Hitachi ZW310-5 Wheel Loader
By: Steven Downes
Presented here is the 1:50th scale Hitachi ZW310-5 wheel loader
from The Merchandise Company. The model features some nice fine
detailing although it is not quite as refined as the excavator
models from TMC with an absence of hydraulic hoses and opening
cabin door. Despite this, the model is a very welcome addition to
the growing Hitachi replica range.
The cab interior can be seen through the clearly glazed windows
all round with a blue decorated driver's seat and light grey
interior. The driver's steering controls are visible with
authentically scaled grab rails fitted to the cab frame, complete
with integrated rear view mirrors.
The platforms on each side of the chassis have a textured
anti-slip upper surface with access ladders on both sides. The
articulated chassis has a reasonable range of steering movement
with hydraulic pistons visible although there are no hydraulic
hoses or drive-shaft between the front and rear chassis sections.
The tires on the loader have a crisply molded tread pattern with
wheel hubs clearly showing the bolt fixing details.
The loader arms with Z-bar linkage raise to a realistic height
allowing the model to be posed loading trucks while the tipping
angle of the bucket authentically captures the range of movement of
All the pins used to assemble the loader arms and linkage are of
a friction fit design so there are no large rivet heads seen,
adding to the realistic appearance with orange painted tips on the
hydraulic lift rams. It is a pity the end of the bucket ram was not
painted orange for consistency.
The rear of the model has been nicely done with the rear grill
allowing the radiator and cooling fan detailing within to be seen
while rear facing light housings are located on the engine sides,
complete with painted lenses. The rear counterweight has an
interesting shape with a modelled non-functional towing frame and
plastic mud flaps and fitted to the wheel arches.
The paint finish is of a high standard with an even coating
allowing all the surface casting details to show through. The
printing of the Hitachi name and machine designation is crisp and