In the 1950's, Kemlows Die-cast Production Ltd made a look alike Mighty Antar sold under the name of Sentry Box Series.  The transporter was sold separately from the Centurion Tank which are a little smaller than the Matchbox tank. The Sentry has two die-casted main parts and assembled into pivoting fifth wheel.  This Matchbox size Antar had working rear ramps and came in metal wheels only.  Apparently Kemlows sold out to Gamda firm in Israel in the mid 1960's.  They must have modified the Sankey low-loader as the ramps appear to be the same type that Matchbox had on their version, being casted as a fixture in the loading position and  used black plastic wheels as well. 

As you can see the spare wheel has been deleted, although the main features still resemble the same towing tractor as the Kemlows version.

Then there was the very popular Airfix HO-OO Mighty Antar that came onto the market in the 1960's,  that were  made of Polyvinyl which seems to be of rather good quality, as to last the distance over the last 40 odd years or more.

This one was sold by Betty's in England ,as it still has the sales sticker on it. Alas I missed out one this one from Gary in the UK.  The ramps clip on so do the wheels and axles and I wonder how many are missing parts these days.

So that is life and I have finally gained one of those mysterious Airfix Mighty Antar's, although this one is not complete as it was missing the front wheels and loading rear ramps to complete my collection.  I found some front wheels and axel in my scrape box and they fit perfectly.  Well my collection is not quite complete as I will have to go hunting in Israel for one of those Gamda ones.   So there  you are, when a person who only thinks there was only two some years ago being Dinky and Matchbox then I have found that there is now 7 to my knowledge if we include the one showing below by Charbens.

So happy hunting there mates.

More information on Sentry Box Series by Kemlows by Robert Newson. So if you like to Google it, then be my guest.

From South America the Thorneycroft Mighty Antar was made by Juguetes Alni from Argentina during the 1970's, which measures about 15 inches (39 cm) and made of plastic moulding, I think.  Just imaging the weight if it was die-cast!  They also made a troop carrier with troops mounted in the rear or mounted missiles take your pick and a covered tarpaulin on the back.

Comes with 8 wheel armored tank complete with missiles and radar. Although the Semi Trailer float carrier isn't anything like the Joseph Sankey Ltd who designed and built the popular English version that Dinky and Matchbox included in there die-cast model,  although, the Argentina version has a flat top trailer with ramps.

By the way these are not cheap to buy but if you are into these Antar's then you would love one of them.   I just hope you have a spare $75 bucks US and that doesn't include shipping costs either.

So happy hunting my friends.

Smashed up Taxi

by GunnerJim

Not long ago I received from the UK, three matchbox 1/75 and the one I was after,  you guessed it, some clot in the postal service must have stood on the package and flatten the roof of the taxi. Well I don't think it was the seller.

So what do you do?   Strip it for its wheels and base plate.  The interior seating may come in handy. Then again you can recover the vehicle with some panel beating.

Strip the model down the usual way, by drilling out the rivet plugs and gently prising apart, taking care not to distort the base plate.  The interior window part had suffered some damage but was repairable.  So by gluing the cracked area and taking a bog filler plug from the inside of the window for drape moulding for a new window later on.

I gently heated the body of the roof and gradually tapped the roof back to its former shape from the inside.  This is done on a sand bag and planishing hammer very small one at that.  One of the most important part of this operation is that you don't break the A pillars, as they can break or crack very easy when doing this type of process.  If a crack does appear then you can super glue it or even solder it with low temp silver solder.  Although, I leave this up to the experts on this subject about soldering die-cast.

The next step was to make the interior window part from the plug I had taken off the interior of the plastic window.   I found some suitable clear plastic and cut to size for the two part holding brackets or frame and placed it between and clamped it together.   All I used was some plywood cut to shape and held together with those butterfly clamps.  (paper clamps) .  Heat the plastic without discoloration or burning and push in the plug so as to cover enough plastic for trimming when cooled.

The next step was the painting and assembly and the job is complete. So squashed maybe but this taxi lives on in a different colour and I wonder if Old Trucks recognizes the colour.

Like I think I need a better camera or something like that.

Well that it folks from Downunder in Wonderland of OZ and enjoy Toy Collectors it is fun.

Help Identify Old Armoured Car

by GunnerJim

Very recently my son came around with his latest find.   Two old die-cast armoured cars and by the looks of them they are Pre World War two or even early than that.

They have solid skinny wheels and are similar to the Tootsie Toys of that same period.   The machine gunner is facing too the rear, while the driver looks forward.  The outside casting looks to have some detail similar to those lead soldiers of that period.   The casting of the machine gunner car is rough inside and the hollow out part,  looks like it may have had a sand plug instead of a rubber or metal mould which the latter was more than likely used for the outside finished surface appearance of the toy car.

The red tank and the smaller one are V Toys Made in Australia which to my knowledge were made to celebrate the end of the war. VP or VJ day take you pick.

The little armoured car has Made in England in the inside and the finish looks to have a metal die plug used, if that is any help to anyone who might know something more about these two armoured cars.

I've looked at Barclay, Charbens, and have come to conclusion the armoured cars were made by Johillco in England they used the same wheels and were in production from the 1900's until the early 1950's.

Cheers to all and happy hunting around the traps looking for those special items we like to collect.

PS My son has joined Toy Collector.

