ÖBB Postbus from Playmobil City Bus

idlemarvel

Neither idle nor a marvel
13 Jul 2015
2,597
724
Ascot
In another thread Operational timetable for my model railway I mentioned bus replacement services as part of a timetable I am using for my recreation of the Steyrtalbahn in Austria in the early 1980s. I even found a picture of such a bus (Bahnbus), and identified it as an old Steyr Saurer. If you are a bus nerd you will enjoy this website: Bahnbusse und Regionalbusse - Bahnbus und Postbus Österreich

Enough preamble. I wanted to make a model of such a bus. There are no off the shelf models at G-scale (plenty in HO), but I didn't want to scratch build. I am a fan of Playmobil, and they used to make a "City Bus", which looks like this:

7151.jpg

This looks nothing like the Steyr Saurer, but it does resemble the next model of Steyr postbus, the Steyr SL11. These ran in the 1980s in OBB orange livery, see here:
http://www.db-regionalbus.de/regionalbus/bilder/at/oebb-postbus/BB4002_31051980.JPG
(picture not imbedded as it is copyrighted)

Playmobil models are roughly 1:24 scale so are a good fit for LGB model railways at 1:22.5. The Playmobil bus is 300mm long, 115mm wide and 140mm high. Scaling this up by 1:22.5 gives about 6.8m long, 2.6m wide and 3.0m high. These match the width and height very well (2.5m wide and 3.0m high) but the length is way too short, by more than 40%, should be 11.8m. A scale model would be over 500mm long. Dimensions of prototype from here: Steyr SL 11 HUA 280 – Wikipedia

I thought of joining two Playmobil buses together, for about 2 seconds, but instead I am going for a "shortie" version given that my layout is so small anyway.

I found a Playmobil City Bus on eBay, set 7151. (You can also get the same bus in sets 3778 and 3782). It arrived yesterday, unboxed and well used, but the bus was complete and undamaged, no scratches, not even on the windscreen, and the tyres have not perished. Here are the pieces laid our ready for quick dishwasher treatment (with SMWBO permission!). You can see how UV has changed the white plastic after 30-odd years to pale yellow (look inside the bus body to see the contrast), and faded the bright blue.

IMG_20210129_114544.jpg IMG_20210129_114552.jpg

Playmobil models are normally clip-together with no screws, but not always designed to be taken apart. Some degree of brute force is required, and with models this old (this one from 1988) the plastic can be quite brittle. I did manage to get it all apart, with minimal damage, the hardest bit was extracting the seats from the body shell. A small sliver of plastic did fly off when I was prising off a catch on the chassis but by some miracle I managed to find it on my shed floor, and glued it back.

IMG_20210129_114618.jpg

I had to drill out two of the clips on the side, as I didn't think I could force the body apart any further without cracking it.

IMG_20210129_114708.jpg

There is a neat destination board switch so you can have four different destinations. Although it looks nothing like the prototype, I might keep it anyway as I like the ingenious mechanism.

IMG_20210129_114844.jpg

I'm not planning to make too many changes to the model, apart from repaint, but I will add a central windscreen brace.
The Playmobil model has no glazing apart from the windscreen. This is quite normal as they are designed for young children to play with, placing people in the seats. Windows would make that difficult and after a few hours in the hands of most children you wouldn't be able to see through the windows anyway! Luckily I have a large supply of plastic glazing from various PIKO and POLA models, enough to glaze all the windows and doors.

I have ordered a can of RAL 2010 which is the best match I could find to OBB orange. I found a great web site which converts any colour specification (RGB, CMYK, HTML #number, etc) and will give you the closest match in RAL number, for example. See here: Convert Hex color #f8e00f to Rgb, Pantone, RAL, HSL, HSV, HSB, JSON. Get color scheme.

More as I progress. My modelling aspirations always exceed my abilities, but perhaps that's how it should be. :)
 

schienenkönig

I'm a tram enthusiast and have made trams Scale G
4 May 2014
471
222
64
Wuppertal
www.schwebebahn-wtal.de
Then please go on, because I also have a bus like that. I haven't planned anything with it. When I was able to buy it very cheaply at a flea market, I was more interested in the bus stop. Let's see what you can do with it. May be an inspiration.

