How I Modeled The Knight Bus from Harry Potter and The Prisoner Of Azkeban

Using Wood Carving, Vacuum Forming, Plastic Shaping, Painting, Special Building Jigs, Model‑Making and Custom Appliques

making the knight bus

Chapter 1: Sketching and Planning

From the Introduction:
Hmmm — the cheap r/c car body just popped right off the little r/c car. I did run a vacuum forming company after all... I was looking for interesting subjects...

making the knight bus

I bought one of the radio-controlled (r/c) cars for study. Sketch time. After collecting every image of the Knight Bus off of the internet — which wasn't much at the time, about 2004 — I figured out it would work. With a little fudging here and there — no interiors or solid window detail; painted windows using florescent paint; few surface details — yes, I could live with all of these.

The starting point was the unchangeable wheel base of the r/c toy I had bought. I used Photoshop to stretch an oblique side-shot of the bus to line up the r/c toy's wheel base with the wheels of the Knight Bus photos.

Before… (this image grabbed from a Harry Potter fan site)

making the knight bus

After… some Photoshop stretching.

making the knight bus

From this picture, I pulled enough proportions out of the photograph to sketch the distinctive window pattern of the bus profile.

making the knight bus

Next — Chapter 2: Carving the Pattern To Be Vacuum Formed Out of Wood

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