Build your own Routemaster bus

Another of those model magazine series is launching today, but this is the first to hold an official license from TfL.

The weekly magazine, published by Hachette Partworks, and licensed through TfL’s brand licensing partner TSBA, goes on sale today.

In addition to slowly, and expensively, building a model bus, each issue includes more about the history of buses and transport across the Capital since the early 1800s to modern times.

The bus, RM857, was originally built in July 1961 and is based precisely on the look of the bus when it operated along route 11 in 1966. It is now privately owned and regularly features at vintage transport events across the UK.

Trevor Wright, a Test Train Operator for London Underground who owns the actual RM857 bus, said: “As a current employee of Transport for London, it was a great honour to have my Routemaster bus represented in this new magazine. The model of this world famous vehicle, in London Transport red livery, is fantastically detailed and shows this design classic at its best.”

TSBA are paid through a percentage of royalties from licensing deals they negotiate rather than from payment from TfL. It’s expected that the model/magazine will be particularly popular with overseas markets.

For those who are wondering, there will be 130 issues of the magazine — which works out at a total cost of £1157.70 to build the model. Although it’s quite a large model.

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Whats's on in London: today or tomorrow or this weekend

105 comments on “Build your own Routemaster bus
  1. Leo Cooper says:

    Very interested in this project,hope to start it very soon.

    • Rod wilkins says:

      Can you get magazines delivered to outer space?

    • Ernie Jupp says:

      I can’t afford this model, but I would say one thing in defence of the makers – £1157 is a lot of money, but if you went to a professional model maker and asked for 1:12 RM model, it would cost considerably more. Perhaps if they were more ‘upfront’ about the price it would be more encouraging !

      • sid says:

        Hi Ernie, i do agree with you.
        Having one scratch built makes it unique, however these parts are mass produced by machines & and the builder only screws the parts togeather.
        This when completed will be a nice looking model and big at 699mm long & 365mm high but at 0ver £1100 and the waiting time to complete, the price dont justify it.
        Im sure if this was available in model shops it would be someware around 5 to £600

      • philip anderson says:

        I too have bought the first instalment and enjoyed making the first part of the bonnet.Until instalment 2 I was under the impression that it came in nine issues not 130 what made me think that I do not know especially as my newsagent
        said that these kits usually take ages to complete and cost a fortune as the price goes up dramatically after the first issue this is the reason he does not normally stock them.The future of this project is now in doubt.

    • Steve says:

      I bought issues 1-2. Tiny screw broke off on the strips and the light guard would not fit properly. This is a beautiful model if anyone is lucky to get decent parts, but with my bad luck, I’ll give it a wide berth. PS: It is not worth the cost, as gorgeous as the final model is. I’d have paid £600 max, and even that is reaching.

    • sid says:

      just got part 3 ( the stairs ) ALL PLASTIC, Very disappointed considering what this will cost at the end. Just cancelled my order with newsagent. How much more will be plastic? The seat, floor? cant find any info anywere.

  2. Leo Cooper says:

    Hope to start build ASAP.

  3. Leo Cooper says:

    I live in Salford, up north, so not very familier with London.

  4. Deryck says:

    Model looks great but not for £1157

    • Mike weston says:

      Yes – precisely – a great model but people don’t realise when they start out that it will cost so much and drop out after a few issues – that’s how people like this make their money. All right if money (and time) is no object.

    • Nigel Curling says:

      I got caught in South Africa with a similar promotion to build a scale model of a German Tiger Tank. Took me two years with similar cost promotion (Cheap 1st issue and then the shock to follow) Anyway I persevered and completed the tank. I can say one thing and that is that the machined metal parts are precision made and very authentic giving one a real insight as to the working parts etc. Sadly no youngsters build models these days which takes patience and skill. i would love to build this bus model but sadly as a pensioner the cost is ridiculous and way out of my budget. Youngsters would rather spend that money on an ID pad or some electronic gadget !!!!

    • ivor llewellyn-jones says:

      This idea started with the Aston Martin DB5 1/8 scale. Takes an age to collect the parts, and you can’t start the build until you’ve got them all. My advice is to either wait until someone has built his own, and has no room to display it, and sells it on Ebay, or buy a large diecast model, factory built, for £100 or less.

  5. Martyn says:

    Model looks great however not sure where the £1157 comes from as I can see its £1.99 by my calculations its only £1.99 per issue so £258.70

  6. Rob says:

    Have noticed how the price of £8.99 displays for no more than 4 seconds in the top right corner of the screen towards the end of the advert, just before 1.99 for the first issue is proudly highlighted.

    What do the advertising standards authority say about it, I wonder.

