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Weserhütte W 180 Dragline

Maker:  NZG
Model No:  500
Scale:  1:50
Review Date:  March 2004

NZG Index
Historic Equipment Index

Cranes Etc Model Rating
Packaging   (max 10) 7
Detail   (max 30) 26
Features   (max 20) 17
Quality   (max 25) 21
Price   (max 15) 11
Overall   (max 100) 82%


Weserhütte W 180 Dragline video (published March 2024).
The box.
The parts out of the box.
Dragline bucket.  Jewellery clasps have been used to provide a quick hitch.
The fairlead works well.
Very detailed dragline bucket.
With a suitable weight (not included with the model), the Weserhütte can be rigged for demolition duties.
It looks great on a Scheuerle trailer.
The Weserhütte W 180 is one of the NZG historical series.


The model arrived in the typical style of box for this series.  Outside is a drawn picture of the machine at work.  Inside, the model is packed within a polystyrene box which has a separate section for the dragline bucket and other pieces.  The review model arrived with the rear handrails bent out of position, but this probably occurred in the factory as the box was unmarked, and was easy to correct. 

There is a simple and clear instruction sheet which explains how to rig the model.


The model itself is a little smaller than most other crawler cranes, but it does not lack detail.  The undercarriage has fine metal tracks and the track frames have rollers top and bottom.  

The body itself is detailed well with grilles, lights and exhaust pipes.  Doors open at each side and at the rear and there are two opening flaps on the top front.  Handrails are fixed to the rear of the body and those to the sides are provided separately and push into place.  This allows the walkways to be removed for displaying the model on a low loader in transport mode.  The floors of the side walkways have a realistic mesh appearance.

Inside the body internal machinery details are provided with the engine and gears all modelled.  Cab details include a seat, levers and pedals.

The jib sections are good with the only disappointment being that the main rectangular boom section is a single cast piece rather than made up of two separate sections.  This means there are only two jib lengths possible.  Jib connections are of the longitudinal pin variety which work adequately well on this model as the overall jib length is not great. 

The dragline bucket is very good with realistic chains and perforations in the bucket itself although it looks a little large on the model.


All the main crane functions can be operated.  The winches are worked using the special tool supplied for the purpose so there are no distracting plastic winding handles.  The opening doors greatly add to the realism of the model particularly as they reveal detailed machinery inside.  The model looks good on a low loader although it would have been even better if the A-frame on the roof could fold flat as presumably the one on the real machine did.

The track sprockets are spring loaded at one end to keep the tension on the tracks and this makes it easy to remove the track from the sprockets if required.

If jewellery-type clasps are fitted to the end of the main hoist and dragline ropes, it becomes easy to disconnect the bucket and show the model on crane or other duties.


The casting is very high quality with some particularly fine detail work on the dragline bucket and jib.  The paint finish is also very high quality as are the decals.  Very little plastic is used on this model and even the internal gears are metal.


Although the model costs more than similar sized modern models, the quality makes the additional cost well worth it.


This model is of the usual high standard of the NZG historical series.  The few minor gripes mentioned do not detract from the overall pleasing impression this model gives.  Although not the biggest crane model available, the fine detail and modelling of the machinery in the body makes you want to look at it closely.


The model first appeared at the Nuremberg Toy Fair in 2003.  In 2005 a version in blue was announced together with an 'aged' version which was painted to look dirty and old.  A version with a piling hammer was introduced in 2005 as model NZG 596.

Profile view.
Opening the sliding doors gives access to the winches and allows the internal machinery to be seen.
Rear view with opening door to the engine compartment.
Opening flaps where the hoist rope emerges from the body.
Ready to smash away.