01 August 2012
OUR TOP MODEL AS CHOSEN BY THE DIECAST TEAM THIS MONTH Exclusive First Editions RM Routemaster Open Top ...
Exclusive First Editions RM Routemaster Open Top
PRICE €29 LIMIT NOT SPECIFIED SCALE 1/76 REF NO 38501
With such poor weather experienced by the country this year, this new open-top bus model offers the perfect opportunity to daydream of having the sun on our faces. Never mind strawberries and cream (and Wimbledon), perhaps the quintessential symbol of British summertimes gone by is the open-top bus.
The vehicle here (ALM 65B) originally operated from 1964 in Aldenham, Herts, as part of the London Transport fleet, and its Park Royal body would have cut quite a dash. Through sterling service, storage and re-painting, it eventually headed North after being purchased by W Gash & Sons of Newark.Three years later it was taken over by Lincolnshire Road Car and, in 1986, found itself in East Yorkshire with the fleet number 812.
Another period of storage occurred after much use, but in 1999 it entered operations again after an open top conversion by Mainline. This new lease of life saw the bus chugging around the classic seaside venue Scarborough, and it has been operated by East Yorkshire Motor Services Ltd ever since.
This Routemaster is arguably the definitive example of half-cab, rear entrance buses, and this particular vehicle has seen much service, including ferrying players from Hull City Football Club in 2008. Its current operator employs more than 800 people and runs over 300 vehicles throughout Hull, East Yorkshire, the North Yorkshire coast and onto the atmospheric North York Moors.
As for EFE’s model, it’s doubtful one could find a better replica in the scale. The first thing in evidence is the remarkably neat finishing, best exemplified by the very sharp demarcation between maroon and cream top coats. Finely cast panel lines aid this crisp appearance, but quality is assured all over the model. There’s a very fine pattern to the grille, and as with all other markings, the registration is perfectly printed. ‘East Yorkshire’ legends on the bus sides are particuarly sharp, with black edging to the gold lettering. The company’s kite symbol, which adorns the forward upper-left side, helps draw the eye to the open deck, where all 18 seats have metallic tops above the two-tone brown colouring, and the floor has a textured surface.
On viewing the spiral staircase in the rear corner, one immediately wants to see where those stairs end and many collectors will instantly study the rear entrance section with its real metal grab handle, which adds extra realism. As one would expect from a bus model in this scale, underside detail is restricted to what is moulded on the one-piece base... but it is good nonetheless. Dainty mirrors and fine metallic trim painting on the front wheels ensures extra interest, as does the treadplate at the rear entrance section.
It seems odd to see the epitomy of modern life, a website address, on a vintage machine, but it features accurately here on several windows and the bus’s rear. It’s a small price to pay, though, if it means that wonderful old vehicles such as this remain in the plans and operations of today’s bus companies. The real vehicle is for hire, but if one’s budget won’t cover it, EFE’s model should be the perfect alternative for a nostalgia fix!
For more replicas from EFE, visit www.exclusivefirsteditions.com