Lindberg 1/25 San Francisco Cable Car

KIT #: 72162
PRICE: $14.35 at GreatModels
DECALS: One option
REVIEWER: Scott Van Aken
NOTES: Ex-Hawk kit


The San Francisco cable car system is the world's last permanently operational manually-operated cable car system, and is an icon of San Francisco, California. The cable car system forms part of the intermodal urban transport network operated by the San Francisco Municipal Railway, or Muni as it is better known. Cable cars operate on two routes from downtown near Union Square to Fisherman's Wharf, and a third route along California Street. While the cable cars are used to a certain extent by commuters, their small service area and premium fares for single rides make them more of a tourist attraction.


As is so prominently scratched on the floor piece, this is an old Hawk kit. It comes in a box that could easily fit three or four of these kits, thanks to the very flat nature of the bits. I was pleased to see how nicely preserved the mold was as the white sprues were free of short shots and sink areas. There is a bit of flash and of course, there are ejector pin marks on most of the pieces, but we are talking about a kit that was developed at least 30 years ago if not longer.

This is a somewhat complex kit, comprising of 87 pieces and you'll spend a goodly part of the build assembling the two trucks that fit on the underside of the car. The rest of the construction will be with the nicely done display stand and with the body of the car itself. Since everything is pretty much out in the open on these vehicles, you'll get to do it all. One thing that is not included are any sort of clear parts. These will have to be simulated using clear acetate or some other material as cable card did have windows.

Instructions are on two full sheets with 25 total construction steps. Lindberg seems a bit uncertain as to the scale of the kit as the instructions state it is 1/48 scale. Well, the instructions state that the seating area is about 12 feet and that measures to around six inches so using 1950's math, that comes out a lot more like 1/25 than 1/48.

Paint is generic, of course, as Lindberg doesn't have it's own paint line. The colors used are as shown on the photo to the left of the green car. This is how the car looked in 1994 and probably before that This is the identical car that is shown in the kit. I should mention that the 'cowcatcher' under the front does not seem to be included in the kit or at least it is not so prominent. Now I don't know if the color changes depending on the route the car runs, but this image just below the first one, taken just a few years ago, shows a different paint scheme. Either one is quite nice. There is a well printed decal sheet included that has the various route signs and adverts. To repeat, the car as kitted is basically green and a reddish brown color with wood seats and a black floor.


II have to say that things like this are neat and just a bit different from the norm, but then that's why you visit MM as you'll get something a bit off the beaten track. For those who build this, I highly recommend visiting the reference link below. It not only makes for interesting reading but provides some good detail images that will be helpful during the build.


December 2009

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