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Fermentation Tank

Maker:  Sword
Model No:  049
Scale:  1:50
Review Date:  August 2008

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The fermentation tank resting on 'timber' cribs.
The box.
Opening vents are featured.
Providing a light load for a Terex Demag CC8800.
The original tanks being turned and lifted.
This is an unusual model of a fermentation tank and has been produced as a load for suitable heavy haulage vehicles such as the Peterbilt 379 and Nelson 3x3x3 Trailer.

The original tanks on which the model is based were made in Germany and shipped to the USA for the construction of the Coors brewery at Elkton in Virginia.  To get to the site the tanks were barged up a river and then transported by road on Nelson 3x3x3 trailers.  In all, forty tanks were manufactured and delivered.

The real tank is around 70 feet long (21m), 20 feet (6m) in diameter and weighs around 80,000 pounds (36 tonnes) empty, with the legs adding another 10,000 pounds (5 tonnes) when attached.


The model comes in a rather large box which is in the usual Sword style of a black sleeve which encloses two expanded polystyrene trays containing the model.  The review model had no defects or missing parts.

No instructions are provided as none are necessary.  However some information about the real tanks would be appreciated by collectors.

Detail and Features

The model is large and mainly made of metal.

The tank construction is convincing with a ribbed surface and it has tiny vents with detailed hatches.  On the top of the tank there is a nicely riveted cover.  At the bottom there are some furled cables which is a good touch.

Also included with the model are four plastic cribs which the tank can rest on to stop it rolling.  They are made to resemble timber and they do this effectively.  The box also contains a pack of chains for use in securing the model during transport.  They are too light to be used for lifting the model however.

The tank has opening vents which are a small but pleasing detail.  It would have been nice if a set of legs had been provided as well as heavy lifting chains and then the model could have been an even more effective load for a crane than it already is.

Quality and Price

This is a well made, if simple, model.  It is good value.


The fermentation tank fills an interesting gap in the 1:50 scale market by providing a good load for haulage and crane models.  In this sense it is a model to be displayed in conjunction with others, rather than on its own.  The addition of legs would have made it more flexible but notwithstanding this it is highly recommended as a way of producing interesting display poses.


The fermentation tank was introduced in February 2007, and made in a run of 1000 models.  In August 2008 a version of the Fermentation Tank (model ref SW2049-KIT) was introduced which includes a couple of lifting strops to enable the tank to be used as a crane load in the manner shown in the photos in this review.

Inside the box.
The tank secured on a Nelson 3x3x3 Trailer.
The timber crib stops the tank rolling.
The Cranes Etc team realise they are missing some legs.
An impressive load.