HomeWelcomeReviewsEditorials/PressReferenceShopping MallLinksPhoto ArchiveSearchContact
Sennebogen 5500 Starlifter Crawler Crane - 'Go for Green'

Maker:  Conrad
Model No:  2733/02
Scale:  1:50
Review Date:  December 2011

Conrad Index
Crawler Crane Index

Cranes Etc Model Rating
Packaging   (max 10)8
Detail   (max 30)21
Features   (max 20)15
Quality   (max 25)18
Price   (max 15)12
Overall   (max 100)74%


Sennebogen 5500 Starlifter Crawler Crane - 'Go for Green' Video
Sennebogen'Go for Green' branded box.
Rigged with a boom only.
Tilting cab is plastic.
Plastic tracks look pretty good.
Textured surfaces on top of the body.
Luffing jib connection.
Top of the luffing jib.  The hook looks smart.
Maximum luffing jib configuration.
Maximum non-luffing jib configuration.
The 5500 makes excellent transport loads.  Nooteboom trailers do the honours.
'Did you bring the instruction manual?'
Body loaded on a Nooteboom Euro Low Loader.
Standing on the jacks.
Tracks fitted and ready for the counterweight.
The model of the Sennebogen 5500 was the first mass-produced large crawler crane model and it appeared as a prototype at the BAUMA exhibition in 2001, and went on sale in 2002. 

This version is in Sennebogen's 'Go for Green' livery and is updated with some revisions to the original model.


The box sleeve reflects the Green Line branding and contains two polystyrene trays which have a large number of individual pieces securely packed. 

The review model was undamaged although there were two manufacturing defects affecting the luffing jib retaining ropes and the counterweight tray fixing.  Both issues were quickly resolved by Conrad.

An instruction sheet is provided, complete with pictures, and it is in German and English.  Although helpful, it does not describe all aspects of the assembly including the reeving of the luffing jib and which winch drums to use.  The winch drums should be used as follows (numbering the winch drums 1 to 4 from front to back):

- 1 is used for the hook when there is only a main boom or for the hook for the luffing jib if the crane is using two hooks;
- 2 is used for the hook on the main boom when the luffing jib is attached;
- 3 is a double drum and controls the luffing of the main boom using the pulleys on the A-frame (except the centre pulley);
- 4 controls the luffing jib - the rope goes under and around the single pulley on the body and then up and over the centre pulley on the A-frame and on up to the luffing gear pulleys.

Rigging the model takes some time and the instructions are not as clear as they could be so a complete novice might have some difficulty.  In particular stringing up the luffing gear requires patience and perseverance.


Each crawler track comes as a separate unit.  The tracks themselves are plastic made up of a large number of interlocking sections.  They look very good although they are occasionally a little stiff so do not always lie naturally.  The only other moving parts on the track frame are the main sprockets.

The main piece of the model crane consists of the cross frame that links the two track frames, the crane body and first section of boom.  The cross frame snaps into position into openings in the track frames and this provides a robust fixing mechanism. 

The cab is plastic with grab rails and good interior details such as foot pedals.  The main body is relatively uncomplicated except at the rear where the counterweight attachment mechanism is modelled well, and is complete with cylinders and lifting chains although the cylinder pistons would look better if they were silver rather than green. 

Four separate winches are available to be used: one for luffing the main boom, one for the luffing jib and two winch lines.  The pulleys on the body and A-frame are metal rather than the plastic of the first version of the model and they are much better and roll freely. 

The counterweight plate attaches with a pin and pairs of five weights sit on top.  Each counterweight piece is cast with lifting lugs and is painted to produce a very pleasing result.  Not included on the model are the ballast plates used on the real machine which span between the track frames front and rear and these would have added to the stability of the model. 

The first section of the main boom is permanently fixed to the crane body together with spring-loaded bars to prevent the boom being over luffed into a vertical position.  All sections of the boom are made extremely well and look just great.  They join together using the plastic pin system which is very effective. 

The main boom head has snap-in large plastic pulleys which are satisfactory but perhaps not the best in their ability to free-roll, and they also appear to have an over-large separation between the sheaves. 

With the luffing jib attached an excellent cable arrangement is provided to prevent the jib over-luffing and the thread type hangs more naturally than on the original version of the model. 

The pendant bars used to support the boom and jib are all modelled in tough plastic and these are another revision from the original model.  They are pinned together so they remain straight under tension and are a big improvement.

There is no dolly wheel at the end of the fly jib and this would have been a worthwhile addition to the updated model. 

The hook is only a single pulley affair but looks smart with chevron stripes.  It is metal and looks fine on the fly jib but the main boom really calls for something larger and again it would have been a nice improvement on this update.


The cab is mounted on a tilting and hinge arrangement so that it can be moved inward to reduce the crane width during transport and can be rotated upward to aid the driver during lifts at height.  As a minor detail it would have been better if the walkway outside the cab had been hinged so that it can be stowed during transportation.  

The four winches are operated by keys which are metal.  They can also be removed when not used so they do not distract from the look although the holes remain.

The main strength of this model is the large variety of ways the model can be displayed.  It can be fully broken down for transport so looks excellent on the appropriate haulage vehicles.  It can also be displayed in various stages of assembly. 

The crane can be rigged a number of ways.  It can have just a main boom of various lengths, including very short if you want it.  It can have a luffing jib of different lengths giving an overall model height of about 1.2m.  Another option arises because the reducer section at the top of the main boom can have jib sections directly attached to create a long boom with reducing section towards the top.  Under this configuration the model stands around 1.1m high.

In terms of stability the model is fine with the boom and jib up but less so when they are at a big radius.


The casting of the boom sections is very good and overall the model has a high quality feel notwithstanding the production errors on the review model. 

The Sennebogen 'Go for Green' paint scheme looks really good and the few graphics are sharp.


Relatively speaking the model is now better value for money.


Although it is around 10 years since it first appeared, this is still a great looking crane model and the small improvements made to this version have been worthwhile.  It would have been nice if a few more changes had been made such as metal tracks and ballast plates between the track frames but no doubt this would have cost more. 

It remains easy to recommend.


The Sennebogen 5500 crawler crane was originally made in yellow and grey livery and was reviewed here.  The base model comes with the full complement of ballast weights as per the real crane.  An extension kit was produced which included an extra main boom section and an extra jib section.  It also had extra ballast weights which add stability to the model but in total are more than the real machine uses. 

The model was withdrawn from Conrad's online model list in February 2006.  In December 2006 a version in Mammoet colours was introduced in a limited edition of 300 models.  The extension set was also available in Mammoet colours. 

In 2011 this updated version was introduced, and it was also made available in Franz Bracht colours as model number 2733/03.
Bottom tray.
Top tray.
Counterweight slabs are well formed.
Metal pulleys are a big improvement on this version of the model.
Simple cab interior.
Small hook for a big boom.  Only two pulleys are fitted on the front of the boom head so they roll better.
Pendants are much improved and are straight.
Using the reducer section to produce a long boom.
Impressive boom.
Body lifted up so the low loader can drive away.
Self loading one of the track assemblies.  In reality it really needs a winch line to lift the load.
Moving in to self-lift the counterweight.
Ready for boom up.