Monday, August 24, 2020

Small Wonders General American Aerocoach Bus

A few months back, I saw an announcement for this interesting HO scale bus from Small Wonders (a Sylvan Scale Models affiliated company.) I ordered one from a seller on ebay a couple weeks ago. It's a classic late Steam to Diesel era bus. They were used in longer haul service as well as typical municipal transit. The site Coachbuilt has a fairly good history of the General American Aerocoach buses. I have already decided to decorate mine for a fictitious southern Oregon regional bus line serving towns between Ashland and Grants Pass (unless I find good information about an actual bus line that operated this prototype in that area, at that time.)
Three quarters view looking at the front
The basic castings appear quite nice after opening the box. Upon closer inspection, I discovered two issues. The first is that the "underbody" is not wide or long enough for the body casting. I added strip styrene to compensate for this difference. I also discovered a casting void created by an air bubble in one of the window frames. This was filled with several application of ACC. I hope that will hold up until I can get window glazing in place to shore things up.
Three quarters view looking at the rear of the bus
Overall, this is an extremely attractive model of a commonly-seen type of bus that would be at home on any layout from the 1940s to the 1960s. I am excited to build and decorate it.
Underbody illustrating the styrene strips added to improve the fit
Interior of the bus
Straight-on side view
The flaw caused by a bubble in the casting
The parts bag