Model Bus Zone News
January & February 2021
 December 2020  Model Bus Zone News Index January 2021 
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Sunday 21 February
Corgi OOC & IXO Models Releases
The following models are expected to be released in the coming week.

Corgi OOC - 1:76 Scale

OM46631A New Routemaster Bus - Arriva London {LT980? Route 59 Euston} Seedlip allover livery


OM46631B New Routemaster Bus - Arriva London {LT980? Route 59 Streatham Hill} Seedlip allover livery

IXO Models - 1:43 Scale

BUS026 London Transport Red Route 62 - AEC RT Bus

Schuco Models
Newly available in the UK according to wholesaler John Ayrey Diecast is this large 1:18 scale coach.
This diecast model is 38cm (15 inches) long) and not surprisingly has a equally large RRP of £258.99.

00348 Setra S6 Coach - Vestischer Reisedienst (Brown/Green)

Information kindly supplied by


Sunday 21 February
TTC Diecast Commissioned Rapido Leyland Fleetline Models
TTC Diecast have commissioned four further West Midland Leyland Fleetline models in liveries not available on the 20 previously announced standard issue models. These models will be exclusive to TTC Diecast.

The first model has been commissioned by popular demand and has been added to compliment the routes already offered by Rapido themselves.

65379 Leyland Fleetline, West Midlands PTE (Blue/Cream) 6537 / SDA 537S - Route 9 QUINTON via HAGLEY ROAD - 100 Certified Pieces

The other three models all carry a special silver & blue livery that was used to mark the Queens Silver Jubilee in 1977.

6431501 Leyland Fleetline, West Midlands PTE, (Silver Jubilee 1977) 6431 / NOC 431R - Route 501 WOLVERHAMPTON VIA TETTENHALL


64329  Leyland Fleetline, West Midlands PTE, (Silver Jubilee 1977) 6432 / NOC 432R - Route 9 CITY CENTRE VIA HAGLEY ROAD


643314 Leyland Fleetline, West Midlands PTE, (Silver Jubilee 1977) 6433 / NOC 433R - Route 14 CITY VIA ALUM ROCK

The above 3 silver models will be made and sold individually, or as a set of 3 (individually packed) with a small discount. All are limited to just 168 Pieces of each.
All four models feature working front, rear ,interior & destination lights (external power supply required). All have the standard retail price of £54.99 with the 3 Silver ones if bought together coming in at £159.99.

Because of the exclusivity and low numbers of these models, TTC customers will be limited to purchase just 1 piece of each of all 4 models. (IE maximum of 4 models in total if one of each is required)
TTC Diecast are also offering an interest free payment plan for 1 to 10 of the Rapido Fleetline which allows the payments to be spread over four equal payments.

To place pre-orders or for more on the payment plan, please visit the TTCDiecast.com site.

TTC Diecast have also given an update on their Resin Specialist Mancunian Prototypes, following the delays caused by Covid, these are on their way back to Hong Kong for final tweaking before manufacturing commences.
Both version which are each limited to 150 pieces each have now sold out on pre-order. A reserve waiting list has been opened which will re-allocate any stock where the original pre-orders are cancelled. The models are expected to be priced around £125.00 each.

More details on the TTC Diecast site.

Sunday 14 February
Rapido Trains Announced N Scale Bus Models
Rapido Trains have announced they will be producing N scale versions of the New Look American bus, these follow the companies success with the earlier 1/87 scale versions.


Pre-production sample shot of the model

Twelve liveries have been announced and pre-orders are now open for US & Canadian customers via their website, it's not known if these will be imported into the UK as yet, but the models which have illuminated headlights, brake lights & interior lighting. They are priced USD $34.95 / CAD $39.95.
There are various options available in terms of bumper types: steel, water or rubber & whether or not a rear air conditioning unit is fitted. These models have full interior & chassis detailing.

