CMNL ukbus 1039 Alexander ALX400-bodied Dennis Trident - Arriva

Review by Bryan Knights

UKBUS1039 is the latest model of the Dennis Trident/ALX400 casting from Creative Master Northcord Ltd (CMNL). W432 XKX (Arriva 5432) was delivered new to Arriva the Shires and Essex for use on Route 38 between Luton and Dunstable. When this service was equipped with Wright-bodied Scania single deckers in 2005, 5432, along with 2 others of the same class, were transferred to Aylesbury for use on the X15 between Aylesbury and Milton Keynes.

It was quickly discovered that the 13ft 10in bus would not go under the 13 ft bridge at Linslade and as a result 5432 was repainted into Arriva’s latest livery and branded for route 500 between Aylesbury and
Watford, which, at that time, was almost exclusively the domain of Scania L113CRL single deckers delivered new to the service in 1995.

This is a very local bus to me, passing as it does through my home town and I was very keen to see the final model. Indications from photographs of the model suggested that the skirt is not the correct shade of blue and this is confirmed by the production version: the difference is obvious when you compare the pictures of the real bus on the packaging to that of the model inside. It’s not as bad as I first feared and certainly doesn’t detract in any way from the model itself.

This aside, the branded livery has been superbly and correctly applied and it really does capture the look and feel of the real thing; so much so that I can just visualise it passing through Berkhamsted High Street.

There are three small points that are worth mentioning, the rear route blind does not show a number, this, of course, could be correct, but the real vehicles normally display the route number. The lights on the rear upper deck have been painted over and would normally show red.

Finally, and it might be my eyes, but the front upper deck grab rail looks a little bit on the low side, but that might simply be my perception and again does not detract from the model itself.

The release notes from CMNL state that the interior detail includes a TV monitor in the upper saloon this does not exist on the model, and indeed the actual bus does not have a monitor installed, and from pictures I have seen has never included this feature.

This is a certificated model, limited to 1200 pieces.

As a matter of interest UKBUS1010 is a model of sister vehicle 5429 (W429 XKX) in original livery with destination Luton on their original route 38, complete with route branding, an interesting vehicle for comparison. This model does have the rear lights correctly depicted in red and the rear blind box shows the number 38.

Bryan Knights