Sorry folks for the long delay. Guess I've been kinda lazy keeping the web site updated. Since the last posting I have switched my efforts to the exterior to prep and get ready for paint.
Lots of hours prepping, sanding etc.. etc... Unfortunately, I had to get a new phone and lost a few pictures. Here is a few update pics!
Stripped everything and masked.
So I started with the roof. And I decided I would roll it and brush it. At this point, I was still on the fence about whether or not I was going to roll and brush the entire bus or spray it.
I don't think this small section of white is going to help keep the bus cool. But I didn't want the entire roof white.
Some of came out ok. But after the roof, I decided I was going to just spray the rest of the bus. After rolling the passenger side of the roof, I noticed it came out pretty lousy. So I had to wait for it to dry, sand it, and prep that for another coat. (This time with the spray gun).
Ahhhhhh... MUCH BETTER!!
This area is where the stripes will be. So I didn't need to paint this area blue.
So automotive paint is around $85 a gallon. I set out to find the colors I needed in either rustoleum or XO rust at $30 a gallon. Lowes or Home Depot didn't have what I needed so I went to a very well known local hardware store that is small BUT CARRIES EVERYTHING. And I found the colors I needed in the XO Rust brand. (red,white, blue).
So now that I have the colors, I wanted to make the finish more durable. So I picked up some enamel hardner and reducer from the local auto body supply. And basically used the mix ratio of the automotive style paint. It ended up working pretty good. I needed a little more reducer with each batch because the XO Rust paint is thicker than auto paint.
Unfortunately the gun would get clogged up and not lay down the paint heavy enough and I ended up with some very cloudy areas. Oh well. Its a bus. Not a show car.
Rope lighting- AC. lights up EVERYTHING in the area. I have more light than I need! DC rope lighting is more expensive.
I left the original speakers in the ceiling and bought 2 sets of 6X9's that are mounted on the front bulkhead and rear walls. MUCH BETTER. The original speakers are wired in series. I decided not to waste my time with that mess.
The stripes were somewhat time consuming to lay out and mask. Especially considering there is not much flat area on a school bus.
After the stripes were painted, I started on the stars. These are vinyl stickers I had a local sign shop make up. I decided to go with a few different sizes to give it kind of a 3d look. But that didn't turn out so well.
Not enough coverage in my opinion. So I took off the smaller ones and went with all 6".
I wanted to keep the stop arm. But I wasn't going to leave it the traditional "STOP". So I found this image online and emailed it to my sign guy and he printed it out on reflective vinyl. I sanded the original surface, then painted it white, then applied the sticker.
I then decided it needed an outline. So I taped off the edges and painted it.
Replaced all the clearance lamps.
I also decided to use the dual square optional style mirrors instead of the round convex and square concave mirrors. I got these from a bus in the local junkyard.
Oh.. Here is the sign put back together and functioning.
I also scored this THOMAS emblem off the same bus in the junkyard. The red was a bit faded so I decided to freshen it up a bit.
First I taped over all the raised letters. Then I hand cut all around each letter. Then painted.