So, the Downtown Deco Bus Station is apparently my nemesis. I've built a dozen or so of Randy's kits, but never had one annoy me quite as much as this one. I didnt even have it together when it all started...

Sanding the back wall to fit, it snapped in my hand. Couldnt just land on the table, nope, off the table, off the top of the shopvac, and to the floor. 


I'm sure I had a few choice words as I glued the puzzle back together as best as I could. A little spackle here and there with a paint job and I figured I could make it happen. IMG_2059

So I put the building together and just for good measure, packed it with foam to brace the wall from the back side. IMG_2061

I thought this would have been the end of it and the build would have gone business as usual from here. 

Gave the back and side walls a shot of grey then coated the whole thing in a shade of blue that looked about right for a Greyhound station. 


Oh... if only that were true. 

I followed the premise of the instructions and after a couple days masked off the rounded insert and the smooth sidewall to give it a shot of white. 

Disaster struck again. The paint crackled. IMG_2074IMG_2075


So now I'm sitting here like, what the heck can I do. I was ready to throw it out, but knowing that they're kinda rare, I decided to try and salvage it. Sanding it off was too slow going and I was a bit worried I was going to break it again with all the pressure, not to mention I'd never keep it flat and smooth. I tried to rub the paint off with Acetone, but all I did was make a mess. So I did what any frustrated modeler would do, I broke out the power tools...


I figured I had nothing to lose (I couldnt possibly make it any worse), so I cut the inserts, and my paint problem, out of the building. A million holes and some careful strokes of the zona saw, I had cleared out what I no longer needed en masse. A dremel sanding drum and some sanding sticks made it something I could work with. I also had to fight out a bunch of that foam block that I so painstakingly fit in there in the first place, so I could get the side wall out. 


Ok, empty shell, what to do? I needed to keep the Art Deco look, but now I had some big holes to fill in. I took the 21st Century approach... google Greyhound Stations. After looking at way too many, theres a lot of similarities but they're all in some way unique. So could virtually do no wrong. I started drawing walls in tinkercad until I was satisfied with the look and got all the doorways in the right spots.

These are about the 8th iteration of the walls... Then I sent them off to be 3D printed. Image 12-24-19 at 4.36 PMImage 12-24-19 at 4.37 PM


These are actually the 2nd round of prints, the first ones were a bit too thin and flimsy. So by this point I was more into sintered plastic pellets than plaster building kit. No turning back now, It had to work.  I mocked it up a few times, filling the opening with a bit of spackle to get the shape right. Now that it was going to have walls of windows I need an interior, so there cant be any light leaks. 


A few shots of aluminum paint and the doors installed later, I started doing the tile work on the side wall. Now, I'm not Alan Graziano or Joe Fauty, so my styrene work is not perfection. No matter how new the exacto or how steel the ruler, I just couldnt get 100% straight edges. This will do though. The glass block is Plastruct sprayed with dullcote.


The front wall was much of the same, fit it, add windows and then I also fitted a Miller window sign over the door. 


Full mockup


Next I took the leap and glued it together. Naturally, the superglue ate the clear windows. I'll have to do some polishing, but for the first time in a while, the building now seemed structurally sound. 

I finished up the roof with another Miller sign, and a couple of AC units (to use as handles to lift the roof off). 


The sidewall and the back wall got the steel wool treatment to get some of the grey cinderblock to show through. I left the front wall and the bus stop wall intact. 


I modified a Grant Line door to fit in the back doorway, so I could hide a bunch of cracks. 



This is no where near done. I'm planning to build a curved edge cover for the bus stop, and I need to fashion up some kind of interior that hides the foam block and all the wiring for the Miller signs. I held off posting for a while because I wanted to make sure that I made something out of it first. That wasnt always a guarantee ( I actually went through the trouble of buying a 2nd kit off ebay). 

I'll update as I go, but for now... Merry Christmas.



