Massey-bodied Guy Arab II
From the Little bus Company
- Kit No. UHM1
Review by Alan Purssey
During WW II the Ministry of Supply along with the Ministry of War
Transport set strict controls on the building of bus chassis and bodies
to make the best use of non-essential materials to a basic utility
By the mid forties the end of the war was in sight, and the ministry had
an over-supply of Guy’s ordered for manufacture. London Transport was
pressured to take more utility buses to meet their shortfall. Among
these was the Guy Arab II that featured a projecting radiator to take the
6- cylinder 6LW Gardner engine: despite requests from London Transport
for the larger engine, none of the Guys destined for London received
London Transport started to receive these Guys in May 1945 in four
batches, G174-193, G258-268, G312-318, G358-368. A total of 49
London and were confined mainly to east London, the first batch going to
Barking. The second and part of the third batch went to Enfield and all
the others went to Hornchurch.
The first batch had no side destination display; this was provided on
later batches, together with a shallow valence over the entrance. (PHOTO
Due to shortages of red pigment Massey resorted to painting the bulk of
the bodies in a chocolate brown (Humbrol Matt no.29) with red oxide
wheels, a colour they were to retain until there first overhaul (PHOTO
2) in 1947-48 when they were to receive red panels with white window
surrounds. By the early 50s they were due for another overhaul that was
abandoned after only four were completed, as the timber supplied for the
frame was particularly poor and to expensive to replace. The majority
were relegated to driver training and were early candidates for
withdrawal. By February 1952 all had been disposed off.
The interiors were quite lavish for the times. All the visible woodwork
was finished in a dark red Mahogany, and the seats were finished in a
red leather cloth rather than brown found on most utility buses of the
Due to the constraints imposed on the manufacture of bus bodies The
details around the cab area were angular in steps rather than curved.
These less than neat lines were highlighted when the vehicles were
painted with white window surrounds.
Obvious detail was the deep roof meeting in a sharp line at the front
corners and the retention of the lobster-backed dome at the rear made
these Guys the most easily recognisable from the other utility buses
plying the London streets. (PHOTO 3)
This model from the Little Bus Company has been carefully designed to
allow production of either the Daimler or Guy. The model represents one
of the versions supplied to London Transport and comes in a stout box
with two colour illustrations on the box lid, one of the later all over
red livery with a cream mid-height band, the other of the more familiar
red and white livery. The instructions also contain a brief history of
these vehicles. The model is in the now familiar format of a two-piece
body shell with a chassis-seating unit. Other parts include a separate
staircase in resin, platform pole, a base plate containing the
lifeguards, steering wheel, headlights, and a radiator, in white metal,
clear glazing, and push on wheels.
Cleaning any flash file down the pips on the underside of the upper body
shell ensures a snug fit to the lower deck. On the Guy the side window
ach of the door needs to be cranked inward for the best affect. Many of
the Masseys had the offside half of the platform window frosted for the
decency of female passengers using the stairs. This is achieved by
gently rubbing the glazing with fine sandpaper. Due to the delicate
nature of the resin care is needed when handling the lower unit; place
the chassis unit in for support whilst working with it.
The model is from a Master made by Rod Blackburn, and having built his
previous models I expected something special and I was not disappointed.
attention to detail Rod has lavished on this model is quite evident. The
lobster back high domed roof with its sharp pointed front corners must
have been quite a challenge. Other fine details include the rain strips
over the windows, moulded grab handles, a used ticket box, (PHOTO 4)
counter sunk filler cap, drivers step and door handle complete with
hinges, all of which make this a superb model that really captures the
look of the prototype and is Rod’s best to date.
Both Tony Asquith and Rod Blackburn can be justifiably proud of this
model as the beauty of resin means none of these fine details are lost.
It is a must have for London collectors covering a period between the
mid 40s and early 50s. At the time of writing (October the 12th
2007) I see LBC has sold out, so get your order in for the
My two models depicted are finished with period posters from the Fox
range of transfers. The destination screen, registration and fleet
number representing G259 registration number GYL398 working from
Enfield garage (E) on route 102 to Chingford are from the MBC. range.
(Photos 5 and, at the top of the page, 6)