1956 Ford 6 Wheels Tanker Matchbox

by GunnerJim

Some years ago.  I decided with some inspiration in mind to fix up a battered and well loved to death 56 pickup Ford,  that I found amongst some toys at the Sunday Market or Flea Market.   So on closer examination the axles were bent not much paint and so forth with the window in reasonable good condition.

Then my eyes gleamed onto a Matchbox Peterbilt cement mixer, where the barrel had rolled off many moons ago, somewhere, somehow. So out came the hacksaw and bingo it was cut in halve. and the pickup as well.   So with some super glue the metal bearing stuff and it was glued back together again.  Next thing was what to put on it and amongst the junk box there was this Yatming tanker with no wheels.  So the tank came off and onto the Ford 6 wheeler and bingo it fitted perfectly.

 Then with a quick paint job, which is a bit rough and I might get around to finishing it one day or just a bit of a wash to get the dust off it maybe a good idea.  Oh well that is life I suppose it will do as it is.  By the looks of it I wont get any rewards for paint nor will I get any for taking pictures. Oh well life is not meant to be easy is it.

Have to take some better pictures.

Thornycroft Mighty Antar 6 X 4

by GunnerJim

The Mighty Antar by Thornycroft, was for its time one of the biggest truck or tractor prime mover 6 x 4 having a 5th wheel in the world in 1950's.   The tractor was conceived as an oilfield vehicle for carrying long lengths of pipe over rough terrain in Iraq and Syria, where load restrictions were not heard of.  It could also be used as a trailer train, that became so popular in Australia in later years.  The Antar could move a gross laden weight of 100 tons.   The tractor power plant had a 250 hp Rover meteorite V8 petrol engine for military purposes, which could be converted to diesel with some modifications for civilian use.   This power plant was reduced structurally from the Meteor tank engine, which itself was a de-rated Merlin aircraft engine by Rolls Royce .  There was a special need for a large cooling system, hence the need for a large radiator and circulating pump to allow operations in very hot areas like the Middle East.  The vehical was designed and built in nine months, then after the prototype was tested late 1949 in Iraq.  The first batch was dispatched in 1952 to Iraq for the transport and stringing out the oil pipes along the 560 mile pipeline being built by ESSO.

The construction company in-charge of the Snowy Mountain Hydro Electric Authority in Australia, ordered three Antar's for the transportation of the large hydro generating plants to the site in the 1950's.   Alas, like most equipment of those days they ended up as scrap when superseded by modern trucks.

In 1952 the British Army needed to up grade their tank transportation from the World War Two American Diamond T tractor, used for tank transportation with the multi-wheel draw-bar trailer.   Because the 65 ton Conqueror tank was a lot heavier then then the 49 ton Centurion.   The army road tested the Mighty Antar Mk2 as a interim vehicle, so as to carry the Conqueror.    A special 60 ton semi-trailer was designed and built by Joseph Sankey Ltd.  While some of the Antars were adapted to use this type of Kingpin trailer system, the rest of the Antar's were built with ballast bodies to tow the existing 50 tone trailers used to carry the smaller Centurion by the Diamond T at a top speed of 25 miles an hour, or 50 k in Australia.   The Mk 3 had more of a rounded cab then the early model and a Rolls Royce supercharged diesel engine giving 333bhp at 2100 rpm was added.  These military work horses remained in service until the 1980's and were replaced by the Scemmell Commander.

 length 8.46 m or (27 ft, 9 inches)
 Width 3.20 m ( 10 ft 6 inches)
Height 3.15 m ( 10 ft 4 inches)
Weight 43.240 tons

As we can see that the two are nearly the same mould the top is Kemlows and the other is when the mould was sold to Israel, Grada model.

Matchbox Majors like with a new paint job.

This massive vehicle of its day must have inspired Dinky Toys to replicate this vehicle into its fine collection of die-cast toys.   Not to be out done, Matchbox followed suit with their small version, while Airfix came out with the plastic version.   All these did really resemble the Mighty Antar, while Kemlows must have had a different view of how the truck must have looked but retained the moveable rear ramps.   So it would be interesting to know,  just how many of these toys were sold during that period from the 1950's to the 1970's.   Another maker Juguetes Alni who made the troop transport truck in the 1970's was being auction on   I found one of these in my Google search on the Mighty Antar.   The buy now price was 29.99 US dollars.

One day I will add the Airfix Antar to my collection and might see if I can get one of those troop transporters. If anyone knows of other toy manufactures then let us know.

Edit: I have just picked up the Airfix Polly Antar only it was missing the front wheels (generic ones added by me in white.) and the rear ramps. Looks like some creative work needed to this type of prime mover. I keep on getting out bidder-ed on the Antar complete in box for some unknown reason they sell like hot cakes going out of fashion on eBay UK and the US.

Edit: I found this information on The Dinky Mighty Antar Tank Transporter came out in 1956 in the yellow box and was replaced with the blue striped and white box in November of that same year.  Windows were added to the tractor in 1960 and the last production ceased in 1964.

These two bottom photos were sent to me by DinkyDi, a long time member of Planet Diecast showing the only Mighty Antar to come to Australia contracted to cart heavy equipment and plant to the Snow Mountain Hydro Electric scheme in 1954.  After many years service in haulage contracting business here in Australia, this sad old warrior met its end in the scrap yard.