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Neoplan 'Spaceliner' style tour bus


47137

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I found a toy bus at a swap meet, the Lledo "Marathons" number 3. The bus is representative of an early Neoplan Spaceliner from the late 1970s or early 1980s, but is not a model of an actual prototype.

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One appealing feature for the layout is the doors modelled at the front are identical on both sides. So at a glance, the vehicle will pass as a right-hand drive body. Most 1:87 scale models of buses and coaches show the passenger entrance on the right, and the driver's door on the left, and look wrong in a British setting. The bright yellow livery "Island Tours" is just right to set the scene at Fairport:

 

I put new wheels on the model and painted the wheel arches to hide the yellow paint inside them. The model sat on the layout like this for some months, until I had the opportunity to attend a free weathering workshop and chose the bus to take along. The tutor made a start by spraying the whole model with Testor's Dullcote (good) and then demonstrated how to remove it from glazing by wiping it with white spirit, instantly fogging it. Oh well – at least the model is easy to find and cheap to buy.

 

I liked the bus and I bought a second one for parts, and rebuilt the first one. My modifications for the finished model are the following:

 

  1. Drill out rivets and remove roof and glazing
  2. Remove wheels and discard
  3. Paint inside of wheel arches
  4. Install scale wheels, I used some Herpa ones sold for HGVs
  5. Paint interior moulding to hide original orange-coloured plastic
  6. Install smoked grey glazing from the second model
  7. Paint roof off-white
  8. Add a second headlamp (microstrip) and paint both headlamps to match

 

This activity might take a few evenings but for me it has taken most of two years, with the rebuild along the way:

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The roof is conspicuous and I have managed to get a good finish, at least as good as a factory finish really. I used Halfords white primer on top of the original gloss yellow, and then mist coats of Tamiya Racing White on top of this. The Tamiya spray paint has produced far better results than I have ever managed using sprays from Railmatch or Precision Paints. Tamiya is really my paint of choice at the moment, for any application where I know roughly what colour I want and I don’t need a specific shade.

 

I think the most useful changes are the wheels and the white roof. If I feel a need for weathering, I'll try powders first.

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  • RMweb Gold
22 hours ago, westernviscount said:

Wow, i had one of these!!! Loved lledo buses. 

 

This one came in a set of three. The others are an airport crew bus, which looks like a good source for improvements, and a double-decker, which looks a bit too toy-like. They are very well made.

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Just to put the record straight, what the tutor actually did was to spray the whole thing with Testor's Dullcote and then demonstrate how to remove it from glazing by using white spirit. The tutor has felt guilty about this for over 2 years!

 

If it hadn't gone wrong then, would you now have such a good looking model? :)

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47137

Posted (edited)

4 hours ago, Mick Bonwick said:

Just to put the record straight, what the tutor actually did was to spray the whole thing with Testor's Dullcote and then demonstrate how to remove it from glazing by using white spirit. The tutor has felt guilty about this for over 2 years!

 

If it hadn't gone wrong then, would you now have such a good looking model? :)

 

Absolutely not! I'd still have the one with orange glazing.

 

The person feeling guilty should be me. It has taken a six-month hiatus and a seven-week lock-down to persuade me to finish the model.

 

I've edited my account to include the Dullcote, which is very good on the right model.

Edited by 47137
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