Model Bus Zone News
December 2016
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Saturday 31 December
Happy New Year

Wishing you all a Very Happy New Year and hoping you have a healthy & peaceful 2017.

Many thanks to everyone who have contributed to the site during 2016, it is very much appreciated.
Site updates last year were unfortunately much less than I would of hoped, this was due to increased family commitments. Things should improve this year hopefully.

2016: A Look Back
2016 wasn't the best year in regards to die-cast bus & coach models, releases from B-T Models slowed further with only seven 1/76 & four N scale models to report, on a brighter note there were four Britbus models & several Hong Kong related AsianBus range releases for the UK.

Although Northcord Models is still active, there were no signs that any new UK models are being planned. It now been over three years since the last UK releases.
A Brian Collins Enterprises commissioned Dublin Bus ALX400 model was in pre-production for most of the year and is expected to be released in early 2017.

Corgi maintained a fairly steady flow of OOC releases throughout the year, although sadly for a second year there wasn't any the tooling for the range. Hornby Hobbies also announced a major reduction in product lines across all its ranges. It still isn't clear exactly how this will affect the Corgi side of things. The new 2017 catalogue is expected to be announced next week, so fingers crossed we'll still see a good few OOC models featured.

The biggest news of 2016 came in October when we learned that the EFE brand owners Gilbow Holdings had been put into administration. The company had clearly been having issues prior to this, the vast majority of the 2016 model releases were made up of re-worked items.
The EFE brand, stock & tooling was all swiftly acquired by Bachmann Europe PLC. Over the past few years a close working relationships had been built up between the two companies, and indeed almost all the new models manufactured by EFE in 2016 were commissioned by Bachmann for its own appointed stockists.

It not yet clear how Bachmann will go forward with its new acquisition, but it seems fair to presume that the number of monthly model releases will probably be much reduced compared with the that of the previous Gilbow era.

EFE kicked off the 1/76 die-cast model bus & coach boom back in 1989, for 27 years they produced on average around 80-90 models per year. Frank Joyce was there from the start and rescued the company in 2000 after the then parent ERA Group went into administration.
EFE were always a fairly small business and had loyal & often long serving workforce. I'm hoping 2017 will be kind to them all and would like to say thanks for their support & producing such a wide range & variety of models over the years.

On a brighter note Oxford Die-cast have continued to announce new tooling for the Oxford Omnibus range, and indeed appear to be the only major die-cast producer currently willing to do this. Releases of bus and coach models have however been somewhat delayed during 2016, which means there's a healthy backlog of releases to look forward in 2017.

Forward Models had a quiet year, with no further new releases, however work is underway on further new model tooling. Sunstar proved there's still life in the 1/24 scale market and released two Heritage Routemaster models.

The political shocks of 2016, notably the Brexit vote have affected all the model producers who have seen the value of the Pound plummet against the Dollar. Price increases have already been seen from Corgi & Oxford Die-cast and these will almost certainly spread to other produced in 2017.

The model kit suppliers have continued to invest in new models, and these offer healthy variety of subject matter which means most modelers will find something that appeals.

There were no further resin model releases of UK vehicles during 2016 although the London Bus Museum had hoped to release both London T & TD class models, production delays have delayed these to the New Year.

On the code 3 scene the long running LBRT business was closed in 2016. Nigel Mitchell's excellent code 3 London Models will be much missed by his many loyal customers, but I'm sure they're join me in wishing him a happy & long retirement.

Here's hoping 2017 will provide something that appeals to your collecting interest.

Thursday 29 December
Commissioned Sutton United FC EFE Model
I've been contacted by Bruce Elliot the Chairman of Sutton United FC regarding the commissioned EFE model released by the club back August. He tells me that only a very few models are now left and these will be sold on a first come first served basis.


Sutton United commissioned a further model bus from Exclusive First Editions to celebrate winning the National League South in season 2015/2016.
This is a strictly limited edition of just 100 models, each with a numbered certificate, and is an open top AEC Routemaster bus (33105A).
These are available at 32 each + 3 postage and packing.
Cheques, made payable to Sutton United FC, should be sent to Bruce Elliott, Sutton United FC, Borough Sports Ground, Gander Green Lane, Sutton, Surrey SM12EY.
Payment can also be made by Credit Card, in this case, please email for details of how to arrange payment or if you require any further information regarding this model.

