Essex Models and Miniatures archive
Category: Budgie

Dinky Supertoys, cement/concrete mixer

by Peter
Categories: Albion, Budgie, Diecast models, Dinky, Joal, Leyland, Trucks
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The Dinky Supertoys Cement mixer, number 960 was produced between 1960 and 1968, the first issues describe this as a ‘cement mixer’ on the box and later changed to ‘concrete mixer’.

Dinky cement mixer 1

This has a rotating and tipping drum, the rotation is operated via a ring gear on the drum and though to the rear wheels.

Dinky cement mixer 3

Added play value was using the tipping drum and hollow shute to pour sand or water on to your miniature building site.

Dinky cement mixer 2

This model is based on the Albion Chieftain although the mixing part of the truck doesn’t look like any mixer from the same period and assume this was designed for the play value rather than vehicle accuracy, further observations on this fact is below.

Joal also produced this model and there is speculation as to whether the Dinky dies were used or it just a very good copy, this is Joal number 202 from the 1970′s and also the Albion Chieftain, again further research is below.

Joal cement mixer1

On the other hand Budgie Toys also made a version but used the Leyland Super Comet as the basis of their truck, and a completely different drum mechanism although still a tipping type mixer, this is Budgie number 310.

Budgie Toys mixer

Some of the research I do involves not just the models but the vehicle where the inspiration and model come from.

There seems to be some discussion, and disputes over the Albion and Leyland LAD bodies produced by Dinky although to me the casting is very clear in design.

The Albion Chieftain as is the Dinky cement mixer number 960 and also the Joal mixer number 202.

Whereas the Budgie mixer is a Leyland Super Comet and so is the Dinky Marrel multi-bucket below.

Dinky skip truck 1

The proof is in the body shape, the Leyland has the wrap around lower skirt and the Albion has seperate mudguards.

You need more proof, how about the real trucks?

1961 Leyland Super Comet, note the wrap around lower skirt just above the wheels.

A Leyland Super Comet 1961

1963 Albion Chieftain no wrap around skirt and seperate mudguards.

Albion 1963 Chieftain

Real pictures from

The Motor Panels cab design used was shared with Leyland, Albion and Dodge It is therefore often referred to as the “LAD” cab (Leyland-Albion-Dodge).

The Albion is also a smaller truck that can clearly be seen by the two Dinky trucks together, also notice the mixer had the Albion crest as seen on the real truck, the bumper types are also different.

Dinky Albion-Leyland

Is the Joal casting the old Dinky dies?

Lets look at some details and you can decided for yourselves

Dinky-Joal 1

My first observation is the sharpness of the Dinky detail opposed to the Joal version also the Albion crest is missing, although this in itself proves nothing as dies wear, some of the old Airfix moulds sold to Dapol have been re-released and obvious signs of wear can be seen in the plastic mouldings now produced, and that’s plastic, now imagine what a hot metal die has to go through.

Dinky-Joal 2

The castings look at first glance to be almost identicle but my personal opinion is that this is a good copy rather than the original dies from Dinky.

The Dinky mixer design

Possibly to you and certainly me, the mixer looks too small as to what we are used to seeing, also the way it works doesn’t follow the real mixers seen mounted on all of our past and present concrete trucks.

First the models above have a tipping drum, secondly the ring gear operation is not used on the concrete mixers I know as they are driven directly from the rear of the drum, unloading is achieved by reversing the drum and a long screw paddle inside the drum discharges the contents, and more like the picture below of an Albion of the same era as the Dinky mixer.


The idea of a tipping mixer and the ring gear is the same as most older small cement mixers used on building sites, they tip to discharge and operate via a ring gear on the outside of the drum, this leads me to believe that the design was inspired by site cement mixers rather than a lorry mounted design of the day, an old diesel site mixer seen below shows the exposed ring gear and also notice the cradle design, also similar to the Dinky mixer.


If such a lorry existed then no picture or information now existing on the internet or my vast book collection of lorries and construction plant.

There is a possiblity this type of mixer did exist and may of been for batching large amount of mortar for the 1950′s building boom, but without pictures , this I can not verify.

The original concrete mixer was designed in America way back in  1933 and even then looks more like a modern concrete truck than the Dinky mixer does.






Budgie Toys, diecast AA traffic control

by Peter
Categories: Budgie, Diecast models, Seddon Atkinson, Trucks
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Budgie Toys started out as Morestone, the original name derived from “Morris” and “Stone” who started distributing  toys in the 1940s, despite the simplicity, some models and their liveries could be quite clever, and Morestone/Budgie’s forte seemed to be in selecting unique subjects not manufactured by other companies.

This includes this unique Seddon AA traffic control unit.

Budgie AA truck 1

Apparently there are two castings of this trailer, one with open windows on top of the trailer roof and one without, the Seddon cab has been used on other Budgie units.

