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Modellbericht

In den letzten Jahren ist die Anzahl an interessanten Modellen zunehmend größer geworden. Die Auswahl für die heimische Sammlung ist für uns Sammler daher nicht einfacher geworden. Deswegen werden wir an dieser Stelle in lockerer Reihenfolge Modellberichte bzw. Modellbesprechungen präsentieren.

Maxikraft versus Thömen,
a comparison of two great trailer/truck models: MAN TGX-SLT vs. Mercedes Actros

by Carsten Bengs*

photo Heavy transports – many people are fascinated when large and heavy components are transported through narrow cities on closed roads. Who didn’t watch even at nights when those long and heavy transports are maneuvering slowly through the roads? And of course also in miniature many die cast collectors are enthusiastic on trailer models.

Today I’ll present two superior models in contrast to each other: the Goldhofer vessel bed from Conrad in Maxikraft livery and in Thömen livery the Nooteboom low loader from WSI and Little Treasure models.

Both models are highly detailed and therefore great additions to the popular crane models. The very first difference becomes obvious when I am unpacking the two. While the Thömen combination comes in a polystyrene box with plastic parts, Conrad chooses the proven foam system. Which version might be appreciated is a decision of each collector. I prefer foam boxes and those ones where the models are not knotted to the box by wire.

Also the weight differences are much obvious since the Maxikraft vessel bed has a higher weight than the Thömen combination. Reason for that simply may be different engineering principles that are used by WSI and Conrad. But how can we evaluate functionality and level of details?

Surely, Conrad has the advantage of more experience in producing great crane and trailer models. WSI is a new comer on the model market, but has earned formidable success in the last years with an excellent range of highly detailed models, as the Spierings mobile tower cane or the mega windmill trailers.

The Goldhofer combination is very functional and can be displayed in different configurations, while this is not possible on the Thömen combination. But this is because the real example is different and axle modules cannot be disconnected with the loading area. Here the flexibility comes with the 2-axle interdolly that can be added or not.

In exchange WSI convinces with a superior labeling since operating notes, sign plate and the Thömen marking are done excellently. And also the wheel frames of the interdolly are done in zinc and not in plastic. Small hydraulic cylinders are stiff enough to hold the trailer in a lifted position without load – this cannot be done on the Maxikraft. Here the axles can oscillate on their frames and the trailer modules easily would adjust themselves to the underground.

And I really appreciated the decision of both manufacturers to chose company liveries, which are not so wide spread on the model market up to now. Not always the most popular companies are interesting, it is also companies as Maxikraft or Thömen, which look great into a model collection. But the following pictures should show more amazing details on both great models.

Result:

All in all both Conrad and WSI presented with the trailer models in Maxikraft and Thömen livery two amazing and brilliant models which satisfy in their level of details and functionality. While Conrad’s Maxikraft model is leading in terms of functionality, WSI’s Thömen is the winner in terms of labeling. But if a scale model needs hydraulic hoses on the gooseneck, which can’t be seen, needs to be decided by every owner of the model itself. Definitely, both models fascinate me likewise.

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The Goldhofer combination in Maxikraft livery from Conrad is delivered with two modules, having 4 and 6 axles. Additionally as a separate item, Conrad offers also additional modules.

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Transporting large construction equipment requires this low bed configuration. It is considerably slender and I need the two adapter frames. For the assembly small plastic pins are used here.

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The third option is to connect both modules directly. By using the two plastic pins a 10 axles combination for the heaviest loads is generated. A sign plate at the back of the model completes the details.

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Let's have a look on the truck; a four axle heavy duty MAN TGX XXL, which provides 680 HP engine output in reality. Detailed lightings can be found in the bumper. The detailed cab can be tilted for "miniature maintenance". That is how we get a great look on the engine copy and the equipment tower. Of course the cab also comes equipped with warning lights at the roof and small mirrors on each side. In reality the operator would get good visibility. Even a horn exists on the model.

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A great feature is the fully functional coupling in front. Conrad realized a fully working pin, which can be easily removed by using a tweezers. Additional vehicles can be coupled to the truck easily.

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The front axles come equipped with single tires while the back axles have of course double axles. These are luckily also oscillating. Small roughness on the underground can therefore easily been compensated. All tires are connected not by using a single axle but instead with separate ones. That is why the tires can rotate easily, independent from each other. All axles are covered by mudguards, which are made of plastic parts. The steering angle on this truck is larger as on the Thömen truck and so the truck as a smaller turning radius.

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The equipment tower contains an additional tank and cooler, which is covered by a small grille. This is well made by photo-etched covers.
The double exhaust pipe of the engine looks as chromatized in reality and provides an authentic look. Conrad uses here only zinc.

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All module axles can be steered and provide a good steering angle. You can easily see that the axles can oscillate in their frames for an excellent fit to the underground.

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In order to load the trailer it is disconnected from the module; the MAN truck drives aside and an excavator for example can easily drive onto the trailer. After reconnecting the truck the hydraulics would lift it and the trip to the next side could start.

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Both adapter frames even are equipped with small hydraulic cylinders, which would adjust the trailer in reality to the load. Small plastic frames can be positioned in between in order to provide more stability.
Conrad delivers the Maxikraft model with plastic frames in three different lengths. Alternatively small plastic plates, looking as they would be made of wood, can also be placed in between.

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Different adapter frames enable this high functionality. All are made of zinc; two of them are only hooked into the vessel bed. This is required in order to load the trailer with self-propelling vehicles.

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Compared to the other Conrad modules this ones features oscillating axles, providing excellent ground traction in reality. Conrad realized this feature very well with also the hydraulic cylinders, which would lift the whole combination.

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The Thömen combination made by WSI is also a very impressive and fascinating model, while transporting here an O&K loader L45.

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Alternatively I can display the model also without the interdolly. A small plastic key needs to be placed into the gooseneck, which holds the trailer in a lifted position.

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The detailed Thömen labeling with its four locations Hamburg, Brunsbüttel, Leipzig und Potsdam can be read! We can also easily recognize all other warning signs and the hydraulic control with its hoses.

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The Thömen cab can be tilted as well. Also here we can get an impression of the well-copied engine with its engine cylinders and cooler.

 

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The two-axle interdolly features a smooth steering, which is controlled by frames; a small hydraulic cylinder would take control of it in reality. All tires can also been lifted by a small cylinder in each frame. These are stiff enough to hold the module, but only without being loaded.

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The back axles are spring loaded and also steerable – a really great detail. But these axles are connected to a central frame. This is also the reason why the back axles have a bigger steering angle as the axles close to the loading area.

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The gooseneck from underneath; we can see the hoses around the cylinders. These are also stiff enough to hold the model, but again without load.

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A strong duo: both trucks side by side. Both have an amazing level of details. Mirrors, signal horn and lighting are copied very well.

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The Actros from underneath: Detailed steering and suspensions are worked well. But on my review model the steering angle was less than on the MAN.

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The equipment tower on the Thömen combination is highly detailed, although a few more plastic parts are used. Additionally the air lines from the tower to the goose neck are copied.

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The loading area can been extended and additional plastic parts would provide more loading width as well. The frames for these can be turned out of the trailer side.

* Carsten Bengs ist Autor der O&K Chronik „Orenstein & Koppel – 125 Baumaschinen, Lokomotiven und Traktoren“. Als freier Redakteur berichtet er regelmäßig über Baumaschinenmodelle in den Magazinen ToyTrucker & Contractor (USA) und TruckModell (D).

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