Monday, March 8, 2010


I ordered the Imagination Bus Kit from thinking it would be perfect for Bernard the Bear's friend Lester.  Well, the kit is here and Lester is far too small for the bus.  I think Lester will need a half scale house too....oh no!!  I will have to buy another dollhouse!!  Since I really love the bus I am still going to make this kit and I am thinking I am going to needlefelt a pig to live in it.  My friend Dani from The Netherlands has ordered the Vintage Travel Trailer and she has never done a dollhouse kit.  I thought I would post some pictures as I work on the bus and hopefully Dani will not feel as nervous about starting her trailer- maybe we can learn from our mistakes together!!  Dani is a true beginner to minis and I have never really built this type of kit before either, so any and all advice for us would be great!  Anyhow, on Sunday I took all the pieces of the kit out and spread the directions on the table.  Here you can see Lester the Bear is way too small.  Hans is 1/12th scale- and fits the bus much better, but I refuse to let him take a vacation from the bakery. 
First, I labeled all of the pieces with pencil according to the directions.  Then I popped out the main pieces- a few of them needed a little scoring with an x-acto knife.  I put the pieces into piles- wheels, seats, etc.

 There was one sheet with lots of pieces that are the details that are added towards the end of the build.  I left these pieces on the sheet for right now- I thought they would be easier to keep track of this way.

The directions called for the bottom carriage of the bus to be put together first, so I found all of the pieces for the undercarriage and sanded all of them.  I dry fitted the wheel wells into the bottom of the flooring and after making sure everything was good I glued.  Then you have to wait for glue to dry- the most annoying part!
I put the dowels for the wheels in the holes without the glue- just to help with the pieces drying straight.  While waiting for the undercarriage to dry I glued the steps together following the directions.  My advice for each step so far is to dry fit and check a few times--then go to the next step and check that with your dry fit to ensure you are putting things together correctly.  My first try with the steps I was sure I had everything set- I put the glue on and set it aside with books on top to dry.  After about 15 minutes something made me want to see how the steps would look with the undercarriage.  I am so lucky I did this, because I had glued those steps together wrong!!  I had to carefully pry them apart- scrape and sand off all the glue and start over.  I have to stress moving ahead in the instructions and seeing if what you are doing fits with instructions further on-it will likely save you lots of grief!  I now have the wheel wells glued on and the steps ready to be glued in.  The instructions advised putting your flooring down at this point, so I started a wood floor with the skinny sticks I had in my stash.  I ran out, but here is where I am at so I need to make a trip to the store for more strips.


Jean Day said...

That is going to be so cute! How original, I'm really looking forward to seeing your progress. Love watching over your shoulder. So unique and thank you for sharing the links.

The Lone Dollier said...

I got this bus get also, so thanks for all the tips! I have never tried to put together anything other than dollhouses and roomboxes, so this will be a first! However, I really need to get the furniture I have out of my shop and into all the dollhouses I have in my house first. This will clear up room to store everything as I work on the bus and then, yes, the Travel Trailer! Got it too.


miniannalee said...

I should have gotten this kit during the sale. I'd love to make it look just like my brother's bus. Hippy/Gypsy-ish.

sunshine said...

This looks like way too much work for me!
I'm lazy. :P

It's going to be awesome. I can't wait to see it when you're finished!


Tallulah Belle said...

Oooh looks exciting...can't wait to watch your progress.

Kathi said...

This is great Kim! I need someone to show me how to do my trailer!
I've never assembled a house before so I will be watching you very closely! :D

Peach Blossom Hill said...

It's going to be so much fun watching you build the bus! Joanna wants us to enter the Creating Contest at HBS and order the little shed but as her house is still sitting in the basement waiting for me to wire it, I feel guilty starting another project!


Briarwood Miniatures said...

Kim, I just got the vintage travel trailer to do for my husband. I've been planning to do a Florida Gator room for him (he was born and raised in Gainesville, FL) but hadn't figured out what kind of room to use. When I saw the trailer, I thought, "That's perfect!" because he's always harbored a secret desire to live in a trailer and travel the country. Maybe I'll watch you do your bus first, tho. :)

Claudia said...

Can't wait to see how it turns out, Kim! Thanks for sharing all the steps and your advice.


My word verification is "ablediva" - I guess we are all Able Divas!

C. said...

As far as advice Kim, I would never start a project like this with out a big bottle of wine. More power to ya, I say!

Ara said...

Interesting kit, Kim! I am looking forward to seeing how it turns out! I think a needlefelted guy would be the perfect driver!! hugs, ara

Kim said...

Thank you everyone!! I am a bit behind in posting because it has taken me all week to squeeze in gluing down skinny sticks for the floor before I could move ahead! Claudia- yes we are all Able Divas!!! How perfect!!! yesterday a friend of my hubby's asked me if I borrowed his tools and I proudly told him I have my own tools and I take better care of mine!

I'll be posting more bus pictures this weekend :)