The liveries available:
573001 Boston


573002 Go Transit (Note higher price: USD $39.95 / CAD $44.95)
573003 Montreal
573004 New York (Green)
573005 New York (Blue)
573006 Toronto (Maroon)
573007 Toronto (Red/Black)
573008 Santa Monica 2525

The Generic models below appear to come with a choice of different bumpers & include a self fit air conditioning unit.
573096 Generic Blue


573097 Generic Red
573098 Generic White
573099 Generic Silver

Full details & design cells can be found on the rapidotrains.com site.

Thursday 11 February
Oxford Release Update
A digital version of the latest catalogue has now been posted on the Oxford Diecast site.


This contains revised expected release dates for most of the previously announced Oxford Omnibus Range models.

76MW6006 Bristol MW ECW Coach - West Yorkshire - Due Q1/2021
76LRT010 Leyland Royal Tiger Coach - Mexborough & Swinton - Due Q2/2021
76SB007 Saro Integral Bus - East Midland - Due Q2/2021
76IR6006 Scania Irizar i6 Coach - City Link Air - Due Q2/2021
NLRT007 Leyland Royal Tiger Coach - North Western - Due Q2/2021
76AMT001 Alexander M Type Coach - Scottish - Due Q4/2021
76PB010 Commer PB Post bus - Royal Mail Scotland - unknown (Not listed in catalogue, but still on website)

The digital PDF version of the Feb-May catalogue can be found at: https://www.oxforddiecast.co.uk/pages/globe-magazine.

Monday 8 February
Bachmann's EFE Cravens RT Update
The latest issue of the Bachmann Collectors Club's "Bachmann Times" magazine contains an update on the progress of the new EFE tooling for the Craven's RT model.
Three photographs show the first shot of the model in undecorated form. This has a one piece diecast body with plastic engine cover, radiator & front wing assembly.

Bachmann are now awaiting the engineering sample and will announce further details of the exact vehicles & routes which they intend to depicted soon.

Bachmann asked collectors for route suggestions when they initially announced the model, the first release is expected during 2021.
E40301 London Transport Country Area (Green & cream livery)
E40302 London Transport Country Area (Green livery)
E40303 London Transport Central Area (Red & cream livery)
E40304 London Transport Central Area (Red livery)

The British Model Buses site has posted scans from the magazine on their news page.


Saturday 6 February
IXO Announce New 1/43 Bus Models
IXO Models has announced two further items will be added to its 1/43 scale bus & coach range during 2021.
Wholesaler John Ayrey lists the RRP for both of these models as £58.99.


BUS027 GMC Scenicruiser - White/Silver Greyhound 1956


BUS028 Skoda 706 RO - Blue/White 1947

Oxford Diecast 2021 Update
The latest Oxford Diecast Globe Magazine contains a feature piece on the planned Alexander M Type Coach that is due to be added to the 1/76 Omnibus range towards the end of the year.
There's also a release schedule for all new items announced at the end of January.

Wednesday 3 February
British Railway Announcements - Spring 2021
Bachmann earlier today announced plans for there releases due in the second quarter of 2021.
As the title suggests this is their British Railways announcement, although as with previous quarterly announcements there doesn't appear to be news of any other products.

In terms of EFE diecast road vehicle range, there's no mention of any new products or updates on the new tooling announced 2 years ago.

The EFE Rail range is mentioned in the announcement video on You Tube, but there are no new additions planned for range during this quarter. The first motorized version of the former Gilbow Underground train is still awaiting release and there's no update on when that is expected to arrive.

A full list of all the new model rail products can be found on the Bachmann Europe site.

Wednesday 3 February
Model Bus Federation February Journal Review
The Model Bus Federation's February 2021 issue of the Model Bus Journal has been sent out to its members. This is the only publication solely dedicated to model bus news & other related articles in the UK.

