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MBG01a - Guy Victory J/BUSAF
Kowloon Motor Bus
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The model - I received a sample of this model on 22nd February 2010 with the following details. This version was set for release in March 2010, with a quantity of 250 pieces. A second version was also set for release in March, with a destination of So Uk. This too is limited to 250 pieces. The overall quantity for all models is 999 and this appears on the limited edition certificate. Included with the certificate are KMB decals. 

Owing to some minor amendments/corrections, the first version, on route 112 to North Point, was not released until 14th May. 

The bus - Unhappy with the general performance of its new rear-engined buses, KMB purchased four experimental front-engined buses from South Africa. These buses featured a Guy Victory-J single-deck chassis, suitably modified and fitted with a Bus Bodies (SA) Ltd (BUSAF) double-deck body. Similar buses were operating in Cape Town and Port Elizabeth, South Africa.

The four buses entered service in early 1976, being allocated fleet numbers G1-G4. They operated initially on cross harbour tunnel route 112. In 1982 they were withdrawn from normal service and became part of the driver training fleet.

Their success resulted in both Dennis and Leyland producing large numbers of the Jublilant and Victory Mk2 for both KMB and CMB.
 

Review

I find it difficult to write reviews on new models at the best of times, but to try and compare a new model to a prototype that was withdrawn almost 30 years ago, of which only four were acquired and  which I have only seen a handful of black and white photographs, it is almost impossible! 

Upon receiving the model, the first thing I did was to consult the 'oracle', which in this case is Mike Davis's book 'The History of Hong Kong Buses - Volume 2 - Kowloon Motor Bus'. Fortunately, of the three photos in Mike's book showing this unusual bus type in normal service, two featured that modeled, namely G3. Having read Mike's description of the four buses, one point that I picked up on straight away was a noticeable difference between the four buses. G1 and G3 had single headlights whilst G2 and G4 featured twin headlights. A quick look at the model - this G3 had twin headlights! Surely such a simple error should have been picked up earlier, and if it had, the model could have then represented either G2 or G4. Putting this point aside for the time being, the model captured the overall look of the prototype well. 

The casting is one piece, with no poles. The paintwork is superb and the lettering crisp. I particularly like the front towing eye, which I have tried to capture in the photographs below. The 3+2 seating is accurately represented. 

Not being able to spot any further apparent errors, I contacted the producer querying the fact that perhaps the model of G3 should have single headlights and not twin, and promptly received confirmation that all four buses entered service with twin headlights. It was only in their latter life that G1 and G3 received single headlights. A colour photograph of G3 was attached showing it in service with twin headlights! 

As I mentioned above, it is difficult for me to review and confirm whether the model captures the size and shape of the real thing - in my opinion it does it extremely well, but by providing numerous photographs, I hope you will be able to decide for yourselves! 

Graham

 
 Manufacturer of model  Venus Collectibles
 Scale  1:76
 Prototype chassis  Guy Victory J
 Prototype bodywork  BUSAF
 Prototype length  9.7 metres
 Fleet number  G3
 Registration number  BJ9268
 Route number  112
 Destination  North Point
 Quantity  999 overall (250 this version)
 Date released - Hong Kong  14th May 2010

 
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Production model - courtesy and copyright of
Venus Collectibles

 
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Production model - courtesy and copyright of
Venus Collectibles

 
Click on image for larger photograph
Production model - courtesy and copyright of
Venus Collectibles

 
Click on image for larger photograph
Pre-production model kindly supplied by
Venus Collectibles

 
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Pre-production model kindly supplied by
Venus Collectibles

 
Click on image for larger photograph Click on image for larger photograph
Pre-production model kindly supplied by
Venus Collectibles

 
Click on image for larger photograph
Click on image for larger photograph
Pre-production model kindly supplied by
Venus Collectibles

 
Click on image for larger photograph
Note the front towing eye
Pre-production model kindly supplied by
Venus Collectibles

 
Click on image for larger photograph
Pre-production model kindly supplied by
Venus Collectibles

 
Click on image for larger photograph
Pre-production model kindly supplied by
Venus Collectibles

 
Click on image for larger photograph
Pre-production model kindly supplied by
Venus Collectibles

 
Click on image for larger photograph
Pre-production model kindly supplied by
Venus Collectibles

 

 

 
Photograph of G3
Ownership of this photograph is unknown
 

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This page last updated Thursday, 27th May 2010
 
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