Budgie Toys No.288
Bulk Flour Tanker
Issued 1963-66 Length 107mm OO/HO scale (1:76)
Budgie produced a number of models to OO/HO scale and among them were two models based on the Albion range of trucks. The first was this specialist Bulk Flour Tanker.
Both cab and chassis were one casting which was always painted crimson red including the mudguards. Inside the cab, plastic windows were fitted which although designed to be clear, often had a pale blue tint. On the front, silver trim was applied to the headlights only.
The flour tanks were three silo-like units, each made of two separate castings and joined together at the top by a black metal catwalk. The lower, inner part of the tanks was coloured orange and the top part was cream. On the sides of the central tank, decals were applied with 'Bulk Flour' in white on a black background with a gold rim.
None of that changed during the life of the Bulk Flour Tanker but there were several changes to the black base. These revoloved around the introduction of suspension which it seems Budgie was experimenting with in line with other diecast toy makers at the time. There were three variations tried and each centered on the way the axles were fixed to the base. In other ways the base remained the same with the lettering 'No.288 Bulk Flour' under the cab, 'A Budgie Model' in the centre and 'Made in England' cast at the rear.
On the first base three of the axles were set in V-shaped extensions and kept in place by cast spikes or pins coming down from the chassis above. This gave the axles some 'play' and rudimentary suspension but must not have been ideal because the second base had the V-shaped extensions filled in and rounded. The type 2 base also had smaller lettering for 'Made in England' at the rear. Both the first two bases had silver plastic wheels fitted with treaded tyres.
The third base for the Bulk Flour Tanker saw the introduction of plastic springs on the front and fourth axles. This was done by allowing some play on the axle housing and inserting a flat-V inverted spring between the axle and the base. This did not always work, however, and models with one or both springs missing are quite often found. Ridged silver plastic wheels with knobbly tyres were used with this base.
The Bulk Flour Tanker was issued in the standard 'Budgie Models' box with the descriptive panel (B2). It also later appreared in a blue & white window pack under the title 'Bulk Flour Transporter' (C1).
A fairly common model, the Bulk Flour Tanker with first type base is most frequently seen whilst the last issue with ridged wheels and suspension is rare. The blue & white C1 pack is also hard to find.
Budgie No.288 Bulk Flour Tanker
1) RED body/chassis type 1 base spw (treaded tyres) B2 box
2) RED body chassis type 2 base spw (treaded tyres) B2 box or C1 pack
3) RED body/chassis type 3 base (suspension) ridged spw (knobbly tyres) B2 box or C1 pack