Budgie AA truck 2

This is from the Budgie Jumbo range and measures 168mm long and numbered 218.

Produced from 1959 to about 1964, Budgie went out of business in 1966.

For more on Budgie Toys click here

The real trucks

Seddon Diesel Vehicles were, like Atkinson Lorries, ERF and Motor Traction Ltd (Rutland), a commercial vehicle producer who bought-in and assembled proprietary components. Robert and Herbert Seddon were sons of a Salford butcher who in 1919 subsequent to World War I demobilisation bought a Commer with charabanc and van bodies, using it during the week for goods transport and at weekends to run excursions from Salford. Initially a further partner was a family-friend, a dairyman by the name of Foster, so the business was initially a partnership. Foster & Seddon also reconditioned vehicles and ran a bus service from Swinton (Lancs.) to Salford, which was subsequently sold to Salford Corporation, and held an agency for Morris Motors vehicles. In 1937 Robert Seddon spotted a gap in the commercial vehicle market for low-tare diesel-engined lorries and commenced to build his own vehicle out of proprietary units, much of the drawing work being done on his own kitchen table.


In 1970, Seddon took over Atkinson Lorries to form Seddon Atkinson, in 1974 International Harvester bought Seddon Atkinson, later Pegaso took over the business until it in turn became part of Iveco, the last lorries under the Seddon Atkinson name were built in Oldham in 2004.

For more on Seddon see wikipedia

Real vehicle text from Wikipedia


Scammell Scarab

by Peter
Categories: Budgie, Diecast models, Matchbox, Scammell, Trucks
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The first picture show a new find, the Budgie Scammell Scarab number 238, made from the 1060′s until the early 1970′s, this is the earlier livery of ‘British Rail’ with the Cadbury advert a later version was in yellow and the ‘Railfreight’ decals, it was also available in ‘GWR’ livery.

Also came with a canvas cover rather than a solid top, No240, and much later in Royal Navy livery and numbered 702 with the solid covered back, this probably scales around 1:43.

Matchbox also made the Scammell Scarab, No10 and released it in 1957, at only 75mm long is tiny.

Matchbox discontinued it in 1960.

The picture below shows both of my Scarabs together showing the size difference.

The real Scammell Scarab

The Scammell Scarab is a British 3-wheeled tractor unit produced by the truck manufacturer Scammell between 1948 and 1967 and replaced the Scammell Mechanical Horse made from 1920 with its very ‘square’ wooden cab and steel chassis, remained largely unchanged until the late 1940s when the tractor section was redesigned creating the Scammell Scarab.

Scammell’s idea of the combination of an Arab horse (which the Mechanical Horse replaced in BR usage) and the word Scammell became  Sca-rab = Scarab. The official Scammell Lorries LTD advertisement film makes reference to this. It was extremely popular with British Railways and other companies who made deliveries within built-up areas. The Ministry of Defence also used the Scarab and trailers for predominantly internal transport on large military bases.

Production of the Scarab ceased in 1967 and was replaced with the Scammell Townsman that then featured a fibreglass cab.

Matchbox, Austin FX3 Taxi

by Peter
Categories: Austin, Budgie, Cars, Diecast models, Matchbox, Morestone, Taxi
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The Austin FX3, to me is THE classic taxi, with the single front seating position for the driver and the open nearside for the baggage, and although build as long ago as 1948 were still seen on the roads in the 1960′s when I was young.

The Matchbox Lesney Austin Metropolitan Taxi, No17 and released in 1960 with grey wheels.

This is one that, although not hard to find, is hard to find in good condition at a reasonable price, this is about my fourth upgrade for this model.

Watch out if buying a playworn version of this as the front window pillars tend to get broken or cracked or are completely missing rendering the casting useless. (see this article for damaged examples)

The two below are restored examples, one in the original red the other black with added detail.


Morestone (later to become Budgie Toys) also produced a version of the Austin Taxi, No13 and likely to of been released around 1957.

The big difference is the colour, the Matchbox is almost always maroon and the Morestone and Budgie versions black.

Here are the two together showing the size and scale difference.

Related articles Austin Taxi FX3

The real Taxi

In 1948 a new Austin, the FX3, built by Carbodies of Coventry and financed jointly by Mann and Overton, Carbodies and Austin appeared and soon dominated the market. It was first produced with a petrol engine but this proved uneconomical to run so in 1952 a conversion for a Standard diesel engine was made available.

Text and picture from London Taxi History

There has never been a law that says that London’s cabs should be black. A cab may be any colour, but when the Oxford and the FX3 were introduced, their makers supplied them in a standard colour of black. Few buyers were prepared to pay the extra money for a special colour and so for three decades, black became the norm. In the late 1970s, Carbodies offered a wide range of pleasing colours for the FX4 to the ever-growing number of owner-drivers and now cabs are found in a very wide range of colours, including special advertising liveries.