Following their habit of developing groups of toys, Benbros issued a collection of military or Army models of which the first was a Field Gun. Unlike the others it was not given a number so it was probably issued before the main group.
Many of the Qualitoy military models had good play value with moving parts and the Field Gun was no exception. It was fitted with a spring-loaded mechanism which could fire 'shells' or matchsticks. A small sprue with 4 grey plastic 'shells' was included. Sparking 'caps' could also be added to create a nice dramatic sound.
There were two different castings of the Field Gun, the first easily identified by having large carriage wheels similar to those on horse-drawn models. On this model the space between the arms of the mounting frame was filled in. 'Benbros' was cast on each side of the shield on the inside, and 'Made in England' was added at the top. This variation was issued in olive-green or dark gloss-green with black painted wheels.
The second casting of the Gun had small painted metal wheels and black tyres. On this variation the mounting frame was open and there were several other differences including the absence of id. The smaller wheels made it more easily towed by the Land Rover as part of set A101 Land Rover & Field Gun and as a load for the A110 Army Low Loader set. It was only painted in a semi-matt army green colour.
The Field Gun appeared in two different illustrated end-flap boxes. The brightest was a red & yellow box which was probably the first type to be issued. It had illustrations on three of the sides including a picture of a gun with carriage wheels. On the fourth side, 'Scale Model Field Gun' was printed with instructions on how to operate the model. On the end-flaps 'Field Gun' and the large 'Qualitoys' logo with a central 'B' were printed but interestingly not the actual Benbros name.
The second box for the Field Gun was a cream one with red writing and a line drawing of the small-wheeled gun printed on alternate sides with 'Benbros Qualitoy' added. Instructions on how to operate the gun were included on the third side and a large 'Qualitoys' logo on the fourth. On this box the end-flaps were plain.
Because they included the maker's name, the Benbros Field Guns with carriage wheels are easy to identify but they are less common than one may expect. The second variation with small wheels is more scarce. The little sprue of 'shells' is almost always missing.
In the 1960's, the Field Gun with carriage wheels was re-issued in the Zebra Toys range (see Zebra Toys Field Gun)
Benbros Qualitoys Field Gun
OLIVE-GREEN gun BLACK painted metal carriage wheels firing mechanism
DARK-GREEN gun BLACK painted metal carriage wheels firing mechanism
ARMY GREEN gun ARMY GREEN pmw with black tyres firing mechanism