TILLING AEC REGAL T307-318 - KIT NO. 5A

Review by Alan Purssey

Continuing the series of London single deckers from the late 1920s and early 1930s, this is this fourth model from MBC Resin, a Tilling-designed AEC Regal owned by London General.

Thomas Tilling London had been operating motorbuses alongside the London General Omnibus Company since 1904 and in 1913 an agreement between the LGOC and Tilling was reached limiting the fleet to 150. In 1923 a new agreement came into force doubling the Tilling fleet by allowing them 5% of the London pool.
By the late 1920s Tilling, along with the London General, were turning their thoughts to modernising the fleet, and in 1930-31 191 buses were built for them, with a double deck body by Dobson still with an open staircase (ST922 is an example preserved at Cobham museum).

The LGOC owned a further 102 double deck buses operated by Tilling for the General that were in need of replacement. In 1933, 102 buses were ordered with Tilling-designed extra length bodies, and these were included in the STL class. Only 80 were to be delivered before the formation of London Transport in 1933 with the remainder being cancelled.

In the early 1932 the LGOC ordered and bought twelve new Tilling-designed single deck
AEC Regals to be operated for them by Tilling. They entered service on route 109 through Bromley in September 1932. The route number was later changed to 227 in LT service. They were absorbed into the LPTB operating stock in October 1933.

These 26ft long single deck buses adopted many of the design features found on the double deck variety (picture 1). In Tilling fashion they had narrow rounded windows with six bays, and included a double-beading just below the window line. A forward entrance was fitted with the usual central emergency exit at the rear. They were initially fitted with seating for 28 passengers. These buses were easily recognisable by the large destination screens fitted to both front and rear, and differed in many respects to the General design (picture 2). The full screen was only utilised for brief time in Tilling service.

This model is based on the bus as it appeared in London Transport service. They were re-built as 30-seaters with the sidelights repositioned from the roofline into the front bulkhead in line with LT's own buses. The destination boxes were plated over and fitted with standard design LT blinds.

Initially they entered service painted in red with a silver roof and white window surrounds down to the level of the window line. Later to conform to war-time measures the roofs were painted brown.

This model had very little cleaning up to do as Graham informs me that he runs a mini drill with a brush around the inside of the body before packing to clean off any surplus moulding flash. My model fitted together perfectly without any work on my part which exemplifies the skill and time Graham lavishes on his models, as those of you who have bought his models will be well aware.

This model includes some new features. The wheels are cast metal, as are the radiator, and the front entrance step. The head/fog light has a lug fitted to the side which is designed to sit in a U-shaped provision on the nearside chassis member - this makes for easier fixing by the modeller and ensures it sits at the correct height. The cast axle-retainers have also been redesigned to replicate the front axle when viewed from the front. The bonnet side is a separate item in cast metal this enables Graham to provide the correct style for the vehicle, as there were many variations in the layout of the louvered grills and inspection holes.

A transfer of the Beclawat emergency door handle is included in the kit and should be applied using the rear view as a guide. The beading in this area has been omitted for this purpose (picture 3).The driver's door is part of the body moulding and can be removed with care if you wish; some in service later had the door removed (refer to Ken Glazier's London Bus File 1940-49, page 106-107 to view one with and one without) (picture 4).

Graham is always open to constructive suggestions and has taken on board my remark to include a rear view on his painting guide, to aid modellers who may not have ready access to a rear view photo.

Glazing material is also included together with a brief history of theses vehicles and the areas they were to traverse during their service lives.

Transfers are available to complete the model as T314 Registration GY8414 Edgware Garage (EW) on route 240A to Edgware station, transfer set K/5240a as featured by my version in its latter months of service around 1948 - these are post free if ordered with the kit.

I finished my model off with the addition of wire grab handles and wing mirrors from the
RTC range.

The price of the kit is 32.00, post and packing 1.00. Decal sets 2.50 (post free when ordered with the model, otherwise 40p).

Graham has a limited number of finished models of the Tilling T for sale at 95.00 plus insured postage. (Note: the 2008 Decal Catalogue listing many new items is now available for 2.00, post free - telephone 01736 711982 to order)

Alan Purssey