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Review of 2011
Editorial December 2011
2011 was a somewhat muted year for construction models with hardly any new products for the major Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEMs) such as Liebherr and Terex appearing at either the Nuremberg Toy Fair or later in 2011.  The roots for this were probably sown during the economic crisis of a couple of years ago when OEMs cut their marketing budgets and curtailed their model programmes so that new models were not put in the pipeline for 2011 delivery.  Inevitably this meant that a number of existing models were released in different colour schemes as model makers tried to tempt buyers in 2011.  Model makers also seemed to have supply chain issues in getting finished product, from China particularly. 

Some of the models promised for 2011 did not appear.  These included big cranes such as WSI's giant Sarens SGC 120, the Manitowoc 31000 from TWH, the Gottwald AMK 1000 from YCC and the Terex AC1000 from Conrad.  CCM also struggled to get some of their Caterpillar models to market.

No model makers disappeared in 2011 but Joal and Ros produced hardly any new product in the construction area.  In contrast WSI produced a steady stream of truck models, as did Conrad and Tekno, with NZG delivering their jib extensions for the Liebherr LTM 11200-9.1 mobile crane and TWH released the huge P&H 4100XPC mining shovel in 1:50 scale.

In terms of the Cranes Etc website a Facebook page was added and the video reviews seem to be a popular addition.  Thanks to all readers and viewers for the feedback and comments and next year Cranes Etc will continue to try to provide more high quality content for you.

Now for the Cranes Etc Awards, and as usual they are based on models reviewed by Cranes Etc during this year.

Innovation of the Year

There were few clear innovations in 2011 but YCC produced an interesting and unusual Lifting Frame.  However this award deserves to go to the TWH Collectibles P&H 4100 XPC Electric Mining Shovel for the use of LED floodlights on the model.  Although this is not the first implementation on this type of model, it is the first time it has appeared on a model made in reasonable volume.  The lighting has been implemented very well and provides an interesting display dimension.

Model Company of the Year

This year was another strong one for WSI with a number of outstanding truck models appearing including DAF and GINAF tippers, and the huge Mammoet Coke Drum Move.  However the company with the most new product at the Nuremberg Toy Fair this year was Conrad, and they continued throughout the year with some new releases and many models in different and collectible liveries.  Although the Terex AC1000 crane did not make it out in 2011, that was more due to the release of the real crane being further delayed by Terex.  Conrad showed that it is not essential to have model products made in China.

Model of the Year

There were some outstanding models produced in 2011, and the Mammoet Coke Drum Move was certainly an exceptional modelling achievement by WSI.  However the best model reviewed by Cranes Etc this year is also one of the very smallest and most inexpensive.  It is the Hamm HD+ 110 Roller with cab also made by WSI.  This showed what was possible in a small model that is able to uphold the reputation of the sponsoring OEM perfectly with excellent detail, functionality and quality all at a very affordable price.

Hopefully 2012 will see OEMs and model makers survive and prosper, and bring even more to the scale model world.

Cranes Etc
Innovation of the Year 2011:  TWH P&H 4100XPC.
Another model from the Model Company of the Year 2011:  the Conrad Wiesbauer MAN with Palfinger PK100002.
Model of the Year 2011:  WSI Hamm HD+ 110 Roller with cab.