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Liebherr MK 100 Mobile Construction Crane

Maker:  Conrad
Model No:  2102
Scale:  1:50
Review Date:  March 2008

Conrad Index
Mobile Crane Index

Cranes Etc Model Rating
Packaging   (max 10)8
Detail   (max 30)23
Features   (max 20)15
Quality   (max 25)19
Price   (max 15)12
Overall   (max 100)77%


Folded up, the crane is a complex piece of equipment.
Usual Liebherr style box.
There are quite a few bits when you get them out.
A close up showing some of the complexity.
The mast is vertical, and the crane has been rotated.
'I'm not climbing that ladder!'
'Don't try this at home'.
Inside the crane body.  At the foot of the mast you can see the pulleys used for raising it (click above to see a larger photo), but unfortunately there is no winch modelled to use them.
Telescopic end section of jib.
It's a big model when opened up fully.
The Liebherr MK 100 is a five axle mobile tower crane which has a maximum 52m jib at which radius a 1.6t load can be lifted.  The under hook height is typically 33m, and can be up to 58m when the jib is inclined at a 30 degree angle.  This type of crane has an advantage for inner city work where it can place loads at large radius by reaching up and over buildings, and the set up time is typically only 15 minutes.  To see photos of the real crane click here.

The mechanical connections within the crane are complex to allow it to fold for transport.  This presents particular problems to the model maker, and engineering skill is needed to make it work in the 1:50 scale of this model.


The model comes in a typical Liebherr picture box.  The review model was damaged in transit with the driving cab windscreen cracked.  A replacement part was supplied promptly by Conrad and replacing it on the model was straightforward.

A CD is included with the model and this has a selection of good photos and a screensaver.  It also has some technical datasheets for the MK 100 and MK 110.  The addition of the CD is to be commended and hopefully more models will have this in the future.  The CD could have been improved further with the addition of the assembly instructions and film of the real crane being erected and in use.

A good instruction leaflet is supplied with the model with very clear pictures, a parts list, and descriptions in German, English, French, Italian and Spanish.  There are some parts in the bag which are not described in the instructions however.  Two steel pins are provided which can be used instead of plastic pins in the crane body and look less obtrusive.  There is also a strange small plastic part which is actually the motor for extending the telescopic jib section (see later photo).

Assembly of the model takes over an hour and needs some concentration.  There is an amount of reeving to do with the jib folding, hook, and cab elevating system all needing to be strung.  However these are not the most difficult reeving jobs so most collectors should achieve the result without difficulty.


Underneath, the chassis is plain with no detail to speak of.  The wheels are the standard Conrad variety with good treaded tyres mounted on plastic hubs although this does mean that the differing hub on the second axle of the real crane is not modelled.  At the front, the driving cab includes wing mirrors (which are the same on both sides and do not include an extra mirror on the passenger side), and a good pair of orange beacon lights on the roof.  The white bumper at the front is plastic and includes small headlights.  There is also a metal towing hitch.  Internal cab details are simple.

Behind the driving cab the detail is very good with various grilles and caps as well as a metal chrome exhaust.  After the first axle is a holder for spreader plates for the outrigger pads although on the model this is one solid piece.  The outriggers are two stage and are the usual Conrad type in strong tough plastic.  The rest of the carrier deck has access steps and a textured anti slip surface on top.  At the rear there are painted light clusters and another towing hitch.  An attachable equipment carrier can be fixed on the back and this has a textured surface and painted light clusters.

The crane body has features within the castings for various doors for compartments which are effective details. There are textured walking surfaces, and some metal hand railing which has to be fitted in place.  At the back the counterweight has warning markings applied and the attachable additional counterweight is marked in the same way.

The mast of the crane is a three section telescope which has simple detailing.  On the lowest section there is a capacity board and at the base there is a cross member with two orange beacon lights which are used to mark the rear of the crane when it is folded for transport.  Metal ladders clip on to the side of the mast and if these are carefully arranged they permit the operating cab to elevate smoothly.  The cab itself is a metal piece including the railings.  This does mean that it does not properly model the opening cowl at the bottom of the cab which gives full forward visibility.  Also cab details are fairly simple with no windscreen wipers for example.

