Saturday, 20 July 2013

St. Trinians on tour...

...the School Bus!



Now those that visit here in the hope that there might actually be something pertaining to Victorian era warfare being posted, my sincerest apologies!  The war on the undead is going to continue for a little while longer, but rest assured normal service will be resumed shortly!

 

In preparation for my proposed game I have been considering the various terrain requirements for the scenario in question, now dubbed, 'The Battle of the Lower Hockey Pitch'.  Once such requirement was the School Bus that forms a substantial part of the barricade and so the madness begins.  A quick hunt of the usual places turned up a few potential possibilities, 'Ainsty Castings' doing a particularly impressive model, but alas the majority of what was available is based on the American model of what a school bus should look like - and this was supposed to be a peculiarly British episode!


In a bid to find something a little more homegrown eBay was enlisted and lo and behold there were a series of 'Oxford Commercials' die casts in 1/43 scale - surely too big you might think?  A bit of web based research suggested that this scale, depending on the model could in fact work nicely for 28mm miniatures, particularly if the miniatures in question were on larger bases, so although not as cheap as I would have liked I decided to give one a punt!


I have to say that I was absolutely thrilled with my London Transport Ford 400E Minibus; this was part of a wonderfully detailed range of models that could have gone straight to the motor pool as it was, however I had a few details of my own that I wanted to add first.  My concerns about the the scale issues soon evaporated as I set about stripping the model down, windows were masked and the whole model was sprayed black and it is at this point that I really should explain my thinking behind the conversion.


I knew that bus had to serve as part of the defences, but at the same time scream 'St Trinians'!  It had to be battered and beaten up, perhaps due to been driven by members of the 'Fourth Form' that could barely see over the wheel and I am eternally grateful to Elladan and his amazing website, elladen.de that listed a variety of ideas that he employed on a series of die cast models that looked so good that I used them all on the school bus!  These included melting the tyre to represent a puncture, scratching the plastic windows for a smashed glass effect, making deep gouges in the paintwork as the 'Sixth Form' park by ear and the obligatory bullet holes - come the zombie apocalypse target practise will prove very important!

In addition to these I added some makeshift armour plating in the form of corrugated sheeting riveted to the side of the bus.  Weathered and distressed a gruesome tide of blood is evident where the relentless hoard of undead have been beating against its sides! Wire mesh was added to reinforce the windows and a finally a paint job that placed it well and truly in the early eighties!  Those that know of the original 'St Trinians' films will appreciate the anti-establishment themes, but there is something peculiarly British that prevails, and what could be more British than bunting?  


I would love to say that I fashioned this detail myself but I confess not, in fact the bunting comes from 'Jesse Bunting', where Jesse will craft you a ten centimetre string for a pound.  They really are wonderful, just what I was looking for and I shall certainly be looking to shoehorn my red, white and blue strings in somewhere in the months to come.  I can just see these festooned around a VBCW gaming table and understand that Jesse will consider bespoke requests too!


The final additions are those of the livestock, yes for a few hand fulls of corn you can have a fully functional zombie early warning system installed on this model.  Originally from 'Architects of War', I have absolutely no idea why I originally bought these, but obviously delighted with their inclusion here.


So there we have it, the School Bus complete and ready to take its place as part of the fortifications, now how about a cricket pavilion?




88 comments:

  1. Very nice! Great job.

    You've managed to capture the bus I rode in 6th grade just about perfectly. Blue instead of yellow, but other than that really close! If the only radio station it can pick up is also 'The Mighty 690' broadcast from Tijuana I would not be surprised at all.

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    1. Thank you very much, glad to hear that it evoked a memory or two.

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  2. You have done it again a truly magnificent creation. Very evocative and totally in keeping with the figures.

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    1. Thank you Clint, I'm loving the tongue in cheek nature of the whole project.

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  3. splendid conversion!
    the final result is astonishing.
    bye

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    1. Thank you Luca, that is really kind of you.

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  4. That is so well done, I just had to show my wife!

    Ian

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    1. Thank you Ian, but what did she say?

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  5. Inspired work, I like it a much!

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  6. Oh Good Lord, does it get any better than this! Marvellous stuff! I do, however, note with approval the correct spelling by the girls of "The End is Nigh" - the Fourth Form English teacher would be very proud!

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    1. Thank you so very much, that is incredibly high praise Sir. Tearaways they may be, but literate ones nonetheless! ;)

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  7. Truly marvellous. Your work on die cast vehicles is definitely among your best and this madcap creation is truly great.

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    1. Oh and the bunting is a touch of genius, who knew you cold get N gauge bunting!

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    2. Thank you, the bunting was such a find!