To give you an idea of the contents of the Journal I will provide a brief summary of each issue.
If the contents below are of interest, you may wish to consider becoming a member of the MBF, the annual subscription starts at £25.00 with special reduced rates available for younger members aged 14-18.
For further details please visit the https://www.model-bus-federation.org.uk.

Model Bus Journal - Issue 598 February 2021 - 32 pages

  • Editorial
  • Cover Story - The cover model photograph.
  • Virtual Scottish Show by Mick Claisse - With the real annual meeting unable to take place due to the ongoing Covid crisis a virtual meet took place instead. This illustrated article shows the entries & winners of each of the fourteen best model classes.
  • Product News UK 1 by Arun Sharma - News of Radley Models new 1/50th scale Ford Thames Trader Underground railway breakdown tender.
  • 50 Years of the MBF Shop (1) by Chris Pearsons - Chris looks back at the history of the MBF's Shop and his 50 years fulfilling orders placed by members.
  • 50 Years of the MBF by Edmund Yorke - Edmund recalls how the MBF Shop came to be.
  • Non-Drying-Paint! by Dave Jessop - Dave Jessop has experienced some issues with paint not drying on his custom made resin parts. He's done some testing to find the cause.
  • Welcome Aboard - Welcome to new & returning members.
  • Plan of the Month by Alan Johnson - 1962 BET 36' Leyland Leopard B54F as used by County Motors.
  • Area News - News from the latest virtual area meets in South Wales & Herefordshire, Greater Manchester, North Midlands & Yorkshire.
  • Product News UK (2) - An update on the current & upcoming 2021 Martson Models resin kits.
  • MBF Shop 1 - The MBF Streetscene, Little Bus Company & Paragon range of white metal/resin parts & accessories, plus the MBF Streetscene 2K resin model kits that are exclusively available to MBF members.
  • MBF Shop 2 - Details of former ABS white metal bus kits which are currently available in to members in MBF Streetscene.
  • The Back Page - A selection of shots showing the rear aspect of six coaches operated by Dudley's of Radford who ceased trading at the end of 2020.

Saturday 30 January
Corgi OOC Releases For February
The following Corgi OOC models are due to be released shortly.


OM46517A Wright Eclipse Gemini 2 - Go Ahead North East {6117 / Route X10 Newcastle} Royal Fusiliers 50th Anniversary all over livery


OM46517B Wright Eclipse Gemini 2 - Go Ahead North East {6117 / Route X10 Middlesbrough} Royal Fusiliers 50th Anniversary all over livery

This above models depict the same vehicle & livery to that released in 2019 twin pack OM46620 The destinations & route are different.


OM46631A New Routemaster Bus - Arriva London {LT980* Route 59 Euston} Seedlip all over livery


OM46631B New Routemaster Bus - Arriva London {LT980* Route 59 Streatham Hill} Seedlip all over livery

*There is still some confusion as to the fleet number applied to the Arriva models, the Corgi description sent to retailers states LTZ1120/LT120 while the sample photographs show LTZ2180/LT980. These models have never been listed on the www.Corgi.co.uk site.

Saturday 30 January
Brekina 1-87 News
Brekina have published some photographs showing a pre-production sample of the open top version of their 1/87th scale AEC Routemaster & IFA Do56 Berlin BVG models which are new additions to the range for 2021.



Another pre-production model of note in is a IFA Do 56 double-decker bus in BVG Berlin 1960 style livery.



Thursday 28 January & Updated 6 February
Oxford Diecast Catalogue Feb-May 2021
Details have been released on Oxford Diecast Facebook Page this evening of the new products featured in the latest Oxford Diecast catalogue for the period Feb-May 2021.

There are only three bus or coach models listed, but one of those is a new 1/76 scale tooling for a Alexander M Type.
The full range of new items is expected to be released to the model trade tomorrow.
Below are details of the new bus & coach models announced.

