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Review of 2019
Editorial January 2020

As 2019 was the year of a Bauma Exhibition in Germany, it was a busy year for scale models with many new releases.  A number were revealed at the Nuremberg Toy Fair at the start of the year, with more revealed at Bauma in April.   Attendance at the Toy Fair by model makers continues to lag, with IMC, Tekno and Conrad not present in 2019.  You can view the Toy Fair 2019 Report and the Bauma 2019 Report for more detail.

In terms of OEMs, Liebherr had a stream of new releases and some of these were of machines which have been in production for a number of years which is a little surprising.  Volvo continued its programme, and after a hiatus they are using Motorart again for some of their new releases.  Kobelco continued its commitment to new releases, in the excavator segment at least.  Nooteboom continued to support the collector market.  Manitowoc had a quiet year considering it was Bauma, but Woolf had another tower crane model, and Jaso joined the party with its first diecast tower crane model.  One model which did not make it was the big XCMG XCA 1200 mobile crane by Yagao, but this will appear in 2020. However, the Demag AC 700-9 from IMC Models did appear, and it was well worth the wait.  As Tadano took over Demag during 2019, it will be interesting to see how this affects their scale model programme going forward.  Sennebogen introduced 10 models for Bauma.

For the model makers, WSI had a very good year with many releases for Bauma as well as continuing success in the truck sector.  NZG also responded well to Bauma, with Komatsu models appearing towards the end of the year.  Conrad had a number of releases for Bauma, but sadly the company appears to be distancing itself from the collector market, and has adopted more rigid policies towards collectors.  IMC Models introduced its new Mercedes-Benz Actros and Arocs tractors, and had two new high quality crane models for Terex Demag.  Diecast Masters continued the roll out of its transport series of US trucks and trailers, while YCC Models continued to enhance the detailing on its mobile cranes which is a welcome difference to the normal approach from model makers.  Cranes Etc did not review any new models from Drake Collectibles in 2019, but new releases are expected in 2020.

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 2019 goes to WSI Models for the use of aluminium on the lattice jib of the Liebherr MK 140 model.  This enabled a weight reduction of around 2.5 times compared to normal diecast, improving the stability.  It required new patented tooling design and structure, and new computer software was used for casting and material flowing analysis. The usual limitation of minimum material thickness of aluminium alloy casting was broken through.  This innovation will improve lattice sections of all types of crane in future.

Winner -  WSI Models for Diecast Aluminium Lattice Jib Sections

Model Company of the Year, sponsored by Brandon Styczinski

The standout company of 2019 was WSI Models.  Their Bauma offering was very strong, and they also had something new with a large scale model of the Jointark paver, as well as the innovative use of aluminium referred to above.  They continued to excel with their line up of truck releases in limited edition colours.

Winner - WSI Models

Model of the Year, sponsored by an anonymous Patreon Supporter

This award goes to IMC Model's Demag AC 700-9 Collector's Edition.  It was a long time in development and wisely IMC took the time to perfect the model rather than hit a deadline.  The model is a great balance of detail and functionality, and the presentation of the Collector's Edition of the model set a new standard including a book about the real crane.

Winner - Demag AC 700-9 Collector's Edition by IMC Models

Cranes Etc
Innovation of the Year 2019:  Diecast aluminium alloy lattice jib sections by WSI Models
Model Company of the Year 2019:  WSI Models
Model of the Year 2019:  Demag AC 700-9 Collector's Edition by IMC Models