1/12th scale Omnibus 16 Passenger
I started this model from an OLD original working drawing by J.E.Bishop, printed in “The Australasian Coachbuilder and Saddler” published in October 1896. I saw a couple of these vehicles on TV in an old short movie clip about Brisbane, Qld.
I liked the look of them so I went and checked to see if I had a working drawing of these vehicles, B-I-N-G-O, had one in my stash of old working drawings, so it soon became a reality.
I even used another full sized Garden Seat Omnibus, on display at the Cobb & Co Museum at Toowoomba, Qld, as a reference for the colour scheme, pinstriping and scroll work.
The main material that I use in the construction of the model is a timber called Tasmanian Myrtle, ( Nothofagus Cunninghamii ), it has a very close grain structure and there are NO pore holes in the timber to ruin a fine finish, it even takes a coat of paint like a piece of polystyrene plastic, with virtually NO grain lifting when painted, unreal B-O-N-U-S, eh.
I start the construction from the ground up, that way if I have stuffed up it soon becomes apparent.
The wheels are all made in a similar detail as to what John Thompson recommends in his Scale Model Horse Drawn books, the only difference is I use sheet acrylic for the fellies, instead of making the fellies from timber, it is a much stronger construction using acrylic and once painted you cannot see what they are made from. I have made numerous model spoked wheels using timber for the fellies, only problem is the amount of wasted timber doing it like that, so went over to using acrylic. It’s far cheaper than using timber, a tad of “Dumpster Diving” produces an endless amount of different thickness and different sized acrylic offcuts.
The spokes are all hand shaped from timber to get the correct profile, as well as making all the spokes as “Shoulder Spokes”, this way I can get each spoke to look about identical with the spokes on each side of it. I do have a FaceBook site that shows how the wheels are made, so if anybody body who’s on F/B wants to have a look. https://www.facebook.com/groups/965313566821742/permalink/2020965034589918/
All square nuts and the bolts with the rounded heads that simulate a coach-bolt, have ALL been made by hand, there is NO store bought nut or bolt on that model AT ALL, I mainly use 12 BA sized nuts and bolts, but I do use 8 BA, 10 BA and 14 BA as well.
I had to make a machine just to produce the nuts in quantity, I used to make them one at a time on the lathe, but it took forever to get any made. So I kind of automated that process of making the square nuts, improved production immensely, can now make about 300 per hour instead of about 20 per hour.
All the nuts have to be hand tapped, so I do about 500 at a time, that way there is a reserve of nuts waiting to be used.
The coach bolts are all made on the lathe using sticks of bronzing rod, it’s a lot cheaper than using brass rod and it’s a lot stronger material as well. The threading is done with a hand held die and the bronze material resists breaking when it’s being threaded, where-as brass tends to break off at the worst possible moment when using the die to thread it.
The other mediums I use are Brass, either rod or sheet, of varying thickness, another excellent medium is Acrylic, Aluminum is used where I need strength and lightness and whatever else will do, that I can find to do the job that’s required. I do use a tad of Modelers License when ever I can get away with it.
The springs are made from brass sheet, select the required thickness brass sheet and shove it through a special jewelers bench saw, to get the required width of the spring leaves. Shove these strips of brass thru a roller to get the shape required for the spring leaves.
Each leaf end is soft soldered to the spring leaf above, this stops the ends from opening up when some fool attempts to press down on the model to test if the springs do actually work.
There’s always some fool hanging around in the shadows, just waiting to do this to the model, so had to solder the ends of each leaf to thwart those fools.
Painting is done only ever using ENAMEL paints, it’s applied with an El-Cheapo airbrush, they work exactly the same as the most expensive one does, just blows paint around onto places you want it.
The fancy pin striping and lettering is all done with decals, I use CorelDraw to create the designs, then an ALPS MD 5500 printer to make the decals. I will try and use any OLD original pin striping or lettering that I can come across, from anywhere, that way the finished model really does look the genuine article, not some toy.
The steel tyres are cut from a piece of steel hollow bar to the sizes required, just so you can squeeze them over the painted wheel fellies. When I’ve cut all the steel tyres to the required size, I then shove the lot onto an electric hot plate to make them turn blue, once that happens they are removed from the heat and allowed to cool down, when they have cooled down they are then attacked with a bit of 360 wet and dry.
This blueing of the metal gives them the look of being made by a blacksmith and the wet and dry gives the steel tyre a used/scuffed look on the surface that rolls over the road.
Wheels have been made to rotate, the brakes do work on the rear wheels when applied, and the turntable can rotate was well.
Any questions, then please ask, ——- so enjoy 🙂 —————————————
10 additional images. Click to enlarge.