EFE 23501 Leyland Atlantean - Edinburgh Corporation
Released July 1997
A Retrospective by Donald
Released in July of 1997 this EFE release
quickly proved to be a very popular model with collectors and is still
much sought after and relatively rare nine years after it was released.
It is not seen at swapmeets or toy fairs too frequently and like the
Bournemouth version often commands around £30 for a near mint example.
model itself is based on ECT's fleet number 812 (EWS 812D) and does
capture the look of the
prototype very well indeed although I suspect that the casting itself
started life as the Park Royal version of the Atlantean. The same
casting is also used to represent the Alexander bodied Daimler Fleetline
as well as Atlanteans from other fleets. To distinguish between the
different types it was only necessary for EFE to change the badge decals
and the engine cover which is a separate casting riveted on.
812 was one of a batch of around 25 delivered to Edinburgh with the
small bus windows, all of the remaining Atlanteans having the larger
panoramic windows fitted. The bulk of Edinburgh's Atlanteans were also
dual door. As what might be called a generic or "one size fits all"
casting there are some features on the model which differ from the
prototype and to the eye of an Edinburgh man they do stand out somewhat
but at the same time don't detract from the model itself. The model has
a split upper deck rear window/emergency exit. On the prototype it is a
single pane of glass. The indicator immediately behind the entrance door
on the model should be where the nearside fleet number has been applied
and it's offside counterpart should also be in the lower position just
forward of and slightly higher than the front wheel-arch. There should
be no fleet number on the nearside and the entrance door should be two
leaf not four. However as I've already said it doesn't detract from the
overall look of the model and it sits well within my collection. I also
have to mention that along with the other Edinburgh and Lothian Region
Transport models in their range EFE manage to get far closer to the
correct shade of madder than Corgi does. It is however a very
frustrating colour to match. That is evidenced when seeing a bus that
has had a panel repaired, even Edinburgh struggled as the madder seems
to darken with age and lose it redness.
mentioned the Bournemouth Atlantean at the beginning and with good
reason. Ronald Cox as Transport Manager at
Edinburgh Corporation was the man responsible for bringing the Alexander
bodied Leyland Atlantean into the fleet and it's no surprise. Before he
took up his post in Edinburgh he was at.........you've guessed it,
In 2006 it's possible to look back at the casting with the benefit of
hindsight. When it was released it was pretty much par for the course in
terms of the quality of detailing on the casting but what might we get
if it were being released into the market today with the advances we
have seen in the technology of die-casting. I think it's certain that
because it is not a half cab that we would have a one piece casting
(although not perhaps from EFE) and the "ugly poles" that hold the model
together would be dispensed with. Almost certainly the headlamps would
be clear plastic rather than being part of the casting detail painted
silver. Perhaps an opening engine cover and certainly the correct upper
deck rear window. In all probability if it were to be issued by Britbus
we would also see poseable wheels and at a later time a dual door
panoramic window version too. Hopefully we would also see those
indicators correctly positioned.
I do believe there is scope for a completely new tooling of the
Alexander Atlantean. Variants were seen throughout the UK including
London where it appeared as the Daimler Fleetline. Again different
engine shrouds being the major difference between the various types
which makes life easier for a potential manufacturer. Would I like a new
casting? absolutely, and I'm sure many others would too.
The opinions offered in the reviews
on this page remain those of the author,
and do not necessarily represent the of views of The Model Bus Website.