HO scale fire hose?

Discussion in 'General' started by gjslsffan, Feb 10, 2018.

  1. gjslsffan

    gjslsffan Staff Member Staff Member

    Any ideas what I could use for HO scale fire hose? Color?
  2. WindsorSpring

    WindsorSpring Member

    Stored fire hose? They would be S-folded gray, brownish-gray or even "chrome-yellowish-brownish-gray," coarsely-woven, flattened tubes.
    In use? These are tubes with a woven outer surface. They are kind of a brownish-gray color.
    Just off the top of my head you could start with an athletic shoe-lace. Some of the older, wider ones that are basically a knitted or woven tube might work. Check on the dimensions to see if the scale would be correct. Color correction could be done with diluted paint, perhaps.
    Fittings and nozzles are another department!

    Fire hoses came to the aid of BNSF "out-back" a couple weeks ago. It seems mud in the flangeways at the Big Bend crossing was causing the crossing warning and gates to activate with no trains around. BNSF invited the Kirkwood fire department to come to the scene and sluice the flangeways out; They have worked well since then.
  3. skyraider

    skyraider Member


    I don't have a clue as to the diameter of a fire hose. The texture might or might not be visible in HO. Something I've used for numerous HO scale hose and tube applications is solder. It is flexible, you can paint it, and it comes in several diameters. It wouldn't work for a stored, flattened hose, but it might work for one that is charged.

    Paul Moore
  4. Tom, I have used several items to make hose I get from the do it yourself jewelry section at Michaels,Hobby Lobby and even the Wally World.
    They have leather “string”with a slight grain in both a round or flat profile. Which could work for stored or in use hose I’d think.
    I can post pics of samples if you want?
    For large scale hose I have used shoe laces and they don’t look too bad.
  5. gjslsffan

    gjslsffan Staff Member Staff Member

    Thanks guys for the replies and suggestions. I am trying to finish a scene on the MRR where a fire had been burning. Managed to get a few HO scale Boley USFS fire fighting vehicles and firefighting figures. I would like to have some fire hoses laying around like they just got the fire put out and getting ready to roll everything up. Just a little scene to add some interest to the MRR. Steve I would like to see the images you refer to, I like the idea of using solder, as it can bend to fit the sags and twists. I fugure 3" hoses right? So about .027"?

    I got a bit of a story for all this. Back in 1997-98ish the BNSF was starting to move more and more tonnage between DV-SLC-Stockton. We had Utah RY (UR) contracted for helper service West of Helper UT. The UR power was stretched so thin by then, by virtue of them having all the switching duties between Provo and Ogden, there were leased units from about everywhere working. On a Westbound trip we had a help consist cut-in swing, or mid train, that had of all things an old ex-IC SD20. Well that old soldier was blowin chunks of fire out of it's non-turbos stacks as big as watermelons. No surprise they set fire to a bit of real estate on the climb up to Kyune UT, we held on to the help to Colton in those days, so they could cut out and pull away, cross over to MT2, they put our train back together then head back down for another train to help. One particular day there were folks out putting out a brush fire, only thing is, they didn't bother to tell the RR, we came around one of those curves going about 35mph and ran over their hoses. We felt bad about it, but nothing we could do but run over and cut their hoses up, likely about a 4ft 8 1/2" chunk cut out of them, just glad we didn't run any of those folks over. We never heard a word about it, just hope the help set didn't go back down the hill and run over another set of hoses.
  6. Sirfoldalot

    Sirfoldalot Frisco.org Supporter Frisco.org Supporter

    Jim James used solder to represent hoses in use or just laying about. I know it works well on gas pumps and is easily bent to shape.
  7. Jim James

    Jim James Staff Member Staff Member

    Yes, solder works well. The hose color and setting helps pull off the illusion more than anything else. The mind fills in the blanks so to speak.
    Tom, with your skills I’m sure you’ll have absolutely no trouble. :)
  8. gjslsffan

    gjslsffan Staff Member Staff Member

    Thanks Sherrel and Jim.
    Jim What color did you use for your fire hose?
    Ozarktraveler and Sirfoldalot like this.
  9. Ill take some pics this week to0 Tom. I loved your story!
  10. yardmaster

    yardmaster Administrator Staff Member Administrator Frisco.org Supporter

    Pretty well what I was thinking, Tom. I've used some smaller copper craft wire wound up for a garden hose outside my depot - always read of the pride with which Frisco agents maintained their grounds, so it seemed like a fit. I'll try to get a photo in a bit.

    Nearly had to go step into the adjoining room and have a nervous breakdown after reading your story. 21 years of insurance work will do that to a body. Hazards everywhere.

    Reminds me a bit of the spring of 1978. Old Mr. Schott lived across the alley from us. He decided to burn off some old tomato plants in his garden on what we'd now term a "Red Flag Warning" day. Fire spread to our back yard and the neighbor's house. Chaffee Fire Department's "new" pumper was being serviced so they brought the old, open cab, white pumper circa 1950 vintage - Tim Cannon, Karl or others with Chaffee ties might remember that one.

    At any rate, the pumper promptly broke down. My dad still talks about how Bill Pfefferkorn told him: "Elvis, go get your garden hose." He did, and the fire was promptly extinguished.

    The things that get emblazoned upon a kid's mind.

    Best Regards,
  11. William Jackson

    William Jackson Bill Jackson

    I would think 28 GA wire would work also. It comes in several color,s
  12. Tom here is a couple shots of the craft stuff I use a lot of. Maybe too big? These are all 1mm lines. I am not sure how that compares to small solder. I like the solder for its ability to be posed for sure.
    The black stuff here is all from the jewelry sections. The white and burlap strings are twine for sewing up cadavers. Color wise they are good but not as poseable as solder. If you want some my wife has rolls of either I will drop in the mail. Glued down as full hose it would look good and has a little texture.
    Maybe little bits of brass or aluminum tubing for the fittings? I am not a fireman but the hose we use like that to pump water is 3".
  13. Pics didn't show up? Try again.

    I did not have any of the flat type left but they have it in stock. Looks like a small flat shoelace.
    gjslsffan likes this.
  14. klrwhizkid

    klrwhizkid Administrator Staff Member Administrator Frisco.org Supporter

    Do you think laundry starch would make the string stiff enough to hold shape?
    modeltruckshop likes this.
  15. gjslsffan

    gjslsffan Staff Member Staff Member

    LMOA, I had not thought of that Keith.

    I was gonna use a Bastard file and roll the solder across a flat surface to get the texture.
    modeltruckshop and Jim James like this.

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