AEC Routemaster
30201

London Transport

Click here for a higher resolution image

This photograph shows the production version of this model

Photograph © Barrie Davis

 

 Manufacturer of model EFE
 Scale 1:76
 Fleet number RM1
 Registration number SLT 56
 Route number 2
 Destination Crystal Palace
 Advertising Westons, Biro and Schweppes
 Release details
 Quantities (if known) n/a
 Date released 7/04
 Availability General release
 Comments -
 Current market price  
 
Click here for a higher resolution image

This photograph shows the production version of this model

Photograph © Barrie Davis

 

Click here for a higher resolution image

This photograph shows the production version of this model

Photograph © Barrie Davis

 

Click here for a higher resolution image Click here for a higher resolution image

These photographs show the production version of this model

Photograph © Barrie Davis

 

Click here for a higher resolution image

This photograph shows an early pre-production sample

Photograph courtesy of Exclusive First Editions © British Model Buses

 

RM 1 – Respectable or Rip Off?

A review by Mark Smith

As the RM is fifty this year, and being a distant admirer of the type here in sunny Suffolk, the proposed EFE model of RM 1 fell into the ‘must have’ category.  However, I never doubted that there would be many other collectors out there with the same idea – so would I be able to get one?  Furthermore, the EFE retooling would, it was reported, only affect the front end of the model.

So how does it compare to the real thing?  Well, rivet counters may wish to look away.  The model depicts RM 1 in original ‘service’ condition, as it was when it entered service on route 2 in January 1956.  The front end depicts the ‘under slung’ radiator version, with LT bullseye symbol surmounting half-a-dozen or so vertical slats.  The front bonnet assembly is faithfully adapted from the original EFE Routemaster casting.  The general shape of the bonnet and wings looks ‘spot on’ in comparison to photos of the real thing.   The central ‘grille’ panel is slightly raised, which is not quite correct for this variant, but is correct for the LT Museum set version with original front radiator grille.  Nevertheless it looks the part.  The rest of the model remains pure ‘standard’ EFE RM - none of the other ‘prototype’ features (single piece skirt panels, nearside fuel filler, front heater grille, fixed upper deck front windows, rear tail light details etc.) have been translated onto the casting.

Not perfect in every detail then, but the finish is superb.  Bright red livery, cream band, exquisite tampo printing (even the canopy number blind) set this apart from the other EFE RMs in my collection.  The finish helps make the model look right.  EFE obviously had to balance the economy of producing a ‘unique’ prototype model with a fairly limited potential for variations with development costs, the vagaries of Chinese factory production, and of course the RM 50 deadline.  Having missed the RM 50 bash at Finsbury Park, I eventually caught up with this ‘general release’ issue of RM 1 at the August 2004 Colchester swapmeet.  Evidence from the swapment, and from browsing various outlets on the internet, would suggest availability of the model is not a problem.  Prices do not appear to have sky-rocketed, meaning most collectors stand a chance of getting one.  I think EFE deserve congratulations for producing this interesting casting variation at a fraction of the price one would have to pay for a ‘conversion’ code 3 – which would probably be no more accurate anyway.

It’s a fitting tribute to the design, which is now facing the final curtain on the streets of the capital – and even if, like me, you think the RM has had its day, the real shame is that there is no ‘real’ vehicle design in sight that comes near to being a suitable replacement for the archetypal London Bus.  Whatever the future holds, RM 1 is safely in preservation, and this model is no doubt safely housed in thousands of collections by now.  In my opinion, a splendid offering from EFE – this model is no rip off.

Review copyright Mark Smith August 2004

 

This page last updated Monday, 25 February 2013

© British Model Buses 2006