Budgie Toys No.280
Air BP Superfueller
Issued 1963-64 Length 219mm OO/HO scale (1:76)
This was one of several airport vehicles which Budgie made reflecting perhaps the increase in air travel which was taking place in the 1960's. It was based on the large AEC Mammoth fuel tanker used for refuelling aircraft by British Petroleum (BP). The real vehicle was impressively large and so the Budgie model was quite sizeable despite being in OO/HO scale.
The cab section was a toy in itself! Made of three separate castings - white cab & chassis, green base (including mudguards), and green pump unit. It was held together by two rivets in the base. The cab, which had high extra windows like the Foden Esso Refueller (No.256), was unadorned except for clear plastic windows but the front bumper, which was actually part of the base, had black trim. Behind the cab, the green pump unit was more a canopy because it had nothing inside it.
Mudguards for the six wheels of the cab were part of the base and the silver plastic wheels with knobbly tyres had covered axles. The base lettering included the words 'A Budgie Model' (instead of 'A Budgie Toy') for the first time on the base of a Budgie model although they had been appearing on boxes for some while. Also on the base was 'No.280 Air BP Superfueller' and a small 'Made in England' behind the front axle.
Attached to the cab with a 'ring & socket' coupling similar to that used for the BR Delivery Vans (Nos. 238 & 240) which made it detachable, the trailer comprised four separate castings, the main tank, the tank base, a top catwalk and a wheel unit. The tank and base were coloured white with 'Air BP' decals on the sides and a smaller decal at the rear, usually put near the bottom of the rear of the tank.
The catwalk, which was coloured yellow, was a separate casting running along the length of the top of the trailer but there were no tank lids identified on the tanker itself. The wheels were held in a small mudguard unit fixed on by the rear rivet and like the cab wheels they were silver plastic with knobbly tyres.
Only a single box (B2) with the new-style descriptive panel on one face was used for the Superfueller but because the production life was short it is a rare box.
The Air BP Superfueller is one of the harder Budgie models to find and a boxed one in mint condition is rare.
Budgie No.208 Air BP Superfueller
WHITE cab & chassis, CLEAR windows
GREEN pump unit, GREEN base/mudguards
WHITE trailer, 'Air BP' decals, YELLOW catwalk,
Silver plastic wheels with knobbly tyres
Budgie B2 box