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  8. Great work there Michael and I truly love the madcap idea and it so works.Also a big thanks for the bunting as you are right I can see it of a VBCW table coming to you soon

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    1. Thank you Pete, definitely had you in mind when I saw the bunting. Jesse couldn't have been more helpful too.

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  9. Looks great Michael, did you paint the bus by hand or with an airbrush? the finish is fantastic.

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    1. Thank you Sir; the black undercoat is an aerosol, but everything else is done by hand - over and over again!

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  10. Absolutely perfect bus. I love the detail you've put into it all and that bunting is great

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    1. Thank you Paul, it was certainly great fun to do.

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  11. Great result and great Work !
    Very cool Michael ;)
    Greetings

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  12. Congrats! You really crafted a piece of art! Your attention to detail is simply amazing.

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    1. Thank you so much, I really enjoy working on the details and dreaming up new ideas.

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  13. Wow Michael, you continue to amaze with this project. I for one am glad you don't just stick to Victorian Warfare and branch out into other projects like this. Looks great!

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    1. Thank you, I sometimes worry that this nonsense isn't to everyone's tastes.

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  14. Jolly hockey sticks sir, jolly hockey sticks!

    That's a truly wonderful piece and absolutely perfect for those hellions! :)

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    1. Thank you Tamsin, perhaps sharpened jolly hockey sticks might be more appropriate. ;)

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  15. I really love your die-cast conversions they are superb. This has got to be my favourite so far. That scrape mark down the LHS is done really well and I love the barricades/armour on the other.

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    1. Thank you Simon, I do love doing them too; always great fun.

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  16. Holy Moley, is their no end to your marvellous creations, this is a superb piece of work Sir!

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    1. Thank you Andrew that is very kind of you, they are just a wonderful diversion.

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  17. Wonderful work! You really went to town on it. Even some chickens!

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    1. Thank you Brian, I've been looking for an excuse to use those chickens for a while now!

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  18. Replies
    1. That brought a huge smile to my face, thank you!

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  19. A master modeling work of art! You're hired, Michael!

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    1. Why thank you Jay, I'll grab my square.

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  20. This is one of those pieces that will go into my top ten favorite "Michael's vehicular conversionamies" (I just made that word up).

    Your speed at painting has increased with this project. It clearly has captured your imagination and your enthusiasm for it shines through.

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    1. Thank you Anne, I'm finding that the long summer break is really allowing me to realise all this somewhat odd ideas that have been rattling around for far too long.

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  21. What a fantastically realistic zombie barricade it fits so well with the girls! The bunting is so British.

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    1. Thank you Robert, I was really pleased with how it all came together.

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  22. It's not just your modelling and painting skills I am in awe of it's your brilliantly twisted imagination! Utter genius this one!

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    1. Thank you so very much, I think! ;)

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  23. Replies
    1. That is incredibly kind of you, thank you John.

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  24. Beautiful conversion, modelling, whatever you want to call it.

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  25. Great conversion work Michael, very original...

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  26. Amazing transformation! Your skills and imagination are unmatched. Truly fantastic work. Best, Dean

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    1. Dean that is so very kind of you to say so, thank you.

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  27. You have a way with vehicles sir. A fine addition to the 28mm Victorian Warfare motor pool.

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    1. Thank you Finch, I have to confess I do like tinkering around with them.

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  28. Now that Sir is a work of art!!!! Superb conversion work!!

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    1. You Sir are a gentlemen, thank you.

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  29. Wonderful work with this model, sir, wonderful!

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  30. Fantastic work Michael. Finding vehicles like that is Apocalyptic itself...well done!

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    1. Thank you Terry, it was a bit of a long shot with this one, but I was delighted with how it turned out.

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  31. Brilliant work. The bunting is an inspired touch

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    1. Thank you Dave, I really lucked out with the bunting, a great find.

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  32. Replies
    1. Thank you Captain, I'm pleased you like it.

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  33. Real piece of art Michael! Love it!

    Thanks for the birthday wishes on my blog!

    Greetings
    Peter

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    1. Thank you and you are more than welcome Peter.

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  34. Sir Michael, you do have such a creative flair. Nice work. And now for something totally different...

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  35. Thank you Jan, now there is a thought a Monty Python zombie hunter team...

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  36. Hi Michael,

    great work.
    Great idea, good conversion and an excellent paintjob. As always... ;-)

    Cheers
    Stefan

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  37. Fantastic conversion work Michael and all those little extras really set the scene.
    Cheers,
    Pat.

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    1. Thank you Pat, I seem to be constantly distracted by details!

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  38. Replies
    1. I'm delighted, it was certainly great fun to do.

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  39. Truly amazing work !!!

    Love the school bus !

    Best regards Michael

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