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Lindberg --Mini-- GREYHOUND SCENICRUISER DONE!

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  • Member since
    March, 2003
  • From: Towson MD
Lindberg --Mini-- GREYHOUND SCENICRUISER DONE!
Posted by gregbale on Monday, April 10, 2017 10:32 PM

Those who didn't catch the recent 1968 thread may not be aware of a long-ago series of 'dime-store-priced' easy-build kits from Lindberg called 'Minis.' First appearing in the mid-60's---and reissued in whole or in part in many versions in subsequent years---the line shared a number of similarities with the better-known 'Matchbox' series produced by Lesney in the UK.

About the same general size as the 'Matchbox' offerings---being essentially 'box scale,' depending on the individual vehicle portrayed---Lindberg's series featured a fairly extensive (and quite interesting) series of mainly contemporary vehicles in the form of simple 'snap together' styrene kits, rather than as die-casts. Like the Matchbox cars, the line contained 'everyday' road cars, sports cars, utility vehicles and even construction equipment...with the same broad range of accuracy (or not), with some really quite good, and some seriously compromised in the interests of 'buildability.' First and foremost, they weren't designed to be seriousy-accurate scale replicas---they were meant to be built and played-with. [Among the interesting features, the kits had metal-axle turning wheels, and contained chassis-weights---which suggests they were probably meant to be used with the 'Hot-Wheels'-style plastic track sets, which were very popular at the time.]

A few years back I couldn't pass up picking up one of these kits on Ebay, being seduced by an irresistibly-cheap price, and moreso by the vehicle modeled---the GM PD-4501 Scenicruiser, the slightly-futuristic 'classic' Greyhound Bus design of the 1950s and '60s. I wasn't expecting much---I'm old enough to have built a number of the 'Minis' when the line was new, and was fully aware that as replicas they ranged from 'not bad' to vile---but as a Scenicruiser afficianado, it was too interesting to pass up.

Here's what I got: one of the 'later' ca. 1970-issues (can you say 'Summer of Love'???), with the beloved PD-4501 in the odd guise of a hippy 'van'...in lime-green metal-flake plastic with colorful (but just-plain-wrong) 'Mighty Van' decals. (Neat and unexpected little vac-formed 'highway' display base, though.) And not-awful detail for what was originally (I kid you not) a 39-cent price-tag.

[I should point out here that our buddy Tanker Builder correctly recognized from the 'interior' layout shown above that Lindberg modeled an 'early' version--technically a 'true' Scenicruiser, rather than the upgraded and modified (but visually nearly-identical) 'Super Scenicruiser'---based on the location of the lavatory, which was soon moved from the 'entry deck' to the rear of the vehicle. How's that for accuracy, huh?]

Once I had satisfied myself that that bilious green plastic color wouldn't leach through a good coat of paint...my 'mainstay' being Testor's MM Acrylic white primer...all that remained to restore the little beast to its 'proper' appearance was a little TLC, some careful painting and some flashy home-made decals. Doing a quick lash-up from several of the color profiles available online, I printed a small sheet out on my trusty HP inkjet.

I should note here that the kit's clear parts are about a scale foot-and-a-half thick and pretty badly 'concave' in spots...and were going to end up tinted, besides...so I wasn't going to put a lot of effort into the interior. Just basic colors, here with the partially-painted body-shell:

And here's the completed chassis. The kit's wheel hubs are brilliantly and quite authentically detailed...but there's no way to mount them at the proper 'recess' (relative to the tire) without the separate kit tires springing off...so they 'stick out' quite a bit.


 

That's it for the moment. Painting and decaling are in fact pretty much done, just haven't taken any 'finished' photos yet; I should be able to get them up in the next day or two.

Thanks for looking in.

Greg

 

George Lewis:

"Every time you correct me on my grammar I love you a little fewer."

 

"

  • Member since
    November, 2009
  • From: Twin Cities of Minnesota
Posted by Don Stauffer on Tuesday, April 11, 2017 9:37 AM

I think buses are under-represented in vehicle models.  I am building the Airfix London double-decker.  There is a Heller French bus available.  Lots of semi-trucks.  I'd love to build a Scenicruiser in 1:24 or 1:32.  I wonder if licensing would be too expensive.  Why so few bus kits?

Don Stauffer in Minnesota

  • Member since
    February, 2014
Posted by jazzsoul60 on Tuesday, April 11, 2017 9:58 AM

Several years ago, on another model forum, Revell of Germany implied that they were considering an American subject to their, as then new 1/24th scale bus series.  They posited and American school bus.  Saying it was a typical American iconic bus. Several posters suggested the Scenicruise.  Others, a modern highway coach such as the Prevost highway coach.    As of yet there has not been any other information on this subject from Revell.

  • Member since
    March, 2003
  • From: Towson MD
Posted by gregbale on Tuesday, April 11, 2017 11:15 AM

Don, I agree 100% about the dismal representation of bus kits; some very nice European and Asian designs to be had, but virtually nothing in terms of 'classic' American models.

I would do strange and terrible things for a Scenicruiser in large-scale. I remember when I first went online around 2001 or so, I discovered a rather impressive resin kit---I think in 1/25---that had been produced in Germany; but by the time I was able to go looking, it was long-sold-out and no further production contemplated.

I bet for the 'aging baby-boomer factor' alone, any main-line company could sell a ton of Scenicruiser kits. But as you pointed out, the licensing is always the sticking-point.

