Sunstar 1:24 AEC Regent Bus: Double Decker Fun

Aug 21, 2011 No Comments by

Bus models are a big part of the Sunstar lineup, and we’d seen some of these 1:24 double deckers before – but this 1946 AEC Regent really grabbed us, with its tall, skinny architecture, petite stairways and railings, and the artful little details that abound everywhere.

Sunstar’s really good at making the big and little pieces work together well. The body of the old bus is an assemblage of fairly substantial pieces that dovetail into one another, and the detailing that’s cast in ranges from tiny rivets to panel lines and seams. Because the bus (the real one) is such an open-air design, it’s easy to see into the model, especially at the rear stairway. The rows of seats, the industrial-grade flooring, and all of the grip rails and chromed bars are in place, waiting, it seems, for a few ticket-bearing customers.

Once the side-view mirrors are attached (easily, into holes in the casting), the model is ready for play and display. There’s a remarkable amount of working features built in; doors slide or swing on hinges, the windows drop or slip closed, the wheels pose, and the hood is hinged to open on the 9.6 liter gas-powered straight six under the bonnet. It’s completely piped and wired, and beautifully painted and put together. Chassis detail is a primer on mid-century truck design, with bags of detail on tap, including a full replication of the drive train and air-shifted “pre-selector” gearbox.

This thing positively leaks romance; from its upright, photo etched grille to its “Lodge Plugs” banner (an ad for spark plugs), Sunstar’s AEC comes across as heavy on nostalgia, and a star player for the theater of the mind. It’s also a well-wrought crossover piece for collectors of 1:24 cars and fans of transportation models alike. Very highly recommended. No ticket required.

www.sunstartoys.com

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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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