Paper Crafting, Small Scale Vehicles, Model Railroading and More.
Sweet Street Sweeper from Matchbox
The Street Sweeper, number four in a series of 13 vehicles that includes a Volkswagen
Caddy, a City Bus, and Crown Victoria Taxi Cab, is reduced to a scale that looks
great on an HO Scale model railroad layout. The model has been on the market since
2009 and carries the Matchbox number N5450.
A big, flat windshield, perched above a heavy black bumper, spans the face of this
nicely detailed little truck. The headlights are molded in clear and wrap around
the front corners, masking the seam between the die cast body and the plastic bumper.
Turn indicator lights are molded into the metal but not painted – a touch of amber
paint would make them pop.
Behind the big windshield you’ll find a clean, industrial looking interior molded
in dark gray plastic. There are three seats – two passenger seats slightly offset
from the driver’s seat. As is typical with most die cast models there is no leg room
– a model driver would have to suffer through a pretty drastic double amputation
to ride in this rig.
The sides of the truck show a great deal of detail. Beyond the numerous numbers and
stripes and lettering detail the plastic street sweeping rig is molded in black and
dark gray. The wheels are Matchbox standard six-spoke, with a little too much chrome
showing for a working truck. Dark gray or black paint would make them look much more
Up on top of the truck, aft of the neat clear light bar, is a big square hatch-looking
item. It’s molded in the same gray plastic as the sweeper heads that extend below
the truck behind the front wheels and sits in a beveled recess – it looks for all
the world like a button. It takes a lot of pressure to get the button to move, and
pushing it seems to lower the sweeper heads by 1/32 of an inch – it may be just a
hatch cover, included to add interest to the top of the truck.
The chassis extends up the rear end of the truck, making it look from behind like
an armored personnel carrier. The taillights are molded into the black plastic above
the thick mud flaps. Silver, red, and amber paint back here would seriously help
out this truck.
For all that, the truck simply looks good when posed on an HO scale model railroad
layout. The school-bus-yellow color looks appropriate for a street sweeping vehicle.
The dimensions don’t seem out of scale compared with other HO scale vehicles, and
the level of detail on this model is sufficient to lift it out of the toy category
and make it more of a model.
At a buck and a half, this heavy little truck will be a welcome
addition to any modern-era model railroad layout. It certainly
looks at home in our neighborhood of paper houses.