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Dioramas
Do you love dioramas & vignettes? We sure do.
design suggestions sought
southpier
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Alberta, Canada
Joined: December 11, 2009
KitMaker: 408 posts
Armorama: 247 posts
Posted: Sunday, July 28, 2019 - 02:47 AM UTC
https://miniart-models.com/products/38005/

I want to turn this bus into a "grounded van" with the intention of using it for a platelayer's shack or some other type of watchman's shanty. the body modifications come easily to me, but the front end is posing a quandary.

my initial thought is to remove the engine & bodywork/ wings, and leave the frame (sans axle & suspension) exposing the supports to ground. another would be to leave everything in tact, but my fear is that the whole would then become a representation of an abandoned vehicle with no definite purpose - a condition I eschew.

any suggestions to alter or consider in lieu of the above appreciated. 
thanks
M4A1Sherman
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New York, United States
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Posted: Sunday, July 28, 2019 - 03:18 AM UTC

Quoted Text

https://miniart-models.com/products/38005/

I want to turn this bus into a "grounded van" with the intention of using it for a platelayer's shack or some other type of watchman's shanty. the body modifications come easily to me, but the front end is posing a quandary.

my initial thought is to remove the engine & bodywork/ wings, and leave the frame (sans axle & suspension) exposing the supports to ground. another would be to leave everything in tact, but my fear is that the whole would then become a representation of an abandoned vehicle with no definite purpose - a condition I eschew.

any suggestions to alter or consider in lieu of the above appreciated. 
thanks



Wow! Getting an entire Bus kit would seem to be an expensive way just to come by a Bus Body, but hey! No one ever said that this hobby was a cheap one!

The Russian GAZ Trucks of the 1930s through the Second World War were license-built vehicles based on the Ford Model A and AA Trucks, of which this particular one was based on the longer 151-inch wheelbase Chassis 1.5-ton AA type as a starting point. The Russians probably made use of a longer Chassis for this bus-type. I don't know, as I've never taken much of an interest in Soviet or Russian buses!

The GAZ A and AA vehicles were not overly-complex vehicles, which should also make things a bit easier for you in achieving your object.

If I were to take on a project such as this one, it would make a difference as to how I wanted to portray the Bus' Body. I'm trying to visualize what you're after- Do you want to convey the impression that the Bus Body was to be one which was pressed into service as an "expediency measure" or something which was meant to be a bit more "permanent"..? I get the idea that you don't want to convey the impression that this Bus Body is to be a "derelict vehicle"...

If the Bus Body were to be a structure of a more "permanent"-nature, I would use just the body and its flooring, glazing and interior components, such as the inside body-panels(?)... I don't know exactly how much detail MINIART has engineered into the Interior of this kit, so what you may want to keep within your project or consign to your "spares box", is entirely up to you.

The other thing is the "Front End", which is posing this "quandary" for you. What specifically are you referring to as your "Front End"? Do you mean the Front Cowl (which housed the Fuel Tank, by the way), the Firewall and the Hood (Bonnet, if you will) and the Radiator and it's Shell? It depends on how much of a "rush" the people who separated the body from the Chassis Frame were in. You can easily "blank off" the front end of the Bus Body at the back of the Cowl, or, you can leave the Cowl in place WITH or without the Firewall being in place, dispensing with the Hood, radiator and its Shell. Either would work, as I've seen enough Ford Model As and AA trucks in various stages of repair, restoration, or abandonment. I've also seen enough of them, sadly, sitting outside of barns, farm out-buildings and in junk yards, rusting into the ground...

I would probably use the Chassis Frame for "rigidity's sake", as "civilian-type" motor vehicle bodies of this era and type were generally built with wooden interior body-framing, and press-formed thin gauge sheet-metal body panels were then "attached" to this wooden framing in various ways, up to the early 1940s in some cases. I would probably consign the Engine, Transmission, Front and Rear Axles, Springs, etc these into the "spares box". Or, the various leftover parts can be built up, and used as a part of your dio or vignette. I have no idea of the context or the story you wish to convey in your project, so what I have to offer in this respect is pretty limited.

How the whole thing "looks", sitting on a "diorama base" would also be a deciding factor, were I building this project- If the body looks as if it "sits" a bit too high or awkward on the dio-base, I would dispense with using the Chassis Frame...

Just a thought: You could probably use a MINIART Trolley Body for the same purpose, but using the GAZ Bus Body I think, would probably be more interesting, if a bit more complicated. Speaking personally, I would stick with the Bus Body..

Let us all know what you think...
southpier
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Alberta, Canada
Joined: December 11, 2009
KitMaker: 408 posts
Armorama: 247 posts
Posted: Sunday, July 28, 2019 - 04:19 AM UTC

Quoted Text

an entire Bus kit would seem to be an expensive way just to come by a Bus Body...




it's been in the closet for years and I find no use for a "complete bus". that being declared, no cutter has been laid to sprue - yet! - so I can always reconsider once the fettling begins.


Quoted Text

. . . meant to be a bit more "permanent"..?




yes; post ww II years - maybe march 13, 1949*


* personal, not historic significance.


