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Pictures posted Friday 1 Sept & text added Saturday 2 Sept
The OOC London Transport RTW Bus

    Corgi have now released their much anticipated RTW bus casting, originally due in July the model was initially pre-launched two weeks ago via London's Transport Museum. The general release took place on the 1st September when wholesalers and Corgi Platinum dealers received their models. It's been a long time coming but the model should be available from most outlets by early next week although I been told orders have been cut back by Corgi despite 6060 models being produced.

So how good or bad is this model you may ask, well first impressions seem quite good with the model appearing to capture the shape of the RTW, good points include the flush glazing which has been well executed and doesn't appear lens like, window openings are reproduced using silver tampo printing which looks fine while interior detailing even includes grab poles along the centre isles and the correct wooden slated flooring.
The problems however begin when you actually start to compare the model with the real thing, as you will soon start to notice some obvious errors.

OM41701 front profile RTW front profile
The pictures above show the first of the errors namely the all important radiator, the very slight tamper present on the real thing has been over emphasized on the model which is a shame as the radiator detailing is otherwise very good right down to the tiny London Transport badge.
OM41701 rear profile RTW rear profile
The second problem concerns the rear which doesn't seem to be right especially around the upper deck rear window area, the corner pillars look to narrow, on the lower deck the rear platform bulkhead and window are much narrower then they should be. The correct tend pattern has been reproduced in great detail on the rear platform floor and the staircase has been finished in black paint.
OM41701 Near side front RTW near side front
OM41701 Off-side front OM41701 Off-side front
The front quarter views look fairly good, however the destination box looks slightly too narrow and the panels either side too wide. The indicators and mirrors have been nicely executed but unlike some recent OOC castings the head lamps are just reproduced using silver paint and not the clear plastic lenses that were used on the East Lancs half cabs. A single etched wiper blade is fitted to the driver's cab window although I doubt this would have had a chrome finish!
OM41701 Off-side rear OM41701 Off-side rear

OM41701 Near side rear RTW near side rear
Moving onto the rear, the corner spot advert is placed to low, these would normally appear in the centre of the panel, the two rear lights have been cast, as can be seen from the picture above when delivered these weren't present on the buses being added later by London Transport, so any releases depicting vehicles in their early days of operation will be inaccurate.
OM41701 front detail OM41701 platform detail
In the above photograph the BESI tracking plate can clearly be seen on the front between deck panel, these were only fitted to a small number of RTW's, by casting this detail it looks likely that it will be a feature on all future releases. Having said that the preserved RTW467 actually has one of these fitted so in this particular case it's inclusion is accurate.
The bonnet catches are just tampo printed and the raised fleet number bonnet plate has been omitted by Corgi. The front mudguards on the other hand have captured the shape of the real thing really well and have been finished in black gloss which improves their appearance even further.
OM41701 base
The metal base of the model includes chassis, gearbox and engine detailing and at first glance it appears the model is held together with two cross head screws, however this is not the case as two EFE style silver poles keep the three casting components united.
The new OOC RTW and the 17 year old EFE RT model
RTW and RT width
The difference in width between the OOC RTW and EFE RT

Comparing the EFE RT & OOC RTW is difficult, both models have there good and bad points.
The extra width of the RTW can clearly be seen and I personally like the RTW's inclusion of the body panel beading which is something lacking on the RT. Corgi have also made a better job of capturing the shape of the front mudguards and traffic indicators and they've also added some nice wing mirrors.
The fleet names on the EFE model appear much thinner and crisper than on the OOC version, while the destination lettering looks a little on the thin side on the RTW.
The between deck beige band which is painted looks to be right depth and the join between the upper and lower deck castings is extremely good on the RTW. The lifeguards bars along the skirts on the sides would also appear to be more to scale on the RTW and don't protrude out from the body as much as they do on the RT.

At the end of the day this is still a perfectly acceptable model and unless you compare it directly with the real thing you'll probably be able to live with the various inaccuracies, the sad thing is that with just a bit more effort Corgi could have produced a really exceptional model, as it stands I'd personally give it 8 out of 10 while the present EFE RT would probably now score a 7. It will be interesting to see how EFE respond to the OOC effort when they re-tool their original 1989 RT model later this year.

Since this review was originally posted Corgi have made a number of revisions to the model including the fitting of better headlights & the removal of the near side BESI tracking plate. I intend to update the review to reflect the now improved model in due course. (Kevin Ellis 09-02-11)

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