  7. Colin Sheard says:

    No one should fall for this scam the whole process should be illegal

  8. charlie baker says:

    Who on earth is going to be stupid enough as to pay that much money for it????

  9. David says:

    I was interested and then found out how much the total investment would be . So no thanks l will pass

  10. Irritatingly, they don’t ship to the USA. I totally want to do this.

  11. Enid says:

    £1.99 for first issue then £8.99 weekly for the next 2 years !!!

  12. Ian Collis says:

    Madness price once again! Just like the big Delorean ‘back to the future’ car – big Jaguar E Type – big Titanic ship – big Avro Lancaster bomber – big Star Wars R2-D2 – Millennium Falcon

    WHY oh WHY do they have to dream up such a high price, miss a few additions and the model will never be complete…..Sucks!

    Save yourself the stress and walk away.

  13. Mark Halsall says:

    If you go on their website it doesn’t tell you how many issues or how much.. what a crock of sh*t

    Over a grand for a poxy bus.

    Stick it where the sun doesn’t shine..

  14. Mick Walsh says:

    Not worth the money although it looks a lovely model when or if finished as usually seems to be the case with thesr models. Spend that money or 7 or 8 of the Sunstar models instead !

  15. alan says:

    I am building the jaguar by de agastini is a lot of money but looking good would not start any more projects due to the price of the issues.

  16. LordWilsonVilla says:

    ‘Build a Routemaster’ ?
    it will cost you in total £1161.70
    129 mags at £8.99 and the first mag £1.99
    I think you could buy a real old Routemaster for £1161.70

  17. Dawn Hill says:

    I wondered why the advert is currently on TV every day. They must believe their “hook in” £1.99 price will pay dividends for them. Immoral!

    • ivor llewellyn-jones says:

      When the publishers fail to meet the subscriptions targets, to make a viable profit,they will cease publication, and customers will be left with half a route master

  18. Dawn Hill says:

    I wondered why the advert is currently on TV every day. They must believe their “hook in” £1.99 price will pay dividends for them. Immoral for unsuspecting parents and enthusiasts!

    • Brian says:

      This is nothing new, they’ve done these sort of ‘enterprises’ for years. We’ve all had our fingers burnt in the past. It’s the same with Panini stickers where certain cards won’t be released so kids carry on buying in the hope they get one they need but they never do.

  19. Collin Harrison says:

    Looks like a good but expensive project. I wonder what happens to surplus issues if sales slow down enough, or stop completely

    • Brian says:

      They probably just have a dozen or so of late issues like 130 printed to cut their costs, if there’s still alot of people buying them then they just print more.

  20. Cliff says:

    They should have to state the amount of issues and cost of further issues verbally. The small white print against a pale background may conform to regulations but is clearly intended to mislead.

  21. LordWilsonVilla says:

    I didn’t know the 2nd issue was £4.99 and the rest £8.99. So the total cost is £1,157.70, that’s a lot to pay for a model bus.

  22. Cliff says:

    There have been loads of these adverts before. All at 99p for the first issue etc.It is only when you watch the ad a few times do you see the catch. Why not go to a good model shop and see what they can do for you? One upfront payment (a lot less than a grand i’m sure) and no missing parts because you were on holiday and missed an issue.

    • Ken Thomas says:

      I did an Aston Martin a few years ago and if u do miss an issue you can always order them from the agents who keep back issues for a year or so though I agree the full price of the bus is way over the top

  23. david marshall says:

    Revell do a fantastic 1/24 scale model for £29.99. Yes you have to build and paint it your self but done well it looks just as good as this absolute rip off. Day light bloody robbery. If it was £1.99 per issue then they would sell a few more issues and still turn a profit.

  24. Kath says:

    I could buy four beautiful Whippets for that price, much more fun than a model bus!

    • malcolm godfrey says:

      Four beautiful whippets for the price of this bus don’t think so, cost u a lot more unless you are happy with cross whippets.

  25. Rob says:

    Does anybody know the scale of the model?

  26. Jonny R says:

    Only a donkey would sign up for this shite. Who on earth decides to get into this crap and for two years? All for five minutes of twisted pleasure a month!!! Lmfao

    You’re better off subscribing to Razzle, you can take all the time you like pleasing yourself with fresh monthly content.

  27. Tim says:

    Just awful. Get a life. You are paying nearly one thousand two hundred pounds for a pile of s***e.

  28. J says:

    Go to a model shop buy the kit don’t wait 2 and a half years do not pass go do not collect £200 don’t get ripped off in the process

  29. David Tombs says:

    I have just looked at their own website and if you buy it direct online from them as a subscription you get an issue free plus 5 gifts, and, one of the 5 gifts is a diecast model ( complete ) with issue 9 – So! Those of you who really really want it – Subscribe up to the ninth issue and then cancel your subscription ( It’s a smaller model and you won’t have the fun and pleasure of building it but then, you’ll the pleasure of all that money staying in your back pocket! ).

