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Caterpillar 7495 HF Electric Rope Shovel

Maker:  TWH Collectibles
Model No:  011 / 01377
Scale:  1:50
Review Date:  November 2012


TWH Index
Mining Equipment Index

Cranes Etc Model Rating
Packaging   (max 10)6
Detail   (max 30)27
Features   (max 20)17
Quality   (max 25)23
Price   (max 15)12
Overall   (max 100)85%

Footnotes


Caterpillar 7495 HF Electric Rope Shovel video
The packaging is huge.  This is the outer box.
Where to buy
The model in the tray.  It is best to mark up the packaging so it is easy to repack.
Graphics and paint job are very good.
Parked up.
It is a huge machine.  
Excellent cab detail inside.
Interesting dipper handle.
Sometimes you feel so small.
Roof details.
Detailed warning signs.
Loading a Caterpillar 797 Mining Truck.
It's not oil sands, but rocks will do.
Comment on this model.

Caterpillar took over Bucyrus International in 2011 and rebranded the Bucyrus line into its own colours.  The 7495 Series are high performance electric mining shovels, produced in two versions.  The 7495 HR is a hard rock version and the 7495 HF reviewed here is a high flotation version used where a low ground pressure is required such as in oil sands excavation.  The shovels are capable of excavating 100 tonnes of material at a time and can load large mining trucks in two or three passes.  The dipper (shovel) capacities range from 27-61m (35-80yd).

Packaging

It comes in a very large black outer container and inside is an inner box separated by spacers which is a giant picture sleeve enclosing two expanded polystyrene trays.  Care has to be taken removing the model from the box as there are plenty of separate pieces to the packaging and its worth marking these up as you go so that the model can be put back in the box again if required.  Also the model is secured by a large tie to the tray underneath which is awkward to release.

There is no information about the model or the machine, and there were no missing parts on the review model.  One of the hoist ropes for the dipper was tangled on the winch drum inside the body and required significant effort to resolve.  A couple of metal handrails had slight bends but were easy to correct back to shape.

Separate from the model two winding handles are provided together with some handrails which have to be fitted.  A simple instruction sheet would have been a useful inclusion with the model. 

Detail

Starting with the lower works, the crawler tracks are massive with pads which are large heavy links individually pinned together.  Each set of tracks is carried on huge track frames which have various bolt, lifting eye and bearing details.  Between the track frames is some extraordinary detail and heavy construction.  At one end there are huge track drive boxes with heavy interconnections and various cables of different gauges and types.  There is also a boom with a feeder cable to trail off to an electricity supply.

Above the turntable there is a large slewing motor on each side of the model.  Although this is a hard to see without getting your eyes to crawler track level, the detail is outstanding.  Numerous cables are run and clipped at various points.  On one side the access walkway runs under the body complete with mesh floor and handrails and there is an adjacent radiator grille.

Starting at the bottom of the cab side, a boarding ladder has excellent mesh tread steps and this detail is reproduced throughout the model together with metal hand railing which is in a realistic thickness for the scale.  Excellent quality graphics result in legible warning notices and these are sprinkled across the model.  The walkway leads up stairs to a mid level which has orange beacon lights and a horn loudspeaker, together with a door and access ladder to the dipper flap release winch.  A pair of floodlights hang down from under the cab and these are beautifully modelled with the bulbs clearly visible inside the lamps.  More floodlights like these are located at various points around the model.

Another flight of stairs leads to the cab deck.  Here, first class air-conditioning machinery is modelled complete with grilles and cabling.  Doors lead into the cab and this is highly detailed too.  The operator's station has joystick and pedal controls, and tiny graphics are visible on the workstation.  An additional seat is provided and behind there are various cabinets as well as a refreshment station where a coffee machine and microwave oven are visible.  Outside, the cab has a windscreen wiper, mirror and fire extinguisher.

The roof of the machine has various access hatches detailed within the casting.  A detailed generator complete with high voltage sign sits in one corner and there are three giant filters towards the rear.  Handrails surround the roof area and further ladders with safety cages ascend the A-frame where the strops supporting the boom are attached.  These strops reflect those on the real machine with an appropriate steel-coloured choice of thread.

On the opposite side of the body from the cab a vertical ladder provides access to further walkways and these include a large convex mirror at the front which allows the operator to see if anyone is on the walkway from his position in the cab.  In fact on the model looking through the operator's cab at the mirror you can see how this works.  This side of the model is where the winding keys are inserted to operate the model.  One is a hole in the body and the second is skillfully designed to be accessed through the window of a doorway. 

The back of the model has a large CAT graphic.  A pair of floodlights and vents complete the detail in this area. The boom is of suitably heavy box beam construction and includes stairways which lead to the top where two pairs of very large pulley wheels carry the rope for raising and lowering the dipper.  The tubular handle consists of a silver tube which has a pulley mechanism at one end and a complex arrangement for holding the dipper at the other end.

The dipper is a very heavy piece of modelling.  A pair of excellent and fully linked pulley connections hold the dipper, and painted heavy duty riveted connections fix the dipper to the tubular handle.  It has very thick walls and at the cutting edge has six teeth which are complete with rivet details.  The door at the rear has heavy structural members finely recreated.

Features

The tracks on the model work really well considering the heavy weight resting on them and this is in part helped by the working rollers on the track frame.

The electric feeder cable boom attached to the lower works can be rotated to different angles.  Access to the machine is provided via a pair of ladders.  One is a stairway which is controlled by a hydraulic cylinder and this mechanism works, and the second is a vertical ladder which can be lowered and raised.

The two doors to the operator's cab can be opened, and the various floodlights around the model can all be adjusted for angle.

The main functions of the shovel work well.  It rotates smoothly although care needs to be exercised in terms of not pushing on the handrails to turn the model as these will likely bend before the mass of the model gives in to moving. 

The dipper functions are operated using two long keys supplied with the model.  One operates the raising and lowering of the dipper.  This has a brake and the key has to be pushed in to operate it.  The tubular handle is worked by a separate winch at the front which is frictional and controls it well.

The dipper door can be opened by turning the small winch at the base of the boom although on the review model the door was not quite free swinging. 

Quality

This is a very high quality model which is mainly metal and the castings are all first rate, with graphics and paintwork that enhance the model.  Functionality is very good, with smoothly operating parts not troubled by the significant weight and loads on them.

Price

This is a very large and impressive model and it is very good value for money overall.

Overall

This model is a good-looking reworking of the original Bucyrus model in Caterpillar colours.  The rear counterweight has been changed to remove the Bucyrus name but in other respects the model is unchanged so some of the more recent developments of the real machine such as the cab design are not reflected. 

However this is one of those models that will impress anyone - even those with no interest in the subject.  It remains an outstanding mining shovel model.

Footnotes

The model first appeared in 2006 as a Bucyrus-branded model.  The HF
'Fastfil' bucket was available separately from Sword Models and was produced in a run of 1000.
 
Inside, the Caterpillar sleeve.
Profile view.
Looking smart.
Ladders and handrails are high quality.
Air conditioner behind the cab and opening door.
Access ladder folded down.
Large metal rope wheels.
No place to hide.
Bucket is impressive.
Wide high flotation tracks.
Fine details even in hard to see places.
Ladder lowered.