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Potain IGO 21 Mobile Tower Crane

Maker:  TWH Collectibles
Model No:  001
Scale:  1:50
Review Date:  November 2005

TWH Index
Tower Crane Index

Cranes Etc Model Rating
Packaging   (max 10)8
Detail   (max 30)25
Features   (max 20)16
Quality   (max 25)20
Price   (max 15)12
Overall   (max 100)81%


The model comes in two variants, Potain yellow and Manitowoc red.
Potain picture box.
Where to buy
The parts out of the box.
Folded and ready for the road.
Opening doors give access to the winch and electrics.  Cabling is even present at the turntable.
Interesting articulations to permit erection. 
Self ballasting can be posed.
Both versions posed in short radius mode.
The Potain IGO Mobile Tower Crane is a self erecting tower crane of the type which is popular in Europe.  This version of the crane can lift 1.8t to a maximum height of 19.3m.  Loads can be lifted to a maximum radius of 26m.

This is the first model to be produced by Towsleys in association with the Chinese model maker Wan Ho (hence the name TWH Collectibles).

This is a model of the Potain IGO 21 and it comes in two colours, Potain yellow and Manitowoc red.  Both versions of the model were reviewed.


The model comes in twin polystyrene trays held together with a picture sleeve. Inside, the model is carefully packed and wrapped to prevent damage and both review models were unblemished.  However the model in Manitowoc red was missing the hook and this was supplied by NZG separately although not in the correct colour.

Included is a twelve page booklet in English which gives information about the real machine.  However there is no specific information on the model or how it is erected or operated.


The initial impressions of the model are very encouraging as it oozes detail.  Two axles are supplied for when the crane is being transported.  Both are all metal parts with excellent wheel hubs and treaded tyres.  The outriggers and pads are also all metal.  Contained within the under frame are two wires complete with plugs which replicate those found on the real machine which are for plugging in a power supply.  Also visible is a toothed slewing ring.

Moving to the crane body, each side has an opening door which reveals excellent detail inside.  Cabinets and motors are all faithful copies of the original.  Each counterweight piece is superbly cast with a lifting eye and a step iron.  The mast sections and all connecting pieces are very well made and are metal except the hydraulic cylinder casing which is plastic. The mast also has a ballasting derrick attached complete with line and tiny hook.  All moving parts are particularly smooth.

The jib continues the excellence of the manufacturing with the first section being a full triangular profile rather than having the underside missing as in earlier such models.  The quality of the manufacture produced a perfectly straight jib on the review model.  Plastic Potain name boards are clipped to the jib.  Both the trolley and the hook are  metal.  The hook is fine although the version on the red model was not particularly realistic however as it has an oversized ball which was done presumably to add weight and keep the lines taught.  Where pulleys are present they are small and plastic.

The model is fully reeved when delivered which is a relief as it would be difficult for the collector to reeve this crane.  Unfortunately the strings used are light colour whereas black would have looked more realistic.


The crane can be fully folded for transport or displayed erected.  By folding over the outer jib section it can also be displayed operating in restricted radius mode.  It would also be possible to show the model with the jib luffed up at an angle by adjusting the line at the rear that holds the jib level. 

The outrigger beams fold in and out as per the original machine and the pads can be screwed down individually to level the model.  The winch is operated by a special tool supplied with the model. 

The real surprise however comes in the trolley mechanism.  By turning the drum at the bottom of the mast the trolley can be moved along the jib - this is the first model with an operating trolley.  The mechanism is not flawless, proving stiff towards each end of the jib and probably caused by string winding on the drums causing them to go tight and increasing the friction. 

Another triumph for this model is the operating ballasting derrick which can be displayed erecting counterweights exactly as the original.


The quality of the castings and paintwork are very good indeed and the generally smoothly working parts add to the feel that this model is of a higher standard than average.


For what is offered, the model is very good value for money.


Overall this is a first rate model of its type.  With lots of display options, combined with the high quality, this is a pleasing model for the collector of this type of crane.


This model first appeared towards the end of 2004 and was displayed at the Nuremberg Toy Fair in 2005.  It has been produced in two colours:  Potain yellow in a run of 1200 models and Manitowoc red in a run of 300 models.

The model packed in the box.
The manual is an information brochure on the real machine.
'Best check it over before moving it'.
Trolley, metal hook and Potain ornament.
Good straight jib.
A good model of this type.