National 1300H on Peterbilt Model 357
by: Steven Downes
Presented here is the 1:50th scale National Crane 1300H boom
truck on a Peterbilt 357 chassis. The first thing that you notice
is the shear amount of detail and functional features on the model
and this level of engineering places TWH at the forefront of model
The Peterbilt chassis features fully working sprung suspension
with front wheel steering and full drive shaft detailing from the
front mounted engine to the rear drive hubs. Hydraulic hoses run
under the chassis to the four extending outriggers while the
exhaust pipe is visible on the underside of the model from the
engine to the side mounted chromed exhaust stack with fine detailed
photo etched mesh finish.
The front fenders have flexible rubber flaps extending from the
edge while the peterbilt logo is printed on the bonnet sides and
front. The bonnet opens forward to reveal the fully detailed engine
bay beneath with the engine block, radiator, air cleaner and other
components all fully modelled. The front of the bonnet has a fine
photo etched mesh grill with chromed bumper and light clusters,
complete with glazed lenses all fitted.
There is a mounting point for the functional front mounted
stabiliser jack to be fitted and this is pinned into place with
flexible hydraulic hoses to give that extra bit of realism.
The 360 degree rotational crane boom is connected to the slewing
ring mounted behind the cab and has two outriggers integral to the
casting. The outriggers extend from the chassis and have jack legs
which can be raised lowered by rotating the pads.
The model features a functional boom angle meter located on the
side of the boom which reflects the boom's angle on the printed
guage. This, along with the flexible hydraulic hoses on the winch
motor, the load sensing cable reel and the pivoting control panel,
complete with hand controls show that even the small details have
been fully reproduced on the model.
The screw thread inside the jack legs is covered which is
another nice touch, giving a more realistic look to the model. The
crane control panel is fitted below the boom and bed access ladders
are fitted to the chassis next to the front stabilisers.
The trucks deck has a simulated wooded plank finish while the
hydraulic fluid tank is fitted to one side of the chassis with an
opening storage tool compartment fitted to the opposite side of the
chassis. The flexible rubber mud guards have the authentic National
printed logos while warning and safety labels are printed on the
chassis frame and outrigger legs.
The rear wheels have a chrome finish with authentic treaded
rubber tyres. The four section telescopic boom has a fully extended
locking mechanism along with printed letters indicating the amount
of extension of the boom sections. The winch is functional and
allows the hook block to be raised lowered and the winch itself has
a sprung braking mechanism.
The cab interior is exceptionally detailed with opening cab
doors revealing the dashboard, steering wheel console and contoured
seats. The roof has a number of cast holes where the supplied air
horns need to be fitted. The metal rear view mirrors are supplied
in the box and need fitting to the holes in the cab frame. It can
be a little tricky to get then to stay in the correct place and a
touch of glue may be needed to keep them firmly secured.
The supplied platform is a welcomed addition to the model and
this connects to the side stowed boom extension using the supplied
pins. The mounting tip has authentically placed warning labels
while the platform has photo etched mesh floor and side panels and
control console. The "floating" design of the platform features a
basket which can rotate through 180 degrees with two different
fixing positions to choose from while the hand held controls for
the crane boom are supplied in the box and fit into the bracket
fitted to the basket frame. The model is supplied with a small
brocure which gives details and specifications of the full sized