1/43 Scale
No bus or coach related items

1/76 Scale

76AMT001 Scottish Omnibuses Ltd - Alexander M Type Coach - Due Q4/2021


76IR6006 City Link Air - Scania Irizar i6 Coach- Due Q2/2021

N Scale

NLRT007 North Western - Leyland Royal Tiger Coach - Due Q2/2021
This is the only N scale model announced in the new catalogue.

Other New Tooling 1/76
Liebherr LTM1350 Crane
Bedford RL Military Truck

Although the number of new models is lower in number than some previous catalogues, its worth pointing out that Oxford Diecast now have a back-log of 100 N or 1/76 scale outstanding releases!

Update 6 February
The latest Oxford Diecast Globe Magazine contains a feature piece on the forthcoming Alexander M Type Coach which is due to be added to the 1/76 Omnibus range towards the end of the year. There's also a release schedule for the other new items announced at the end of January.

All the new N & OO scale models announced have been added to the Oxford Diecast 1/76 & N scale model lists. I'm also in the process of compiling lists for the 1/76 scale Thorneycroft, AEC Routemaster & AEC Regent Buses which will be added to the site next month.


Wednesday 27 January
Model 1 Announce UK Model
Hong Kong manufacturer Model 1 has announced a UK version of their existing Optare Solo SR 1/76 model.
The diecast & plastic model will be produced in the London red livery of Metroline Travel and features vehicle OS2502 (YJ68 FXC) with destinations for route H2.
Its release is expected in July and the model will be supplied in a clear acetate display case with colour card outer box and certificate.

This model is currently available to pre-order on the Hong Kong based Newtwork Shuttle site, although I understand that TTC Diecast is planning to secure stock & will make an announcement in due course.


63894 Metroline Optare Solo SR 7.9m - OS2502 route H2

Tuesday 26 January
News Round Up
Things have been rather quiet on the model front since the Corgi 2021 reveal earlier this month.
This time of year is usually busy with news from the London & Nuremberg Toy Trade Fairs as manufacturers use the events to announce their new models for coming year, with both shows canceled manufacturers are publishing their range updates at a more leisurely pace.
So far there's not been anything in terms of new bus models that would appeal to collectors of UK models.

Below are some news updates related to bus models.

2021 Catalogue Announcement
Oxford Diecast's first catalogue for 2021 is expected to be announced to the model trade at the end of this week, an early preview will be posted on Oxford Diecast Collectors Facebook Group on Thursday evening.

Hornby Websites Re-Vamp
The Hornby Group has given its various websites, including the corgi.co.uk one a make-over, at the time of posting there appears to be some minor teething problem with some missing images & broken links and a couple of the new 2021 bus models are still missing from the list of products.

Omnidekka Models
Chris Cotton has informed that production has started on the next Britbus commission, the Bluestar Scania Omnidekka bus. Chris has set up a new Facebook group were members will be able to view the latest news & photographs showing the progress on his planned future models.

N Scale Bus Kits
New N scale bus & truck models have been rather thin on the ground since the demise of the B-T models range, Oxford Diecast has also scaled back it N scale releases particularly in terms of bus over last couple years.

Ken Jones has sent me details of some new additions to N-Trains.Net's range of 3D printed N scale model bus kits.
New are open top versions of the existing 1980s Leyland Titan & ADL Enviro400 models.

The range also includes several single deck models with a Mercedes Citaro available in both bendy-bus & rigid form, the other models are a Dennis Dart, Optare Solo & Optare Tempo.

The kits are produced to order and range in priced from £8 to £18 plus delivery.


Monday 11 January
Northcord Models Press Release: UKBUS6520
Northcord Models has published the following press release today.

NORTHCORD MODEL COMPANY - PRESS RELEASE
ADL Enviro400 MMC
ukbus 6520 Stagecoach South – 700 coastliner

Following the significant success in launching the brand new casting of the Alexander Dennis Enviro400 MMC model in the liveries of National Express West Midlands, Stagecoach in Oxfordshire, Bluestar, Stagecoach West Scotland, Southern Vectis, Stagecoach South, Ensign Bus and Xplore Dundee, Northcord Model Company is now releasing the eleventh livery on the 10.9 metre long, single-door casting – ukbus 6520 in the livery of Stagecoach South with full branding for route 700 coastliner.

