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I've never done a repainting of an item before, so pardon what may be seem as an easy question.

I have O and HO models of the famed Fishbowl buses from the 1960s and 1970s.  At the 1:43 size, I have both the Green and Two-Tone Blue liveries that the New York MTA used.  I also have two HO Scale Green ones from Busch, one of which I want to try and paint blue.  These fishbowls bring back memories of my childhood whenever I look at them. The HO model is basic plastic with a gloss finish and looks like it was produced in that green color so there isn't (or is?) any green paint to be removed.

I figure that I might need to use a very fine grit sand paper on the bus to provide some adhesion for the paint.

So question is should I use rattle can or brush?  Acrylic or Enamel?

My test subject will be a Busch green bus that I've had for a decade plus when I first started back in model railroading with HO.  It's current state is perfect to be stored in a bus graveyard as the tires and wheels have long since been lost. Maybe I should beat it up a bit, break a few windows and weather it. 


Once I've proven to myself that I can get it done, I will buy another Busch model and do it in the two-tone blue if the test subject doesn't satisfy me as fit for placing on a layout or display.


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Last edited by Amfleet25124
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Hi Kevin. Can the model be disassembled? If not, I would think you would have to do some serious masking on the windows. You could wash the bus in warm water and Dawn, and let dry. I would paint with a primer first, let that dry, and then paint the finish color with the same paint manufacturer, making sure they were plastic compatible.

I’ve been using Rustoleum plastic compatible rattle cans with good results, as long as you keep the coats light, and follow directions on the can as far as re-painting.
I think some of the other forum members might improve on my advice. Good luck, and let’s see those results!

Aw Kevin, you have your work cut out for you!... My recommendation would be wipe down with a spray of alcohol on soft rag. Then your best bet, would be old fashioned Testors model enamel.  Use a soft brush, and try and get the longest stretch before loading the brush again.  Take your time. 

Now, any professional painter will tell you, primer and paint in the same can does not really work.  If you decide to spray, Use a primer, primer.  Let that dry one full day.  Then you final top coat. Let that dry for one full day.  Get yourself some blue painters tape, and cut with a small scissors and cover any areas and windows. (This will be the most tedious)  However, it is well worth the effort.

And Kevin, you should copy this thread and post it on the car lovers,  "Automobiles/ Trucks 1/43-1/50 scale let’s see them"

Plenty of professional car & truck builders.  And everyone will love the buses and you renovation........... And plenty of tips The OP has been building and painting  plastic trucks and cars, 1/43, 1/48 for 40 years.......... I look forward to his recommendation on painting your bus...  🤩 Either way, I'll be watching'... I love those buses'.. and the ones ten years older'.. when I was a youngster'...🧒🏽

It turns out that Iconic Replicas (the same company that made the O Scale 2 fishbowls that I currently have) produces in HO Scale the Flxible version of the "New Look" bus, and specifically the two-tone blue used in New York City.

The Flxible had sharper angle windows compared to GM's rounded windows and I'm glad to see that it is also available, so I will procure one off the secondary market.  End result, I will not be repainting the green HO fishbowl by to the two tone blue and will purchase the ready made one by Iconic Replicas.  I might also get their O Scale version of White & Blue fishbowl bus that the MTA changed the colors to in the late 70's now that I see one is made.  The "New Look" buses will always have a place in my heart.

Last edited by Amfleet25124

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