Oxford's new fire tender meets high expectations
Oxford Diecast Ford WOT1 Crash Tender Mickey Mouse - Museum of RAF Firefighting, Scampton
The Fordson WOT1 (War Office Type 1) major foam tender was manufactured at the Ford Dagenham plant from 1940, replacing any production of Ford’s civilian range of cars and tractors The WOT1 was introduced as a general purpose chassis and during the World War II it carried searchlights, barrage balloons and froth fire extinguishers. The WOT1 formed the mainstay of the Royal Air Forces fire-fighting equipment at fighter and bomber bases during the war and the early post-war years. It carried 300 gallons of water and 65 gallons of foam.
The vehicle was manned by a crew of five - one driver and four firemen; the driver would act as pump operator. One fireman would be dressed in an asbestos suit, for rescue duties, and the other three would operate the foam hose lines, dressed in overalls, leather jackets and rubber boots, plus a steel helmet with a skirt to cover the head and neck area. They were also equipped with an axe & belt and a quick release knife for cutting aircrew harnesses.
This Oxford model represents a unit that served in Europe with the advancing armed forces after D-day and provided fire cover in Germany during the Berlin Airlift. Registered 10 81 40, this particular unit is just one of three to have survived, despite being sold for scrap in 1953. Now safely installed at the Museum of RAF Firefighting at Scampton, Oxford's capture of all the detail is nothing short of stunning at this scale.
As new tooling, this is the first of hopefully several releases - the next one is already scheduled (another survivor, painted red and now at the Spitfire Museum near ex-RAF Manston) - and surely at least one more will follow of the other surviving unit at Lincolnshire Aviation Heritage Centre, East Kirkby, Lincolnshire.
The amount of tooling required for this intricate model must have been extensive so this represents an absolute bargain and it's a beauty with a superb finish all over.