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Last edited by Boilermaker1
Original Post

Never give up, I like your attitude and it looks like it is paying off.....I like what I see, keep up the good work.

It's not whether you screw up, it's how you recover! You recovered beautifully. Next time that happens, you could just overlay a thin styrene sheet over the bad surface. Use 0.010" styrene so it doesn't change the thickness too much. I was building my Essex Carrier and set up a white cardboard piece to provide a blank photo background. What I didn't know at the time was the cardboard was leaning on an open bottle of Tamiya liquid cement. This was the last thing I did for the day. The cardboard tipped over the bottle which soaked my Corian work surface. Corian is unaffected by solvent, but the Essex Island sitting on it was. When I got to the shop the next day, the island was glued to the Corian and the solvent had wicked halfway up the island's wall. Someone suggested to "re-skin it". I did and saved the model. Who did the 3D printing?

Wow. Very nice work.

It's too late and it's better now anyways. I just would have said that the cracks look OK to me. I've seen plenty of real buildings with cracks like that. However when it happens to you building something, you can never look past it.

 So again, great work! I think you have a custom building now to be very proud of.

I have the un-built kit and I must say what you have done is fantastic. I hope you'll offer the windows so I can change mine to look like yours.

Excellent modeling. I am going to offer a different opinion. I actually liked the "cracked paint". It looked just like stucco! Regardless...your modifications changed the whole facade of the structure in a good way and certainly opened up the inside to detailing. 

Good job.


I agree that these kits are great, I have one on my layout and it certainly adds character.

You have done a wonderful job personalizing yours as a result of your “recovery”.  This will be a unique structure that adds to your layout.  Very nice work.


Its been a while while since I posted because Ive been working on other things too. I picked this back up again and built the canopy over the side door. Not being a styrene artist, this was a little bit of experimentation. 

The canopy is styled after many common Greyhound station canopies with curved corners. The base is solid styrene, 4 .080" sheets stacked together. In the middle 2, I cut slots for 3/16 tubes so I could mount it to the building with more than just glue. The mathematicians in the audience will notice that 3/16 is larger than 2 .080 sheets, but MEK works wonders for making plastic a little squishy. It took a small bit of sanding to get the tubes to be totally flush. Once I had the 4 sheets stacked together, I made some rough cuts for the curves with a zona saw then just sanded it into a curve. 


Then I started building up the trim. Tile is common, so tile was used.  I did it in a few segments, as wrapping the tiles around the curves was making the styrene sheet snap at the thin spots between the tiles. This was about the point that I drilled some holes in the side of the building and mocked it up. 


The trim is a band of .125x.030 with a .080 square on top of it. The .080 took a hairdryer to wrap around the edges and not snap in half when the solvent was applied. I threw away 4 or 5 rods of it before I finally got it right. 


Some masking and painting and it came together. 

The rods I put in the middle to hold it onto the building were on purpose so I could put lights underneath and hide the wires. I drilled 2 holes into the bottom surface and threaded some Woodland Scenics Just plug LEDs through the canopy. I had to cut the molex plugs off the wires, After it was glued on, I resoldered the wires back together. 



I also ended up taking out the window glass and putting in new sheets. As I said above, the originals fogged up from the super glue I used to glue in the inserts. I tried to polish it out but ended up just burning the thin sheets of clear stuff.  I used canopy glue so it wasnt too big of a deal to get it out. 

All done for now with the exterior. Now to figure out how to make an interior and hide all the wiring. (The roof isnt glued on, its also curled a bit as its been sitting there... need to put some braces on the bottom of it).



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Great story about persistence and creativity. Never had those problems when I built mine but if I had, not sure I could have salvaged it as well as you did. One thing I did learn, the hard way of course, is not using super glue on window application. I also use canopy glue, as it dries clear, doesn’t mar the plastic and doesn’t risk sticking your fingers together. Anyway, congratulations on a great save to the model. 

I admire your excellent talents, thank you for the explanations as you went along

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