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 9: Painting the Windows of the Knight Bus

From the previous chapter:
Grape Pearl seemed to match Harry Potter's Knight Bus description, “violently purple” by the good Ms. Rowling.

After briefly considering making the body in clear and installing yellow LEDs, I decided I wanted to finish this project within my lifetime. I also considered making a paint mask — but I could not see how to peel it up so it could be used on all the buses — nor what to make it out of. Nope, I painted all the windows by hand. But that neat, inner glow; what to do? I looked around and finally bought some Testors fluorescent yellow.

making the knight bus

I made this little brace (table-like thing shown above) with which to hold the bus still while I moved all around it. The human hand has preferential arcs that it easily moves in. The smoothest motions of a brush are along those natural arcs. So by making this thing, I could move the bus all around and paint where the window fell under my brush. This simple jig just held the bus in a little opening so that I could work on all the windows while some were drying.

You can see a small piece of Masonite board, which is supported above the window. I would rest my hand on that Masonite.

making the knight bus

Above, you can see the working surface of the jig, looking “up” into the bus. This level was adjusted and held in place with a wide-jawed Vice-Grip. The low-tack tape holds everything firmly, but not permanently.

Next — Chapter 10: Signage, Touch-up, and Finish

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