John Sargent’s

FRENCH STEAM BUS

This model was sparked off by seeing a single photograph. John Sargent became “instantly smitten” with this delightful vehicle from the South of France.

Further research could not unearth further information, despite additional help from the London Transport Museum. “In desperation I resorted to having the photograph enlarged in order to establish the proportions and aspects of the bus’s finer detail.”

The resulting picture was 27” wide, just the size in line with a 1:12 scale model.

The model started with a Maxitrak steel chassis, which was increased in length to 27”. An initial power plant tried was inadequate, and a Cheddar cross-tube boiler and a slide vale TVR1A engine were decided on to supply the power for this heavy model complete with its fully functioning radio control. The power plant change led to some major modifications to the first design to suit the more powerful unit.

John reports that logical manufacturing discipline dictated that the upper and lower decks should be constructed in modular fashion so that the spiral staircase could be fitted accurately. The boiler and controls had to be accessible.

Original materials have been used, and an acceptable period colour scheme was chosen. Enamel finishes are used throughout. Total construction time was two years. The model was shown at Sandown Park in 2013.