Moko Lesney Matchbox 73a RAF 10 ton pressure refueller PLEASE NOTE: I will no longer be altering the variation codes. All new discoveries will be inserted in to their correct place in the timeline and given a suffix.
So a new variation that would be nearest to variation 4 would become the new 4a, etc.

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Moko Lesney Matchbox 73a RAF 10 ton pressure refueller



In 1958 Lesney added three military models to the Matchbox 1-75 series and in 1959 eight more were to follow but these were all army vehicles except for the 73a RAF (Royal Air Force) 10 ton pressure refueller.
The pressure refueller was based on the Leylan Hippo, It was painted RAF grey-blue all over including to the baseplate and it had silver trim applied to the front bumper only simply because for some strange reason Lesney ommitted to add headlights to the model!.
The rear of the tank was a seperate casting which was a push fit into the end of the tank which is usually found still in place and the baseplate was attached by a tongue and slot at the front and by a single spread rivet at the rear.
The truck is usually found fitted with six grey plastic wheels on dome head axles with rounded ends but one very short run was fitted with slightly larger black plastic wheels.
It was enhanced by applying a red white and blue RAF roundel decal to the top of the pump compartment.
There were two minor casting modifications, The first issues had a small brace between the fuel tank and the pump compartment, This was later changed when a larger brace was cast in, The final modification was to completely fill in the gap between the fuel tank and the pump compartment, In 1962 after just three years in production the truck was replaced by the F1 Ferrari,
The refueller is not one of the easier models to find so we must conclude it was not a great seller, The grey wheeled version is the most common but the black wheeled variation is very rare and is highly sought after by collectors, It was packaged in 'B' type boxes only.

Updated: 04-02-10,
George Marshall has found a Leyland with full infill between body & tank but it has additional metal cast into the rear panel. I need more info on this variation, It is pictured below.

Updated: 30-01-15,
It should also be noted that some of the forum members have reported models with gold trim to the front bumper, silver trim to the rear bumper and no silver trim at all. As the pressure refueller is quite a scarce model it has not been possible to verify them so for now I have not included the trim in the variation tables.

above, small brace, larger brace and full closure of the gap
note - an earlier casting without brace has recently been discovered.


Above. with and without the additional metal plate cast inbetween
the rear bumper and the bottom of the tanker body.
photo courtesy George Marshal

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Above. with and without the air hole in the bottom of the tanker body.
photo courtesy George Marshal

code number general wheel type tanker-compartment brace tanker air hole rear bumper opening
code 1 RAF blue body, silver trim, RAF roundel decal 9.5 x 20 grey plastic none open open
code 2 RAF blue body, silver trim, RAF roundel decal 9.5 x 20 grey plastic none open closed
code 3 RAF blue body, silver trim, RAF roundel decal 9.5 x 20 grey plastic thin, flat brace open open
code 4 RAF blue body, silver trim, RAF roundel decal 9.5 x 20 grey plastic thin, flat brace open closed
code 5 RAF blue body, silver trim, RAF roundel decal 9.5 x 20 grey plastic thin, flat brace closed open
code 6 RAF blue body, silver trim, RAF roundel decal 9.5 x 20 grey plastic thin, flat brace closed closed
code 7 RAF blue body, silver trim, RAF roundel decal 9.5 x 20 grey plastic larger, round brace open closed
code 8 RAF blue body, silver trim, RAF roundel decal 9.5 x 20 grey plastic larger, round brace closed closed
code 9 RAF blue body, silver trim, RAF roundel decal 10 x 24 black plastic larger, round brace open closed
code 10 RAF blue body, silver trim, RAF roundel decal 10 x 24 black plastic larger, round brace closed closed
code 11 RAF blue body, silver trim, RAF roundel decal 9.5 x 20 grey plastic fully filled gap closed closed

box types notes
B4 upper case lettering
B5 upper case lettering
B5 lower case lettering

values

RAF blue body, grey plastic wheels 50

RAF blue body, black plastic wheels 2500+

values are for mint models in mint boxes

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