Click to view larger image

ukbus 6520 represents fleet number 10942 (SN18 KNF) that has 10.9 metre, single door bodywork and was new to Stagecoach South in 2018. 10942 carries a full, branded livery for route 700 coastliner, showing the destination to Brighton. The special, comprehensive livery and branding are 100% reproduced onto the ukbus 6520 model. The stand-out features of the branding are : “free WiFi, USB charging” and the full route map with the name of every main stop “Portsmouth, Hilsea, Havant, Emsworth, Chichester, Wick, Bognor Regis, Littlehampton. Worthing, Shoreham, Hove, Brighton”, “frequent connections along the south coast” on both sides; “up to every 10 mins” and “700 coastliner” on all sides, except the front; “Great value travel between Littlehampton, Worthing & Brighton” and “only £23 a week 7 day megarider gold ticket” on the rear.

The Alexander Dennis Enviro400 MMC ukbus 6520 is a one-piece casting whose clean lines accentuate the square, gasket-mounted windows and the livery application on which all logos and lettering are clearly legible. Another main feature on the ukbus 6520 model is its single tree protector at the front. The front dome on the model is significant, with curved windscreens on both upper deck and lower deck.

Northcord Model Company is also creating new design standards within the interior of both saloons. These features, inside the compartments, will represent the real, outstanding layout of the Enviro400 MMC, such as the extensive portrayal of handrails on upper deck and lower deck, etc.

Click to view larger image

The brand new 10.9 metre Enviro400 MMC bus models will be distributed by John Ayrey Die-Casts Limited (UK), Porte Publishing Company (Japan), 80M Bus Model Shop and Concorde Hobby Shop (HK) respectively. The UKBUS6520 model is limited to 1008 pieces worldwide.

Northcord Model Company (NMC)------The World’s Miniature Bus Co.

Thursday 7 January & Updated 9 January
New Corgi 2021 Catalogue OOC Bus Models
Corgi has published details of the models planned for release during 2021.


2021 Corgi Catalogue


Tuesday's reveal of the 2021 Hornby Railway & Scalextric ranges caused all of Hornby's websites including the Corgi one to fail for many hours due to the overwhelming demand. Similar problems have affected the sites again today since early afternoon.

Once again sadly, there is no new OOC tooling for the range.
Although there are more releases this year with 20 products, the majority are New Routemasters in London liveries.
Indeed the only non London related items are a Wright Eclipse Gemini 2 in the same Royal Fusillers 50th Anniversary livery as that included in 2019 twin pack, these have different route & destinations to the original version. There are also two Blackpool trams in Coca Cola all over liveries.

The Go Ahead London New Routemaster from the Fusillers twin pack will also be released as an individual item with a choice of two different destinations. Likewise there's second versions of the Coca Cola & The Kraken New Routemasters with a different routes &/or destinations. The Kraken ones will come with special card packaging.

The Corgi Toys New Routemaster will also be produced in a special NHS Charities livery. No new Beatles Routemasters have been announced.

If you're not a London or New Routemaster fan, this offering is going to be rather disappointing particularly when you consider all the OOC tooling that's available.
London collectors are certainly going to need very deep pockets!

Corgi has posted a range reveal video on the Youtube Corgi Channel, the bus section starts at 10:55 and mentions there are more liveries to be announced.
If you're having trouble accessing the Corgi site, a list of all the bus models is available at TTC Diecast.com while the other ranges, such as aircraft & Vanguards etc can be viewed on Hattons Model Railway site.

Update 8 January: Incorrect low RRPs initially posted on Corgi site revised to £38.99 for Coca Cola trams, Only Fools & Horses NBfL & Arriva London Wright Gemini 2. Some typos corrected.

