Liebherr LR1300 Lattice Boom Crawler Crane
By: Steven Downes
Presented here is the 1:50th scale Liebherr LR1300 crawler crane
from NZG. The basic model consists of the boom and jib sections to
construct a basic lifting configuration. There is also an
additional accessory set allowing the model to be built into a
heavy lift crane with the addition of derrick and back mast. The
accessory kit also includes an additional main and jib section.
The model is very well packaged in polystyrene trays, securely
holding all the parts. The upper tray has the pre-assembled boom
and jib sections with the undercarriage ballast and metal pennant
The lower tray holds the main crane body, counterweights,
counterweight tray and the boom head. One very welcomed sight is
the pre-rigged A-frame which will avoid the collector from spending
time rigging the model. A nice touch is that a shaped polystyrene
insert has been used to keep the A-frame in position until the boom
sections and pennant lines have been connected.
The rear counterweight tray is crisply cast with holes for the
lifting mechanism to connect. The chains and lifting bars look good
and once connected, they can be positioned as required, fully
demonstrating the lifting system on the full sized machine. Four
large and three small counterweight blocks are supplied for each
side of the tray with metal bars passing through the centre of them
to prevent them becoming dislodged.
The undercarriage features removable track frames which is
achieved by removing the four screws on the upper side of the main
undercarriage frame. These are hidden once the two silver plastic
walkways are installed. The frame has four swing out stabilisers
with screw down pads which raise the frame off the ground allowing
the crane to be authentically posed in a transport
Four large ballast blocks are supplied which connect between the
track frames to provide more weight to the crane.
These just rest on the cast holders on the inside of each track
frame and can be a little tricky to fit
The individually linked metal tracks have an authentic textured
surface on each pad and rotate smoothly. They interlock with each
other with the tension on the idler keeping the tracks taut. The
lower rollers along the track frame rotate freely allowing the
tracks to be turned easily once the crane is fully assembled.
The cab fitted to the model can be tilted with a hydraulic
piston providing the precise adjustment, however, care needs to be
taken during the adjustment as tilting the cab too much will cause
the piston to fall out of the cylinder. The frame behind the cab
pivots, allowing the cab to swing in front of the body during
transport, once the main boom has been removed.
Silver walkways are fitted to the front and side of the cab with
a fully replicated interior and photo-etched windscreen wipers
fitted to the front and roof window. Twin radio antennas and
forward facing work lights are also present on the roof with a
metal grab rail and rear view mirror fixed to the cab frame.
The main body has three winches fitted, one operating the rear
A-frame and two main lifting winches. Winding keys are supplied
which locate with the square ends of the winch drums, where
pressure is required to release the locking mechanism before the
drums can be rotated.
The Winch for the A-frame is connected with a cog which is a
nice piece of engineering but I found that operating the winch is
very difficult, especially with the full weight of the boom pulling
on the A-frame. The grip on the winding key is limited so the
wearing of gloves is recommended to get the grip required to turn
the drum. You also have to turn the key in the opposite direction.
It is a pity that NZG do not provide winding keys that can be used
with removable bit screwdrivers which would make operating the
winches much easier.
One disappointment on the model is that the boom head is
permanently connected to the jib which prevents the collector from
erecting the model without using the jib. While the competent
modeller can drill out the rivets fixing the jib in place, it is a
pity that NZG did not consider this in the first place. The boom
and jib sections have been crisply cast and connect together well,
with tiny nuts and bolts used to secure them together.
The metal pennant lines are a nice addition to the model and
give it a very life-like appearance with most of the pennants
pre-assembled and joined to make rigging the crane relatively easy.
Working with the tiny nuts and bolts can be frustrating and NZG
have provided two tools which allow the collector to easily connect
everything together (Anyone owning the Liebherr HS855 or LTM11200
will be familiar with these tools)
As almost everything on the model is metal, the weight is
substantial, especially in the boom and jib. I have noticed that
the crane can become a little unstable and tipsy if the main boom
is lowered too much, as the weight of the jib and boom affect the
balance of the model, making it front heavy.
As mentioned at the start, an accessory set is also available
allowing the model to be rigged with a derrick. The set contains
one additional main and one additional jib section to increase the
height and range with the back mast and wheeled counterweight
The base of the back mast has an integrated winch which operates
the raisinglowered of the main boom. As with the other winches,
pressure is needed to release the holding mechanism before the drum
can be turned. The tip of the back mast has the pennant lines
pre-assembled that eventually connect to the A-frame and wheeled
ballast carrier once the extension pieces are bolted into
One nice addition is the mechanism by which the pennant lines
connect between the ballast carrier and tip of the back mast,
allowing the crane to be configured with just the back mast in
place and without the carrier. This configuration may not be used
in real life but it does look good on the model and reduced the
amount of space required to display the model.
The frame of the ballast carrier is highly detailed and
functional, with walkways fitted along the top of the extending
arm, complete with integrated access ladder and safety
The extending arm uses pins to lock it into place and flexible
hydraulic lines have been added which connect to the rear of the
crane body and slide out as the ballast tray is extended.
The four axles have simulated, non-functional suspension
detailing with four wheels fitted to each axle, complete with
rubber tyres that have a grooved tread pattern. Two large
stabilisers are also integrated into the tray and they extend by
pulling them out.
The accessory set is a nice addition to a fantastic model, and
it is good to see that NZG have packaged it separately as some
collectors may prefer just to own the basic crane. The assembly
instructions supplied with the accessory set detail how to
disassemble the original crane although I suspect that most
collectors that want to add the derrick may purchase both at the