Big things with little cars
Big things with little cars
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[REVIEW] Lesney Matchbox Diamond T Prime Mover

Lesney Matchbox time is here, and again we look into the early days of the brand. Today we examine Matchbox 15a, the Diamond T Prime Mover. This casting entered the range in 1956, and remained until 1959. This is another early commercial/heavy equipment model that is a scaled-down version of a pre-Matchbox casting. It is primitive compared to later models, but the quality is still there:

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Illustration for article titled [REVIEW] Lesney Matchbox Diamond T Prime Mover

This is a model of a WW2 era heavy equipment transporter. Although this is a petite model, it has plenty of fine detail for its size. It is difficult to estimate scale, but I can’t imagine it is larger than 1:100, it definitely feels smaller than HO. This casting sits on metal wheels with crimped axles - all but a few were made this way, with uncommon to rare varieties existing in yellow or with plastic wheels. No glazing or interior of course, that would come a bit later. This is another time warp example, which has spent little time out in the open - the silver trim shines as new, and the axles appear as new. From all angles, it was a nice piece of small scale modelmaking for 60 years ago:

Illustration for article titled [REVIEW] Lesney Matchbox Diamond T Prime Mover
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Illustration for article titled [REVIEW] Lesney Matchbox Diamond T Prime Mover
Illustration for article titled [REVIEW] Lesney Matchbox Diamond T Prime Mover
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Illustration for article titled [REVIEW] Lesney Matchbox Diamond T Prime Mover

One notices there is a large tow hook. This model was meant to go with 16a, a heavy duty trailer, which in the 1:1 world would have been used to move heavy equipment or a tank etc. I forgot to photograph mine with it (of course I have one :) ), here’s an image from the-saleroom.com:

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Now that I think of it, I used my trailer for a “BaDT” themed post some time ago. Not to the intended scale, but the trailers had good play value, just use imagination:

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Front and rear are similar, the lustre of the silver paint is remarkable to me:

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Illustration for article titled [REVIEW] Lesney Matchbox Diamond T Prime Mover

The base is quite basic, as expected for the time - minimal identifying information:

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This example is lucky enough to live in its pristine original type B box. This model came out of an original owner collection I was lucky enough to find about 6 years ago. Based on what I know from that source, this was made around 1957:

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Although not the flashiest thing, I am happy to have this. The state of preservation is remarkable, and it has charm for its small size. It’s a piece of history, and if you want one, shouldn’t be terribly expensive:

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Some 1:1s in action from wikipedia:

Illustration for article titled [REVIEW] Lesney Matchbox Diamond T Prime Mover
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Illustration for article titled [REVIEW] Lesney Matchbox Diamond T Prime Mover
Illustration for article titled [REVIEW] Lesney Matchbox Diamond T Prime Mover

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