Update 9 January: Model pages added to this site & viewable via product code links below. Some model details still need confirming where model descriptions published by Corgi don't match the models shown in the sample model photographs.
Models OM46517A/B & OM46631A/B were been included on the list of 2021 models sent to model retailers/wholesalers, however at the time of posting this update they were still not listed on Corgi's own website.

This is the full list of the 20 bus related items:


CC43515 Blackpool Balloon Tram - Coca Cola / open happiness - Due Summer 21 - RRP £38.99


CC44013 Blackpool Brush Railcoach - Coca Cola / Coke Side of Life - Due Summer 21 - RRP £38.99


CC89204 New Routermaster Bus - NHS Charities Together (Corgi Toys version) - Due Summer 21 - RRP £19.99


OM46517A Wright Eclipse Gemini 2 - Go Ahead North East {6117 / Route X10 Newcastle} Royal Fusiliers 50th Anniversary allover livery (same livery as previous twin pack model with different destination) - Due t.b.a. 21 - RRP £38.99


OM46517B Wright Eclipse Gemini 2 - Go Ahead North East {6117 / Route X10 Middlesbrough} Royal Fusiliers 50th Anniversary allover livery (same livery as previous twin pack model with different destination) - Due t.b.a. 21 - RRP £38.99


OM46518A Wright Eclipse Gemini 2 - Arriva London DW512 Route 466 Caterham-on-the-Hill / Evita & The Army Ad's - Due Autumn 21 - RRP £38.99


OM46518B Wright Eclipse Gemini 2 - Arriva London DW512 Route 466 Addington Village / Evita & The Army Ad's - Due Autumn 21 - RRP £38.99

OM46625A New Routemaster Bus - Stagecoach London, {LT406, Route N8 Tottenham Court Road} Supporting World Environment Day allover livery (OOC version) - Due Spring 21 - RRP £38.99


OM46625B New Routemaster Bus - Stagecoach London, {LT406, Route N8 Hainult} Supporting World Environment Day allover livery (OOC version) - Due Spring 21 - RRP £38.99


OM46627A New Routemaster Bus - Go Ahead London, {LT394, Route 15 Blackwall} Royal Fusilliers 50th Anniversary allover livery (same livery as previous twin pack model with different destination) - Due Summer 21 - RRP £38.99


OM46627B New Routemaster Bus - Go Ahead London, {LT394, Route 15 Stepney Arbour Square} Royal Fusilliers 50th Anniversary allover livery (same livery as previous twin pack model with different destination) - Due Summer 21 - RRP £38.99


OM46629 New Routemaster Bus - London United, {LT148, Route 10 Hammersmith} Coca Cola open happiness allover livery (OOC version - a variation on OM46623 with different destination) - Due Spring 21 - RRP £38.99


OM46631A New Routemaster Bus - Arriva London {LT980? Route 59 Euston} Seedlip allover livery (OOC version) - Due Spring 21 - RRP £38.99


OM46631B New Routemaster Bus - Arriva London {LT980? Route 59 Streatham Hill} Seedlip allover livery (OOC version) - Due Spring 21 - RRP £38.99


OM46632A New Routemaster Bus - Arriva London {LT230 Route 38 Hackney Central} Sehba Basras Our Hillingdon allover livery (OOC version) - Due Spring 21 - RRP £38.99


OM46632B New Routemaster Bus - Arriva London {LT230 Route 38 Victoria} Sehba Basras Our Hillingdon allover livery (OOC version) - Due Spring 21 - RRP £38.99


OM46633A New Routemaster Bus - Stagecoach London {LT372 Route ? 73 Victoria ?} Only Fools & Horses The Musical Ad's (OOC version) - Due Summer 21 - RRP £38.99
(Note: Model picture shows 55 Walthamstow Central & doesn't match Corgi product description which states route 73.)


