Big things with little cars

[REVIEW] Lesney Matchbox RAF 10 Ton Pressure Refueller

Lesney Matchbox time is here again, this time not a red vehicle. Today we examine Matchbox 73a, the (RAF livery) 10 Ton Pressure Refueller. This casting entered the range in 1959, existing in a relatively short run until 1962, and is another example of a theme found in these higher number castings:

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That theme being military vehicles. This is RAF blue rather than green, but the intent was the same, someone at Lesney thought military items would sell, and several entered the range during this era. This is one of the less common Matchbox military rigs, maybe because it is of smaller apparent scale than most others. Scale is hard to estimate, but I doubt it is larger than 1:75 or so, this is not a large casting, but the real vehicle is not small. As this is a 1959 model there are no niceties like glazing or moving parts, but there is still ample fine line casting detail, accurate proportion, and the decal is nice. From all angles, one can imagine it at work on an airfield during the height of the cold war:

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Front and rear show similar quality detail, with the cast-in ladder at rear being a nice touch:

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The base is basic, the style of the time, and contains identifying data. The grey plastic wheels of this model are pleasing to the eye:

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This example is lucky enough to live in a nice original Type B box, which dates it to roughly 1960:

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As usual I am pleased to have this casting in my collection. Not just because it is a fine model, but it is relatively scarce, and I have seen these sell for respectable sums, which is always nice. Something not seen every day:

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A somewhat similar 1:1 (Leyland “Hippo”) from talkmodeltoys.com:

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