Since the Britains chapter was completed for Volume 1, two very unusual box types for horse-drawn models normally found in standard green boxes have been found. One was made of corrugated cardboard containing models originally sold in Nairobi in Kenya, and the other was made of plain brown card containing models from Argentina. The Argentine boxes were part of a large consignment sent to England for auction at Bonhams Oxford on 5 December 2013 (see photos below). The collection had some striking paintwork which we believe to be genuine although not normally seen on UK examples. The use of red paint on the wagon and on the mouldboard of the plough was extraordinary by Britains usual exacting requirements. The unusual cream paint has been seen previously on items from Argentina. Although lead figures are beyond the scope of the book, the painting on some of the farm figures from the Argentine collection is distinctive and unusual. The stable lads had green shirts, when they were usually white. The tractor drivers had black or light blue belts, and the painting of the faces had its own style. These colours and the unusual boxes underline the real possibility that agents abroad controlled some of the painting to suit local tastes as well as the packaging process.
Britains Kenyan and Argentine variations
No.4F Tumbrel in a short corrugated card box, found in Kenya, with a long label as in (5) but wrapped around both ends. Tumbrel as (17) but with cream raves.
No.5F Farm Waggon in a corrugated cardboard box, found in Kenya, with a label as (24) and (25). Wagon as (25) but with pins to fix the horses to the shafts.
No.5F Farm Waggon, found in Argentina, in a green box with label as (24) and (25). Wagon as (22) but very dark green with dark grey floor.
No.5F Farm Waggon, found in Argentina, in a green box with a label as (24) and (25). Wagon as (25) but with pins to fix the horses to the shafts and without red tips to the shafts, and with red paint on the tops of the side boards and on the ribs.
No.6F General Purpose Plough, found in Argentina, as (36) but with the upper parts of the mouldboard and the middle of the coulter painted red.
No.8F Horse Rake, found in Argentina, in a long box with a label as (44) but not wrapped around the end. Rake as (44) but with a cream frame and tines.
No.9F Horse Roller, found in Argentina, in a plain brown card box with label as (56). Roller as (56) but with a cream frame.
No.9F Horse Roller, found in Argentina, in a box as above. Roller as (54) and (55).
No.12F Timber Carriage, found in Argentina, in a box as (72). Carriage as (72) but painted cream, and the stable lad with a green shirt.
Britains lead farm figures, found in Argentina. They have some unusual painting, particularly the belts on the drivers and the stable lad with a green shirt.
Other new Britains discoveriesNo.4F Tumbrel (page 65)
As (7) but with dark brown raves.
No.6F General Purpose Plough (page 66)
Box as (33) but with COPYRIGHT MODELS in a heavy, old-fasioned style of type under the left-hand text. Stylistically, (33) and then this one were probably the oldest boxes for the ploughs. Plough as (34).
Box as (34) with a frame around the label but with GENERAL PURPOSE PLOUGH in an old-fashioned cursive style as (33). Plough as (34) but in a rare silver colour.
No.142F Single-horse Plough with Ploughman (page 66)
Plough as (39), in an end-opening duck and egg box with a colour picture of a general farming scene on the top. Stamped on the side of the box were the details of the model, similar to (37).
No.8F Horse Rake (page 66)
Rake as (40) but with dark blue frame and tines. This, along with (43) and (44), belongs to a short period when Britains were painting the frame and tines the same uniform colour. Short green box as (44).Lilliput no.LV604 Fordson Tractor (page 83)
As (45) but with a dark blue frame.
As (49) but a transitional piece with a tan plastic horse.
No.9F Horse Roller (page 67)
As (57) but mustard frame.
No.126F Rubber Tyred Farm Cart with Horse (page 69)
As (65) but with a plastic horse as (67).
No.12F Timber Carriage with Two Horses (page 67)
As (69) but in an unusual yellow; both horses are clean-legged. Box as (69) but without the model number on the label, which probably makes this the oldest type of box for the Timber Carriage.
No.40F Farm Horse and Cart (page 68)
Cart with large red slender 16-spoke wheels as (86), but painted brown. These wheels were the same as on the Farmer’s Gig in (79) to (81), unlike the smaller 12-spoke wheels in (84) and (85). Box as (84).
As (86) but dark green cart and brown horse.
As (86) but brown cart with 12-spoke wheels.
As (89) but with the white box printed in blue.
As (89) but in rare colours with the whole cart painted a uniform yellow, except for red trim on the front and on the tips of the shafts.
As (99) but with a white plastic horse. This model is in a box normally used for carts with metal horses, as (97) to (100), but is apparently from genuine old shop stock, showing that the introduction of the plastic horse was ahead of the use of the new boxes.
No.128F Fordson Tractor (Rubber Tyres) (page 70)
As (109) with a thin steel steering column, but with narrow front rubber tyres as on (107).
Tractor in the rare green box which allowed the tractor to be laid on its side, as for no.127F in (110).
Britains Farm Models leaflet
An undated single page leaflet (from around 1962) to promote the Britains Fordson Super Major tractors and their implements as part of the the wider range of their farm models. On the back all the farm figures are illustrated and priced.
No.9525 Fordson New Performance Super Major Tractor (page 71)
When the Britains chapter was being compiled we were unable to illustrate the rarest of the blue Fordson tractors, the New Performance Super Major with red FORDSON SUPER MAJOR transfers. This has now been rectified. On page 71, the reference to photo (281) is incorrect and should read (278).
Tractor in a sleeve and plinth box as (116). Tractor as (123) but with off-white mudguards and red FORDSON SUPER MAJOR transfers. This was the last to have an implement adapter, rather than the model in (123) as stated in the photo caption.
No.9527 Ford Force 5000 Tractor (page 71)
The version of this tractor shown in (126) on p.116 has caused much interesting debate. It has been modified very cleverly from a standard model (as (125)). The plastic headlights were glued to the bonnet, and the blue colour on the headlights matches the colour of the bonnet exactly. The grille insert was metal rather than the usual plastic. It may have been a one-off attempt by Britains to model the North American Ford 4000 prototype, having a grille without headlights and American-style headlights to the side (illustrated on p.15 of Stuard Gibbard’s The Ford Tractor Story Part Two (1999)). Alternatively, it may be a skilful modification by a collector. We do not believe that Britains ever produced this version for sale in America.
No.9528 Tractor cab (mentioned in the text on page 72)
Blue plastic tractor cab with Perspex windows – rare version of the cab, usually yellow (275) or white (280). It is not clear what model the blue cab was intended for, and it can be found with or without Perspex windows.
Britains Clockwork Series leaflet
Part of a small undated black and white leaflet to illustrate the Britains Clockwork Series, including the no.137F and 139F tractor and clockwork trailer sets as in (267) and (268). The other side of the leaflet showed military items.
No.139F Clockwork Set with Fordson Major Tractor and Mechanical Clockwork Trailer (page 81)
As (268) but with a blue trailer.
As (268) but with an off-white background to the box label.
Tractor as (303) and (304), in a picture box showing a farm scene with a farmhouse, straw stacks, a cow and two sheep. This was a generic box that was also used for other Lilliput items.