rail Land Rover 88" Fire Tender Land Rover Series 1 1:76 76LAN188015
76LC002 Leyland Cub FK7 City of Canterbury Fire Brigade Leyland Cub 1:76 76LC002
76LRC001 Land Rover FT6 Carmichael Cheshire County Fire Brigade Land Rover FT6 1:76 76LRC001
76REG006 AEC Regent Hong Kong AEC Regent III Fire 1:76 76REG006
76SAL003 Merseyside F & R service Scania Aerial Rescue Pump Scania Fire Aerial 1:76 76SAL003
76SFE001 Cleveland Fire & Rescue Fire Scania Fire Pump 1:76 76SFE001
76TLM001 London Fire Brigade Leyland TLM Fire Engine Leyland TLM Fire 1:76 76TLM001
76TN002 Thornycroft Nubian Major Glamorgan Fire Service Thornycroft Nubian 1:76 76TN002


Again apologies if you do comment on this post I am unable to reply, but I do read everything - be assured of that.

Until my next blog

Take Care 


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John Churms - May 30, 2023

Looking at the CAD Cam pictures of the new model it shows the light bar above the cab, but on photos of the actual model there is no light bar, since I’ve actual photographed one of this in service with West Yorkshire Fire Service, I can actually say that the real vehicles do have the light bar on top of the cab, I the phot on the web page and Globe magazine a pre production sample or have you manufactured it without the light bar.

Richard Lloyd New Zealand - May 30, 2023

Hi Taff, what do l say, very smart. Cut my driving career on a TK Bedford powered by a Leyland 401 power plus.20 foot stock truck & a 24 foot trailer.
The new models are really great & always enjoy receiving models from Oxford. Keep up the great work. FL7 Volvo,s never really took off in N.Z.
Fire trucks in N.Z. are mainly Scania,s & now Man,s
Kindest regards Richard.

Austin K - May 30, 2023

Hi Taff great work as usual.

As with most Irish Fire Brigades moving to Scania it would be great to see an Irish FL Fire Appliance to compliment the Irish Models.

One of the First New Generation Volvo FL 816s in Ireland was a 2017 Carlow County Fire and Rescue Service Pump.

Well worth looking into.


Nigel Branthwaite - May 30, 2023

It would be grate to see the Ergomatic cab AEC Mercury pumper and Merryweather TL Fire Engines in 1/76 Scale in the future.

Ian Mcpherson - May 29, 2023

Hi Again Taff do you know the Newcadtle leyland cub model could be turned into the Thornaby on Tees model as it was in the same livery as Newcastle just neefs a name change regards ian mv

Mr Roger James Trollope - May 29, 2023

lovely model as usually could the famous Swansea BIG 6 PRE WAR DENNIS be
made into a new 1/76 diecast,the vehicle as you probably know is still around i believe
and it did serve Swansea during the Blitz.

Alba VISSCHER - May 29, 2023

In Amsterdam heeft er helaas nooit een Bedford TK brandweerwagen rondgereden. Ze waren wel te zien bij de Stadsreiniging,waarbij de goten langs de stoepranden werden schoongespoten.zelfs onder de geparkeerde auto’s door.Volgens mij waren deze Bedfords donkergrijs van kleur.Idee voor een volgend Oxfordmodel? - May 29, 2023

I Dit like the story about the bedford tk very much,becors i drove one myself.

Paul walters - May 29, 2023

Hi Taff, a very interesting and gives a brief in sight as to how your models are produced. Going forward, i would love to see you introduce a range of crash trucks both modern A subject matter in the main sadly neglected by the mainstream kit/diecast manufaturers. Would love to see an MFV and RIV added at some point. I’m sure theres a market for them particularly fond of older fire engines, my collection having over 4000 , model fire engine from all corners of the world, I would gladly purchase one a month " model fire/crash engines if available kind regards

Sven Säker - May 29, 2023

More London veichle from 60th, 70th.
Regards Sven.

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