AEC ROUTEMASTER RLM double-decker bus

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Okay, okay. I could not resist anymore. This giant box rested on my wardrobe for a while but the every time I glanced this direction, I was tempted. The buses in general are not much attractive for me. Not as the modelling objects. But this half-bonneted double-decker from behind the English Channel (La Manche, if you please) is a different story. Even though they do not take the passengers on regular lines anymore, they are still unthinkable part of the London atmosphere to me.

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The box is big. So big, that I thought they sent me an LCD TV set instead. And it is crammed with giant amount of plastic. Eventhough the kit has its shortcomings, I think it represents the legendary bus very well.

I started out with the engine, like I always do and it is also the fist step per instructions too. There is a two engine option in the kit which is quite extraordinary. The first one is labeled Leyland by the instruction sheet. But it is AEC AV590 9.6L more likely. The other option is Scania engine which was installed in the Routemaster buses from 1996 as reaction to the legal emission limits. My choice was simple. The British bus - the British engine.

This one represents the original quite well. I only added the diesel injection nozzels and tubing and some hoses too.

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The first shortcoming I had to deal with was the radiator. Since I plan to use a PE mesh as the grille, I needed to change the shape of the radiator. The one in the kit is much too wide. The mesh of the real bus reveals the whole supporting structure of the vehicle.

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I cut a part of the radiator off, fixed the edge and superglued the PE mesh on both sides. I was not carefull enough with the superglue and later on the surfacer revealed the imperfections.

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Posted · Report post

With the radiator off the vehicle you can see the whole structure quite well. I tried to make the first cross member using the Evergreen "I" beam 1/4" (6.4 mm).

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The bottom side is simplified in the new concept manner. It is okay with me because I think the model has its highlights somewhere else. But there is one thing that I could not accept and it is the Panhard rod. One end is connected to the axle and there is no joint on the other. Even though I have no idea how the the thing looks like on real deal, I made at least some sort of connection the the vehicle.

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The bottom side is painted silver. As you can se it is quite flat and freatureless on the model.

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My next step will be adding some grime to this clean platform.

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Posted · Report post

I do want to get this kit one day, going to be watching, off to a good start

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Excellent Jardo. Engine is great, highly detailled, like usually...super. Pavel

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I've seen this built up a few times, and have a couple on the stash, but I'll be following this one, can't have too many London buses ....there's a couple of Heritage routes that the Routemaster is still used in London, the number 9 & 15

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Posted · Report post

Excellent work Jarda. Can't wait to see more.

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THAT'S GONNA LOOK GREAT...

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Thank you all very much. Today I have a few pics of the bottom side of the bus with some grime on it. It is not finished yet. What you see is just silver, black and gun metal. I also used salt and hair spray to create some effects. The exhaust pipe is painted with revell and humbrol colours. The dark brown is the base and the lighter shade is applied with a sponge. Also with a sponge I applied the rust to the front axle. Later on I will add some dust, when the mud flaps and wheels are on.

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Posted · Report post

I've been thinking of getting this kit for a while looks amazing

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Excellent work, Man....This one looks great....Very nice undercarriage detail and the engine is quite exquisite, as well...

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Looks pretty cool so far. I want one of these kits...just cause its big and different

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I am gonna watching this one for sure.

There are several units like this here in Athens working as promotionals, mobile advertisings and even a small restaurant. A dozen years or so ago, there were also a few units which were open deckers and were doing a sightseen cyrcle in Athens.

Kostas.

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you'll see alot of those old routmasters running around center city philadelphia in the warmer months,they chopped the roofs off of them and use them for sightseeing.

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Yes, the Routemaster buses can be found in different parts of the world. Even my country the Czech Republic is a home of a few. They are in private collections, some of them serve as promo vehicles on various occasions. I was on board the other day when a motor show was held in my hometown. But the bus was just standing, no opportunity to take a ride.

I am using the PE parts made by modellers from the Czech Truck Model Team. Some of them are identical to the ones offered with the Revell label. But the CTM set is more extensive. Here is how it looks like untouched.

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Some of the PE parts improve the driver´s cab.

