Lesney Matchbox time is here again, and time again for another yellow vehicle on a sunny summer day. Today we examine Matchbox 51a, the Albion Chieftain cement truck. This casting entered the range in 1958, remaining until 1964. It is a good example of the Lesney Matchbox line when fine detail was becoming the focus of the brand:

This is a dainty casting compared to the size of the real world vehicle, I estimate scale at maybe 1:75-1:80 - made to fit in a box. Even with this, there is still a bit of fine casting detail, and I think the cement bags are detailed wonderfully. Note they are not just a grid to simulate stacks of bags, but are all a little different, which really adds to the realism of the casting. As this is 1958, nothing opens, there is no glazing or interior, and this casting never had it. I suspect this one was a favorite for model railroaders and diorama builders. This model was offered with all wheel types of the years it was made - metal, grey plastic, silver plastic, black plastic (the latter two being quite scarce). From all angles, it is a charming representation of a vehicle that was usually used up and thrown away - not many full sized examples of these left in 2017:

Front and rear have similar detail, the finely cast mask-sprayed grille is a nice touch:

The base is basic as usual for the time, with ample identifying data, With these plastic wheels, I suspect this was made around 1959-60:

This example is noteworthy as it does not have the usual tampos on the cab or bed. Production error, or prior owner custom? I suppose one may never know, but there is not a trace of the tampos on this casting. Here are the the tampo varieties of this casting, from my collection:

This is another loose model in what will be a series of loose models, and I am happy to have it in my collection. It is a curiosity with the absent tampos, and is a generally pleasing looking model. A nice survivor:

A nearly identical 1:1 from flickr, and a modern image of a similar cab from ccmv.aecsouthall.co.uk :