Essex Models and Miniatures archive
Category: Military vehicles

Lone Star military vehicles

by Peter
Categories: Diecast models, Lone Star, Military vehicles
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Back in 1957 Lone Star started what would become a long running series of military castings that were in production on and off until 1979 in various forms the removable guns and searchlights etc was reused even later until 1986 on their sci-fi range ‘The space commanders‘.

The start of this series was the armoured car, No 1296 and jeep No 1266 in 1957, (armoured car can be seen in the first picture below)

Lone Star modern army 1

The modern army series seen above had black plastic wheels and was also produced in a sand coloured set called ‘War in the desert’ probably released around the same time although extremely hard to find. The desert set was numbered MFU12.

The truck above I have not come across with the pressed steel cover, an open truck is listed but only seen without the cover so again I assume these are quite hard to find.

The clever design allowed the guns, searchlight and radar dish to be removed, the truck and the trailers all had the same fitting and were all inter-changeable.

These were only shown in production until around 1960 although most of these castings were re-released in the seventies as the ‘Army strike force’ or ‘Army series’  in a matt olive green, the later casting had updated wheels, a form of speed wheels and can be seen below on another variation released in 1974 as ‘International peace force’ and repainted in blue.

Lone Star modern army 4

The jeep casting is that of the 1957 range although the armour car had a small redesign as the turret was now removable, same fitting as the weapons above, the early armoured cars had a riveted turret, this may well of been re-designed due to the chrome turret.

Lone Star modern army 2

The truck casting also became the ‘sand truck’ with a bulldozer type blade fitting and repainted orange, and also a breakdown truck, usually yellow.

An artic tractor unit was also produced and used on a limited range of Road Masters.

Some of the trailer fighting units also had operators but again many got lost over the years.

Lone Star modern army 3

I have seen a second trailer unit, slightly longer and has mudguards over the wheels, at yet I haven’t actually found one for the collection. they were part of a jeep and trailer set the trailer casting above seems far more common.

Recently another Army truck came my way, the missile launcher truck.

Lone Star MAS1

I paid a fair bit for this one. more than I usually would as not only was it boxed but also has it’s ever so rare missile, something you wouldn’t be allowed to produced these days.

With many rocket launchers including those fitted to the ‘Space Commanders‘ it is at least good to have at least one missile.

The box artwork.

Lone Star MAS2

Due to the rarity of the missiles, I have decided to look at re-creating them in white metal, in due course I will have these available for sale, if you have an interest in these then contact me to register your interest and I will add you to the list when these become available (likely early 2018).


Crescent Toys, Missle launcher

by Peter
Categories: Crescent, Diamond T, Diecast models, Military vehicles, Trucks
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Crescent Toys was a British toy manufacturing company in operation from 1922 to 1980. It manufactured lead figures and animals, die cast metal vehicles, toy guns, and later plastic figures.

Crescent toys mobile rocket launcher number 126, this was produced in army green and also civilian colours red and green with a yellow rocket.

Crescent missile launcher1

The rocket on this example should be white, so not sure whether this has been issued this way or added to the vehicle at a later date.

The yellow rocket would of been part of the civilian truck.

Crescent missile launcher2

The green is a darker army green although have seen these in a brighter army green. possibly Brunswick green with the American white star on the cab doors, therefore assuming this was issued in two types of army green, on close inspection this doesn’t look like it’s been re-painted.

The rocket is plastic with a diecast warhead and possibly designed for loading caps, firing this rocket is certianly dangerous indoors with the heavy metal nose, you couldn’t design toys like that now-a-days.

Related articles;

Crescent mobile crane

Crescent Toys history

The real truck

The Diamond T Motor Car Company was founded in Chicago in 1905 by C. A. Tilt. Reportedly, the company name was created when Tilt’s shoe-making father fashioned a logo featuring a big “T” (for Tilt, of course) framed by a diamond, which signified high quality.


Real truck text and picture from Wikipedia

Marx, Atomic cannon

by Peter
Categories: Marx Toys, Military vehicles, Pressed Steel toys
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MARX number 3374 Long Range Atomic Cannon Truck.

This was an interesting find, not absolutely sure what is missing but also seems to of been battery operated.


Over 23 inches long, the main missing parts are the tracks, radar  and missiles.


Although way down the restoration list I will be making tracks for it and will do an article on this when I do it.

The cab is identicle to the Marx Lumar crane truck


How it should look.


For more pressed steel vehicle articles Click Here


Tri-ang, Junior crane truck restoration

Marx Lumar crane restoration

Related articles;

Marx cranes and excavators

Tri-ang Jones KL44 crane

Meccano Mogul

Tonka Toys

MAZ, diecast, Russian tank transporter

by Peter
Categories: Diecast models, Military vehicles
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Today’s gem I know very little about as it has absolutely no markings in the castings.

Very likely based on the MAZ 535/537 heavy tractor with a low loader trailer for tank transport.

MAZ tank transporter1

Believed to of been made in Russia, the casting is basic but good and the trailer is fixed to the tractor unit.

MAZ tank transporter2

I do know a second model was produced with a different trailer and a rocket load, also I believe there was another ten military models by the same maker. (see link Here for more) if you can read Russian the boxes on the link has everything written in what looks like Russian.

MAZ tank transporter3

Some time ago I made a custom MAZ 537 from scrap Matchbox parts, to see what I made it of  Click Here


The real MAZ

The Maz 357 is a Russian military heavy hauler/tractor unit mainly using as a tank transporter.

For more on the MAZ 357 Click Here

If you want to see and hear one of these monsters in action Click Here and watch the video at the bottom of the webpage.