Free Model

S-Type London Bus


The S-type bus was a development of the K-type to take advantage of the expected relaxation of the strict limits placed on the dimensions of buses in London by the Metropolitan Police. In particular the overall length (excluding starting handle!) would be increased to 25ft (7.6m), and the laden weight raised to 8 tons (later 8½). The first prototype, known as the T-type, was ready by April 1920, even before the first of the production K-types was delivered. This prototype was not entirely satisfactory, but led to a redesigned longer wheelbase chassis and new body ready for inspection in November 1920. Fifteen vehicles were built to this specification by February 1921, then a batch of 250 production vehicles was delivered between June 1921 and April 1922. These later vehicles were of rather heavier construction with a larger engine, and the initial 15 were rebuilt to a similar specification. In all, just about 900 S-types were built up to late 1922, of which a number had single-deck bodies. A few more single-deckers following in 1923 and 1927.

The main change from the K-type was the longer body. This gave room for an extra row of four seats both upstairs and down, so increasing the total capacity from 46 to 54. Slightly less obvious was the fact that the upper deck projected roughly equally beyond the lower deck at front and rear, whereas on the K-type there was no projection at the rear, all the overhang being at the front. The wheels were also significantly larger than those on the K, being 1050mm diameter over the tyre, instead of 920mm, and the front wheels were placed rather farther back from the front of the chassis.

As with the K-type, later body sides curved inwards near the floor instead of going straight down, and several paint schemes were used, generally becoming more simplified with time. There are three S-type buses in working order today:
- S742, preserved by London Transport and owned by the London Transport Museum,
- S454, found in a scrapyard in 1965 by Michael Banfield and restored by him,
- S433, a single-deck version restored by Barry Weatherhead and owned by him.

My model is to scale 1:32, and is based on S454 in its current condition, or more accurately its condition in 2014 when it was auctioned as part of the late Mr Banfield's historic vehicle collection. 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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