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Caterpillar Track Loader Evolution

Maker:  Diecast Masters
Model No:  85559
Scale:  1:50
Review Date:  June 2018

Diecast Masters Index
Earthmoving Equipment Index

Cranes Etc Model Rating
Packaging   (max 10) 10
Detail   (max 30) 25
Features   (max 20) 14
Quality   (max 25) 21
Price   (max 15) 12
Overall   (max 100) 82%


Caterpillar Track Loader Evolution Video  [Youku video]
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The outer sleeve.
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Models sitting on a base plate, and the book.
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The 977D ripper.
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Operator has Caterpillar printed on the cap.
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Extra holes drilled in the base to accommodate the fixings.
Simple ripper on the 963K.
Decent bucket.
Extra fixing holes drilled in the bottom of the 963K.
Just clears a low sided tipper.

This model set traces the history of Caterpillar track loaders from the D2 Traxcavator through to the 963K.   It includes models of the 977D and 963K, and also a book describing the history of the track loader series.

Diecast Masters has introduced this set as one of its Evolution series.


The set comes in excellent packaging.  There is an outer sleeve which covers a high quality box.  The box has a hinged lid with a ribbon restraint.  Inside the box there are reprints of 977D and 963K marketing sheets, and various photos of track loaders in the series.

The review set had no missing parts or defects.

A mini catalogue of the Diecast Masters range is included.


The set includes a 44 page ring-bound book.  It is comprehensive and is drawn with information from the
Caterpillar archives.  Various versions of track loader is described, including the innovations associated with each version.   As a book it is an excellent reference work to accompany the models.

The models are fixed to a base plate which has nice quality badges embedded.  The models are fixed by screws with stands.  The stands are not visible when the models are mounted.

Starting with the 977D, the small metal tracks are good and they are mounted on detailed track frames.  There are no working rollers, but the upper rollers are modelled.

The ripper attachment has three tines and the hydraulic ram has hoses running from it.  An excellent detail at the back is the graphics with tiny legible writing. 

The operator's area is convincing with replica levers which are plastic and slightly large, but flexible enough to simulate movement. An operator is fixed in position and he is in period clothing.  A nice touch is that Caterpillar is printed on his cap.  A plastic umbrella provides protection.

At the front the radiator grille looks very good.  The bucket lift and tilt arms have large riveted connections but they are painted so they are less obtrusive. 

At the front the bucket is a simple but solid casting with anti wear plates on the bottom.

The 963K has metal tracks and they are mounted on detailed track frames.  There are no working rollers.

At the back there is a simple ripper attachment, and the radiator grille is nicely modelled.  The side grilles are formed by graphics and the grab handles are in tough plastic.

The cab has door handles detailed in the glass, and there are plastic grab rails and wipers.  Inside the cab is the usual modern-style Diecast Masters operator.

At the front the loader arms have discrete pained connections and the 963K graphics are very sharp.  The bucket is a nice casting with good structure and teeth.


The models can be removed from the base plate by unscrewing.

The 977D has fairly stiff tracks which share common axles so they turn together.  They can be rotated by hand.

The ripper has a good range of movement, particularly downwards.  The loader reaches high and the mechanism is stiff.  The tilt angle is a little restricted as is the carry angle when the bucket is down..

The 963K has free rolling tracks.

The ripper has very restricted downward movement. 

The loader mechanism has a limited lift height, but the tilting angle is very good.  There is no carry position when the bucket is down.


The models are very good quality with nice paint and graphics.


The set is good value.


This second set in the Evolution series provides another interesting insight into the history of some Caterpillar machines.  The functionality of the models is not the best, but as a display piece the set looks really good.


The set first appeared at the Nuremberg Toy Fair in 2018.

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Brochure reprints in the lid.
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Overall look is great.
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Very nice radiator grille.
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Good height on the 977D.
Nice base plate presentation.
Height of lift seems a bit low.
Nice pair.