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First Look Review
Heinkel Kabine Microcar
Heinkel Cabine, red
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by: Frederick Boucher [ JPTRR ]

Originally published on:
RailRoad Modeling

Heinkel Kabine
Series: Vintage car
Collection: CARS&TRUCKS
Brochure: Herpa Cars & Trucks 2013 / 05-06

This review is of the brand new HO scale Heinkel Kabine, a microcar with four seats which was delivered in 1956. Herpa released the type 153 with three wheels and a folding top.

Heinkel Kabine
The Heinkel Kabine was a microcar designed by Heinkel Flugzeugwerke and built by them from 1956 to 1958. Production was transferred under licence to Dundalk Engineering Company in Ireland in 1958 but the licence was withdrawn shortly afterwards due to poor quality control. Production restarted in 1960, again under licence, under the Trojan 200 name by Trojan Cars Ltd. in the UK, and continued until 1966.

The Heinkel Kabine were also assembled from 1959 to 1962 under licence by Los Cedros S.A. as Heinkel in Argentina, they were built alongside Studebaker pickups.

Production began in March 1956 with the Kabine Model 150, using the 174 cc 9.2 hp single-cylinder four-stroke engine that powered the Heinkel Tourist scooter. In October 1956, Heinkel introduced the Kabine Model 153 (with three wheels) and the Kabine Model 154 (with four wheels), both with 204 cc engines. The engines in these models were later reduced in capacity to 198 cc for insurance purposes.

The Kabine had a steel unit body. Access to the interior was by an opening front, but in order not to infringe Iso Rivolta's patent used on the Isetta, the steering wheel did not move with the door. However, it did feature a reverse gear, unlike some other bubble cars. The fabric sun roof served as an emergency escape hatch should the sole door in front become jammed in a collision.

The model
With this model Herpa has another cool little car model. It is packed in a clear plastic cradle held inside Herpa's red carton with a cellophane window.

The model is completely assembled. It has average molding with both raised and recessed detail. Three small wheels turn. They're a soft plastic or rubber.

This appears to be a special model. However, it seems that Herpa contracted the molding out to another company as this model is not up to Herpa standards. While there is no flash or ejector marks or sink holes, and the edges are well defined, the surface is rough and toy-like. Herpa usually has clear or tinted transparent plastic for head light and brake light lenses; all lenses are painted on this model. Sloppily, too. While the windows are clear, they do not properly fit into the body frames. The real Kabine windows are flush with the body.

Furthermore, the wheels of almost every Herpa model I've previously inspected have separate tires and hubs. These appear to a single piece with the hubs painted.

This little car has good detail - an interior including the steering wheel. Chromed bumpers are attached front and back. The tires have very nice tread detail. There is no underbody to speak of.

The body is molded in color: red / rot. Chrome trim is painted on. The highlight for me is the Heinkel emblem printed on the car. I can make out most of the 1/87 scale lettering for "Heinkel." Herpa does not use decals.

This car fills a niche in post-war German automotive design. It is a unique and interesting vehicle.

However, it simply is not to the standard of the other Herpa models I have. The surface detail is average at best. The fit of the windows is fair. The highlight is the Heinkel emblem.

If you want a nice HO scale (1/87) Heinkel Kabine microcar for your train layout or diorama, then you should appreciate this model.

Please remember to tell Herpa and retailers that you saw this model here - on RailRoadModeling.

    * Wikipedia. Heinkel Kabine. 25 March 2013.
Highs: Excellent printing of the Heinkel emblem. Chromed bumpers and great tread detail on the tires.
Lows: The fit of the windows is fair. Surface molding is rough and toy-like.
Verdict: If you want a nice HO scale (1/87) Heinkel Kabine microcar for your train layout or diorama, then you should appreciate this model.
Percentage Rating
  Scale: 1:87
  Mfg. ID: 027519
  Suggested Retail: $16, 12.50
  Related Link: Vintage cars
  PUBLISHED: Apr 15, 2013

Our Thanks to Herpa!
This item was provided by them for the purpose of having it reviewed on this KitMaker Network site. If you would like your kit, book, or product reviewed, please contact us.

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About Frederick Boucher (JPTRR)

I'm a professional pilot with a degree in art. My first model was an AMT semi dump truck. Then Monogram's Lunar Lander right after the lunar landing. Next, Revell's 1/32 Bf-109G...cried havoc and released the dogs of modeling! My interests--if built before 1900, or after 1955, then I proba...

Copyright 2021 text by Frederick Boucher [ JPTRR ]. Images also by copyright holder unless otherwise noted. Opinions expressed are those of the author(s) and not necessarily those of ModelGeek. All rights reserved.


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