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Liebherr R 996 Mining Shovel

Maker:  Conrad
Model No:  2811
Scale:  1:50
Review Date:  March 2004

Conrad Index
Mining Equipment Index

Cranes Etc Model Rating
Packaging   (max 10)7
Detail   (max 30)21
Features   (max 20)15
Quality   (max 25)19
Price   (max 15)11
Overall   (max 100)73%


The 996 is a large and imposing model with a weight to match.
Rear view.
Good hand railing surrounds the roof
The 996 is an ideal companion for a big dump truck.
The arm used for removing the engine blocks. This gives an idea of the size of the model overall.
You can dismantle the shovel and parts of the boom by just sliding out the connecting pins.
The Liebherr R 996 mining shovel is one of the largest hydraulic shovel excavators in the world, weighing 577 tonnes in the version which has been modelled, with the latest version of the real machine weighing 655 tonnes.


This large model comes in standard Liebherr packaging comprising a two-section expanded polystyrene box held together with a picture cardboard sleeve.  The box is large and impressive which gives a clue to the model inside.  The robust packaging prevented any damage to the review model.  No instructions are provided.


Lifting the model out of the box is a challenge due to the heavy weight.  The model requires no assembly except for the fitting of the handrails on to the main boom, which is an easy exercise.

The metal tracks are impressive, and the smooth rolling action is assisted by both the main sprockets and the working rollers provided on the top and bottom of each track frame.  The sprocket detail on the track frames is not part of the moving sprocket however.

Handrails are provided extensively and these all look good having regard to the scale of the model.  Main hydraulic hosing is modelled using rubberised material which looks better than plastic.

Cab detail is simple and lights on the front of the machine are painted on.  On the roof of the body the engine exhausts are detailed, there is a textured walkway and a simply detailed lifting arm.

Along the digging arm hydraulic lines are detailed within the casting.  The shovel has large and impressive teeth.


The hydraulic cylinders all work so the model can be posed in a variety of ways and this includes the shovel which opens.  The access ladder can be retracted or withdrawn.  The hoist on the top of the main body also turns and can be unfolded.  The surprise in the model comes from lifting off the two roof panels over the engine blocks.  Taking these off reveals two detailed engine frames containing a radiator and an engine block.  Even better, both can be lifted out of the model as complete units for servicing.  This allows the model to be posed as if under maintenance - all you need is a suitable crane and the pose is complete.

A further thoughtful touch with this model is the provision of a Preiser scale model of a man (see accessory review here) as when he is posed on the model it gives a ready indication of the size of the real machine.


There is a relative absence of plastic in this model (the main cylinder bodies are plastic components) and this imparts a feeling of robustness and quality.  The casting quality is good - on the rear of the model the Liebherr name and model number is raised as if embossed.  All moving parts work well and the engine blocks are a good fit within the main body.  The paintwork is good and the graphics are clear and vibrant.


This is a large and relatively costly model.  However it is good value for the weight and quality of the finished article


This is one of those models that looks immediately impressive even to the non-collector.  The weight of the model further reinforces the impression.  The package is completed by the scale man and the removable engine blocks.

For the future, the model would be further improved by additional detailing in terms of hosing to the main cylinders and lights and wipers.  It would also have been even better if the model could be split down into transportable pieces to provide impressive poses on suitable heavy haulage.


The model first appeared in 1997.  The initial colour scheme had the undercarriage in white and this was changed to grey some years later.  A special edition was produced in the 'Theiss' livery of yellow.  A backhoe version (model number 2916) was introduced and displayed at the 2005 Nuremberg Toy Fair.
Plastic ladder pulls down to allow access.
From ground level the machine towers above.
Engine covers removed revealing the two engine blocks.
The shovel is big and heavy.
An impressive and heavy model.
An engine block makes a haulage load.