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Britains Miniature Vehicle Series
No.1855 Balloon Barrage Unit
Britains Miniature Vehicle No.1855 Balloon Barrage Unit

Issued 1939-1949    'OO/HO' scale (1:76)

The Balloon Barrage was the first military 'OO' scale model produced by Britains. The Winch Lorry was based on a Dodge vehicle, similar to the American K-34, which was built at Kew, London, from 1937 onwards.

The Winch Lorry was constructed around two parallel rails forming a simple chassis which ran the full length of the model to which both the cab and the body were secured. The axle of the front wheels was fixed directly onto the cab casting, and the two sets of rear wheels to the body.


Britains created an accurate working model of the winch complete with handle and a locking lever. The long cord linking to the balloon enabled the barrage to be 'flown' quite high. A little sheet of instructions was included in the box.


Despite its looks, the balloon itself was hollow-cast lead and weighed about the same as the lorry. In scale it was much smaller than the lorry but made an impressive toy. 

Britains painted the vehicle an olive-green Army colour without any trim. The wheels were usually painted green with the vehicle but models with unpainted wheels also exist. The balloon was always silver.

To house the model Britains created a red paper-covered lidded box with a full-size label on the lid which included a line drawing of the model in action. The drawing re-appeared regularly in catalogues and promotional material for many years. The labels appeared in a variety of colours with black printing, and yellow, cream, pink, white, and blue variations are known.

Surprisingly for such an early model, the Balloon Barrage has often lasted in excellent condition and frequently in its box but it is still a rare model. 

Britains Miniature Vehicle No.1855 Balloon Barrage Unit

No.1855 Balloon Barrage Unit

Army Olive-Green lorry 

Painted or Unpainted metal wheels

Silver Balloon

Britains No.1855 Balloon Barrage Unit with box
Britains No.1855 Balloon Barrage Unit

Underview (Lorry with unpainted metal wheels)

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