Huge thanks to Paul Savage for his recent gift of the Alexander Dennis Decker Diecast model. The model is based on the 87 seat decker in our fleet, vehicle registration M90 YEL, which was previously YX66 WLJ.
The following is Paul’s story which re-introduced him back into the world of model making.
I started model-making in 2012 after having been forced by ill health into early retirement from a highly demanding and active career, initially as a means of keeping the mind active and preventing decay and boredom setting in!
With a background of building Airfix kits with the kids (in those simpler days before iPad and Facebook took over the world!), my wife thought it a good therapeutic idea that Christmas to buy me a large-scale kit of a London Routemaster bus to tackle. Which re-awakened the model making bug.
Encouraged by an on-line group dedicated to hints and tips on building what was quite a complex kit, I set up a Flickr page to plot progress of the build; which is really where things started to take off.
By now virtually addicted to the hobby, I bought a variety of Corgi diecast 1/76 scale model buses and repainted them generally in the old blue and red of Accrington buses, which I’d also used to finish Routemaster, and showed the results on Flickr which suddenly started to generate requests from collectors and operators for specific vehicles and liveries.
Naturally, operators in particular were asking for variations of bus and coach types not available in diecast, so I started to create the models for which people were asking by chopping, butchering and modifying the standard diecast model to attempt to convert to the required style. Which became even more addictive than the initial repainting work.
The Yelloway model involved chopping a donor diecast in two, extending it by 10mm to achieve a realistic appearance and attacking the roof with drill and blade to add the three skylights. Actually one of the more straightforward jobs!
Other conversions have included projects such as modifying two-axle double deck buses to longer triaxle variants; extending and shortening coach models to suit particular fleet make-up; even creating a completely different model from a standard – a Wright Streetdeck for First Manchester Vantage for example created from the standard Corgi Wright Gemini model. If it looks feasible, I’ll generally give it a go.
From pretty basic initial results, I have now developed my own techniques for achieving what are ‘looks the part’ bespoke models, as illustrated on my current Flickr pages.
My reason for doing the models? Purely to stay sane and active in retirement and avoid the risk of wallowing in the health situation! It’s not a business venture (I couldn’t handle the stress) and doesn’t even cover its costs, but it’s an extremely satisfying hobby to be involved with.
Sadly, health issues are again taking over, so taking on new commissioned work is not really possible for the foreseeable future as I can no longer guarantee completing them in any sort of realistic time frame, but I’ll still be doing some modelling to complete outstanding jobs and to add to my own small collection of local (Lancashire) interest, so will continue to add to the collection on Flickr, which can be viewed here https://www.flickr.com/photos/79368775@N03/
BIG THANKS again Paul, the model now has pride of place in our personal collection.