OM46633B New Routemaster Bus - Stagecoach London {LT372 Route ? 73 Stoke Newington ?} Only Fools & Horses The Musical Ad's (OOC version) - Due Summer 21 - RRP £38.99
(Note: Model picture shows 55 Oxford Circus & doesn't match Corgi product description which states route 73.)

OM46638A Arriva London The Kraken Special Edition {LT 716 / Route 59 Euston} (Special Card Sleeve) - New Routemaster - Due Summer 21 - RRP £38.99


OM46638B Arriva London The Kraken Special Edition {LT 716 / Route 59 Streatham Hill} (Special Card Sleeve) - New Routemaster - Due Summer 21 - RRP £38.99


Wednesday 6 January
Metrobus Scania Omnidekka Britbus Models Planned
Omnidekka Models has published an early design cell for a Metrobus Scania Omnidekka that is being planned as a commission from Britbus.
The model is based on YN56FDO, and there will be four versions with the following choice of routes 420, 98, 51 and 291.
Chris Cotton notes he still has some further changes to make to the model design shown below.



A more detailed PDF version of the design cell can be viewed HERE.
More information on this & other proposed models can be found on the omnidekka.com site. The Omnidekka Models range is also now available from www.acemodelbuses.co.uk.


Tuesday 5 January
Corgi Delay Corgi 2021 Catalogue Annoucement
Hornby announced their 2021 Railway range catalogue today and shortly afterwards their website became largely inaccessible, As I post this 7 hours after the launch the site is still experiencing serious access issues, the problems have also affected most of the sites for the other ranges such including Corgi which is likewise giving access errors.
Due to the high site traffic on the Hornby site and resulting issues, Hornby has announced this evening that the planned Corgi 2021 catalogue launch will be delayed by 24 hours and now take place on Thursday 7 January.

Saturday 2 January
Model Bus Federation January Journal Review
The Model Bus Federation's January 2021 issue of the Model Bus Journal has recently been sent out to its members. This is the only publication solely dedicated to model bus news & other related articles in the UK.

To give you an idea of the contents of the Journal I will provide a brief summary of each issue.
If the contents below are of interest, you may wish to consider becoming a member of the MBF, the annual subscription starts at £25.00 with special reduced rates available for younger members aged 14-18.
For further details please visit the https://www.model-bus-federation.org.uk.

Model Bus Journal - Issue 597 January 2021 - 32 pages

  • Editorial
  • Cover Story - The cover model photograph.
  • LT RW Class by Michael Whent - A quick guide to converting an EFE AEC Reliance (243xx) model into a dual door London Transport RW class bus. (cover photo)
  • In Days Gone By by Henry Carke - Some adaptations made to the often overlooked Lledo models.
  • Leopard to Panther Conversion by Martin Hare - A detailed guide to converting a Corgi OOC BET Leyland Leopard (402xx/OM402) model into a Maidstone & District Strachan bodied Leyland Panther.
  • More London Curiosities by John Wood - John explain how he created some of the real and dream models in his London collection.
  • OB Recovery Vehicle by Brian Groombridge - A smart looking mobile workshop & recovery vehicle based a converted Duple Vista Bedford OB coach.
  • Flexicoach: The First Two Years by Stephen Oxbrow & Ryan Birch - Flexicoach is an idea based on the real world business models of Snap, Zeelo & National Express. Smaller operators provide vehicles & staff for services organised & promoted these companies.
    This article explains how the idea has been developed for those with virtual model bus & coach fleets.
  • Ken Johnson's Memorable Models Number 69++, The Ongoing Story - Producing Leicester City Transport's Metro-Cammell & Brush bodied AEC Regent III vehicles using resin 1949 Glasgow AEC Regent III MCCW kits.
  • Another Maguire Postscript - Another Maguire model has been found. 2332 depicts a Walsall Corporation Daimler CRC6-36 with Northern Counties dual door, twin staircase bodywork.
  • Flexicoach Postscript - Article update: Eldorado has joined the Flexicoach network.
  • Over To You - Roger de Boer recalls his memories of the rather rare Duple Roadmaster coach.
  • Plan of the Month by Brian Minter - 1937 Leyland TS7D / Duple B43C, City Coach Co
  • Area News - Reports from the latest virtual online area meetings in South Wales & Herefordshire, North Midlands & Yorkshire
  • Welcome Aboard - Welcome to new & returning members.
  • Jones of Taunton by Ken Jones - Jones of Taunton's latest N gauge coach.
  • MBF Shop 1 - The MBF Streetscene, Little Bus Company & Paragon range of whitemetal/resin parts & accessories, plus the MBF Streetscene 2K resin model kits that are exclusively available to MBF members.
  • MBF Shop 2 - The first batch of former ABS whitemetal bus kits have now been added to the MBF Streetscene range & are available exclusively to members.
  • The Back Page - A selection of six shots showing the rarely photographed rear aspect of real vehicles.

