My collection of London buses started in 1996 when I visited London for the first time. Since then I have visited London at least once every year.
I got infected by the "London Transport"-virus at the London Transport Museum. The many aspects of public transport were always very fascinating for me, I do use it very often due to the fact that I do not have a driving licence but public transport in a city like London is, of course, a different matter. The very first model of my collection was acquired in London, a double decker bus by Lledo. Many others would have followed but my wallet was nearly empty then. This still happens when I leave that museum.
My wife fortunately has been very supportive over the years. For example, if you take a look at the Airfix B-type bus in the gallery and admire the wonderful figures: My wife painted them!
Today my collection consists of roughly 200 models. The photo above shows my big glass display. I try to change the display often in order to get all those models into view that are hidden in the many drawers beneath the display. The drawer shown here contains mostly Routemaster-models. There are some more drawers and hopefully it will take a little time before they are full.
The collection does also include some items connected to the history of London like books from 1899 to today and many historic pictorial postcards. One of my personal highlights is a genuine Gibson ticket machine of a London Transport conductor which I was able to acquire via eBay.
My aim is to have most of the different bus classes which worked in London in model form. The main focus is on the types used in the fifties and sixties but I do also like the pre war types very much which are hard to find in model form.
It is very difficult to find these models anyway over here. There are some rather good Corgi stockists but if I want to have models by EFE or other makes it really gets problematic due to the few people that collect things like that in Germany. The German model scene is completely fixed on H0 scale and the big 1:18 scale models.
Even swapmeets are rather disappointing nowadays. And so many models are still missing... but thanks to the internet and eBay many gaps in the collection can be closed sometimes
You can't avoid to start building kits if you want to have as many bus types as possible. I do build model kits for several years now and I think I do it quite well.
I'm not a master model builder at all but I think most of my models look their part.
Some kits are still waiting for completion in my drawers.
© Georg Hämel 2009