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Liebherr MK 88 Mobile Construction Crane

Maker:  Conrad
Model No:  2106/03
Scale:  1:50
Review Date:  April 2011


Conrad Index
Mobile Crane Index


Cranes Etc Model Rating
Packaging   (max 10)9
Detail   (max 30)23
Features   (max 20)17
Quality   (max 25)20
Price   (max 15)12
Overall   (max 100)81%

Footnotes


 
Liebherr MK 88 Mobile Construction Crane Video
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Liebherr style box.
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Ready for the road.
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The tray at the back can carry accessories.
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The beacon lights on this model flash.
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Outrigger pads with the plates underneath.
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Top of the tower during erection.
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The jib is very straight - great model engineering.
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Overall look is impressive.
The Liebherr MK 88 Mobile Construction Crane is a 4 axle machine with a maximum lifting capacity of 8 tonnes.  Depending on configuration it can lift just over 2 tonnes at the maximum radius of 45m, and the maximum hook height is just over 30m.  The jib can be angled up to 45.

This is a revised version of an earlier model and this review is updated from the previous one.

Packaging

The MK 88 comes in a higher quality Liebherr style box than normal and inside it is packed within black foam rubber which gives it a more professional presentation.  The review model had no defects or missing parts.

There is no information about the real crane which is a pity.  However there is a large and comprehensive instruction sheet which is printed in German and English.  It has an illustrated parts list and is in colour.  Also included is a separate pair of leaflets describing the installation of the batteries for the flashing beacon lights, and their operation.

There are a few small parts to fit to the model.  Just like the real crane, it is complicated so it takes a while to erect it fully but it is straightforward if the instructions are followed.  It is robustly made but care needs to be taken not to force any parts during erection or more particularly when folding it up.

Small temporary clips are used to prevent lines from getting tangled up when the model is unpacked and assembled and this is certainly a much better solution than the fiddly tape often used on other models.

Detail

There is next to no detail under the model with the steering components being purely functional for the purposes of the model.  The tyres are Conrad's usual type for crane models but the wheel hubs on this version are of a new improved and more detailed design. However the non-driven wheels on the first axle do not have a correct looking hub.

The driving cab is similar to the previous MK 100 model, but it does have a modified front bumper to represent the MK 88.  Details are simple and represent the real crane's uncluttered appearance.  Door mirrors attach to the cab and interior detail is reasonable.  The beacon lights look good, but more on this later.  The outriggers have metal beams with screw down plastic pads.  Four plastic outrigger pads are supplied and these can be stored in holders on each side.  A neat fold down ladder provides access to the carrier deck and crane body.  The carrier deck has good diamond plate surfacing and at the rear an optional tool carrier can be fitted.

The crane body is a good casting with panel doors and handles detailed and the lines of the body are only broken by small access holes for the keys to turn the winches.  A metal handrail and optional additional ballast plate are parts to be fitted.  On this version of the model the handrail is yellow, whereas before it was silver.  The mast raising mechanism is in place although it is not intended to be reeved, and there are metal pulleys throughout on this model.

The mast is a telescopic lattice and therefore very different from the MK 100 model.  It is well made and there is a ladder section attached to the lower part although the top section has to be fitted when the mast is extended as obviously having the ladder telescope was too great a modelling challenge in this scale.  The ladder also doubles as the guide rail for the elevating cab which is the same design as the MK 100 cab with an additional roof attachment.

The jib is metal throughout and is mechanically complex.  Conrad have done an excellent job at making the jib, the hinges, and the pendant connections to fine tolerances so that it is geometrically correct when erected.

The trolley is plastic, and both it and the metal hook have tiny metal pulleys.  A Liebherr flag is provided as a load to hang from the hook.

Features

The carrier has independent steering on each axle so all modes of steering can be reproduced and the range of movement in the steering is good.

The outriggers can be deployed and are strong enough to support the weight of the model when erected.  The outrigger pads can be stowed or used as desired.

The ladder to the carrier deck can be unfolded, and the tool carrier can be added or omitted.  It is advisable to fit the optional counterweight to improve stability of the model.

It is possible to pose the crane as if undergoing the phases of erection although this cannot be carried out by operating the winches alone as various hand manipulations are required.  When the crane is erect it is stable, but the metal jib means that it will not carry any significant load at radius before wanting to tip over.

Keys are supplied to operate the various winches.  The cab can be raised and lowered up and down the mast.  The jib can be unfolded and either posed horizontal or at an angle to mimic the possibilities of the real crane.  The hook can be raised and lowered, but the trolley function is not present and it has to be positioned by hand.

The MK 88 features an innovation in models of this scale, type and cost.  The orange beacon lights on the driving cab work.  Batteries are supplied with the crane and are fitted in a holder within the engine compartment on the carrier, and the roof of the cab can be removed to reveal a circuit board with an on/off switch.  In practice it works well and looks realistic, and it certainly adds display interest when posed with working lights.

Quality

Conrad have provided a model of their typical robust quality.  Little use is made of plastic and the paintwork and graphics are very good.

Price

The model is not cheap which reflects its complexity and features.  However it is good value.

Overall

This model is slightly revised from the previous version but it remains a very complex piece of modelling executed well.  The MK 88 is highly recommended.

Footnotes

The model first appeared at the BAUMA exhibition in April 2010.  An earlier version of the model is reviewed here.

 
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The parts out of the box.
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Impressive structure at the rear.
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All axles steer independently.
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New and much better wheel hubs.
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The jib unfolds.
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A Liebherr flag adds some weight to the hook.
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It is a big model when fully erected.