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London Bus - A bit different - Scale 1/ big - Pic heavy

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This is just a bit of fun to show a project I completed back in 2012. The vehicle in question was build for the Bo'ness Fair, which is an annual festival held in the town. All primary school children take part and if selected for various roles within the retinue or procession, we the parents, usually have to either build an arch outside the house or build some sort of frontage / display in order to celebrate the participation.

Full details of the fair can be found here


The theme in 2012, was the spirit of London 2012 and I decided to build a London bus, scaled up from an old dinky toy of my sons. The scale of the bus was unknown but I upscaled it using the dimensions of the toy ie 1 cm = 1 foot

It was built in my neighbours garage over a period of about 2 months. excuse some of the poor quality of the photos but you'll get the idea.


Basic frame, using mainly recycled wood from previous arches


I took up one half of the garage and kept measuring to make sure I could get it out again


Front end taking shape and used some dense phome to relicate the curved engine cover and topped off with some MDF.


Clad the entire frame in MDF, which was generously donated by a local woodyard. They use the MDF to protect their good wood during transit. The motto was measure mesure 10 times and check twenty !!


The wheels are again made from polystyrene blocks cut to shape and sanded. They would not be load bearing, just as well as the project was getting big & heavy


The front end taking on a bus shape and the detailed plans can be seen sitting on the big bus bonnet


The first coat of undercoat on and what a difference it made


Paint was applied using a small roller and as you could imagine, it took a while. All the windows were painted and just masked off to represent the required shape & position.


The top gloss coat was applied, just used cheapest gloss I could find in the DIY store. I still made alterations as I was going along, as you can see from the slight changing of the size of the upper front windows.


Coachline applied and of course it had to be gold !! This took me ages to mask as the ground wasn't quite level and I had to try and make the coachline as horizontal as possible.


The gloss paint looked great and certainly drew some looks from passers by if I left the garage door open whilst fettling away


Lights were just cheap battery operated ones, painted red and hung on the front. The window glazing was painted with a metallic silver and provided a good base coat for what I had in mind.


I thought the easiest way to bring the whole thing to life, was to paint on the window shadows. Obviously not strictly accurate but it gave the desired effect of shadow. I used a slightly darker metallic grey and was again applied using a masking technique to get the required shapes. I used so much masking tape !!


The famous Routemaster rear stairs, built ot of more polystyrene blocks simply cut to shape. the pole was my mate weightlifting bar, which was a perfect size.


The whole area was then painted, using some brown wood stain and the lines drawn on using a marker pen, to give the wooden board effect. You can also see the indicators on the back. These were a certain brand of yogurt pots, painted on the inside to represent the brake & indicator colours.


Little added details such as the fuel filler cap and drivers step added. These were just painted on and shadowed to give a 3D effect.


The front grill was my old dogs kennel cut up and painted and the various signage was cut to size and painted. Any lettering was self adhesive vinyl, bought online and was simply stuck on where required. The keep calm stickers were bought online also. For some reason they were plentiful in this year .


Just to give you an idea of scale. I'm just under 6ft tall and the glasses and nose have been photshopped in !!


Another front view, just showing the hand drawn vents and a bit more detail


Finally after months of work, I coaxed her outside and diplayed her in front of the house, The whole thing was very heavy and sat on some axle stands and blocks of wood. The wheels were just painted and the hubs were again painted yogurt pots. In the background you can see the " Spirit of London " back board. This was a large MDF sheet covered in magazine cut outs then varnished. anything Royal/British or London based was stuck on.


The front end. The lights were only switched on at night.


I was sure someone was going to complain about a bus being parked on the pavement. Tut tut !!


My final pic of the bus and my favourite. The whole thing was very enjoyable to build but hard to work out initially. After the event, sadly it was broken down. All of the wood and MDF was given to a neighbour for when it's his turn to build something. Gotta think recycle !!

Thanks for looking in and as I said, just thought I'd post something out of the ordinary. If you think this was mad, check this out, built in a neighbouring street...


Buckingham palace at night


Windsor Castle

More pictures of other arches can be found here


As I said, something a bit different for the forum. Hope you enjoyed it and see what can happen after years of tinkering away with plastic models :thumbsup:

Edited by MarkdipXV711
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