We discuss a generalisation of the synchrotron bubble model which has been applied to short-lived radio transients which can peak and decay over just a few days. The assumptions of the simple model imply that when the flux is increasing with time, it must also be an increasing function of frequency. Observations of two recent radio transients, Nova Muscae 1991 and the Galactic Centre Transient, include the first data showing such a rising phase, and in both cases the radio flux was a decreasing function of frequency during the observed rising phases. Thus the simple synchrotron bubble model is inadequate, at least for these events. A fundamental feature of the simple model is the assumption that the process accelerating the radiating electrons ceases before the radio emission can escape. We relax this assumption by including an injection of electrons, with a constant energy spectrum, into the synchrotron bubble.