In PT III “Cabin Fever" – We dress up the front of the bus and get the cabin and engine bay ready so we can start to get the passengers on…
Revell Kit No: 07651 London Bus Build PTIII
No. of parts: 390
Decals for two RML Routemasters
Length 305 mm
Wingspan 417 mm
Skill Level: 5
Available from: www.revell.eu
The Engine and the undersides are completed, now it is time for the driver’s cab and the engine bay to be out of the way before we can move on to the passenger compartments. First of all though I though we need to do something about the grille.
On the front of the bus Revell supply a passable grille. It would do but if you are like me and want to see thru it like on the real thing it is an easy (just don’t get it wrong) fix. I found some mesh that I use for aircraft and AFV models – it is aluminium contour mesh sheet which to my eyes looked a little large at first. Nothing a little bit too much Humbrol 19 cannot solve!
I sprayed the mesh on both sides a couple of times and it made the holes smaller each time I laid a coat of enamel on. I continued this till I dared no more and the gaps in the grille were just right. I made the radiator grill frame a lovely metallic silver so I didn’t have to paint it later and set the grille aside to dry and worked on cutting out the hole in the plastic.
How to remove it? Well it would be a long old process if I was to just try to cut it out with a knife. Instead I got my Rototool with a 3mm drill and made a series of holes in a series very close to each other around. Very carefully I used the knife and reamer to take out the gaps between the holes – this was an easier but more risky task with the rotary tool but given the chance I would use this every time. I thinned out behind the radiator housing so the new metal grille could be secured to the back of the frame and still fit in front of the kit radiator.
Measuring/tracing as close as I cloud I cut the red painted mesh grill and secured it to the back of the housing using some superglue and a plethora of tools and clips. The grille had to be perfect on the back as I wasn’t sure how much could be seen from the rear past the radiator grill.
The grille without and then with the radiator behind it - a great improvement on the part.
The radiator grill itself was painted in silver and then some old fashioned dry-brushing to make the black shade with silver coloured highlights. Just as it looks on the real thing. I made sure it looked good now you can see it thru the new front window!
The wheels were then turned on, with some lashings of what I was "assured" at the model shop was the right colour for them (we have all heard that before.) So once I had some silver on as the base coat of the wheels I gave them two coats of AK Interactive chipping fluid as I was going to portray this vehicle as in a good condition though slightly worn. After the “barrier” dried I used some Humbrol 73 on the wheels with my newest airbrush – My Harder & Steenbeck Infinity CR Plus – what a beauty! SO easy to clean and change colours and I recommend this type of newer easy to clean brush – The nozzle has a tool free changing system and can really easily adapt to my style - it sure speeds up the painting process. This new airbrush I have been using for this build made my usual heavy handed attempts look a lot more refined. But back to the model at hand - The Red/brown colour went down really easily and then left to dry – BUT…
At 90% dry I simply rubbed the wheels with my finger and the red stripped off the wheels leaving the silver highlights underneath. This really gave detail to what would have otherwise been some pretty plain wheels. The wheels then copped a lashing of “fuel Stains” to make the grease build up that accumulates around these wheels in real life. I think with the colour, weathering and the slight wash these wheels look pretty good even for rubber tyres!
The cabin was treated to a lashing of silver and some worn effects fluid to create a barrier. Again I wanted this driver’s cab to look used but not destroyed. Many I have seen look well-worn and I am sure that many London Transport buses were used by many different drivers so they would have suffered a little from scuffing and wear. The black colour was uniformly sprayed on the cabin walls, instrument panel, steering column and seat.
Then wonder of wonders once the black was dry it was simply worn off with a rub of the fingers and a wet rounded end toothpick. I like the effect I got.
After a height decal was applied to the inside driver’s roof, the red fire extinguisher and decal secured under the seat and the lone speedo dial decal was applied the cabin went together with the help of an accelerator and brake pedal of the driver’s right (foot) side and the floor, walls and then ceiling of the cab were joined together. The seat I know has a chequered decal to apply to it but I have it on good authority that many pictures you see now of Routemasters have new seat upholstery on them. Apparently on the originals the seats were black – so I left mine black and undamaged. (And possibly just a little worn in the centre where the driver did his business from.)
Next it was time to add all of these parts together. I used the little red paint pen (very handy in this type of build) and marked the holes for which I would have to attach the engine plumbing to the firewall bulkhead and made the necessary holes for the AEC engine. To Revell’s credit the engine piping went in pretty much without gluing them in.
I liked the fresh from the repair yard rough demarcation paint job in the engine bay
The two parts of the engine bay walls are attached to the front of the passenger compartment and the driver’s cab. The instructions call for them to be painted red up high and the silver engine bay colour in a straight line in the lower parts – I went the middle ground and painted them in an very rough overspray style showing the roughly applied factory refit style that was either brush painted or sprayed in. I like the effect it left.
The front of the cabin then went on to the engine firewall and apart from a fair few dragon clips joining these two parts together I left my build there for the night. I wanted these parts to secure firmly as there was a slight gap in them otherwise.
Very quickly I sat the cab on the engine so you could see the fruit of my labours. You can see the radiator there faintly thru the grille and the driver’s cab detailed inside. I was very pleased at what is looking like a really fun build so far and I cannot wait for another day to build more. I will keep you updated as to the next part coming next week!
Till then enjoy your modelling.
For further information on this kit visit www.revell.eu