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Review of 2018
Editorial January 2019

First up, it has to be said that 2018 was a relatively slow year for new releases, but experienced collectors will know that as a pre-Bauma year, the industry was busy focused on orders for the Bauma industry exhibition which takes place in April 2019.

The Nuremberg Toy Fair kicked off the year as usual, and IMC Models decided not to attend, and we will have to see if they return in future years. Tekno was back for the first time in many years, but again we will see if this is more than a one-off.  As usual now, Conrad held their own event at their factory near Nuremberg. The Toy Fair 2018 Report can be seen here.

Among the new releases in 2018, it was good to see Kobelco committing to 1:50 scale with a couple of new excavator models, and hopefully their refreshed approach will continue.  WSI released its Volvo excavator and hauler models and displayed a prototype of the Liebherr R 9150 mining excavator, but the final release of it did not occur in 2018.  Their Palfinger hook arm trailers were released and made a nice addition to the WSI truck offerings.  Conrad produced a high quality 1:87 tower crane model for Wolffkran, and Delmag and ABI foundation machines were good to see in an under-represented sector.

One interesting trend in 2018 was the release of 1:32 scale models in the truck and construction sector with MarGe Models producing a Volvo tractor and Nooteboom trailer, and AT Collections getting their Volvo EW180E wheeled excavator out.  Larger models, typically 1:35 scale, have long been a preferred scale in China with companies such as Sunraise making very nice larger scale models, so we will see how the trend continues.  In contrast to this, Yagao of China released two 1:50 scale models of large XCMG mining machines.

April saw the Intermat Exhibition in Paris, and as the smallest of the big shows, there were few new releases, although CGModels did have a Raimondi tower crane model under development. The Intermat 2018 Report can be seen here.

On to the Cranes Etc Awards, and once again they are based only on the models reviewed by Cranes Etc during the year.  This year some awards are sponsored by supporters of Cranes Etc on Patreon.

Innovation of the Year

The Innovation Award for 2018 goes to Diecast Masters for the introduction of their Evolution Series.  This new way of presenting the history of a particular machine has been executed really well with high quality packaging enclosing an old timer and up to date model versions of a machine.   But the stand out part is the detailed ring bound book which provides great information and photos from the Caterpillar archives. 

Winner - Diecast Masters Evolution Series

Model Company of the Year, sponsored by Brandon Styczinski

Although 2018 was a quiet year for new models, one company has further demonstrated that it is prepared to incrementally improve each new model, as well as expanding its range to include some different offerings.  That company is Diecast Masters.  In addition to the innovative Evolution Series, it has expanded the product line to include a series of new US trucks from the International range.  New releases in the High Line series also show improvements, with the operator figures now generally being removable giving more flexibility of display.

Winner - Diecast Masters

Model of the Year, sponsored by an anonymous Patreon Supporter

There were some great models released which were incremental improvements of models previously reviewed on Cranes Etc including Drake Collectible's Kenworth K200 and YCC's Liebherr LGD 1800 Riga Mainz.  However, the Model of the Year Award is normally given to releases which are new to Cranes Etc.  Among the best of these was WSI's Volvo EC950E and A60H, Yagao's XCMG XE7000, Conrad's Wolff 700B and Weiss Brother's P&H 4100XPC.  However, the Award goes to Towsleys Manitowoc MLC 300 Crawler Crane, engineered by Weiss Brothers, which proved to be a great combination of detail and features.

Winner - Towsleys Manitowoc MLC 300 Crawler Crane

Cranes Etc
Innovation of the Year 2018:  Diecast Masters Evolution Series.
Model Company of the Year 2018:  Diecast Masters.
Model of the Year 2018:  Manitowoc MLC 300 by Towsleys.