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The parts include also the mesh to cover the heating channels on both decks. Unfortunatelly, they are a bit wider than the channels. But I took advantage of it by slightly bending the edges which lifted the mesh above the channel and thus created the effect of space underneath the mesh. This made the task of super glueing a little more difficult. The mesh does not look even any more.

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The mesh on the long channels consists of two or three parts. Here is the joint between the two.

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This is a kick protection cover under the seats.

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There is a lot more PE parts in the CTM set. They improve the look of many details in interior and exterior too. The truth is, they almost doubled the price of the bus for me. But I think it will pay off in the end.

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Here is another update. The driver´s cab is painted and weathered. The weathering is a bit overdone. I did that because the whole cab is black and I want the details stand out from the darkness.

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The fire extinguisher is tied to the floor with a stripe.

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Even though there is a decal for the driver´s seat upholstery in the kit, I used an imitation leather. It was my first attemp in upholstering, so excuse the imperfections like patches and fabrics waering through, please.

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The seat is attached to the back wall with the window in place.

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There is a decal with "OFF-FUEL-ON" sign in the kit that is supposed to be applied onto the fuel valve of the engine. In the real world it is a flat plate with a round hole in the middle strung on the fuel pipe. I just cut out the decal but did not plunge it in the water. I only painted the back of the decal with black colour, pierced the round hole in it and placed it onto the fuel pipe.

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I borrowed this idea from Adam Norenberg of UK. It works just fine.

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Posted · Report post

Great detail. Love it

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Hi Jarda... how I wrote on MF, absolutely fantanastic work from you. Pavel.

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Just let you know that if you want to make a different version from the english one , here in australia we had them as well and some were brought from the nsw government bus company and had the roofs removed and had awnings put on them for race car veiwing platforms .

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That is an interesting idea, Mark. But I will probably stick to the box version with this build. It is true that the kit has a great potential for conversions of all kinds. Mayby some day I will make another one with some changes to it. This particular build represents the memories of my visits to London. Even though I never took a ride, these Routemaster buses, among other things, are the very meaning of London to me.

But I have some plans for Australian or maybe New Zealand build too. My idea is an old school MAN of... say 1970s. If you happen to know where to look for pictures like that, I would be greatful. Thanks for the idea of viewing platform.

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I painted the inside panels using revell 331 colour as the instructions say so. Some debris got into the first layer. I have taken the photo after I cleaned the surface with a fine sand paper. I will add one more layer when I have time. The floors of both decks are painted also. But, again, it takes some more care to get the final coat.

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I cut the seats and frames from the sprues. Cleaning the 32 fragile seat frames is not exactly my idea of modelling but I finished it without any damage to a single frame.

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I did not follow the instructions when painting the wheels. Instead of revell 331 I chose revell 37 with a few drops of humbrol 62. A gloss laquer and dark wash will follow.

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I made a pair of pens which are a bit off scale but I put them in the cab anyway.

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I also added a pair of cables running from the steering column to the dash board.

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Now it takes painting and painting. I hope it will be finished within the next week.

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Jarda, This pens are totally best detaill ever. Pavel

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Painting the seat frames is almost as amusing as cutting them off the sprue and cleaning. The frames are painted with chrome alclad and red humbrol. The alclad requires a black undercoat which I sprayed over the frames at once.

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I tried to minimize the waste of alclad colour, so I painted the frames one by one this time. And then I painted red humbrol with a brush. Two layers because the black undercoat made the red look a bit dull.

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I started painting the seats today. I will post pictures when they are finished. I hope I won´t mess the decals.

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Posted · Report post

You are doing incredible work

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I am back with a little bit of progress on the double-decker bus. I engraved the transmission cover on the floor of the lower deck.

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An emergency exit should be on the front left side of the upper deck. But the pictures of the real thing show only riveted floor mats and no visible cover. And a seat is located in that place too. So, I do not quite understand how the emergency exit is supposed to actually work. I left the the upper floor without any change.

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The wheels are very nice in the kit but the tires are not. No lettering on the sides and the only thing that holds them in place is the ribbing on the wheel´s perimeter. The rim is everything but tight. Fortunatelly it looks okay on the outside. But I have some reservations of the system as such.

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With a loose tire like that it is very easy to do this:

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Am I supposed to glue the tires to the wheels? Not per instructions, that´s for sure.

Edited by truckabilly

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