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Kit WIL 3B


Willowbrook of Loughborough was a small scale bodybuilder, a subsidiary of Duple from 1958 and largely building for the BET Group. It entered the rear engined double deck market somewhat notoriously in 1964 by bodying 22 Leyland low height PDR1/2 Atlanteans in Daimler’s home territory for Coventry Corporation but followed up the next year with 22 nearly identical bodies on Daimler Fleetline chassis. 

The kit is based on the ten PDR1/1 Atlanteans delivered to Brighton Corporation in 1970/71. These were Brighton’s first rear engined double deckers and had dual doors and a central staircase. A further ten buses were delivered in 1973 on the longer AN68 Atlantean chassis, however these had a very different style of dash and windscreen. 




Fleet Nos.



Brighton Corporation




TUF 81-85J


Brighton Corporation




WUF 986-990K


Brighton Corporation




CUF 143-152L


These buses introduced Brighton Corporation’s blue and white livery, which initially consisted of french blue below the waist and between the decks, with white window surrounds and white roofs. The white round the lower deck windows extended about a foot above the windows, level with the cutaway above the engine bustle. Doors were white, inside and out. At least the first bus, 81, carried the fleet name “BRIGHTON CORPORATION” in seriffed gold capitals on the front dash above the raised mouldings and the Brighton Borough (not a City in those days) crest was displayed above the front wheel arch. The fleet number, also in gold, was painted just below the front destination indicator (on the blue part) and centrally at the bottom of the engine cover. 

Subsequently the fleet name became BRIGHTON CORPORATION in italic capitals, BRIGHTON being in white and CORPORATION in black, outlined white. This was displayed above the front wheel arch. The Borough Crest was displayed on the front below the destination screen, overlapping the white and blue sections. The fleet number was painted in gold below the offside headlamp and centrally at the bottom of the engine cover. 

A revised livery was introduced with the East Lancs Atlanteans in 1974 and the Willowbrooks were repainted into this livery. The roof and upper deck window surrounds became blue and the white covered the area from below the lower deck windows to below the upper deck windows. A thin black line was now painted between the blue and white sections. The fleet name was unchanged but the fleet number was now also in white. 

 “Streets of Brighton” and “Streets of Sussex”, by Glyn Kraemer-Johnson and John Bishop, published by Ian Allan in 2004/2005 have some useful photographs of the Brighton Corporation buses. “Return Journey – South-East Buses in the 1970s” published by Presbus in 2008, has an excellent photograph of WUF 986K in the reversed livery with blue roof. 

Note that the model is based on the second (WUF***K) batch, on which the front side light/flasher fittings were mounted vertically, with the orange flasher above the sidelight. If modelling the first (TUF***J) batch, this fitting should be replaced by a horizontal one, with the sidelight on the outside. The model also has tiny slip-board brackets on the nearside front dash. These were not fitted originally and should be shaved off for a model in original condition.

Modelling Notes 

The Atlantean engine bustle supplied with the WIL3 series of kits is a generic one, based on the Coventry Atlanteans. The Brighton model will require the fitting of a near side ventilation grille, identical in size to that on the offside. It may also require changes to the rear lights, although I have no photograph to reference. 

The interior partitions have strengthening strips added to avoid warping during the casting process. These should be trimmed back if they are visible through the windows. 

The kit may include two rear bulkhead panels. The Brighton model requires the taller 12mm version, which should be fitted flush with the body sides and resting against the ceiling cove panels of the upper deck floor. This should be fitted after the upper deck floor is in place and the bevelled edge goes at the bottom. 

The seat backs have grab rails. To obtain a “see-through” effect, the inside, which was 5 thou’ styrene on the master, can be trimmed away. Use a 1mm drill to clear the corners and then run a very sharp knife blade along the grab rail and then the top of the seat. Doing the grab rail first reduces the risk of breakage. 

A particular note in assembling this model is that the upper deck windows are half a millimetre taller than those in the lower deck, so be careful with putting the printed glazing in the right place. 


The Brighton Atlanteans had “top sliders” in the first, third and fifth nearside upper deck oblong windows and in the first, fourth and fifth windows on the offside. Top sliders were provided on all the large oblong windows on the lower deck sides. The driver’s window is of a four panel divided type. Windscreen wipers were mounted at the top of the offside screen and at the bottom of the nearside screen. 

Happy Modelling. ©  Tony Swift, Kirribilli NSW, Australia, 2009.

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