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Based in the United Kingdom, Denzil Skinner & Co Ltd was founded in 1951 by Denzil Skinner. With a military childhood and career in the Army he was commissioned into the Royal Tank Corps. His interest in tanks began when he was employed designing them and subsequently specialised in tank track design.

After the war, he became the first Chief Instructor at the School of Tank Technology. When he left the Army in December 1948, he spent three years working on selling Lloyd tractors.

In 1951, he set up his own company Denzil Skinner & Co Ltd to make scale models of armoured fighting vehicles and regimental badges. The military model vehicles were made mostly to a 1:100 scale. And not on general sale to the public, but used by the Ministry of Defence in tactical and recognition training. With an exception being the Bovingdon Tank Museum.

One of his employees, taken on as an assembler at 15 years of age, was Anthony Molay. Molay later went on to found Hart models. He recalls building the Vickers tractor models, undertaking finishing and casting too.

All of Skinner’s design work and the full manufacturing process were in house, and at the height of production, when tractors were a big part of the model output, they employed 30 people.

In addition to the model tractors, the range of production was very broad, including - regimental and club badges, trophies, a small range of pre-war European sports cars, cast for the Rev. Paddy Stanley, a wide range of war games vehicles and scenery pieces of varying scales, aircraft, boats, figures, both military and civilian, and a comprehensive “Tanks of all Nations” range.

Single sheet leaflets were available for their products until at least 1980, but Skinner died in September 1987. The ranges he produced were continued in the new name of Hart models, under Anthony Molay, who bought the company from Denzil Skinner’s widow.

Sourced references -

Encyclopedia of Small-Scale Diecast Motor Vehicle Manufacturers - Sahakangas, Foster & Weber (2006)
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