Friday 1 January
Happy New Year & Toy Fair News
2020 has been a difficult year, very few could have imagined only 12 months ago the problems that lay before us. I hope you haven't personally been too badly affected by the Covid 19 but I'm sure there are many who have lost friends & family or taken a big financial hits as a result of this awful pandemic, to you I offer my deepest condolences and hope things improve as we travel through 2021.

As we start 2021 the pandemic is still causing major problems around the world with lock downs in many places & the virus rates increasing in others. With vaccines now being rolled out there's hope that things will gradually improve as we head to middle of 2021 and life can start to return to a degree of normality.

The pandemic has also affected our hobby, production of models was delayed by factory closures in China, model shops & Toy Fairs in the UK were forced to close during the lock downs. Club meet ups, bus rallies & other long running events all but ceased.
Many have turned to the internet to hold virtual events over the likes of zoom. There seems to have been a boom in online sales of models as we look to fill our unexpected extra time at home with work on these long planned model projects.

The model bus manufacturers have had mixed fortunes, Corgi & Hornby overall seem to have grown business & kept releases on track. Northcord Models has maintained a steady if slightly slower flow of releases, while Rapido Trains has been busy working on another new bus & further issues of the Birmingham New Look bus for 2021.
Britbus made a welcome reappearance in 2020 and it looks like we'll see more of their products in 2021 as Omnidekka Models & others announce further commissioned items.

Sadly there's was nothing from the once prolific EFE range in 2020. We still await the release of last models announced by Bachmann back in late 2019, a new EFE Rail range was launched in the Autumn with a quickly expanding range of railway locomotives & rolling stock models.
There has alas been little news on progress on the new bus toolings or any further planned diecast road vehicle releases. With the Classix Pocketbond range of OO road vehicles seemly quietly dropped during 2020. I'm hoping that Bachmann has a better future planned for EFE's extensive range of model buses.

Oxford Diecast has scaled back on new announcements with notably less in the way of new bus & coach models, however it does appear to have cleared what was a fairly large back log of releases in recent months. so hopefully we'll see a bigger selection of new bus & coach models during 2021.

I wish you a Happy & Safe New Year, and like to offer a big thank you to everyone who has contributed to the site during 2020.

2021 Toy Fairs
January is usually a busy time as we see manufacturers announce their model programmes for the year ahead, most of the news is traditionally made public during the annual London & Nuremberg Toy Fairs held at the end of the month.
Sadly this year's London event has been canceled all together & the Nuremburg event has now been postponed until the Summer at the earliest. I'm guessing the 2021 announcements will still come, but there'll likely be spread over an extended period this year.
The Hornby Group is kicking things off via their official websites throughout Wednesday 6 January Stop Press: Rescheduled to Thursday 7 January, so hopefully there'll be some new OOC models to report.

 December 2020  Model Bus Zone News Index January 2021