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School Bus Inspiration

November 20, 2012

by Iggy Perez

I’ve seen this school bus some weeks ago close to where I live. I must say, that we don’t see much of these busses around here. So it was surely quite a surprise. My brother and I have talked about this topic for a while. We think it should be very well possible to scratch build a school bus using a Pickup Truck as a basis – we think of models from the 50s.

This label “Danger Zone” reminded me of that song from “Top Gun” called “Highway to the danger zone” – kind of stupid, but I had to laugh about it. Anyhow, I ended up looking for safety videos on youtube regarding school bus safety.

Anyhow. I find it a very interesting topic. We thought about some other details, such as the chasis. We came up that some kitbashing would be needed: for instance using truck parts for the chasis, transmission, and wheels.

All the other details would have to be scratch built. For instance, the whole body behind the hood or the mouldings or hood holders. AMT has some kits that come with extra lights moulded in clear (read, amber and transparent, depending on the kit).


While looking around in youtube, I’ve found this video of this guy who bought a school bus from the 30s. That’s really cool. He wants to make a camper out of it.

Daf November 30, 2012 at 1:21 pm

Scratch building a school bus – that’s quite a project! I’m sure you guys could do it – Monogram had that SCool Bus kit years ago – I wonder if any parts of that kit would be of use to you – like the chassis or other little bits.

I’ll be watching for updates.

Take care!

Darcy November 30, 2012 at 5:12 pm

Scratch building a school bus would be fun but a pick up is to small to make the cab of a bus you should start with an International dump truck or semi.
Cheers Darcy

Iggy December 14, 2012 at 5:07 am

Hello Darcy,

it depends which kind of schoolbus you build. During the 50s, there were smaller school buses where you can actually use a pickup as basis. In some cases, you only need to make the fenders a bit wider – you can do this with some styrene and careful cutting / glueing.


Dave Mitchell November 30, 2012 at 5:56 pm

Like Daf says I would try and use the SCool bus. It was basically a funny car style dragster. The body is probably out of proportion but the profiles of the sides and roof looked acceptable. If you can find a couple of kits a bit of cutting and shutting or stretching would be easier than scratchbuilding for the big panels. You might even be able to use the roof profile. They still come up on eBay every so often,



Karl Goulding December 1, 2012 at 3:53 pm

I am currently getting ready to mold and cast resin 1/24 bus bodies and sell, feel free to contact me if interested. I love this web-site, its about time we got one that we can comment and see peoples Great ideas in scale.

Seb December 4, 2012 at 11:17 pm

Hi Karl, please keep us posted on your project. Do you have a site where we can see your products? Thanks!

Karl Goulding December 13, 2012 at 1:03 pm

Not yet, But im working on it. Real time work gets in the way :(

Bob December 8, 2012 at 1:03 pm

Inspired by the one that stopped by every day to pick up my kids, I made my own 1/25 school bus from scratch. The frame was easy, just evergreen strips made into 9″ C-channel, with a copied AMT Ford Louisville engine. I did scratchbuild the newer style International hood, but the Ford Louisville one would do fine as well. The body was made with 0.040″ sheet styrene and Evergreen strips. Hardest part was curving the roof – I did it in two sections, 0.040″ plastic heated with a heat gun and formed over a shaped piece of wood. Came in handy on other projects too. Take a look at my Fotki album for a few in-progress pics.

Iggy December 13, 2012 at 1:19 pm

Hey Bob,

that sounds really cool! Do you have any pics? Can you email them to me? Maybe I could post them on the blog for the other raeders to see… if you want


Seb December 15, 2012 at 2:43 am

Hi Bob, I just checked your project. It’s really amazing! thanks a lot for sharing!

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