Are they even still in business? I tried like crazy to find a "direct" seller, all to no avail. I know of one mail order retailer that sells a very large selection of them here in New York, but shipping and sales tax are deadly. Here is the link for Buffalo Road Hobby Importers, in Buffalo NY. CLick on the "Fire Department" menu, it gives you a pricelist and pictures too.
I have a couple of them, and they are nice pieces but don't compare well to the current stuff coming from Corgi. I think they're somewhat crude and toy-like, but they are valuable collectibles. Most run between $200-$300.
Thanks Steve and David, I know these retailers.
I bought from Thomas in Germany and from Brandon in USA. Very good sellers both.
Think they were always on business they made last year
a Mack L with Stars and Stripes from Belford FD with I think the help of Jack Derosset.
You are right Steve the new Corgi are far better than the Ashton for 8 times cheaper but they were making
rigs that didn't exist anywhere else.
Now with the new continuity from AFEC we will have interesting new models.
Hope they will realize an old WardLaFrance...
When Ashton first came out there wasn't much that could compete with what they did. I have the Boston Engine 25? open cab with the deck guns. I have seen it at swap meets for outlandish prices and in some cases the pieces weren't even complete. I have never considered Ashton pieces to be very good; primarily because they are either out of scale or the shape or look of the piece has been totally missed. Besides that the cost of Ashton pieces today simply doesn't hold up given the quality of alternatives like Code 3, the new Corgi work and Yat Ming.
I agree, the older Ashton Models weren't anywhere near Code 3 or even Corgi quality, and many of them look out of scale, or just odd (not really a fgood representation of the piece they're supposed to represent). BUT . . . Mr. Klarwasser, just like Code 3 and Corgi, continues to improve his work. I don't know if it's his latest piece, but his representation of the 1939 (I think) Ward Lafrance FDNY Searchlight 1 is a true work of art, and well worth every nickel I paid for it.
I have a couple of Ashtons, and they are not as detailed as most, but they do cover different subjects not usually modeled. I did learn an important prevenative fact from Ron Arnow. These are heavy white metal models, and they tend to sag in middle over time. Best measure is to place a support at center of frame when displaying model.
Thanks, people - a very informative thread. To be fair I am not sure you can compare a craftsman who produces limited runs of pieces to Code 3. I am sure Code 3 will have superior detail, but on a very limited number of molds. Turn that around for a small scale operation: unusual subjects with some compromise on detail. Some of the Ashton models I have seen - I admit they are out of my price bracket - seem to deliver both quality and are not run of the mill pieces.
I disagree with Alan on comparing Ashton to Code 3, or other hand-built to mass-made. A model is a model is a model. If you place a same-scale or about same-scale hand-built beside a mass-made beside another mass-made, the level of detail, accuracy of scale, and so on can all be compared against each other. For myself, a hand-built model is no more awesome than a mass-produced piece, if the model *itself* isn't awesome.
I can agree with Mike that it's the model itself that counts, not how expensive or exclusive it may be. My Ashton LARC is a great model, only because no one else produces one, but I would have appreciated better details. My FDNY pumper in my opinon is a 2 pound lump of metal, with very sparse detail. How much a model is cherished is up to the individual collector.
I have ten pieces of Ashton in my collection, and I still consider them as the most beautiful models of American apparatus I've ever bought. The Foxes are outstanding, my favourites are the World's Fair HT and the Pawtucket Sedan pumper. I agree the Macks look odd. I 've never understood why mr. Klarwasser made them that way. The Ward LaFrance searchlight truck and pumper are beauties too, but with 3 kids in da house I don't have any money left to buy them...
Yes the AF from FDNY are beautifullI don't have chance to buy a Word fair one but the other one is
also nice.The Pawtucket is a very special one.
I got also 2 Ward LaFrance.
I just phoned today to Ashton Models and heard they have a brand new one; a FDNY Ward LaFrance,I'm waitting for a photo.
I just posted a photo of my FDNY Ward LaFrance Searchlight 1 on Larry's new General Fire/Rescue Modeling board, http://fireengines.net/smf/index.php#2
for anyone interested. BTW: Larry, thanx a lot. The new site is terrific!
Re: ASHTON MODELS LARGE FIRE MODEL COLLECTION FOR SALE
Hi there, I saw your site and we are helping a local disable fireman who has come into hard times sell his incredible collection. It is massive. I would appreciate if you may pass the word around to some fellow collectors who may want to get some items for a great Price. The gentleman has spent over 70k on his collection over the years. You can see pics and even bid online. Here is the link. https://www.proxibid.com/asp/Catalog.asp?aid=53538 All proceeds will help this gentleman get back on his feet. His home is going into foreclosure and we need al the help we can get. Really, check out this collection. You can call me to at 724 493-5716 My name is Jeremy I can be emailed at firstname.lastname@example.org