|Wright Solar Fusion|
Nottingham City Transport
This picture shows the production version of this model
Photograph © S & D Models
|Manufacturer of model||Corgi OOC|
|Registration number||FE02 AKV|
|Quantities (if known)||4100|
|Current market price|
This photograph shows a pre production sample of this model
Photograph © Corgi OOC
OM41302 OOC Scania Wright Solar Fusion Review
By Mark Smith
It’s not everyday that Corgi bring out a model of a vehicle that I have actually driven, let alone only driven once. But so it transpires, for in March 2003 Ipswich Buses borrowed Nottingham 704 (FE02 AKV) for the day, and along with a few lucky others, I was allowed to play with this mighty vehicle for a while. So as you can imagine, being able to review the model of it is something of a privilege.
The OOC catalogue for 2004 revealed two Scania models (this and the Go North East version), which depict the Wrightbus body on Scania L94UA chassis (the Solar Fusion), and the forthcoming First versions on the Volvo B7LA chassis option (the Eclipse Fusion). The basic body difference between Eclipse and Solar is the door position on the rear half of the bus – on the Scania (Solar) there is a small window ahead of the doors, whereas the doors are ahead all the windows on the Eclipse. More on that detail in a minute!
First impressions compare well with the real thing. Without drawings, it is not possible to comment on dimensional accuracy but the proportions of the vehicle look correct. The shades of the NCT ‘Go 2’ livery mirror those of the real thing, as does the overall rear advert, which is common on real buses but less so on models. This adds to the realism in my view. The articulated section (which does not ‘pose’ in articulation but does bend to some degree) is the correct silver grey shade, but is obviously dimensionally compromised with too few ribs, and without the characteristic central divider in the ‘bellows’. The grey based interior has a good representation of cab door, complete with circular door and ‘W’ logo, and the green internal grab poles and exit barriers to the rear door. The seat bases are colour contrasting in black. Separate mirrors and wipers complete the ensemble.
The printed livery detail is generally accurate and in the right place, although some of the finer details (wheelchair logo by the front door for example) are not depicted. The front number plate is poorly proportioned and the ‘push to open’ circular logos (present on the rear doors) are missing at the front. Bizarrely, the exit door barriers, which as mentioned above are depicted internally as separate fittings, are also printed on the doors as well! For me this is a minor disappointment, but better research and checking of the prototype could avoid these annoying errors. Overall, the model looks like the real thing, which is excellent, as I suspect this is not an easy livery to recreate, given the lively shades of colour and the arc of the green colour.
But for me, there is one big disappointment. The rear exit door on the back half of the bus is in the wrong place – Corgi has elected to use one variant of the casting so a ‘Solar’ is actually an ‘Eclipse’ in disguise. To be fair, this intention was stated before the model appeared, but the mock ups in the catalogue suggested we might just get a ‘real’ Scania version with the door in the right place. I can understand the logic behind the decision (presumably to minimise tooling costs) but for me, it detracts from the finished result. Fortunately the offside suffers from no such problems and looks superb as a result.
Overall though – for £25 plus one expects a lot for a model nowadays – and this one, while good, misses out on top marks. A bit more printed detail, colour to the interior, (the seats are quite a vivid pink moquette, not black!), poseable articulation and moving that rear door would have made all the difference. With 4100 of this version made, I don’t think getting hold of one will be a problem. Nevertheless, for me it’s a fine reminder of the hour or so I had driving this head-turning bus in my home town (regrettably after the demonstration we ended up with more East Lancs bodied Transbus Darts, but that’s another story!). Gareth has kindly posted a couple of pictures of the real thing in the gallery pages, so you can compare the model with the real thing.
Review © Mark Smith December 2004
This page last updated Monday, 25 February 2013
|© British Model Buses 2004|