Free Model

K-Type London Bus


The B-type, the first motor bus introduced in quantity by London General, was very successful, but within a very few years it was found to have inadequate capacity for busy inner London routes. Design work for a successor started in 1914 but war prevented much progress, and the first example of the new design, the K-Type, did not appear until 1919, with production starting the following year. Over 1000 were brought into service in 1920 and 1921, but then it was superseded by the even larger S-Type, and was gradually displaced to less busy suburban and country routes. The last was withdrawn in 1932.

The main change from the B-type was to move the driver forward so that he sat next to the engine rather than behind it. This allowed the lower saloon to be nearly 2ft (600mm) longer, and the rear platform 10in (250mm) wider, all within the permitted maximum length of 23ft (7m). The lower saloon was also made a little wider, and the sides were vertical all the way down to the floor, except for cutouts required to accommodate the rear wheels. This allowed four transverse rows of two double seats, the only longitudinal seats being two three-seaters over the rear wheels. The upper deck was also extended, to make room for six rows of double seats on each side. The carrying capacity rose dramatically from 34 (16 downstairs and 18 up) for the B-type to 46 (22 down and 24 up).

Most K-Type buses received new bodies during their lifetime, of a slightly different design in which the lower sides curved inwards towards floor level. The livery also became somewhat simplified over the years. Two remain in working order: K424 preserved by the London Transport Museum and K502 restored and owned privately. Both have the later style of body, while K424 has paintwork in a late style and K502's is more typical of the mid-1920s.

My model is to scale 1:32, and is based on K502 in its current condition. However I have chosen to represent it with bodywork closer to the original shape and paintwork. I have omitted some smaller fittings and much of the internal advertising, and have simplified the underside considerably where it is barely visible. Parts are provided for building the lower saloon either with opaque windows and no interior or with glazed windows and a full, if simple, interior.

Rear right Front right
Front left Left side
Rear left Rear

Parts Building Guide Drawings
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