Quoted Text

. . .the "Front End", which is posing this "quandary" for you. What specifically are you referring to as your "Front End"? Do you mean the Front Cowl (which housed the Fuel Tank, by the way), the Firewall and the Hood (Bonnet, if you will) and the Radiator and it's Shell? .




the cowl & firewall to stay. fenders, hood, radiator, headlights, bumper. wheels. springs, axle, & engine - all on the auction block.


one thought since my original post was to keep the bonnet & radiator grill, posed open on 1 side, and used as an out of the weather workbench/ tool storage unit.


thank you for provoking me to thought!
M4A1Sherman
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New York, United States
Joined: May 02, 2013
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Posted: Sunday, July 28, 2019 - 05:18 AM UTC
Hi!

OK, now you've got my interest and curiosity really aroused!

You mentioned 1949... 1949 where, and in which context? 1949 Soviet Union, East or West Germany, Poland, Ukraine or some other post-war Soviet-bloc country? You mentioned a "personal experience..? Maybe a beat-up US or Canadian Model AA Bus..? A watchman's "shanty" outside of a factory..? Maybe a guy selling hot dogs at some roadside "luncheonette"..?

Clue us in...
alanmac
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United Kingdom
Joined: February 25, 2007
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Posted: Sunday, July 28, 2019 - 07:43 AM UTC
Hi
Maybe consider alternatives as you haven't started the kit yet.

I have an acquaintance, a lady who works at our local vets and she grew up living in the 50's in an old converted railway carriage after the war. Another friend who kept horses had a couple of old railway covered wagons used for storage. Really solid wood sides.Obviously all the wheels etc had been removed, just the box body remained for his use.

You could consider the Miniart wagons or even the tram they make as I'm sure I've seen one of those converted to accomodation.

If you do stick with the van you could always box the engine section over with timber to create a shed, as someone may be clever enough to convert the engine into a generator for electrical power.
Frenchy
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Rhone, France
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Posted: Sunday, July 28, 2019 - 08:09 AM UTC
Some converted buses :









Converted streetcars :



H.P.
jrutman
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Pennsylvania, United States
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Posted: Sunday, July 28, 2019 - 08:12 AM UTC
Henri comes through with even the most obscure ref pics every time!
J
165thspc
#0
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Kentucky, United States
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Posted: Sunday, July 28, 2019 - 08:42 AM UTC
Isn't Henri a wonder????

____________________________

I had envisioned a Roden Blitz bus re-purposed.

I would remove the front fenders and bonnet, cut away the front frame. Then cover the exposed forward mechanical areas with a flat sheet of metal as though welded in place. Then possibly do the same thing with the rear wheel wells as seen in the photo above.
southpier
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Alberta, Canada
Joined: December 11, 2009
KitMaker: 408 posts
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Posted: Sunday, July 28, 2019 - 09:13 AM UTC
[quote]Isn't Henri a wonder????

to be sure! and thanks all for the interest, suggestions, & replies. I wish I could be more specific to the above questions, but I literally just started thinking about this today.

but it is close to the top of my list so all these ideas are going to help mold the project.

thanks again



addendum: I like the notion of using the engine bay as a "mechanical room". I envision a tiny generator, some type of water heater for heat & domestic water, a holding tank for same, and perhaps a tiny pump to pull water from an external source.
M4A1Sherman
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New York, United States
Joined: May 02, 2013
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Posted: Sunday, July 28, 2019 - 11:14 AM UTC

Quoted Text

Hi
Maybe consider alternatives as you haven't started the kit yet.

I have an acquaintance, a lady who works at our local vets and she grew up living in the 50's in an old converted railway carriage after the war. Another friend who kept horses had a couple of old railway covered wagons used for storage. Really solid wood sides.Obviously all the wheels etc had been removed, just the box body remained for his use.

You could consider the Miniart wagons or even the tram they make as I'm sure I've seen one of those converted to accomodation.

If you do stick with the van you could always box the engine section over with timber to create a shed, as someone may be clever enough to convert the engine into a generator for electrical power.



Hello, Alan!

Those are some really good ideas regarding the great and various MINIART kits; MASTER BOX makes some really great stuff along that line, as well. That was a telling and very poignant anecdote about your acquaintance who grew up living in a Railway Carriage during the 1950s. I've just finished reading a book about what life was like during the "Great Depression" of the 1930s. It's amazing how resourceful people can be when they are living under some of the most trying adversities! Anecdotal history, I think, is becoming a lost art, unfortunately...
M4A1Sherman
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Posted: Sunday, July 28, 2019 - 11:21 AM UTC
Hello, Henri-Pierre!

Once again, you are the man with some of the most AMAZING photos! Where do you find them all? This kind of thing makes me want to set aside the military stuff for a while and concentrate a bit more on "the human condition"...
M4A1Sherman
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New York, United States
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Posted: Sunday, July 28, 2019 - 11:31 AM UTC
Golly, that sounds like a lot of stuff to try to fit into the Engine Bay of a GAZ/Ford Model AA Truck/Bus... You might want to think about some kind of a smaller "add-on"-type of sheet or corrugated metal, or even "tar paper" shed in lieu of the GAZ/Ford "Hood/Bonnet/Engine Bay" as this was a pretty small area to begin with...

