Potain MDT178 Tower Crane
by: Steven Downes
Presented here is the 1:50th scale Potain MDT178 tower crane.
This is the first mass produced 1:50th scale lattice tower crane
and it's a monster, with a height of almost 1.5 metres and a jib
length of 1.4 metres.
The base of the crane is fitted to a heavy white stone base
which gives the model substantial weight to prevent the model being
knocked over. The four stabilisers can be rotated to lower them to
ensure the mast remains perpendicular. The instructions in the box
suggest this is checked after the model has been erected for 5
Each main mast section has a detailed metal ladder and walkway
with etched grill and cage protection over each ladder just like
the real crane. Each section is connected using four small screws
and there are thirteen sections in total, each one measuring 100mm.
The model is supplied pre-assembled with a ten section and three
section sub-assembly. TWH have even included a screwdriver in the
box, complete with Potain logo.
There are sixteen base weights which fit to the frame of the
crane. There are three different types of weight that fit together,
including two which have the Potain name plate fitted to them. The
assembly of the crane is very easy and withing a couple of minutes,
the entire main mast is fully assembled. At the top of the crane,
the operator access walkways have all been reproduced, complete
with etched floor panels, opening cab door and hydraulic winch
motor hoses all present.
The etched access panels go the entire length on the rear mast
to the counterweight area and about a third the way along the front
mast. The cab is highly detailed with the operator seat clearly
visible through the clear front and side windows. A sun screen has
been added to the front window along with upper and lower wind
screen wipers. Even the side windows have an authentic sun screen
printed to the top edges. The rear of the cab has two opening doors
and the electrical panels are mounted behind the cab on both sides
of the crane.
The main hook winch is operated with the supplied winding key
and once the concrete bucket is fitted, there is enough weight for
the hook to lower smoothly. Other details on the model include
slewing motors, complete with cables and hoses and an auxiliary
support crane winch and swinging arm.
The rear of the model has an opening where the seven
counterweight sections slide into place. Each section pins together
and the outer two have locating pins which fit into the slots to
keep the weights in place. The prominent Potain name and logo is
found on one side along with etched floor panels and handrails
giving operator access to the weights. Each weight section has two
lifting eyes fitted to add to the realism.
The trolley has an access platform fitted which moves along the
jib as the trolley winch is turned. The movement of the trolley is
smooth and is capable of traversing the full length of the jib. The
concrete bucket supplied with the model features a fully working
discharge mechanism which opens by pulling down the handle . This
is another example of the great amount of functional detail found
on each TWH model.
The paint finish is excellent and the model is available in
several different versions. The model is supplied in a large
cardboard box with two piece polystyrene inner which protects the
model very well and there is a colour booklet showing the real
machine's technical details along with an extensive assembly guide
with step by step assembly instructions