Kenworth K-200 Prime Mover:

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Well she arrived nearly two weeks ago now and I’m still besotted! A true 1:50th scale diecast truck collectors model in every sense of the word… Commissioned by Drake Trailers of Australia to help advertise and promote their products. Models available: Kenworth (Australia) T909 Conventional prime mover. Kenworth (Australia) K200 C.O.E. prime mover. Drake 3X8 swing-wing trailer and 2X8 dolly. Drake 4X8 swing-wing trailer and 2X8 dolly. Unlike the prime movers the trailers are not available separately and can only be purchased as a “rig” (truck & trailer). All model are available in a variety of well known Australian heavy haulage contractors as well as some in selected Kenworth plain single colour versions such as my “Rosso Red” K200 The original model manufacturer has gone bust (TWH) but Drake Trailers own all the casting moulds so future supplies should be possible but whether or not they will be up to TWHs high standard without a huge price increase remains to be seen. Features list: Driver and passenger doors open Functioning Air ride seats Functioning independent suspension Pivoting 2.8M sleeper cab Locking fifth wheel Sliding fifth wheel Bogie drive Realistic engine detail Suspension detail Realistic hose detail Wire mirrors Rubber tires Metal rims Rubber mud flaps Detailed interior including sleeper Right hand drive Photo etched heat shields over mufflers Australian license plate The real Kenworth K200 is now only produced in Australia where some multi-trailer length restrictions favour a Cab Over Engine style of prime mover. Along with another rather beautiful COE (the Freightliner Argosy), they are perhaps the last of their kind, some up-rated European trucks (Scania, Daf and Volvo for instance) are now making headway into the market and these wonderful 100% “Aussie” machines with all their chrome “bling” may well go the way of the dinosaurs. The last real stronghold of the Kenworths, Peterbilts, Macks, Western Stars and Freightliners are in the north and west of the country pounding down the frequently boggy dirt highways of the true outback, hauling the ubiquitous three-trailer roadtrains. The model comes with a removable “Oversize” warning sign but without a bull-bar, so I made my own and this can be attached or removed as required. Also in the very nicely finished box which comes in a Kenworth branded outer sleeve, there is a high-gloss reproduction of the Kenworth fold-out sales brochure for the K200 and a tool to operate the fifth wheel and excellently fitting cab doors. I have been working on a “B-Double” set of trailers to go with this beauty and of course will post some photos when they are finished. And yes, I do take this model to bed with me at night, it sits on my bedside table out of the cats way but It still doesn’t stop them getting their hair all over it though! Thanks for looking. Pete.

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Grove GMK 5115

A recent addition to the fold, this rather nice rendition of a Grove 115 (US Ton) mobile crane is £ for lb the most expensive crane I have in my collection to date.
Manufactured by Sword T.W.H. Collectibles, one of the two “Rolls Royce” companies of the die-cast construction model world, the other being Y.C.C. of China.
The Manitowoc Company own several subsidiaries with Grove being just one of them. Manitowoc themselves are world famous for building crawler lattice boom cranes of gigantic proportions.
This is one of the smaller capacity 5-axle cranes from Grove and is rated at 95 tonnes in Europe.
It is a relatively new addition to quite an extensive Grove crane line up from T.W.H. and as such it benefits from some upgrades compared to the rest of the line.
This is why I chose this particular version and the fact that I love the look of the newer design compared to the older very straight lined efforts.
With those “haunches” over the front wheels she looks all business like and ready to pounce into action!
I chose the model produced in the actual Grove house colours or livery and the production of this version is limited to only 450 units worldwide.
I have seen this model on sale from online retailers in England from £260 – £415 each.

The model came in a plain outer cardboard box which contained the inner Manitowoc branded box.
The model is very well packed and protected in a two part polyfoam tray.

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Here’s how she looks when she rocks-up on site!
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A look at the exceptional detailing underneath the chassis.
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Close up shot does not do it justice!
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Unfortunately the interior doesn’t show up too well here but rest assured it is very nicely done indeed.
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Not too much in the way of supporting gear.
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The operators cab showing display screens lights and etched wiper blades.
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A look at the rear with a window through to the main hydraulic pump.
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Details of the main winch drum and counterbalance lift jack hydraulic lines.
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Here we can see the level of detail in the “swing-away” luffing jib section, complete with an early “fix” for the loose pins mentioned below.
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I tried to get a shot of the finely detailed dashboard but the old camera ain’t havin’ it!
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A look across the top of the engine bay complete with handy opening tool box.
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Main ram and slew motor detailing.
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Outrigger feet detailing. A one-piece moulding, they do not extend as far out as the real crane!
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Loading the counterweights.
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Counterweights in working position.
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Guardrail folded out into working position.
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Normal winding drum and counterweight set-up.
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With added secondary winding drum and hydraulic lines fitted
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An overview of the “swing-away” luffing jib assembly.
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Another shot of the slewing motors and hydraulic lines.
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Full luffing jib. You can choose from three different set-up lengths.
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Close up of luffing cylinder extended and retracted. Spot the NZG brass nuts and bolts mentioned in the text further down.
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Overview of cranked luffing jib.
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Luffing jib is stowed away and now the telescopic sections are extending (can you spot my mistake)!
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Operators cab tilts to help alleviate operator neck pain..
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Another try at getting the interior detail, I give up!
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Seven section telescopic boom at full height (without luffing jib).
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This is a heavy and deceptively large model of which I am very proud to own.
It is very well made and the major castings are very strong indeed. As with all finely detailed models, there are of coarse a lot of small fine parts which could easily be broken off if mis-handled.
The paintwork and graphics are of the first order and some of the warning plates need to be seen to be believed.
Two load blocks are supplied but they are both of a single sheave design. Both use a rather over scale method of finality.
This crane has become a very welcome addition to my fleet of “Heavy Lifters”.
However, in the interest of fairness I should mention the following:
1. Shame about the undersized single part outriggers, an understandable modeling compromise I suppose. No fix.
2. The caps on two of the outriggers came loose causing the jacking screws to spin uselessly on the threads. Fixed by re-gluing.
3. A more convenient way of securing the counterweights in place rather than the two screws from up underneath. No fix.
4. Better pins for holding the luffing section, rather than the three loose pins that can easily fall out and get lost. Fixed by using spare NZG brass nuts and bolts.
5. A secure way of holding the auxiliary winding drum in place. No permanent fix.
6. There is a moulding residue of some sort left in the treads of the tyres which some collectors have complained about, personally I don’t mind it as it helps to show up the detail in this area. There is a fix for this on the internet.
7. Provide a set of crane mats. They are available as extras on the web. Fix: I made my own!

