Home Welcome Reviews Editorials/Press Reference Shopping Mall Links Photo Archive Search Contact
Liebherr 81 K.1 Fast-Erecting Crane

Maker:  NZG
Model No:  1051
Scale:  1:50
Review Date:  November 2023

NZG Index
Tower Crane Index

Cranes Etc Model Rating
Packaging   (max 10) 8
Detail   (max 30) 25
Features   (max 20) 16
Quality   (max 25) 19
Price   (max 15) 11
Overall   (max 100) 79%


Liebherr 81 K.1 Fast-Erecting Crane Video. 
Liebherr-branded box.
As a transport load.  The truck is not included.
Jib lowered.  The full erection equipment is not modelled so a realistic erection sequence cannot be replicated.
Operator's platform at the front.
Nice cabinets.
Cab is a separate part.
Shortened jib and without cab.
End jib section is pinned and removable

The Liebherr 81 K.1 has a maximum lifting capacity of 6 tonnes and a maximum radius of 48m.  It can lift 1.35 tonnes at maximum radius.  It can operate at various tower heights and can also climb using additional tower sections.

This model also includes two dollies so that it can be fully configured in a transport mode.  It is a revised and updated version of the previous 81 K model.


It comes in a Liebherr branded box and inside there is a two piece polystyrene tray containing the parts, some of which are carefully wrapped. 

There were no missing parts on the review model, but a broken part was quickly replaced by NZG.

An instruction sheet is provided for the crane which is in English and German.  There is no information about the real crane. 

It is complex to assemble and the small hook block is extremely difficult to reeve.


The base of the 81 K.1 has metal outriggers with simple screw thread pads.  Metal spreader plates are included.  On top of the base is a toothed slewing ring.

The cabinets are metal and nicely decorated, and the two winches are good too. 

The counterweight is a complete metal block with the Liebherr name embossed, and step irons are included.  An extra four slabs is modelled which is presumably a modelling compromise brought about by the need to counteract the heavy jib and give the model some stability.

The mast sections are a good metal casting although there are no ladders.  An operator's platform is mounted at the base.  The rope-operated mast raising system is modelled with small pulleys.  The cab is a separate part complete with access platform, and it has heavily tinted windows. It is a pity it does not have a lifting point so self-assembly can be posed.

The complex jib consists of three main sections which are metal and are fabricated as two castings; the top sides and the bottom.  The geometry and profile of the erected jib is very good.  The trolley and erection motors are modelled as are the Liebherr sign boards.

The suspension cables and rods are high quality and a very good job has been done to match lengths to obtain equalised tension.  Both the trolley and hook are metal and they are nice items.  A small piece of chain is included which adds detail and weight.  It is needed as the thread used for the hoist rope is not the right flexibility to be free-flowing unless there is some decent tension.

The two transport dollies are made to NZG's usual standards.  The wheels are metal with nice tyres and are mounted on non-functioning suspension. 


The outriggers fold out but cannot be locked in position so they move easily and have to be watched as the crane overbalances if they are not set right.  The pads screw down.

The crane rotates.

Increasing the height of the mast using the winch is implemented and it works well enough although the rigging of the jib means only one height can be set so it is not as flexible as the real crane.

The trolley can be positioned anywhere along the jib by hand although it was 'sticky' on the review model at the first articulation point.

The hook can be raised and lowered and works reasonably well as long as there is some load on.

The cab can be fitted or left off.  It would have been nice if it had lifting points so that self assembly could have been posed.

The crane can be erected and it is a large size. 

The end of the jib is pinned and can be removed.

It can be folded up with care.  A tie needs to be used to keep the folded jib in position.  The two transport dollies can be attached to the crane.  The rear one screws on and the front is a hook-over pinned attachment.  The front dolly steers to a good angle and the tow bar raises and lowers.


The 81 K.1 is largely a metal model with some nicely engineered parts, and it reasonably stands straight and true. 

The paint and graphics are very good.


It is reasonable value for a complex model.


The 81 K.1 is an interesting and complex crane, and it is substantially revised from the earlier 81 K model.  Compromises have had to be made in this scale and so some of the functionality and flexibility of the real crane is missing, and the model is close to the limit of stability when standing.  It is not really a model for a beginner, but it certainly looks good and is impressive. 


The model first appeared as the 81 K at the Nuremberg Toy Fair in 2013 with model #870.  This largely revised version appeared in 2023

The 81 K.1 ready for work.
The parts.
Very complex.
Underside of the dollies.
Long jib.
Liebherr embossed on the counterweight.
At work.