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Model review

Within recent years nearly all diecast model companies presented lots of interesting collectibles. For us collectors it became really not easy to choose which one we would add to our collection first. That's why we will present at this place from time to time model reviews, which should give you some support in finding a decision.

Two telescopic cranes on crawlers

By Carsten Bengs*

Telescopic cranes on crawlers became very popular within the last years. This is thanks to their high mobility without outriggers. They can travel – also with loads - in every part of a construction site. And this is really an advantage compared to an all-terrain crane.

And so we didn’t had to wait a long time for the first scale models, in 1:50 scale: the 100 t Liebherr LTR from Conrad and the 80 t crane Sennebogen 683 made by Brami. Although the last one sometimes is listed as a model made by the Italian manufacturer Ros, the model itself and its package is named with Brami.

LTR 1000Already when I unpacked the Sennebogen 683 I noticed the first differences. The crane is nearly knotted with a couple of wires to the package and I had to free it form its „handcuffs“. Therefore the crane model is immediately ready to work. Unfortunately I didn’t need to do any assembling procedures.

The LTR 1100 comes in a stable package made of polystyrene. Once unpacked, some elements are waiting on their assembly by the collector. I started by mounting the four jack-up cylinders for the self-assembling system by small plastic bolts. In between the undercarriage counterweight is being placed on the upper plastic bolts. On the Sennebogen the counterweight is already fixed to the under carriage and can’t be disassembled.

The upper carriage counterweight of the LTR 1100 consists of two base plates and 2 blocks for each side. By using two plastic bolts I connect the base plates to the back frame on the upper carriage. In reality this would be done hydraulically after the two cylinders lifted the counterweight. These lift cylinders we can find also on the back frame; small chains I attach to the cylinders. The last step I have to make is fixing the erection jib with the two longer bolts. Then I assemble the second winch and reeve both load hooks. And the LTR 1100 is now also ready to work!

Sennebogen 683The counterweight of the 683 is unfortunately fixed to the upper carriage and can’t be disassembled. It is also one complete casting. The lifting cylinders are copied well by Brami including small chains. Unfortunately the model doesn’t have an erection jib at all.

Excellent level of details

The level of details on both models is really great. All crawler chains are mad of zinc and are consistent with the original crawler plates. The sprockets of both cranes are spring activated; therefore the crawler chain is always under tension. This detail is happily a standard feature on all crawler models on the market – be it a crane or an excavator. Small steps would ease access to the cab or upper carriage.

Sennebogen 683The level of details on both models is really great. All crawler chains are mad of zinc and are consistent with the original crawler plates. The sprockets of both cranes are spring activated; therefore the crawler chain is always under tension. This detail is happily a standard feature on all crawler models on the market – be it a crane or an excavator. Small steps would ease access to the cab or upper carriage.

Both under carriages can be extended and a small cylinder for adjusting the trace can be seen from underneath. Therefore the crane models have a great stability and also a small trace for transportation on a low-bed trailer model.

The replicas cabs are really a highlight on the 683 as well as on the LTR 1100. Brami and Conrad provided really great copies with a good level of details. The Sennebogen model comes equipped with mirrors and windscreen whipers while the LTR 1100 has detailed railings. Additionally great decals with warning signs can be found on the 683’s upper carriage. And for avoiding an aching neck while working in large heights both cabs can be tilted backwards.

Let’s have now a look on the booms. The LTR 1100 has got 5 telescope sections while the 683 comes equipped with only 4. Therefore the total boom length is 103 cm on the LTR and 82 cm on the 683, measured to the boom head. Unfortunately there is one downer on the Sennebogen, all four boom sections are made of plastic and this doesn’t really have to be this way!

Sennebogen 683All cranes have two winches, while the LTR 1100’s back winch can be mounted by four plastic bolts. If I would display the LTR without jib I simply can disassemble this winch. The first winch on the Sennebogen is equipped with rope, but doesn’t have a function and can’t be disconnected. Additionally the main winch was really easy to go and couldn’t hold a single or two line rope. The LTR winches are running not so easy and can lift smaller loads. Unfortunately Brami used white rope on the Sennebogen model, which really destroys the optical impression.

This feature is really annoying but can be easily exchanged. Just one hint from my side: MSW Modelle offers non-twisting black rope. This one is similar to the rope used on the LTR model. Here the optical impression is really great. Nearly all my crane models I changed to this rope version; I really can recommend it.


Finally I can state that both models are highly detailed. Differences can be found in some smaller details but especially in functionality; the LTR here is the leader and that is also why it is my personal favorite. The Sennebogen 683 model is a good start for all of those collectors who don’t want to assemble many things. In my displays both of them look great!

Conrad’s Liebherr LTR 1100 offers a great functionality and comes equipped with an erection jib.

The upper carriage can be accessed by detailed steps. You can also recognize the central greasing system and the ballast assembling points. For a better view on this photo I didn’t show the four counterweight blocks.

This is how the ballast assembling would work in reality: both hydraulic cylinders pull the counterweight where it will be fixed hydraulically.

On the under carriage I assemble the four jack-up cylinders. Then I position the counterweight in between on the upper bolts. You can also see the realistic crawler design.

The main boom can be equipped with an erection jib for lifting loads in production plants or by using both hook blocks. All hook blocks Conrad produced only for this model – which is really great! All sheaves on the hook blocks and boom head are running easily.

Both winches from a bird’s eye view. The back winch is assembled by four bolts and can easily being disassembled.

This is the way the LTR 1100 would be transported. Counterweight and jib are disassembled. Both crawler frames on the LTR 1100 I can remove easily and transport it separately.

The Sennebogen 683 is already finally assembled and can be used immediately, there are no assembling procedures required. As also on the LTR 1100 the cab can be tilted backwards.

On the other side we can see the fuel tank, railings and mirrors. The 683 feature an excellent decaling, which exists to a smaller extent also on the LTR 1100 model.

The under carriage of the 683 – as also on the LTR 1100 – can be extended; the cylinder therefore is also available. All crawler chains are always under tension thanks to the spring-actuated sprocket. Unfortunately the counterweight is fixed to the under carriage and cannot be removed.

The travel drive sprocket is copied also great. On both crawler frames small ladders would easy access. The special device, in the middle of the picture – would be in reality the position where the crawler frames can be disconnected from the middle frame during transportation. This feature doesn’t exist on the model.

The counterweight is connected solidly to the model and made of one casting. A disassembling isn’t possible. On the winch you can see the white rope, which can easily been changed by a black rope; available also from MSW Modelle. The optical impression with the black one is much better.

The cab is highly detailed. Mirrors, railings and the outside step can be seen. The interior features joysticks, seat and pedals.

Both lifting cylinders are not extended. The back winch can be move by using a small key, which is delivered with the model. The winch on my review sample was very easy-going but I could solve this problem with a screw and rasp.

* Carsten Bengs is author of the O&K chronical „Orenstein & Koppel – 125 Baumaschinen, Lokomotiven und Traktoren“. He is also writing as a free-lance editor stories about construction die-cast models for the magazines ToyTrucker & Contractor (USA) and TruckModell (D).

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