Essex Models and Miniatures archive
Category: Construction Plant

Triang, Spot-On Jones mobile crane

by Peter
Categories: Construction Plant, Diecast models, Jones, Spot-On, Triang
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Possibly my ultimate holy grail of  Triang diecast and the most I ever paid for a single model to date, the rare Triang Spot-on Jones mobile crane in 1:42 scale.

Actually they are not that rare but as a rule rarely affordable complete and in a reasonable condition.

I didn’t pay over the odds for this one and pleased with finally owning a model I have been wanting to add to my collection for many years, in fact ever since I saw one on the Triang box for Arkitex construction sets

This Triang Spot-On is Triang number 117 and produced somewhere between 1959 and 1967 if not during that whole period.

Triang Spot-on, Jones crane 2

With a fully functioning crane this beast is a joy to operate.

Triang Spot-on, Jones crane 3

This will remain in the condition it came rather than restore it, however I have ordered some new reproduction decals.

Triang Spot-on, Jones crane 4

Was also available with an all red cab and a grey chassis.

Spot-On models, was a brand name for a line of diecast toy cars by Tri-ang produced from 1959 through about 1967. They were manufactured in 1:42 scale in Belfast, Northern Ireland, the United Kingdom.

Tri-ang advertised the precise nature of its (larger) chosen scale as being ‘spot-on’ at 1/42 throughout.

Well over a hundred different models were designed, the range being extended to include scale buildings and road signs. Production continued until the time that Tri-ang bought Dinky Toys in 1967.

The owners decided to discontinue Spot-On in favour of Dinky in 1967). Some production continued in New Zealand. From this point on, Dinkys were usually made in 1:42 scale, though unlike Spot-On they were not consistent and continued to make both larger and smaller models to fit in with different market niches.

The real crane

The  Jones mobile crane, known as a KL10 did exist.

Jones KL10

Jones Cranes was a UK brand for several types of crane originally produced by its first brandname called K & L Steelfounders and Engineers Ltd from a large factory site based at Letchworth in Hertfordshire, England. The firm was very similar in many ways to the larger manufacturer Coles Cranes Limited their closest supplier and name of several crane types, later by the 1940s the company was renamed JONES CRANES LIMITED until they collapsed in the 1990s.

Jones had a chance to develop another whole new original concept but werent able to yet because they never built cranetrucks before of their own except their models mounted on standard AEC, ERF, FODEN and LEYLAND lorries. Jones Cranes Management then ordered to their neighbours a firm called SD Shelvoke & Drewry Limited a very long established lorry firm to build them a special 6X6 offroad truck to use it as cranecarrier for their next prototype crane model using 3 axle drive. This was later known as the useful 1962 JONES KL10-10 6WD cranetruck their first original go-anywhere allwheel driven crane that was selling moderately well but suffered from the big sales champion and rival all hydraulic mobilecrane the famous and bigger Coles Hydra 4WD 4WS of about the same decade but the KL10-10 still sold well and it was available with either Leyland TD or Perkins Diesel engines similar to 1960s lorries.

This KL10-10 6X6 a completely new model was partially co-developed by SD Ltd using a six wheel driven crosscountry chassis, built with a new 2 men fibreglass cab, with new hydraulic crane controls within the drivers cab, offroad driving axles and tyres plus a new 32ft long latticejib and was able to lift any 12 ton loads. Around 6980 models or so of them were sold with several improvements done to it until 1973 when its production ended. This was another successful first attempt at a new large model to have sold rather well and by the early 1970s Jones felt the need to redevelop their modern cranecarrier concept and they entered another period of internal redevelopment for diesel-hydraulic new models for that decade using other heavy truck mechanicals available like Bedford, Ford, Leyland, Cummins, Perkins and Scania in order to relaunch another new crane generation.

Jones cranes text from

Real Jones crane Picture from

Dinky, Coles mobile crane

by Peter
Categories: Coles, Construction Plant, Diecast models, Dinky
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Based on the Ulysses 3 ton Mobile Yard crane which had been introduced in 1949, the Dinky Coles Mobile Crane.  It had crank operated jib and hook and 360 degree  rotation.

First numbered 570 when it was introduced in 1949 and later became 971 in March 1954.

Dinky Coles crane1

This model was withdrawn in 1966.

Dinky Coles crane2


The real cranes

Information on the real cranes is sketchy to say the least but a useful page I found was here—1960

From the above webpages the following is the description of a yard crane in general

Yard Crane

Self mobile cranes with either cantilever or strut booms designed for lifting moving and stacking goods both inside and outside industrial works and storage sites. There loading capacity is lower than the industrial crane but this rating can be raised for static lifting if outriggers are fitted stabilising their base. Movement and lifting are operations are both carried out from operating cab mounted in the slewing deck. They are more moveable than the Industrial Unit.



Lone Star and Dinky Exhibition, WhiteWebbs museum 2014

This year at the annual Lone Star Exhibition I had a stall to show my own Lone Star collection, it had been extended to include Dinky Toys too.

Last year I visited this show for the first time and learnt  alot about Lone Star and this year was no different.

My own small collection

Whitewebbs DC expo 9

The red crane with the white jib is new and bought at the show, boxed and mint.

Whitewebbs DC expo 10

Most of the models here have already been written about and you can find out more by searching Lone Star on this website.

So lets have a look around the Exhibition.

On the table next to me was this Lone Star Treblo electric layout, and fully operational, Treblo or OOO was the father of British N gauge.

Whitewebbs DC expo 1

A  few static diecast  Treblo layouts showing a vast number of the range that was available by Lone Star.

Whitewebbs DC expo 2

Whitewebbs DC expo 3

Lone Star were well known for their diecast cap guns of many types and in fact gained the name solely because of the western theme they had adopted, this stall had one of the biggest ranges I have ever seen.

Whitewebbs DC expo 7

Even more Lone Star weapons.

Whitewebbs DC expo 8

This is Ian Dorrell and his amazing collection of all things Lone Star, probably the largest collection in the UK, in fact many of the pictures in the reference books I use are of  Ian’s collection.

Whitewebbs DC expo 6

There was plenty of stalls selling Lone Star as well as other makes, and as already said I have added a Lone Star crane to my collection, a few other things caught my eye and worthy of adding here.

First this set of Dinky A4 locomotives, around N gauge in size, According to the “Great book of Dinky Toys” The Green one, Light blue one , the Silver and Red one and the Silver one Are from 1937–1941.  The Dark Green one is obviously after 1948 with that BR crest.  The one in Dark Blue can either be Pre or post WW2…

Personally I had not seen these before.

Whitewebbs DC expo 4

Another Dinky set and was really tempted with buying it, but alas,  I didn’t.

This is also Dinky no. 18 Tank Goods Set produced 1934–1941.

Whitewebbs DC expo 5

As the theme was Lone Star and Dinky diecast, I was suprised they had a large O gauge Hornby 3-rail layout, but Frank Hornby did produce the Dinky range as well as Hornby trains and of course Meccano, the following pictures are of the layout which I had great pleasure in watching much of the day.





For more information on Lone Star or a copy of the books I myself use as reference go to


Ertl, small scale construction machines

by Peter
Categories: Construction Plant, Diecast models, Ertl
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Even after all the time I’ve been involved with diecast collecting, every now again something comes up I’ve not seen before.

These tiny machines, made by Ertl are about 1:144 scale or in the model railway world N gauge.


A rare find and little can be found on these models, and after many searches will leave this to our readers to inform me of production dates and ranges.