Cheers,
Pete.

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Liebherr LTM 11200-9.1

This series logs the build-up of the Liebherr LTM 11200_9.1 crane:
I hope that it is sort of self explanatory!
This is a beautiful and highly detailed model with many fully functioning parts all excellently crafted (in China) by N.Z.G. of Germany
Cost between £385 -£450 depending where you buy from in the U.K.
36 mtr luffing jib extension set (NZG): £40-£50
54 mtr luffing jib extension set (NZG): £230-£270*
36 mtr extension set etched walkways (YCC): £30-£40*
54 mtr Extension set etched walkways (YCC): £90-£100*
Metal replacement main hydraulic cylinders (YCC): £90-£100*
Metal replacement luffing hydraulic cylinders (YCC): £30-£40*
Main boom supports (?): £20-£25*

* = I do not own these, yet! :-)

I would always recommend you check out DMB Models.co.uk first…

Here is the boom and “Y-Guide” assembly arriving on site on a home made telescopic trailer unit hauled by a (WSI) Mercedes Actros unit.

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O.K. I admit to a slight jump forward in proceedings here.
The “Y-Guide” system has been rigged, the short luffing jib has been attached and the load blocks have been reeved…
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An old shot of the all but one of the boom sections fully extended and the short luffing jib assembly attached…
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This is one cracking model by NZG and is very good value for money when compared to some of the smaller die-cast model cranes on the market.
Perhaps a little more care of the painted parts could be taken in the factory as there where several chips present on my model as it came from the box, a decent quality control system should really pick this sort of thing up…
It is perhaps worth mentioning that the staff at NZG are extremely helpful and friendly and I feel that if you had any major problem with your model, they would sort it out without any dramas.

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liebherr 1050-3.1

Liebherr LTM 1050-3.1

Posted on May 12, 2012

Here are some snaps of the new “Baby” crane.
This little LTM 1050-3.1 of 50 tonnes capacity comes from the Dutch maker W.S.I. and was acquired to help in the setting up of the big 1,200 tonne capacity LTM 11200-9.1.
It is a lovely little model that boasts some very fine detail, it also comes in at what I believe to be a very reasonable price of around £115 in the U.K.

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Sennebogen 5500 “Starlifter”.

Sennebogen 5500 “Starlifter” Set-Up:

Here a some pictures I have taken while setting up the new crawler crane.
Not all the steps are shown, notably the reeving process which took several hours to complete x38x
By the time I had got the booms assembled and the main boom and luffing reeving completed I had lost the will to live!
So the build up sort of magically completes itself towards the end….This is a very good looking if basic model and is extremely good value for money.
The only thing you have to watch out for is when lowering the main boom or luffing jib care must be taken to keep the associated reeving under tension at all times or they have a tendency to jump the pulleys, cross over and get themselves into knots.
Ask me how I know and how many times I managed to do it before sussing this out!…..
Also the main boom winch is only “friction” braked so it cannot support the weight of the boom and jib beyond roughly 35 degrees from the vertical.
The pre-wound luffing jib winch does not have enough thread supplied to lower the jib to the ground! so, I might end up swapping it out with the main or secondary hook lines at a later date as these are far longer…..
Even with the above gripes, when taking all into consideration I love this crane, I love the look of it and it also has that “wow” factor when seen in person.
It is well made with strong and true castings, not quite the modelling fidelity and precision of the other cranes in my collection but then this is reflected in the price of around £120 in the U.K..
The pictures presented here do not do the model justice!Image
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Model Cranes:

The amazing world of diecast model cranes….

Welcome to my little bit of space on the web for showcasing my growing collection of 1:50th scale die-cast model cranes.

I will try to do a write-up about the setting up of each crane perhaps mentioning a little bit about the relative merits or faults encountered along the way.

These articles are in no way intended as “professional reviews”, (there are plenty of those on the www already), they are simply my own thoughts. If they help a would-be buyer to make a purchasing decision then it’s all to the good but don’t blame me if you don’t like what you get!

Please enjoy what you find here, any questions-please ask!
Cheers,
Pete.

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