Photographs & Review by Nicholas Rothon

TiNY Kit: TK37S - Southdown 1955 Leyland Tiger Cub Park Royal Single Deck Bus - click to view super hi-res image
TiNY Bus & Coach Kits: TK37 - Southdown 1955 Leyland Tiger Cub Park Royal Single Deck Bus

The Real Vehicle

   In common with most other operators, Southdown proceeded to renew its single decker bus fleet in the immediate post war period with underfloor vehicles. As might be anticipated, the choice was to purchase Leylands. There were two series of Royal Tigers with bodies by East Lancs, the first with the entrance at the rear and the second with centre entrances. This might seem unusual but the regulations at the time only allowed one person operation for smaller buses. They were converted to front entrance when the regulations changed.

Nearside view
Off-side view

These were followed by two series of Tiger Cubs, the first with bodies by Duple/Nudd and the second with bodies by Park Royal. Both series were very similar but there were detailed differences and the Park Royal buses were considered to be the best. Initially they were painted with dark green roofs, cream windows and apple green below the windows. At a later date the livery was simplified to an all-over apple green and destination blinds were simplified. Also the splendid Tiger Cub badge was replaced with a small Southdown scroll. Good modelling requires accurate photos and there are two clear pre-delivery photos of a Park Royal bus (or saloon as Southdown called them) in Southdown Style – by Glyn Kraemar-Johnson (Capital Transport 2015).
A photograph of the vehicle taken in 1967 can be found on the site.

The 1/76 Scale Model

TiNY Kit 37: Southdown Leyland Tiger Cub Park Royal Bus

Tiny Models have produced a kit for a Park Royal Royal Tiger. The initial run sold out quickly and the second run is almost sold out.

The model takes the form of a resin moulded body in a single piece with a second moulding for the seats and interior partitions. A pattern is provided for the glazing. The moulding is clean but benefits from a tidying up with a needle file. The exterior linings of the body are complex and appear over-scale, although they can be reduced with some careful scraping.

Close up of front detailing

The pieces fit together easily though care is required in cutting the axles to ensure that the wheels fit in the right place in the arches

The real challenge of this model is painting the elaborate original livery. Most model buses are seen from above so it is worth taking care with a primer and careful smoothing to produce the high gloss of the original roof colour. The chrome lining, including the “speed lines” on the front panel need a great a great deal of patience and care. Also the painting of the window surrounds is not easy.

Close up of door & body detailing

Transfers are not provided with the kit but it is possible to purchase suitable transfers from Fox. This makes the completed model quite expensive – and shows that the prices of some current elaborate ready made models are not totally unreasonable.

Front view

My completed model is far from perfect, but provided many hours of enjoyable work and is certainly a good addition to my model Southdown fleet.

A post script – in the past it was possible to visit the Commercial Show at Earls Court, and if you were fortunate, come across some of the Southdown Engineers, visiting the stands, who were pleased to discuss what they intended to purchase for the following year.

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