  30. Rob Standfield says:

    It would be better if you could buy all the model in one go and only the model without all 130 magazines that come with it. The model could then come down to a more realistic price rather than the grossly inflated one it is at present. I tried it, they said no.

    • Cliff says:

      I agree. Do you actually need 130 magazines about the history of the routemaster? I can google all that for nothing. Just sell the model.(maybe the profit is not in the model at all)

  31. Paddy says:

    £1157 and only £10 to supply … ive got to get into this business.

  32. Nigel says:

    Nice model but at over £1100 it’s mega expensive. Not for me unfortunately. At half the price, I might be tempted.

  33. Victoria Line says:

    I was really excited by the advert on telly – a project during the dark, winter evenings – but I could buy a little run about car for £1,161.70. I can’t believe the publishers think that anyone is going to say the course of a 130 part work.

  34. Brian says:

    What’s it value when completed would we ever get our money back

  35. Stephen Craddock says:

    Why London Transport!!!!
    Why not Midland Red D9 if they sell build your own Routem Midlsnd Red i will join

  36. Frank says:

    Someone mentioned £1157 after all it is a big bus, at that price I would expect it to start taking bloody fares for that sort of Wonga, I imagine the publisher having sleepless nights having to sell the first one at £1.99

  37. Martyn says:

    I suppose you could stop after 90 issues and have an open deck bus, or 65 issues and have a single decker Routemaster, at least cheaper !!!!

  38. paul chettle says:

    If it was 5£ an issue I might consider it still over the top though some one is being very greedy.

  39. paul chettle says:

    Might consider at 5£ an issue still exspensive though

  40. David Newbery says:

    Just a joke at the £8.99 price!! If it is issued monthly it will take over ten years to build.

  41. Andy Mitchell says:

    This is an absolute rip off, you can buy one the same size built for just under half this amount.

  42. Mayngo volkin says:

    Vot color vill itch bee

  43. Carl Nysse says:

    Too bloody expensive and a prime example of a ripp-off!! Any one subscribing to this should consult a psychiatrist with some urgency!

  44. Derrick says:

    What a rip off should not be allowed for people to be conned like this, genuine always get used in this way.

  45. Bert says:

    Far to expensive, take a close look at the model and you can see lots and lots of small screws which hold it together so it looks awful. Buy a sun star one for at least one tenth of the £1157 and you don’t have to wait over 2 years to get it.

  46. Brian says:

    Issue 67 seats 34A 34 B sounds exciting eh?

  47. Trading Standards have NOT abided by their own rules of transparency . The briefly displayed amount of £8.99 for 130 issues (not displayed as weekly /monthly )breaches their code of ethics ,as it is not obviously visible for the 4 seconds it is on screen, unless you know where to look
    Transport for London should be ashamed for supporting such a scheme, it brings their name into disrepute.

  48. john mills says:

    what a disgusting rip off – there shoud be a law against this practice and the lepers who run it

  49. Glue Sticker says:

    DeAgostini have been doing this for years,but they are more up front. Still rediculasly expensive though.
    Senna’s F1 car, 20 months @ £40 or £699 for the kit.
    This bus deal has to be iffy? What happens when you have been paying for say one year then it all stops,firm go one bust or what ever.

  50. Perky bum says:

    Look on eBay there is a 1965 fully working bus for less than that!

  51. Tram fan says:

    Expensive way to build a model that’s not built to any known scale . Anyway- there’ll be another along in a minute
    Should’nt any royalties have gone to AEC, rather than london transport ?

  52. I missed the advert on TV but bought the first issue in WHS. It looked great and well worth adding to my collection of die-casts and books. Imagine my surprise when I realised it would cost me £35 per 4 issues per month for a total of 130 issues.

    It may be a great model but not worth that, I would rather spend money on the Canadian model buses currently being advertised.

  53. IHi my name is David Howlett I would like to now if I could orde the Routemaster bus kit

  54. Hi I would like to start the Routemaster bus kit as I would like to build it

  55. Hi could I ourder the Routemaster bus kit

  56. colin robinson says:

    There are plenty of great die cast route master models available. You don’t have to spend over a thousand pounds to get one.

  57. I’m rather glad to say that I am building my own 1/10 scale London Routemaster c/w lights, upholstered seating etc. The biggest expense to date has been the wheels and axles. You just have to think outside the box on this one. Ah… the smell and feel of those rubber tires. Photo’s of the build are on my website. Have fun.

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