WSI Liebherr LTM 1750-9.1 Mobile Crane ‘All Crane’ by Cranes Etc TV
In this review we’re going big and we’re going small. It’s big because it’s a Liebherr LTM 1750 mobile crane, but it small because it’s only in 1/87 scale. This version of the model is in the colours of ‘All Crane Rental’, which is a US company and inside the Liebherr branded box are factory sealed plastic formers. There’s no information about the real crane, and there’s no instructions for the model. There’s only a few parts to it so it should be straightforward to put together. For assembly in road-going mode the only thing we’ll do is add some mirrors to the cab and that’s it. That’s all you need to do. Starting underneath the chassis is very simple and it’s plastic, and there’s no steering. But the small wheels look nice enough and the cab is also convincing in this small scale. The outrigger beams are plastic, but with a very good colour match, and the lights are painted. The crane cab is also plastic, but the colour match on the walkway isn’t quite right, but the main boom rams look good complete with phone number. Behind the cab the detailing is very good for this small scale. The graphics on the body are very sharp and there is nice paint highlighting of the ladder. One of the best parts of the model is the counterweight, and the blocks look really good with their sharp graphics. The boom is metal with the inner telescopic section plastic, and the main bank of pulleys in the boom are plastic with the metal hook block being somewhat simple. Let’s take the big Liebherr on the road and it rolls smoothly in a straight line, and if we pick it up each of the wheels are fixed to common axles and they spin freely. There is no steering on the model so, if you want to steer the crane you have to use the giant hand steering method. We’ve arrived at our tiny micro site so let’s set the crane up and the first thing we can do is to swing out the cab, and it is a nice little feature which works well enough on this small model. Next we need to set the outriggers and the beams just rotate out, and to lower the pads there is a modelling compromise so the whole of the outer beam is lowered. After that we can get on and put the hook on and the winch is operated by a key through a hole in the body. But the winch drum doesn’t have much friction so it’s fairly loose. The end of the rope just goes through the hook, but not like that Just goes through the hook, but not like that. Just goes through the hook… That’s it! Just goes through the hook like that, and after you’ve tied off, you can set about raising the boom. The rams have got enough stiffness to hold most poses, but you can see that the heavy hook block doesn’t want to go up and that’s just demonstrating that the brake on the winch drum doesn’t hold much. The counter weight comes in three pieces and you can pose it as if the crane was self ballasting. You set the tray first and then you can add the two sets of counterweight blocks which are solid pieces. To get straight to work though, you can add on the counterweight at the back of the crane where it should be, and you can carefully hook it into place and there is enough tightness that it will stay where you put it. For extra security though you can pin it so it’s good to line up the holes first with a drift, and then you can insert the supplied long steel pin and when you’ve done that you can punch the air and shout, nailed it! Now we’ll take a turn in a different direction and see if we can rotate the crane, and it does turn and the cabin and counterweight clear the outriggers. This is a telescopic crane, but as a modelling compromise there is only one telescopic section and it is plastic and you pull it out in the normal way. Just like on a bigger model there is a spring clip at full extension. One possibility to try and get a slightly more realistic look is to reeve the hook like this, and tie off at the boom head. But we’re going to press on now with playing crane driver, so let’s get that winch working. So we’ve inserted the key and let’s start winding, and you can see we’re lifting this massive heavy steel fabrication. As we hoist away we can see that it starts spinning wildly and this kind of chaotic lifting is something you’ll only see on Cranes Etc. Here we’ve just found a spot where there’s enough friction in the winch drum to hold that load, so let’s go for the automatic unload. Whoa! This 1/87 scale model by WSI obviously has a number of compromises because of its small size but for the most part it is a very good-looking model, and it would obviously look good on a suitable model railway layout. It has simple functionality and it’s cheaper than a bigger scale crane so if you can accept the compromises, it’s highly recommended.