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Caterpillar 323 Hydraulic Excavator - Next Generation + Tools

Maker:  Diecast Masters
Model No:  85657
Scale:  1:50
Review Date:  August 2020

Diecast Masters Index
Earthmoving Equipment Index

Cranes Etc Model Rating
Packaging   (max 10) 9
Detail   (max 30) 25
Features   (max 20) 17
Quality   (max 25) 20
Price   (max 15) 11
Overall   (max 100) 82%


Caterpillar 323 Hydraulic Excavator - Next Generation + Tools Video  [Youku video]
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Caterpillar branded tin.
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Bucket is fitted out of the tin.
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Metal tracks and detail under the body.
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Operator installed.
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Digging with the clean-up bucket.
Digging at depth has moderate reach.
Very good detailing on top.
Detailed graphics.

The Caterpillar 323 Next Generation Hydraulic Excavator weighs around 23 tonnes.

It is used for earthmoving, roadwork, and material handling operations. 

In addition to the standard bucket, this version of the 323 model includes 4 additional work tools described as a clean up bucket, grapple, hammer and multi-processor.


The model comes in excellent packaging.  There is an outer shipping carton which contains a tin which is protected by a nylon bag.  The tin is high quality and includes pictures and details about the real machine and work tools.

The review model had no missing parts or defects.

A mini catalogue of the Diecast Masters range is included.  A simple instruction sheet describes how the operator can be inserted in the cab and how the quick coupler is used.


The undercarriage is mainly metal with a plastic baseplate.   The tracks are metal with triple grouser shoes.  They are mounted on decent track frames with static rollers, and there are a couple of tiny graphics on each frame.

The cab has got a plastic mirror and a separate wiper is attached to the cab structure.  There is a metal grab rail and the plastic roof has a window.  Inside the detail is very good with Cat on the seatback and also on the left control console.  An operator wearing bright high visibility clothing can be fixed in the cab. 

The body casting represents the body shape very well and the side grille is formed by graphics.  The Cat graphics are very sharp and there are some tiny warning signs.    On top the engine cover is plastic with more graphics used as grilles.  The colour match on the engine cover is very good. There are also two GPS equipment posts. There are textured walkway surfaces and the handrails are metal with a plastic mirror.

Soft hydraulic lines run to the boom and silvered connectors are modelled. Cables to the work lights are highlighted in black.  More pipes and hoses run to the stick and again the connectors are modelled. Rivets on the boom, stick and tools are painted and there are small graphics on the stick. The quick connector is plastic with an excellent colour match.

The metal bucket is a nice casting with sharp teeth. 

The clean up bucket is an all metal piece and nicely formed. 

The grapple has a metal connector and plastic jaws which have an excellent colour match. Tiny graphics add detail.

The hammer is an all metal part with tiny graphics.

The multi-processor also is all metal and has tiny graphics.

There are no hydraulic connections to the work tools.


The tracks roll easily, and they are mounted on spring-loaded idlers to maintain tension.

It rotates well.

The boom and stick have a good range of movement, and the bucket movement is reasonably good too.  It is a little short of the movement possible by the real machine at the extremes, particularly in depth of dig.

The quick coupler consists of plastic clips, which are very tight on first use and the grapple in particular was a tight fit on the review model.

Both the grapple and the multi-processor rotate and have opening jaws.

The operator can be installed in the cab for when the model is posed digging, or the cab can be empty to represent the machine being parked up or transported.


It is a robust model with a high metal content.

The paint is very good and the graphics are sharp.


It is good value.


The model is beautifully presented.  It is a further enhancement with the addition of the work tools which make it an excellent flexible model to display.


The model became available in July 2020.

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The parts out of the tin.
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Cat Hex logos.
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Tiny graphics on the track frames.
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Highlighted cable runs to the worklight.
Profile view.
Stick and quick coupler.
Multi-processor at work.
Very detailed tool.