ABC Magazine

K-Type London Bus

K-Type Bus

This is a model of an early motor omnibus introduced in London in 1919 by the London General Omnibus Company. It followed the more famous B-Type which took a big role as troop transport in France during the 1914-18 war. Nevertheless it represented a significant advance in omnibus design. By placing the driver next to the engine instead of behind it, the passenger compartments could be made significantly longer within the same overall length as the B-Type. In addition the lower saloon was made the same width as the upper deck, and this width was carried right down to floor level, unlike earlier bus bodies which stepped inwards over the rear wheels. This allowed the majority of downstairs seats to be forward-facing, unlike the sideways-facing seats of the B-Type, and a major increase in carrying capacity from 34 to 46.

The model was designed by Richard Vyškovský, first published by ABC in 1988 and republished in the commemorative book Zlatá Kniha Vystřihovánek in 2007.

The scale is 1:32 making a model approximately 200mm long. It is nicely drawn, though rather simplified and with no interior to the lower deck. I felt it had two major flaws, however. The overall length is substantially too short - the model should be 215mm long - and the rear platform and stairs take up too much of what length there is, so the passenger compartments are some 20mm too short, noticeably distorting the proportions. The second problem is that the wheels as supplied are of much too small a diameter and look as though they have pneumatic tyres whereas the real buses had much thinner solid rubber tyres. There wasn't much I could do about the proportions without a complete redesign, but I did make new rather more realistic wheels.

Back left Front right
Left side Back right
Original and New Wheels