Benbros TV Series & Mighty Midgets
No.20 Foden Flat Truck
No.20 Flat Truck in the Benbros TV Series & Mighty Midgets saw the second of several more Fodens in the collection, the first having been No.8 Timber Tractor.
Based on an eight-wheeled lorry, the Flat Truck model was quite small in scale measuring just 57mm long. It had a straightforward two-part casting made up of a cab and chassis section, and a flat-bed body rivetted on top. With this design there was no need for a base because the axles and wheels were fitted directly onto the chassis. One interesting feature was the inclusion of 'Qualitoy' on the casting, a logo which Benbros first added to the bases of the American models Nos. 16b and 18 and which was now included on most of the miniatures. 'Benbros' and 'Made in England' were also added.
Benbros chose two-tone colours for the first models of the Flat Truck. Early examples had an orange cab & chassis without trim and pale-green or mid-blue flat-bed bodies but these are very rare and may have been pre-production or low-volume trial runs. Interestingly, the illustration on the TV boxes shows an orange-red cab and dark-green flat-bed.
Once full-production commenced, Benbros appears to have transferred the orange cab to No.21 Diesel Wagon, giving the Flat Truck a rich red cab and bright yellow body. There was no silver trim and as with all the early variations, the wheels were unpainted metal on nail-head and crimped axles. It was packed in a TV Series box with a large number on the illustration panel (TV3).
At about this time Benbros added metallic colours to many of their models and the next Flat Truck was a two-tone variation in metallic blue without silver trim with a red body and metal wheels.
After the twin-tone models, Benbros produced the remainder of the Flat Trucks in just one colour, the first of which was metallic green. This variation was the first to have silver trim added to the grille, headlights, front bumper and the fuel tank on the left side of the chassis and was also the only Flat Truck to get painted wheels and axles. These were often overpainted two-tone models with the old colours sometimes showing.
New colours quickly followed with orange, blue and green models, all with silver trim, and a beige variation with red trim on front grille, bumper, headlights and fuel tank.
The usual Benbros assembly method was to fit the wheels after the model had been painted so all the remaining Flat Trucks had unpainted metal wheels or black plastic ones. Nail-head & crimped axles continued for most variations but round-head & crimped were used on the green, beige and mid-blue models with umw, and on some of the last models with black plastic wheels.
The Flat Truck was a successful model and when Benbros switched to black plastic wheels, they not only applied these to several existing colours (or overpainted them in another colour, for example orange over green) but added two more, dark-blue and red. These last variations are perhaps the best of all in both strength of colour and finish.
It is not hard to find good examples of No.20 Foden Flat Truck but several of the colours including the first variations and the TV boxes are scarce or very rare.
photo Robert Newson
Variation 1: orange & green, umw
Variation 2: orange & blue, umw
Variation 3 : Red & yellow, umw, TV3 box
Variation 4: metallic blue & red, umw, TV3 box
Variation 5 : metallic green, pmw
Variation 6 : Metallic green, umw
Benbros No.20 Foden Flat Truck
(1) ORANGE cab/chassis NO trim PALE-GREEN body umw TV3 box
(2) ORANGE cab/chassis NO trim MID-BLUE body umw TV3 box
(3) RED cab/chassis NO trim YELLOW body umw TV3 box
(4) METALLIC BLUE NO trim RED body umw TV3 or MM box
(5) METALLIC GREEN silver trim painted mw MM box
(6) METALLIC GREEN silver trim umw MM box
(7) METALLIC BLUE silver trim umw MM box
(8) GREEN silver trim umw MM box
(9) ORANGE-RED silver trim umw MM box
(10) BEIGE RED trim umw MM box
(11) MID-BLUE silver trim umw MM box
(12) MID-BLUE silver trim bpw MM box
(13) ORANGE silver trim bpw MM box
(14) BEIGE silver trim bpw MM box
(15) METALLIC BLUE silver trim bpw MM box
(16) DARK BLUE silver trim bpw MM box
(17) RED silver trim bpw MM box
(18) GREEN silver trim bpw MM box
Estimated Price Guide
Values are for MINT models in MINT boxes
(1) (2) (3) (4) : £60-100+
All other variations : £20-60+
Variation 7 : metallic blue, umw
Variation 9: Orange-red, umw
Variation 8: green, umw
Variation 10: beige, red trim, umw
Variation 11: mid-blue, umw
Variation 13: orange (factory over-painted green model), bpw
Variation 14: beige, silver trim, bpw
Variation 15: metallic blue, bpw
Variation 16: dark-blue, bpw
Variation 17: red, bpw
Variation 18: green, bpw
Base detail and wheel variations
Benbros No.20 Foden Flat Truck: variations of trim
Benbros No.20 Foden Flat Truck: colours