The jib is complicated because of its folding nature and Conrad have done a good job here.  All but the last piece is metal and fully triangulated being made up of the top two sides and a separate underside piece.  The lattice work is all very good.  Particularly impressive are the various connecting struts and wires which have all been made to very good tolerances to ensure that the jib is straight and that there are no sagging parts lacking tension.  The final piece of jib is telescopic and this is made of plastic and is only triangulated on two sides although thankfully the colour match is excellent.  All pulleys on the crane are plastic.

The trolley is metal and includes a springing arrangement which allows the trolley to traverse the telescopic section. A nicely detailed single pulley metal hook is provided and to complete the model a Liebherr flag can be hung from the hook.  No doubt the flag will appear with future models too.


The steering on the chassis is excellent.  Axles one and two are linked, as are four and five, and a good hard lock can be obtained.  Unfortunately no steering is provided on axle three so many of the steering modes of the original machine cannot be replicated.

The two stage outriggers can be extended and lowered and the block representing the outrigger pads can be removed from its stowing position.  At the rear the equipment carrier can be added if desired.

The crane looks very impressive when in transport mode as the complexity of the model really shines through.  However some sacrifices have been made to produce the model in this scale.  On the real crane the mast is raised to vertical by means of a winch and pulley system at the base of the mast.  Although the pulleys are present on the model the winch is not, so erecting the mast cannot be simulated and has to be done by hand.  Similarly extending the mast is done by hand and this has to be done carefully, controlling the spooling of rope from the assembly drums.  Raising the jib to horizontal is achieved using a pair of winches in the crane body which both have a very good positive braking system.  The unfolding of the jib is controlled by a winch on the jib which is turned by hand and works well.  Lastly, the telescopic jib section has to be extended by hand.  As a further point this is one of those rare times where erecting and dismantling the real crane is faster than carrying out the same operation on the model!

Operation of the crane hook is by using a winch in the crane body which is accessed using a key through a hole in the bodywork.  All the winches here are much better than the usual variety, being spring loaded and requiring to be depressed to turn.  When released they spring back and there is a positive notched brake between the drum and the bodywork.  The trolley movement is by hand.

An interesting feature is the elevating cab which travels up ladder rails to any desired height.  The scale of the model means that the ladder rails are not telescopic and therefore do not move as the mast telescopes in and out.  This means the ladder rails, which are in three sections, have to be attached by hand when the mast is extended.  However they can be made to join well so that the cab glides up and down smoothly when the cab hoist is operated.

There is no doubt that this model is impressive in the way it unfolds from a compact transport unit into a large crane.  The model does get large when erected, being over 80cm tall (when the jib is horizontal) and around 116cm from jib tip to counterweight so you need a lot of space to display it fully.  It is fairly stable when erected although it needs the outriggers and you should not attempt to lift much at full radius.  Like the original, the model comes with an extra ballast piece and it is advisable to use it.


This model is well up to usual Conrad standards and as expected it excels in the area of model engineering where the difficult mechanisms of the real crane are translated very well into the scale model.  An excellent job has been done to create a very straight jib with all parts looking like they are under the correct tension.

Detail is generally very good, if perhaps not to the standard of some of the models produced by competitors in China.

Paintwork and graphics are all fine.


This is a complex model and must have been difficult to engineer.  Although it costs about 50% more than five axle telescopic cranes it is very good value for the functionality offered, and the Conrad quality of manufacture.


It seems that just a few years ago a model such as this could only have been dreamt of given the tricky model engineering needed to create a functional model.  Conrad have been up to the task with the crane being a pretty faithful representation of the real crane.  It can be posed in many ways depending on the space available but many collectors will be content to show it in transport mode as it looks very good shown this way.

On the downside there are some regrets that the model was not pushed a little further with a working mechanism to raise the mast and perhaps with a working trolley winch too.  However, viewed in context this is still a very good model and is highly recommended to collectors.


The model first appeared at BAUMA in April 2007 and was in the lighter yellow of Liebherr Biberach.  It was available at retailers from September 2007 when the colour of the model was changed to the darker yellow of Liebherr Ehingen.
Model and parts inside the box.
Imposing when folded for transport.
View at the rear with the equipment carrier tray fitted.
The jib unfolds.
'But I will take the lift...'
Metal trolley and hook, and a Liebherr banner.
Capacity board on the mast.
Cab raising mechanism.