I'm tellin ya, when I heard about the possible release of an actual bus kit I was stoked!! I followed the planning and the eventual release date with breathless anticipation! And after a year and a half the release date finally came! But it was a bit "pricy" shall we say? Oh well, we'll just have to wait a little while. Finally the day came when I had the extra cash and ordered the kit! As it turned out I was hospitalised when it finally came! So I made my long suffering wife drag it up to the hospital room so I could see it! There is was, in a 2 1/2 X 2 foot box! The box alone was HUGE!!!I didn't openit then, I saved that pleasure for the house! A week later I was home, and attacked the box with my trusty X-Acto! And I'm here to tell you, the kit is HUGE!! In both size and parts count! Believe it or not, it only runs around 120 pieces! plus 9 INCH BY 14 INCH DECAL SHEET! And a tightly packed one at that! The kit comes molded in white, black, gray, clear, smokey gray and chrome. And very little chrome at that! It naturally has a load of seats for passengers, an galley for food and a rest room on board! And also a 16 page instruction booklet with a paint list. and that is some paint list! 22 colors and several need to be mixed special! Now fromme just messing around, I find that it assembles in 3 teirs. So all that storage space on the bottom is just empty air. Which is fine as it makes for less complicated building. All the parts in my example were totally flash and warp free! Revell Germany does a fine job with their kits in both packing and detailed instructions.
Plastic modeling got it's start around 1947. A company Called Aluminum Model Toys had begun operations around that time. When plastic molding technology came out the company changed it's name to AMT. A year earlier a talented tool & die maker and very skilled model maker by the name of John Hanley setup his plastic modeling business in '47. He originally started with model aircraft and scale models of industrial products, Including a scale kitchen!! I have seen this kitchen in photographs and it's quite something.
I met the current owner of Johan, Okey Spaulding, a few years ago after aquiring the assents of Johan, a plastic model company known for accurate bodys and state of the art tooling in the '60s. They were also the premeir maker of promotional models for Chrysler and Cadillac. Johan was one of the "Big 4" model car makers with AMT, MPC and Revell. Like most of the model industry they nhad hit hard times, and in the 80s was sold to a plastic molding company called Seville. During those years Seville wasrather stingy with the worker's paychecks. In retaliation, the workers sold off parts of Johan tooling for scrap!! So Much of the Johan tooling in unusable becasuse of this! While some can be repaired others are not so lucky. I was one of the first "outsiders" to contact Okey after aquiring Johan. He had, and still has, big plans of bringing Johan back. He was delt a severe blow right off the bat as 5 of the best molds were outright stolen! Okey knows who but not where! This person is actually holding the tooling for ransom so to speak! As of now the tooling is still missing and whereabouts unknown! Among those were the '68 Fury Cop Car, Pro Stock Comet and Maverick, '70 442 Olds are the ones I can remember.
So Okey set about trying to find a molder that would do the injection molding. One was found but more trouble there! Eventually a second one was found and some things wer finally made! The '59 Rambler Wagon Curbside kit was the result of that. Also some '69 AMXs were made in various colors as promos, as were '59 Rambler Wagons, 56 Plymouths, 55 Pontiacs and a short run of '59 dodges. During this time a new resin casting company came into being called Best Resins. They had a couple of marvelously talented casters and and equally talented master makers. At this point Okey was trying to get a replacement parts line going, and the plastic molder had no time to do it and Okey also lacked the funds! So a deal was struck with best Resins to make the parts in resin! Capitol Idea that wejnt gung ho at first. Anddue to a major screwup by the molder, the Rambler kits had the wrong tires!! Seems the molder deleted the promo style tire in favor of the standard kit tire! So Best Resins was contracted to mold wheel backs in resin! When the Rambler Waon kit finally came out it was worth waiting for! it had luggage, surf boards, custom parts and police parts! The instructions showed how to make one of 10 different versions from this kit! Not to mention 3 HUGE decal sheets!! Documentation, proper color charts, this kit had it all!!
But things began to fall apart not long after this. best Resins couldn't keep up the demand for parts from both Johan and the modeling public. orders from both fell behind and eventually caused Best Resin to close up shop. I checked the other day and Best Resins, while officially out of business, is still trying to honor all the orders now going on 2 yeara old!