33105A First Group PLC (RMC1510 / Route 9 / Sutton United FC 2015-2016 Champions!) - Open Top AEC RMC Class Routemaster Bus

Wednesday 28 December
Commissioned OOC New Routemaster Model
Corgi have produced an exclusive OOC New Routemaster model for the Wright Group to mark the company's 70th Anniversary.
2000 certificated models have been produced and these come in special packaging with Wright insignia & 70th Anniversary branding.

The model carries standard red Transport for London livery and has 70th Anniversary adverts & destinations. There is no indication of a Corgi model reference number on the packaging.

The bad news is these are not being made available to the public, but have instead been given to the company's employees to mark the anniversary.

There are however a few examples on eBay if your willing to pay a premium!

Wednesday 28 December
Big Bus Company 1/43 Model
Spotted on eBay are these rather impressive looking 1/43rd scale Open Top Anhui Ankai models in the Big Bus Tours London livery.
There are two versions, one with a fully open top deck and a second that is partly roofed, this second version is also supplied with an optional extra canvas roof extension.

A similar 1/76 scale version of one of these vehicles was produced by the 80M Bus Model Shop back in 2012.

The models are produced by AK and are believed to be each limited to 500 pieces worldwide, the seller on eBay (Small Ants Toys And Model) is based in China so these may be subject to UK custom's charges if imported. They are priced on eBay at £85 each including P&P to the UK.
Please note I've not had any dealings with this eBay seller, but they have 100% postive feedback.

Wednesday 28 December
Some 1/43 Scale Models Coming To The UK
Wholesaler John Ayrey Diecast's will shortly have some 1/43 scale models availble for UK model retailers.

The four models appear to have been originally produced for a Hatchette Du Monde partworks magazine, the UK RRP is £29.99 per model. All four are expected to be available in January and come in their orginal bubble pack packaging.

MAG HC04 Greyhound (USA) - Super Scenicruiser Coach - 1956

MAG HC05 P.T.T. (Switzerland) - Saurer L4C Bus - 1959

MAG HC06 Dark blue & cream (France) - Citroen T45 Coach - 1934

MAG HC08 E.N.A.S.A. (Spain) - Pegaso Z-403 Monoscocca Coach - 1951-57

Wednesday 28 December
Confirmed Atlas Editions Release
The seventeenth model in the Atlas Editions Classic Coaches Collection has now been released.

This model is 1/72 scale & appears to identical to one released previously by Atlas Editions in other parts of Europe.
A quantity of these models were also imported into the UK during 2015 by wholesaler John Ayrey's Diecast, and these were available from some UK model retailers. John Ayrey's still have stock of this model & the Reiser Reisen Mercedes Benz O 3500 model (4642 115) issued in November.

4642 117 No Operator Identification (Metallic grey livery) - Van Hool 306 Coach

Friday 23 December
Confirmed EFE Release
The latest exclusive EFE model for Bachmann appointed stockist's has been released in the UK.

40101 Maidstone & District P90 (GHV 90N / Network SouthEast livery) - Open Top Daimler Fleetline DMS Dual Door Bridge Maintenence Vehicle

Tuesday 20 December
Next Corgi OOC Releases & OOC 2017 Models Rumours
The following OOC models have now being released to retailers and it appears that Corgi themselves have sold out of both of these models, as they are no longer listed on their online shop site.
Update: Both model have now re-appeared on the Corgi online shop site, after disappearing last month.

OM46615A Arriva London (137 Streatham Hill / Coca Cola livery) - New Routemaster Double Deck Bus
OM46615B Arriva London (137 Oxford Circus / Coca Cola livery) - New Routemaster Double Deck Bus

OOC 2017 Model Rumours
There have been suggestions that there will be no OOC models in the new January - June 2017 catalogue, this seems to relate from the fact that no OOC models have been mentioned in the 2017 preview articles published in various model magazines.