Thanks also to Jazzsoul60 for your reply. Revell really missed the boat (bus???) on that one.

Just finished my little vac 'display base.' Pictures shortly.

Greg

 

George Lewis:

"Every time you correct me on my grammar I love you a little fewer."

 

"

  • Member since
    December, 2002
  • From: Western NY
Posted by Bossman on Tuesday, April 11, 2017 11:26 AM

Greg - Thanks for posting this WIP down memory lane.

Yep - 39 cents.  Just too expensive so that I had to save up TWO weeks allowance before being able to buy the next one !

Those decals look great !

Chris

  • Member since
    March, 2003
  • From: Towson MD
Posted by gregbale on Tuesday, April 11, 2017 12:20 PM

Thanks, Chris. The '1968' thread actually prompted me to build the darn thing, rather than putting it back in its storage box.

Here's the finished product, looking oddly like a tin-toy (since I used some of the 'panel' decals for detail), with its bizarrely-outsized and 'goitered' wheels.

First the 'penny shot' for size:

And 'homeward bound' on the kit's little vac 'highway base': the year is 1966, and the family's on our way home from a visit to the grandparents in Cleveland---I'm the ten-year old on the top deck...feeling like I'm riding in a space-ship...looking out those big tinted 'vista' windows, savoring the scenic wonders of northern Indiana....

That's the deal. Not the most picture-perfect model I've ever built, but great fun.

[Please, oh ye deities of modeling...let's have one in 1/25, shall we???]

Greg

 

George Lewis:

"Every time you correct me on my grammar I love you a little fewer."

 

"

  • Member since
    May, 2013
  • From: Indiana, USA
Posted by Greg on Tuesday, April 11, 2017 12:25 PM

That is so cool......

YesYesYes

-Greg

  • Member since
    January, 2015
Posted by PFJN on Tuesday, April 11, 2017 1:49 PM

That looks great.  For some reason I vaguely recall some similar small plastic car models, from back when I was young and my brother had a slot car track, but I can't recall who made them and I can't seem to locate anything on eBay or the internet.

Thanks for sharing the pics of your build.

Pat

  • Member since
    June, 2014
  • From: New Braunfels , Texas
Posted by Tanker - Builder on Wednesday, April 12, 2017 3:26 PM

Ye Gods !

 Ok , is it to much to ask ? Please turn off the time machine . I am awhirl with memories of traveling in one of those and the Southern style  "Trailways Golden Eagles ."

 I will say a truly unique way to get from point " A " to point " B" . The memories though are fond and fun . Thanks for the glimpse into the past .. T.B.    P.S. And the identifier on the two models was the " Super Scenicruiser " had an extra set of seats and windows on the lower level . The bus was almost as long as a tractor trailer that way .

  • Member since
    June, 2014
  • From: New Braunfels , Texas
Posted by Tanker - Builder on Wednesday, April 12, 2017 3:29 PM

Hey Gregbale !

 There's the problem with the wheelsets too .You had a single tired drive axle and a dual equipped trail axle .. Sadly that kit is wrong . NOT you . The wheels are too large too .But who cares ? You just did a bang up job with what you had !  T.B.

  • Member since
    April, 2017
Posted by stashit4later on Wednesday, April 12, 2017 9:51 PM

Great job!  You should post it to the 1/87 Vehicle Club.

  • Member since
    March, 2003
  • From: Towson MD
Posted by gregbale on Thursday, April 13, 2017 10:03 AM

Thanks to all for your responses. As essentially a 'nostalgia' build, the problems with the wheels didn't seem worth bothering with---time better spent scratchbuilding a 'proper' one in a more acceptable scale!Big Smile

As to the 1/87 Club---though the series as a whole has been advertised as anything from HO to 1/100, this particular pup measures out at almost precisely 1/148 (at least in terms of body length), so closer to N than HO.

Cheers.

Greg

 

George Lewis:

"Every time you correct me on my grammar I love you a little fewer."

 

"

  • Member since
    December, 2008
  • From: UK
Posted by PatW on Thursday, April 13, 2017 3:36 PM

That is just superb, well done!

Remember , common sense is not common.

  • Member since
    December, 2002
  • From: Western NY
Posted by Bossman on Friday, April 14, 2017 7:22 AM

Great job Greg.

Lotsa memories there.

Chris

  • Member since
    February, 2003
  • From: East Bethel, MN
Posted by midnightprowler on Friday, April 14, 2017 5:01 PM

Cool!

Hi, I am Lee, I am a plastiholic.

Co. A, 682 Engineers, Ltchfield, MN, 1980-1986

1 Thessalonians 4:13-18 1 Corinthians 15:51-54

Ask me about Speedway Decals

  • Member since
    March, 2003
  • From: Towson MD
Posted by gregbale on Friday, April 14, 2017 5:33 PM

Thanks Pat, Chris & Prowler.

Having had a ball doing this one, I was kind of wondering (to myself) why I haven't seen more of these kits actually built, on modeling websites like this one. Then I happened to check Ebay, where I picked mine up only a few years back for something like $2.

A bit of sticker shock! I don't know what the 'collectors market' for these things is like---which ones are super-rare, and such---but the auction prices are sobering, to say the least. No wonder folks aren't building them.... [Still, I'm glad I did!]

Greg

 

George Lewis:

"Every time you correct me on my grammar I love you a little fewer."

 

"

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