First appearing in February 1960, the bodies built by Charles Roe of Leeds for Leyland's PDR1/1 Atlantean chassis were easily recognisable from their Weymann, Metro-Cammell and Park Royal counterparts thanks to a square upper deck profile with an almost flat roof, commonly referred to as "flat-tops".
Despite problems encountered with water leakage, corrosion and even distortion, many enjoyed long lives, the final ones lasting into the early 1980's with Northern, Devon General and also Western National who had been operating several ex- Trent examples.
Only one of these original design Roe bodied Atlanteans survives in preservation, Devon General no.913 dating from May 1960.
The Roe "flat-top" is not available as an off-the-shelf model, but a complete resin upper deck is produced by Marsden Models allowing EFE's model of the Weymann style body to be effectively converted into a good representation. The resin moulding simply replaces the die-cast upper deck retaining all of the original EFE interior and glazing.
Being manufactured from resin does mean that considerably more preparation work is needed. A before and after comparison is illustrated above, several hours of work is involved in transforming the model from it's original condition to being ready for paint.
A large amount of sanding is required to prep the resin surface and all of the window aperatures are sanded to remove flash. Initially working with dry 400 grit paper, this is exchanged for wet 600 grit during the course of sanding which also includes working on the internal bodysides and ceiling. Filler skimming is additionally carried out to prepare external surfaces where necessary.
In place of etching primer, an Acrylic base coat is used on the resin in common with other plastic components that are spray painted. Enamel top coats and Acrylic clear coat are applied in the usual way thereafter.
Due to a lack of internal fixing poles, the converted bodies are held together using a non-frosting cyanoacrylate glue. Although no longer required, standard EFE fixing plugs are fitted into the underside of the model for the purpose of giving the chassis a neater cosmetic finish.
Further detailing work carried out on these models includes the removal of air intake grilles below the windscreen, and removal of alternate window ventilators from the lower deck, as well as front and rear upper deck windows. The moulded glazing parts are carefully filed and wet sanded smooth with final polishing finished by hand.
A fully finished example is shown to the left, Northern General no.2030 (9030PT) of 1962 painted in the interim BET livery used by Northern between 1969-1972.