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Review of 2012
Editorial January 2013

Perhaps in one sense 2012 was not a stand out year in terms of new product announcements with relatively few new models produced on behalf of the original equipment manufacturers.  Many models were issued in new colour schemes and NZG, Conrad and WSI certainly pumped out volumes of models in a variety of colours.  With the BAUMA exhibition in April 2013 the model makers will be busy preparing a raft of new releases for their industry customers.

Some of the long promised big models did appear including WSI's giant Sarens SGC 120,  the Gottwald AMK 1000 from YCC and the Terex AC 1000 from Conrad.  However some announced models seem as far away as ever including the Manitowoc 31000 from TWH and the Komatsu PC8000 from BYMO. 

In terms of model makers Ros, Joal, Motorart and Universal Hobbies were almost completely absent from the construction model scene, but at least a new entrant has appeared in the shape of TMC Scale Models and it will be interesting to see how they grow in 2013.  TWH re-released some of their models in different colours or with minor improvements and hopefully they will have some new products in 2013.  Norscot's break with their old suppliers in China delayed the appearance of the Caterpillar models previewed at Nuremberg and 2013 will be interesting to see Norscot's future direction and how future Caterpillar model releases shape up.

One backward step in 2012 was the fall in the quality standards which seemed to affect almost every manufacturer.  Broken or missing parts or poor paint finish were too common and at Cranes Etc models arrived with issues at a higher rate than previously, and a few were returned for replacement.  More than any new model it would be better if 2013 saw an end to poor quality product.

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

No award for 2012.

Model Company of the Year

NZG and Conrad both had a very solid year in 2012.  WSI did too although quality issues took the edge off the introduction of the very detailed Liebherr LTM 1350 Mobile Crane and hopefully these will be resolved for 2013.  Other manufacturers had quiet years.  This year's award recognises a different area of the model world and that is the companies that commission models in various liveries from the established makers.  Two stand outs in this sector are Vinci with their wide model range reflecting the Vinci company activities, and Heavy Transport Models of Germany.  The winner of this year's award is Heavy Transport Models who have delivered an excellent range of interesting models in 2012.

Winner - Heavy Transport Models

Model of the Year

Only two new models made it into the Cranes Etc Top Ten Models list in 2012 and to a degree they were from opposite ends of the spectrum.  The Hitachi ZAXIS 250LCN-5 Excavator was an excellent debut introduction from TMC Scale Models and at a very reasonable price too.  The best model reviewed by Cranes Etc in 2012 was the YCC's Gottwald AMK 1000 crane.  Even though initial models were shipped with some quality issues, the model is excellent and justifies its high price.

Winner - YCC Gottwald AMK 1000 Mobile Crane

We can expect 2013 will see a busy period of new model introductions.  Hopefully there will be some surprises too.

Cranes Etc
One from the Model Company of 2012:  Heavy Transport Models.
A great first model from TMC Scale Models:  the Hitachi ZAXIS 250LCN-5 Excavator.
Model of the Year 2012:  YCC's Gottwald AMK 1000 crane.