No.22a Mobile Crane
Second of the Budgie Miniatures based on a Bedford TK truck was No.22a Mobile Crane. In fact there was probably never a real vehicle like the model because the basic TK chassis was unable to carry a heavy crane without adaptation or conversion, but it made a nice toy!
The Bedford cab, chassis and base of No.22a Mobile Crane were painted dark glossy green and this did not change. There was no silver trim added except for one run which had trim on the grille, front bumper and headlights, and this version is quite rare.
The first variation of the Mobile Crane differed in several ways from later models. The cross-brace on the chassis just behind the cab was narrow and at the rear the two holes originally for the tipper truck hinge-pin remained. The base also was different, having at first a short rear extension which meant that the crane platform was fixed only to the chassis. Also, the lettering 'A Budgie Model' and 'Made in England' were cast assymetrically or 'off-centre' on the base.
Another feature of the first models was the casting of the crane platform which included an extended axle grip or loop to secure the platform to the rear axle. This was removed when the revised chassis and lengthened base were introduced.
The first change to the chassis was to replace the rear holes with nodules (chassis 2) followed by the addition of a wider cross-brace strengthener (chassis 3). Meanwhile the base was given a longer rear extension (but kept the assymetric lettering - base 2) enabling the platform to be securely rivetted to the chassis and the base together. Finally the base lettering was centralised (base type 3).
The Crane part of the model was cast in two separate sections, the platform and the jib. These were rivetted together prior to the platform being fitted onto the chassis & base. The jib could swivel in a complete circle which improved the play value.
The hook on the jib was seperately added and was either a flat casting painted orange with the jib on early models, or an unpainted rounded hook on later ones.
The jib was always painted orange but the platform could be either orange (more common on early versions) or dark green. Under the platform 'No.22' was cast.
No.22a always had black plastic wheels. The axles on the first issue were flat-head and crimped but all later models used rivetted axles.
The Mobile Crane must have been a popular toy as there are still plenty around although the first variation is not easy to find. Measuring 56mm long, it was in production from 1963-66 and was sold in a variety of boxes and packs.
Variation 1 : Orange platform, orange painted metal hook
MODERN Vehicle Series (type 2) box
No.22a Mobile Crane
All had black plastic wheels
(1) GREEN, chassis 1, short base (assymetric lettering), ORANGE platform with axle grip, ORANGE jib & hook
(2) GREEN, chassis 2, long base (assymetric lettering), ORANGE platform without grip, ORANGE jib & hook
(3) GREEN, chassis 3, long base (central lettering), ORANGE platform without grip, ORANGE jib & hook
(4) GREEN, chassis 3, long base (central lettering), ORANGE platform without grip, ORANGE jib/unpainted hook
(5) GREEN, chassis 3, long base (central lettering), GREEN platform without grip, ORANGE jib/unpainted hook
Variation 3 : Orange platform, jib and hook; model with silver trim
Variation 5 : Green platform, unpainted metal hook
Variation 1 (type 1 chassis, short base, axle grip) Variation 3 (type 3 chassis, long base, no grip)
Hook variations : painted & unpainted metal
Mobile Crane : with and without silver trim
No.22a Mobile Crane
Boxes and Packs
1963-64 Yellow 'Budgie Toys' blister-packs (Guiterman)
1963-66 MODERN Vehicle Series (type 2) boxes
1964-65 Budgie 'Collectors Models' Set (US)
1964-66 Budgie blue blister-packs (Guiterman)
1965-66 Budgie No.97a Truck Set (triple blister-pack)
Yellow and blue blister-packs
Budgie 'Collectors Models' Set
(Distributed in the USA by Flare Industries, NY)
Triple blister-pack No.97a Truck Set
The real Bedford TK Mobile Crane on a 6-wheel conversion