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Bucyrus 495HR Rope Shovel

Maker:  TWH Collectibles
Model No:  012
Scale:  1:50
Review Date:  June 2008


TWH Index
Mining Equipment Index

Cranes Etc Model Rating
Packaging   (max 10)9
Detail   (max 30)28
Features   (max 20)17
Quality   (max 25)23
Price   (max 15)12
Overall   (max 100)89%

Footnotes


The Bucyrus 495HR - the ultimate 'big iron'?
The packaging is a colossus.  This is the inner box.
Where to buy
All the parts out of the box.  The 495HR also comes with a spare set of tracks in black, in the cardboard box.
Warning notice by the staircase.  Click the photo to read it.
The stairs lowered for access.
The electric feeder cable boom resides below the huge body of the machine.  
Excellent cab detail, and a loudspeaker underneath.
The undercarriage gives the impression of tremendous power.
Not as big as a house - it's bigger.
Floodlights have bulbs and their angle can be adjusted.
View from the top.
'DON'T BE STUPID!  GET A PROPER SIZE TRUCK!'
Loading a Liebherr T262 Mining Truck.
The working discharge door in action.
Bucyrus International has a company history dating back to 1880 and is based in Wisconsin, USA.  It makes a variety of mining equipment and the 495 Series are high performance electric mining shovels, produced in two versions.  The 495HR is a hard rock version and the 495HF 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).

Both versions of the 495 have been produced as 1:50 scale versions by TWH, and are made in China. The 495HF is TWH model 011 and the 495HR, the subject of this review, is model 012.

Packaging

Even in 1:50 scale this is a huge model so it is no surprise that it is delivered in a truly colossal box.  It is black with TWH and Bucyrus markings but in fact this is only an outer container because inside separated by spacers is an inner box which is a giant picture sleeve enclosing two expanded polystyrene trays.  All this packaging works a treat though as the review model had no defects, or missing parts.  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 so it does not lift out as expected.  The tie has to be unwound to remove the model from the tray.

Included with the model is a 24 page brochure.  This has a couple of pages of facts about the 495 series shovels, but most is devoted to the history of the Bucyrus company and the entire product range.  It is an interesting read.

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.  Also provided with the HR version is a small box with a separate pair of crawler tracks in black which can be fitted as an option to the primer coloured tracks that are fitted.

Detail

Starting with the lower works, the crawler tracks are suitably massive.  The pads are large heavy links which are 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 part of the model 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.

The main body of the machine is one of the most imposing pieces of mass produced 1:50 scale modelling available at the time of the review.  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 yellow metal hand railing which is all 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 photo etched 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 blue generator complete with high voltage sign sits in the middle of the roof with three giant filters behind.  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 perfectly mirror 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 is a massive wall of metal with the Bucyrus name cast in relief within the counterweight.  A pair of floodlights and a 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 work as befits the 495.  A pair of excellent and fully linked pulley connections hold the dipper, and heavy duty riveted connections fix the dipper to the tubular handle.  The dipper on the 495HR is the 80yd version whereas the 495HF version has the smaller 59yd 'FastFil' version.  It has very thick walls and at the cutting edge has ten 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.  Collectors will also be pleased with the addition of a spare set of tracks in black, which are relatively straightforward to fit as the track sprockets are spring loaded.

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 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.  A very good job has been done to keep the pair of crowd ropes taut, although a little more string on the drums would have allowed the dipper to take up poses at maximum extension.  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 and this mechanism is very pleasant to operate.  Closing the door gives a satisfying 'clunk'.

Quality

It is easy to view this model purely in terms of its bulk and weight but this would do it a disservice.  This is a very high quality model which is superbly detailed and gives the feeling that it has been designed with particular care and attention.  The details and 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 model is of course not cheap and will be beyond the range of some collectors.  For those that invest however it is very good value for money as it offers a great combination of size and detail.

Overall

Bucyrus have commissioned TWH to deliver a high quality mass produced mining shovel model and the objective has been fully delivered.  The model is equally impressive from a distance as it is when inspecting details close up.  Many interesting poses can be created and it looks very good when paired with a suitable mining truck. 

This is one of those models that will impress anyone - even those with no interest in the subject.  Overall, at the time of the review, this model is in the top echelon of scale models reviewed by Cranes Etc and without doubt is an outstanding model.

Footnotes

The model first appeared in 2006.  The following versions have been produced:  Model 011 495HF in Bucyrus colours, run of 1500;  Model 011 495HF in Syncrude colours  (red), run of 500;  Model 012 495HR in Bucyrus colours, run of 1500.  The 495HF
'Fastfil' bucket is available separately from Sword Models and has been produced in a run of 1000.  In July 2008 a second production run in four variations was announced and the ED version - white with blue stripe - is reviewed here, and the other versions are as follows.  CV - white with maroon stripe: 79 shoe pads with 82 cubic yard dipper, 3 stack air filter system, cable reel electrical connection, 2 additional counterweights.  LB - orange and blue: 79 shoe pads with 59 cubic yard dipper, Ten Kay air cleaner system, stinger electrical connection.  FD - white with green stripe: 102 shoe pads with 82 cubic yard dipper, 3 stack air cleaner system, stinger electrical connection, 2 additional counterweights.

In 2011 Caterpillar completed the acquisition of Bucyrus and the large mining shovels were rebranded as Caterpillar 7495 machines.  TWH released Caterpillar versions of the mining shovel models in late 2012 in a run of 400 models each of the HR and HF versions.
Inside, the protection for the model is very good.
Sometimes size is everything.
Pull the cable and to ask for the stairs to be lowered.
Excellent tracks and frames.
A multi storey model.
Lots to see on the roof.
The size of this machine is apparent. The very imposing dimensions cannot fail to impress.
Drop down ladder works.
All things on this model are huge.
Excellent heavy looking strops supporting the boom.
The Bucyrus 495HR stood by a Liebherr 996 and JCB 220 for size comparison.
'Excellent details even in the hard to see areas.
'You got it in there, you can get it out!'  The Komatsu WH613 fits in the shovel.