So far eight new Corgi models have been announced & these are listed on the John Ayrey Diecast site under 2017 1st Quarter - New announcements I'm aware of one further Vanguard car that was revealed last week by Corgi, so this appears not to be the final list.

There's also a small pixelated preview picture of the new catalogue's cover on the Corgi site, this shows a Wright Eclipse Gemini double deck model in rather distinctive livery used by a well known Southeast of England operator.

No doubt all will become clearer in early January when the full catalogue is published.

Saturday 17 December
ADL Mini 200 MMC Model Kit Update
Saltire Model Bus Kits have sent me some photographs of a fully built & painted version of their forthcoming ADL Mini 200 MMC 8.9m bus kit.

The first 20 kits are currently being packaged for dispatch to pre-order customers.

A further batch of 30 kits are to go on general sale and are expected to be available in February.
These will be sold on a first come first served basis once released. No pre-orders are being taken for these & the final price has yet to be announced.

You can keep up with latest developments on the Saltire Facebook page

Saturday 17 December
Confirmed & Next Corgi OOC Releases
The following Corgi OOC models have now been released to UK model retailers.

OM41913A Southdown (197 Eastbourne Royal Paddock) - Leyland PD3 Queen Mary Double Deck Bus
OM41913B Southdown (197 Top of Beachy Head) - Leyland PD3 Queen Mary Double Deck Bus

The final pair of outstanding OOC models are currently expected to be released by Corgi before Christmas, however due to the festive break these might not reach all retailers until after the holiday period.

OM46615A Arriva London (137 Streatham Hill / Coca Cola livery) - New Routemaster Double Deck Bus
OM46615B Arriva London (137 Oxford Circus / Coca Cola livery) - New Routemaster Double Deck Bus

The new Corgi models planned for release between January to June 2017 are set to be revealed in early January via the Corgi website.

Information kindly supplied by

Friday 9 December
Confirmed & Next Corgi OOC Release
The following Corgi OOC models are due to be released next week in the UK.

OM41913A Southdown (197 Eastbourne Royal Paddock)- Leyland PD3 Queen Mary Double Deck Bus.
OM41913B Southdown (197 Top of Beachy Head)- Leyland PD3 Queen Mary Double Deck Bus.
Information kindly supplied by

Friday 9 December
Upcoming Oxford Diecast Release
The following 1/76 scale Oxford Diecast model is expected to be released to model retailers shortly.

76RM114CC Coca Cola Christmas Bus - AEC Routemaster Bus.
Information kindly supplied by

Thursday 8 December
A's Model Bus Kits Special Offer
A's Model Bus Kits are running a special promotion of £5.00 off each order placed from now until 12pm on the 15th December. The offer covers all of their currently available kits.

You can view the kits and place orders via the site.

Monday 5 December
Confirmed AsianBus & B-T Model Releases
The following AsianBus & B-T models have now been released in the UK.


CB12 CMBCM1 (route 10 North Point) - MCW Metrorider

CB13 CMB CM2 (route 504 Wah Fu) - MCW Metrorider

KB01 KMB AMR 1 (route 299) - MCW Metrorider

B-T Models

B209A Western National 2627 (FTA 239D / route 93 Dartmouth) - Bristol MW6G ECW Bus

B209B Western National 2623 (754 MDV / route 282 Tiverton) - Bristol MW6G ECW Bus

DB05 Steel Co. of Wales (griders load) - Leyland Octopus 4 Axle Flatbed Lorry

DB06 British Rail - Ford D Series Dropside Lorry

DB07 Fletcher Miller - Foden DG Tanker Lorry

DB08 National Benzole - Albion Reiver Tanker Lorry

Information kindly supplied by

Friday 2 December
Confirmed Atlas Editions Release
The sixteenth model in the Atlas Editions Classic Coaches Collection has now been released.
This model is 1/76 scale & appears to be based on the Corgi OOC tooling.
Sadly it appears the livery application is incorrect, the dark green skirt area should extend across the front of the vehicle. They've also used the Excalibur version of the Corgi tooling instead of the correct Premiere one!

4642 116 Trent Barton (Transpeak livery) - Volvo B10M-62 Plaxton Premiere (Excalibur) Coach

 November 2016  Model Bus Zone News Index January 2017