Sunstar 1:24 Bedford OB: Magic Bus

Aug 13, 2011 No Comments by

Research has its rewards. For me, the payoff came when a little Internet crawling returned photos of the actual bus that Sunstar used to tool this outstanding model of a 1949 Bedford OB.

Bedfords were built from 1939 to 1951, and a little more than 12,500 were made; very little change took place during that time, at least externally. Post-war, Bedford used more steel in the flooring, less ash wood in the bus’s frame, and left the rest pretty much well enough alone. With a distinctive whine coming from its gearbox, the bus was a part of everyday life for millions of Brits, whether in the cities or out on the seaside runs.

That’s where this yellow and green bus lived, as a member of the Southern National fleet.  To say that Sunstar’s nailed the look and feel of the old lorry would be an understatement; they’ve bolted it down, glued it, and strapped it to a board. Every detail is here, done in die cast with crisp plastic and vinyl detail parts, including a full-on six-banger gas engine, an utterly complete frame and drivetrain, a slide-back roof panel, and an interior that’s finished off right to the railings and the upholstery pattern on the seats. The paint and assembly are very good; the doors are tightly placed (and potentially fragile – watch out), and the overall feeling in hand is of a heavy, well-built replica.

In addition to a great build and finish, what Sunstar brings to this series (and it is a series: I’ll be posting a review of a 1946 AEC soon) is utter completeness and a lot of clever castings and applied textures – like the aforementioned pattern on each and every seat, applied in a hot-stamping process. Add in their great eye for replicating the small stuff, like the First Aid kit on the driver’s door, and the tiny (and legible) tags affixed to the Bedford’s firewall, and you have a nicely done, highly engaging model of an offbeat old ride.

Like buses? It doesn’t get much better than this. Hop on.

www.sunstartoys.com

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About the author

I was always crazy about toy cars and car-themed play sets, but I got hooked on car models when my cousin sent me a pair of built-up AMT kits - a '61 Continental and a '57 Thunderbird. I was six or seven years old when another cousin - Carl - showed me how to build and paint, and by the time I was nine, I had a pretty good collection and a great "spares box" on hand. The original Auto World catalogs were my dream books; my allowance was spent before it was ever earned, and I knew every hobby store and model retailer on Long Island. Then came slot cars, Cox .049-engined Baja Buggies and airplanes, and, ultimately, the real things. I still have some of those old models, and when time allows, I still build or detail scale cars. But it's the ready-to-display replicas and scale racing models that have really had me jazzed for the past fifteen years or so. The "mint" diecasts and the 1:18 American Muscle cars that I cut my serious collecting (and writing) teeth on back then led straight to the current crop of offerings from high-end makers and models in every scale. I also love scale model photography, and shooting, scoring, and producing videos of the models I love. I'm a proud member of the DiecastSpace Diecast Hall of Fame, as well as the Diecast Car Collectors' Club Diecast Scale Model Hall of Fame. I'm also proud to be a part of the Die Cast X Team, and as Editor-in-Chief, I'm looking forward to years of growing the publication and showing new collectors how much fun this hobby can be. And, yeah - I still have that spares box.
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