Van Hool was founded by Belgian Bernard Van Hool in 1947 as a coachbuilder. Presently, it employs 4500 worldwide and produces 1700 buses and coaches and 5000 trailers annually. Van Hool coaches are well distinct from competitors by its unique design. In Asia, Van Hool products can be easily found in Japan, where customized Astromega (commonly TD824) coaches and some with Volvo B10M chassis incorporating a high floor, lower-aft lounge that can only be found in Japan. Locally in Singapore, SBS Limited purchased a Van Hool Alizee (T9) bodied Volvo B10M Mark 1 for try-out. Registered SBS9C, this bus lasted till the end of its license lifespan.

AB Volvo (Volvo Corporation) founded 20 years earlier than Van Hool in 1927 by AB SKF (Svenska Kullagerfabriken AB), a Swedish company that manufacture bearings. Volvo Buses became an independent division in 1968, and currently is the second largest bus manufacture in the World.

The Volvo B12B chassis range was introduced in 1997 as a replacement for the B12 and B10B. Equipped with a DH12C (later the D and E models), the six cylinder turbocharged-intercooled diesel engine has output ranging 340 to 460 horsepower (DH12E). Operators in Europe and Australia (the latter having B12BLE citybuses) own majority of them.

The model to be introduced this month is a combination of all-of-the-above, a Belgian product of quality, a brand well known in the bus industry and a chassis common for touring coaches.


A Graham Farish (Bachmann) N-scale 20-ton toad brake van was also shipped. A needed addition to the Site Admin’s N-scale railway fleet.


The common box from Corgi.


Description of the featured company, Golden Boy of United Kingdom.


94th unit out of 1000. The lowest running number in the fleet till date.


Front view with the namestake, Master James.


The main reason why the Site Admin chose this model over others which depict DAF SB4000 coaches; the complete Volvo, B12B, Van Hool and Alizee identifications. What can be more unique and full of identity?


Instead of two standard issue mirrors (with built-in electrical adjustment and heating as of the real machine), there is also an assisting mirror faithfully depicted in the model. A quality touch indeed.


What is the fun of collecting transport models? You can have ‘long lost brothers’ meet up at a single place! The B12B from UK, and the B12BLE with Sydney Buses from Australia.


The quest for details is a long existing syndrome in the model world, no matter if its the Orient (Creative Master Northcord/B12BLE) or the Europeans (Corgi Diecast/B12B), the identifications are faithfully depicted, even as the real vehicle looses them over the years of service..


Last but not least, a demonstration of transport power; with a lineage of Volvo Buses products over the years! The Volvo (Leyland) Olympian, B9TL, B12BLE and B12B.