Click the small pictures throughout the review to view larger versions.
Review & Photographs by Kevin Ellis.

Model Buses: MBLT02 - London Transport LT Scooter Single Deck Bus
Model Buses: MBLT02 - London Transport LT1139 on Kingston Garage's route 213.

   This review comes somewhat late in the day in regards to the release of this resin model. The first example MBLT01 was released back in October 2012 and essentially sold out upon release. The model which is produced & distributed by Model Buses is like most scale models these days manufactured in China.

The first example depicted a red central area vehicle on route 227 and was a limited edition of 200 pieces. The second release covered by this review wears a broadly similar livery and this time depicts the Kingston Garage based LT1139 (GP 3433) on route 213. This issue, ref MBLT02, is a also larger run of 300 pieces.

Near side front view - Click to enlarge Off-side rear view - Click to enlarge
Off-side front view - Click to enlarge Near side rear view - Click to enlarge
Model Buses - London Transport LT1139 in 1930s style livery

The Real Buses

Just over 200 single deck LT class vehicles were delivered to London General between 1930 & 1932. All but three of the vehicle spent their entire life working on central area routes. The three exceptions were two vehicle delivered to the Country Area, which were also eventually transferred to the central area, the last of the trio was a vehicle inherited from another operator and painted in Green Line colours for use in the Private Hire fleet.

The LT Scooters as they became known were based on the AEC Renown chassis, the 35 seat ash framed bodywork was built in house at Chiswick Works. All the vehicles had broadly similar bodies although the final 76 built had additional roof mounted rear destination boxes.

All the vehicles passed to the London Passenger Transport Board in 1933 and bar a few wartime casualties continued in service until the early 50's. The last example was withdrawn from public service in 1953.

Off-side front - Click to enlarge Near side rear view - Click to enlarge
The Model
A close up of the front detailing - Click to enlarge

The model unlike some of the other finished resin models now available is almost entirely made up of resin. Most other manufacturers of these types of models have chosen to use a white metal baseplate which gives the models a more weighty feel.

The LT Scooter's body design is probably best described as functional rather than stylish, the squared off and fairly angular shape has none the less been captured well by the model.

The paint used on the model has satin finish rather than the more usual full gloss found on most models. Whether you like this will be down to personal taste, but on the whole it's probably more in keeping with the scale and typical condition of paint finish on an in service vehicle.
The paint application is very even & has been thinly applied meaning that none of the finer casting details is lost beneath it.

Close up of the fleet name transfer  - Click to enlarge
All the decals are reproduced using transfers and on the whole these look to be accurate reproductions, the only slight issue is that these have a shiny backing material which tends to stand out against the satin paint finish under the certain lighting conditions.
The cleanly applied livery - Click to enlarge

The joins between the different paint colours are clean with no sign whatsoever of any bleed. Black lining has been applied above and below the passenger windows and again this is faultless.

This second Scooter model appears to have a few extra features over the earlier Bromley Garage version. Hand rails have now been added to either side of the entrance and across the front bulkhead. There's also a ceiling mounted rail in the front section of the saloon. These are all made of a very fine grade silver wire and look in keeping with the scale.
The head & side lights now also have clear plastic lenses which is a big improvement over the silver paint used on the first issue.

Close up of the improved front lights - Click to enlarge Close up of front bulkhead - Click to enlarge - Click to enlarge Close up of the light fittings & off-side mirror - Click to enlarge - Click to enlarge The ceiling mounted grab rail - Click to enlarge - Click to enlarge

Another new feature are small black round driving mirrors on the front corners of the roof which have silvered rears.

Like the first model small silver metallic discs are used to represent the filler caps found on both sides of the vehicle. A small single wiper is also fitted to the top of the cab windscreen.Close up ofthe front & entrance Click to enlarge - Click to enlarge

The all important front AEC radiator which has so often been a weak point on other models has been very well executed with both the shape & depth looking right. A small transfer has been used to reproduce the AEC badge.

The glazing used on the model is some of the best I've seen. Not only is it thin & very clear, but the side windows appear to have the pillars moulded in to the glazing, this has then been over painted to produce a very convincing and flawless effect.

Close up of the wheels & tyres - Click to enlarge
Close up showing the unpainted front wheel hubs - Click to enlarge

The six wheels are all single tyre and have identical hubs, examining period pictures of vehicles suggests there should be a variation between the front & rear hubs, but to be fair this was slight.

The tires are made of a soft rubber and have some tread detailing.
The hubs are painted in the normal LT reddish brown colour & it is here that one of the few short comings of the model is evident. The rear of the front hubs are clearly visible at the front of the model and the reddish brown colour does rather spoil the otherwise excellent looks. The first issue of model had these painted black and its a shame this wasn't repeated on this latest issue.

Drivers cab detailing - Click to enlarge
Moving on to the interior, the drivers cab includes a steering wheel, gear change & hand brake. There doesn't appear to be any representation of the dashboard however, although to be fair that's not really noticeable in the rather cramped cab.

Close up of the entrance - Click to enlarge

The passenger saloon is painted white with a reddish brown floor & seats. The seats are solid mouldings and lack the detailing found on the resin specialist models. Seat motif has been applied to the cushion areas and has oddly been extended down the front of the seats to the floor which looks a little odd.
Panel detailing is present on the front bulkhead and also on the ceiling which also includes a representation of the lighting fixtures.

The interior seats - Click to enlarge The Roof detailing - Click to enlarge The baseplate - Click to enlarge

The roof also includes panel beading & three small air vents. The front destination display is produced using another transfer and although not glazed still looks to be in keeping with the London Transport layout of this period.

The baseplate has little detailing apart from two large lugs that are used to secure the model to the supplied plinth. These can become noticeable under the vehicle if you view the model from a very low angle.

The model comes attached to a grey plinth and is supplied with a clear plastic cover. As mentioned the model is secured to the plinth by a pair of small cross headed screws. A thin white card box completes the packaging with labels used to identify the model & quantity produced. A label on the rear gives some background history on the LT1139 vehicle depicted.

The model packaging - Click to enlarge The box rear as a brief vehicle history - Click to enlarge The plastic display case & plinth - Click to enlarge
Near side view - Click to enlarge Off side view - Click to enlarge
Near side front - Click to enlarge Off side rear view - Click to enlarge

All in all another good addition to the growing range of resin bus models. The LT Scooter has been on the list of the most requested models for a long time and it is good to see that a smaller producer as stepped up to the challenge and ended up with such a pleasing end result. The improvements made over the first release are also note worthy and make this second version all the better. It will be interesting to see if Model Buses announce plans for further models in the future.

Near side rear view - Click to enlarge Off-side front view - Click to enlarge
Front destination is unglazed - Click to enlarge Close up of the rear showing the number plate & light - Click to enlarge

  • Good vehicle likeness
  • Excellent finishing and attention to detail
  • Excellent glazing
  • Decal transfer backing can stand out
  • Unpainted rear of front wheels spoils the front profile
  • Seat motif application looks odd
Construction: 10/10
Livery Application : 9/10
Decal Application: 9/10
Interior Detailing 8/10
Likeness to Subject: 10/10

Overall: 9.5/10

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