Just a suggestion...
joepanzer
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Posted: Sunday, July 28, 2019 - 11:34 AM UTC
For some reason, I get the image of an old woman selling brats that she cooked on the grill under the hood.
M4A1Sherman
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New York, United States
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Posted: Sunday, July 28, 2019 - 11:55 AM UTC
Jerry and Mike, Hi!

Yes, Henri-Pierre is just an absolute fountain of information, what with all of his photo-sources! THIS is ghe kind of thing that keeps me coming back to ARMORAMA, even though there is a lot of niggling and outright hostility, sometimes... It doesn't have to be that way...

In any case, I'd love to see more of the "human condition" or the "human interest" aspect of this hobby come to the fore...
M4A1Sherman
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New York, United States
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Posted: Sunday, July 28, 2019 - 12:03 PM UTC

Quoted Text

For some reason, I get the image of an old woman selling brats that she cooked on the grill under the hood.



Sure, I can see that too. I got the impression of a guy selling hot dogs out of an old converted Bus-body, as I mentioned earlier, or even the Bus-body serving as a converted luncheonette, a la an old Railway Dining Car serving as a roadside Diner. There are SO many things one can do if the mind is set to do it...
southpier
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Alberta, Canada
Joined: December 11, 2009
KitMaker: 408 posts
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Posted: Sunday, July 28, 2019 - 01:42 PM UTC

Quoted Text

Golly, that sounds like a lot of stuff to try to fit into the Engine Bay of a GAZ/Ford Model AA Truck/Bus... You might want to think about some kind of a smaller "add-on"-type of sheet or corrugated metal, or even "tar paper" shed in lieu of the GAZ/Ford "Hood/Bonnet/Engine Bay" as this was a pretty small area to begin with...

Just a suggestion...




i'm with you on that. as I was typing I was looking into the box o' parts and thinking how the hood sides could be left outstretched and added to so the spill-out of plumbing and gadgets would be accommodated and look like there was an evolution of the occupancy over time.


my, that was a dragged-on sentence, eh?
southpier
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Alberta, Canada
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Posted: Sunday, July 28, 2019 - 10:23 PM UTC
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QXUs3zG98DQ

I feel I am doing my part to save 1 bus from the breaker.
Frenchy
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Rhone, France
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Posted: Sunday, July 28, 2019 - 10:42 PM UTC
You're welcome guys

H.P.
ivanhoe6
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Posted: Monday, July 29, 2019 - 12:58 AM UTC
I too always check out Frenchy's posts. He ALWAYS has the most interesting and informative images !

Southpier, don't forget an outhouse ! No matter how tough times were hygiene ranked right up there with food & shelter if you were staying for the long haul. "What goes in must come out". Sorry, a little toilet humor.

Good Luck !
Frenchy
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Posted: Monday, July 29, 2019 - 03:27 AM UTC
What about a Airbnb bus ?





More pics

Another one :



H.P.
M4A1Sherman
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Posted: Monday, July 29, 2019 - 03:45 AM UTC

Quoted Text


Quoted Text

Golly, that sounds like a lot of stuff to try to fit into the Engine Bay of a GAZ/Ford Model AA Truck/Bus... You might want to think about some kind of a smaller "add-on"-type of sheet or corrugated metal, or even "tar paper" shed in lieu of the GAZ/Ford "Hood/Bonnet/Engine Bay" as this was a pretty small area to begin with...

Just a suggestion...




i'm with you on that. as I was typing I was looking into the box o' parts and thinking how the hood sides could be left outstretched and added to so the spill-out of plumbing and gadgets would be accommodated and look like there was an evolution of the occupancy over time.


my, that was a dragged-on sentence, eh?



I've been guilty of a lot worse!!!
southpier
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Alberta, Canada
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Posted: Monday, July 29, 2019 - 04:21 AM UTC

Quoted Text

...don't forget an outhouse !...




and a tiny allotment!


this project may take on a life of its own.
165thspc
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Posted: Monday, July 29, 2019 - 07:19 AM UTC
A shot of the Blitz Bus sans the wheels and tires just as an idea starter:


And the starboard side with the wheels just to show the door arrangement:
southpier
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Alberta, Canada
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Posted: Monday, July 29, 2019 - 09:52 AM UTC
nice. I like all the furnishings inside. maybe its purpose will be a transmitting station on the clandestine path for some unexposed agents ala Richard Hanney.

just back from my daily bike ride where the thought came to me having the van in close quarters with an abandoned Anderson shelter which has been pressed into service as a root cellar for the allotment!

I think I may need the van AND trolley the way this is going. we'll skip the chickens, though maybe a dog & bunny.
ivanhoe6
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Posted: Monday, July 29, 2019 - 11:22 AM UTC
gotta have a dog !! and maybe a clothes line with drying laundry