Essex Models and Miniatures archive
Category: Foden

Lone Star, Foden, half cab

by Peter
Categories: Diecast models, Foden, Lone Star, Trucks
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This model is another hard to find Lone Star casting unless you have very deep pockets and comes in various body options including this hopper wagon.


Issued in 1975 under the Lone Star commercials range, this is listed as number 48, sand carrier, the Foden half cab was also issued as No41 Builders supply lorry with a flat bed and load and No45 also a flat bed and listed as a pipe transporter with load, No 49 was a working tipper.


My model is mint and came as an export model in it’s original packing below, this was just stapled so was easy to remove and save the packing if ever required.


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

The real trucks

The half-cab was usually seen on PSV vehicles before the development of underfloor and rear-engined buses in Britain. However Foden adopted the concept in the 1950s for their off-road dump trucks and added road legal tippers with half-cabs to their range like the 1970 24 ton gross eight-wheeler, known as the Foden S50 half cab.  Foden produced the half cab S50.. .at the request of some customers as the insurance was slightly less. (One man in cab!)


Matchbox, Foden heavy recovery

by Peter
Categories: Diecast models, Foden, Matchbox, Trucks
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This is one of the classic Matchbox Kingsize series, the Foden heavy recovery breakdown truck number K12.

Released in 1963 and ended production in 1969

There was two variations of this truck, namely the head boards, the earlier one had lights cast on the sides of the board and the later one’s had this omitted.

The real trucks

Foden Trucks was a British truck and bus manufacturing company which has its origins in Sandbach, Cheshire in 1856. PACCAR acquired the company in 1980, and ceased to use the marque name in 2006.

For the history of Foden, Click Here

Lone Star, Impy #2

by Peter
Categories: Diecast models, Foden, Impy, Lone Star, Scania, Trucks
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This is the second article on the Lone Star, Impy range, the first showed some of the Impy Major trucks I had acquired.

Todays article is really an update and some recent additions.

Firstly one of my favourites, the Impy Major crane truck No181 and was released in 1977, and like the cargo truck in the previous post is, although simplistic, likely to be based on a Scania.

The trailer is fixed to the cab unit like other Impy trucks I have and has a functional rotating crane with extending jib.

Seen below in action lifting a car for transport to the scrapyard, a poorly Matchbox Austin.

This is slightly less common than others I have but still readily available in places like Ebay, some boxed.

The second one today is based on a Foden and still, at present in it’s sealed blister pack.

Initally released in 1969 with the Lucas Batteries livery in dark green and orange tinted glass, and was replaced in 1970 as express freight as in the picture below.

This is the first one I have had that actually represents a known maker and a good scale representation too.

This was the Hi-speed wheels version and may well of been a later issue than the 1970 Lone star regular wheeled version I’ve seen.

Both are scaled at around 1:64.

For more on Lone Star Click Here

The real trucks

The crane truck is believed to be based on a 1976 Scania L140

To see more on Scania history Click Here

The Foden is one of the best known makers in British trucking History, Foden Trucks was a British truck and bus manufacturing company which has its origins in Sandbach, Cheshire in 1856. and started in the truck business with their famous steam trucks.

The 1967 Foden S36 below is a classic Foden as I remember them.

For the Foden website  Click Here

For more on foden Click Here

To restore or not to restore

by Peter
Categories: Bedford, Diecast models, ERF, Foden, Matchbox, Trucks
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There is no easy answer to this question as different people see it in different ways, mostly my collection is all original but, the reasoning behind many of the one’s I bought was, “I could always restore them”, some collectors wouldn’t dream of doing it let alone buy one restored.

I do have many models in bad condition, some to a point they are no more than scrap metal, my thoughts on it is I would rather have a complete restored model than a pile of junk.

My own budget is limited so tend to spend the time restoring or converting  models that would otherwise no doubt be thrown away.

I sell many but some are to bad to re-sell in my view.

The first model in this article is the classic Matchbox Marshall horse box based on an ERF chassis of the 1948 Model V, I have had two very used one’s in my collection for a few years, one with black wheels and one with grey wheels.

The biggest problem with these is they are missing a key part, the horse box door.

This is common with many used Marshall horseboxes, and complete one’s still go for a fair bit of money, I do get many new diecast parts from either Steve Flowers or Model car parts in the Netherlands.

The early Matchbox are easy to dismantle and in this case the careful tweaking of a single cleat removes the body from the chassis.

This one is done with original colours and far better than playworn and a silver coloured diecast door.

I saw one of these go for £35 recently and yes it is worth it in mint condition but as there are somewhere near 2000 Matchbox models alone up to 2010, I personally don’t have that kind of money to keep my collection growing.

I will be starting to do articles on restoring soon as I have a list of models I am doing and will be looking at restoring, customising (generally known as Code 3′s) and full on rebuilds using parts of different models, and hopefully guide a few people through the processes.

Another easy restoration is the Matchbox removels van, based on a Bedford O series chassis.

My two with differing colour variations, and below restored version, complete with new water slide decals.

Many collectors would cringe at this but I collect because I have a passion for cars and trucks, not because they are all original, I tend to have a bit of a James May attitude, boxes are for selling them in not for keeping them in.

One of the things I get asked to do a lot now is code 3 conversions and I myself have a few in my collection, this is where the colour is different from what was intended or using parts not intented for that given model, a good example is the Draguar Batmobile done by a  model maker who does a lot of code 3 conversions (see picture below)  built by ADMC code3 on Ebay

Base on the Matchbox Foden concrete mixer and likely to be the compressor from the Thames trader, to me it’s one for the Foden collection.

The real trucks featured is this article are;

ERF Model V  More on the history of ERF

The Bedford O series More on Bedford O series