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 rivetted together comprising a cab/chassis section and a flat-bed body. 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.
Two-tone colours were used for early models of the Flat Truck. The first examples had an orange cab & chassis without trim to which was fitted either a pale-green body or a mid-blue body. There may also have been a variation with a dark-green body in line with other models issued at the time but these first models are very rare and until a dark-green one is found it cannot be reliably included! Interestingly, the illustration on the TV boxes shows an orange-red cab and dark-green flat-bed.
As production expanded, Benbros changed the cab colour to a rich red and painted the flat-bed in bright yellow. There was still no silver trim and as with all the early models, the wheels were unpainted metal on nail-head and crimped axles.
The final two-tone variation followed the switch by Benbros to metallic colours and had a blue cab without trim and a red flat-bed body. This was the last one to be sold in a TV Series box.
After the two-tone models, Benbros produced the remainder of the Flat Trucks in just one colour, the first of which was metallic green. This variation and almost all later models had silver trim added to the grille, headlights, front bumper and the fuel tank on the left side of the chassis. It was also the only Flat Truck to get painted wheels and axles. These were 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 an unusual beige variation with red trim on front grille, bumper, headlights and fuel tank.
The 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 & pale-green, umw
Variation 2: orange & blue, umw, TV3 box
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, PALE-GREEN body, NO silver trim, umw, TV3 box
(2) ORANGE cab/chassis, MID-BLUE body, NO silver trim, umw, TV3 box
(3) RED cab/chassis, YELLOW body, NO silver trim, umw, TV3 box
(4) METALLIC BLUE, RED body, NO silver trim, umw, TV3 or MM box
(5) METALLIC GREEN including body, silver trim, PAINTED mw, MM box
(6) METALLIC GREEN, silver trim, UNPAINTED mw, 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, BLACK plastic wheels, 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
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