Budgie Toys No.322
Budgie No.322 Routeman Pneumajector
Issued 1965-66 Length 111mm OO/HO scale (1:76)
Budgie No.322 was based on a Scammell Routeman truck designed for the bulk transport of flour and sugar. The pneumatic system used for unloading the cargo was probably new which may explain the elaborate Pneumajector name it was given. The model was designed to be OO/HO scale although it does not state that on the box.
The parts and construction of the Pneumajector were fairly involved. Central to the assembly was the pale blue cab and chassis to which the tank, lifting hydraulic system and base were all fixed. The cab had clear plastic windows and a prominent roof sign with an 'Atlas Carrier' decal. There was no silver trim because the headlights were extensions to the silver base section although some models are known to exist with the grille generously painted in silver.
Connected at the rear of the chassis, the tank was coloured cream with 'The Atlas Carrier Co.' decals on the sides and with another round decal at the back stating 'Bulk Delivery'.
The tank was lifted by using a small black-painted lifting frame attached to the chassis with a handle on one side. When raised the tank was held at various heights by 'hydraulic' rams at the front end behind the cab. The system involved twin rods running through matching white plastic cylinders attached to the chassis. It was a fairly good mechanism but the lift handle was awkward and if the tank was manually lifted too high, there was a risk of the rams slipping out of the cylinders. When the tank was in the 'down' position, the twin rams poked through the base.
The silver base, as mentioned, provided the headlights of the Pneumajector and had two guide holes for the rams to lower into. All four axles ran through extensions on the base and carried ridged plastic wheels which were silver on early models and blue on later ones. Both colour wheels were fitted with knobbly tyres.
The Routeman was sold in yellow Budgie boxes (B4) but these were later replaced by blue & white open-sided window packs (C2).
The Routeman Pneumajector was an attractive model but it had only a short life and is fairly scarce. It was sometimes included in the late Gift Sets. The boxes and packs are hard to find.