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This model is of the Fun Ho! #40 Bedford Milk Tanker in white. Bedford articulated tankers were used to carry petrol to garages and to collect milk from farms for processing at the milk factories dotted around the New Zealand country-side (obviously they did not use the same tanker to do both!).
There are no opening parts on this model. All features are cast into the metal of the model. The model appears to be based on a Bedford TK tractor unit with articulated tanker trailer.
At the front of the Fun Ho! Tanker there is a cast representation of the headlights and grille. Behind this is the cab area with cast wing mirrors ?) and doors. Both sides of the tanker carry cast body lines and the tanker roof has three filler caps and two ladders.
There is no interior or glazing.
All wheels appear to be one piece, black plastic, typical of the Fun Ho! miniatures of the time, mounted on steel domed axles.
The base plate under the cab appears to be lightly plated. It is held in place by a single body locating lug at the front, and a single machined rivet just behind the cab. As this base also acts as the chassis frame, there is another machined rivet just forward of the rear axle which secures the tanker trailer to the tractor unit. This tractor unit base is marked "Fun Ho!, N.Z." to the centre front, and "BEDFORD" immediately behind this. There is no base on the trailer and it carries no markings on its under-side. There are no reference number details on the model at all.
This casting was used between 1966 and 1982. During its lifetime, 636,700 Bedford Tankers were manufactured with a paint finish covering #27, #40, and #71.
The scale is unknown but thought to be around 1:128. My reasoning is that my estimate of the length for the NZ tankers of the day was 40 feet (12.192 metres) and the model has a length of almost 3.75 inches (95mm) (12192/95 = 1:128). Of course this model is pretty inaccurate and given the cab interior is 21mm wide, and the Bedford cab interior was under 6 feet wide, it could just as easily work out to 1:87 scale!
These photos are used with the permission of The Tatua Co-operative Dairy Company Ltd. The top photo is of one of the first tankers in their fleet alongside its predecessor, the horse and cart. The second photo shows two Tatua tankers at the factory.