The Carley's son Thomas is really really into firetrucks. He can identify more kinds of firehouse-related vehicles than I've even heard of. (Do you know the difference between a tanker truck and an engine? Thomas does.) He was already well on his way to having a firetruck themed room before I came along.
Thomas' parents and I discussed a variety of options for the truck, initially thinking it would be life-sized and filling most of the wall. Ultimately, we decided on something a little more reserved, and a little closer to a technical drawing, in hopes that it will age better as Thomas grows up. The focus would be on realism and interesting facts about firetrucks, while still retaining some whimsy and casualness of style.
Size: approx. 40 sq ft.
Facts and labelled parts: 19
For this to be realistic, I realized I'd have to find a real firetruck. I learned that many trucks are built-to-order for large firehouses, and so it's hard to find a basic model truck - it's not as simple as looking up 'Honda Civic' in google images, because there are so many custom options and combinations available.
This brought me to the 19th Annual Fireman's Parade in West Point, VA to search for the perfect truck. There I reviewed many different trucks, all decked out and polished up for the parade. Just before things started to get rolling, I stumbled upon Project Fightin' 4-1: two retired firefighters and a truck named Amelia.
Amelia had the perfect look for this project, and Chuck and Jasen were very gracious and helpful in teaching me about all of the different parts and tools of the truck. They told me this was Project Fightin' 4-1's first parade, and then let me ride on the truck with them, decked out in boots, coat, and hat (!!!!!!!!!!) Thomas, eat your heart out. Amelia also won two awards that night - oldest truck, and furthest travelled to the parade.
I took a liberty or two here and there with details, but for the most part this is an accurate representation of Amelia in all her glory.
Thank you so much to Chuck and Jasen! They have a facebook page for Fightin' 4-1, so zip on over and check it out whydoncha : Project Fightin' 4-1 on facebook