Good luck.
Peter
 

playmofire

Registered
23 Oct 2010
7,257
760
North Yorks
Looking forward to seeing how you go, Dave I have such a bus in my collection, too, though I think younger than yours.
 

dunnyrail

DOGS, Garden Railways, Steam Trains, Jive Dancing,
25 Oct 2009
19,661
3,927
72
St.Neots Cambridgeshire UK
This thread looks like it will deserve an honorable mention (link) in the ‘so you think playmobil is toylike and not worthy of a place on your-p line.“ thread. Great idea, may have a look for one if these myself as a Bus would fit in nicely Magdesprung.

Hope you do not mind but have linked this thread to that thread. If anyone is browsing that one they should then be able to see what you have got up to here.

 
Last edited:

dunnyrail

DOGS, Garden Railways, Steam Trains, Jive Dancing,
25 Oct 2009
19,661
3,927
72
St.Neots Cambridgeshire UK
Ouch just looked at Ebay and there is just one of these at £50, in box complete with the Shelter. Looks like they have ruined it now with the newer versions having more curved lines and those great big wing mirrors like newer coaches have.
 

idlemarvel

Neither idle nor a marvel
13 Jul 2015
2,597
724
Ascot
Ouch just looked at Ebay and there is just one of these at £50, in box complete with the Shelter. Looks like they have ruined it now with the newer versions having more curved lines and those great big wing mirrors like newer coaches have.
Yes I looked at that one, boxed and complete with shelter as you say. I offered £40 but they did not respond so in the end I went for another unboxed incomplete version who accepted my offer of £30. They might take £45. Just keep looking for UK sellers. There is a "new" one from US for only £204 plus £40 postage (and unstated customs)!
 

idlemarvel

Neither idle nor a marvel
13 Jul 2015
2,597
724
Ascot
Parts cleaned, masked and primer applied. Looks better already, Now waiting for orange paint to arrive early next week.

IMG_20210130_165325.jpg
 
  • Like
Reactions: 1 user

idlemarvel

Neither idle nor a marvel
13 Jul 2015
2,597
724
Ascot
I took advantage of some nice weather in the South of England yesterday to do some rattle can work. I did the primer inside at the weekend because it was wet and cold, which was okay except you get a fine dust of grey everywhere after a few hours, where the finest drops of aerosol spray dry in the air. Not doing that again. (Before H&S descend I did have the windows open and wore a mask!).

Quite pleased with the finish, except a few pieces are made of some polythene type plastic to be more flexible - the roof hatches for example, and the finish is not so good there, but it's hard to tell unless you are close up.

Sadly the colour is too orange compared to the picture of the prototype. The colour RAL 2010 is a very good match for the orange used on OBB locos but it turns out to be not the same as they used for their buses. C'est al vie.

IMG_20210203_135000.jpg

IMG_20210203_134941.jpg

I have started painting the interior. The rattle can of orange has run out after the second coat, but fortunately Humbrol 18 is a very good match. Not quite decided what to do about the seats. I have looked for some pictures of the inside of an OBB postbus of this era but nothing so far. From the pictures I have of the outside of buses looking through the windows the seats seem to be covered in a mottled fabric of black, red and orange. I'll try and find some material pattern and print and paper and glue it on the seats (this is for inside use only). Not going to be too picky as the seats are designed for Playmobil people and far from the prototype in size and number, but it would be nice to capture the spirit of the times.
 

idlemarvel

Neither idle nor a marvel
13 Jul 2015
2,597
724
Ascot
Nearly there. Picture of the inside with seat "fabric" (inkjet printed paper) applied - the design is from London Transport circa 1980 - and a few other details.

IMG_20210207_142708.jpg

Body shell nearly finished - just about to fit glazing - the STEYR logo is cut from thick black plasticard - it's not bad but could be improved. Destination board is printed paper using Bahnschrift Condensed font.

IMG_20210207_142816.jpg

Almost there - needs white strips down the sides, OBB logos and a few other details.

IMG_20210207_155343.jpg

Even has an engine compartment...

IMG_20210207_161710.jpg

Number plates are printed paper - again Bahnschrift font. The rear lights are black plasticard masked into squares then painted with gloss paint.
 
  • Like
Reactions: 1 user