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Bucyrus 49HR Blast Hole Drill

Maker:  TWH Collectibles
Model No:  022
Scale:  1:50
Review Date:  May 2008

TWH Index
Mining Equipment index

Cranes Etc Model Rating
Packaging   (max 10)7
Detail   (max 30)27
Features   (max 20)16
Quality   (max 25)20
Price   (max 15)9
Overall   (max 100)79%


The 49HR is a large model.
Bucyrus box.
Where to buy
All the parts out of the box.
Stairs which can lift and lower, and an opening door.
With the roof off, there is plenty of interior detail.
The end of a drill rod with detailed cutting head.
Ready to raise the mast.
The drilling platform.  There is an opening debris guard to provide visibility from the cab.
The mast can be set for angled drilling.
Close up of the drill motors.
The Bucyrus 49HR is a hard rock drilling rig used in opencast mines for rotary drilling holes which are later packed with charges and fired to break up the rock and enable easier excavation by shovels and draglines.  The 49HR can drill holes up to around 400mm (16in) diameter which can be angled by up to 25 and the mast height is typically nearly 20m (65ft).  The drill motor is fixed to a trolley which travels up and down the mast using a rack and pinion system.  This design allows constant pressure to the drill head when drilling.

The model has been produced in a variety of different colour schemes and this version is white with a blue mast.


The picture box is fairly large and the model is contained within a pair of expanded polystyrene trays.  Judging from the condition of the outer plain box it was clear that it had been subject to some rough handling in the post and as a consequence there were a few loose pieces inside the box when opened.  These were easily refixed in position.  One of the track links was broken and a new set of tracks was promptly provided by TWH.

Included in the box is a small 20 page booklet which gives information about the 49HR and also the Bucyrus company.  A double sided instruction leaflet is provided and it is very good, with clear photos and a listing of parts.  A useful plastic pick tool makes it easy to open the various doors on the model without needing long fingernails.


The metal tracks are very good and finely detailed and this level of detail continues to the track frames which have rivets and electrical wiring from the sprockets.  There are four stabilisers and these have large pads on the end of realistic hydraulic pistons.

At the front of the body is the operator's cab and this is highly detailed with very good graphics on the outside.  Inside there is an excellent console arrangement with detailed screens, equipment and operator's seat.  Outside the cab is a ladder leading to the cab roof where there is a number of spotlights and a fine air conditioning unit.  The high quality handrails also have a siren attached completed with wiring leading into the cab.

The work platform area is surrounded by convincing handrails and chains, and fine mesh walkways, and there is a drain cover at the foot of the mast.  The front stabilisers have control boxes with wiring, and hydraulic lines.  Following the walkway to the rear leads past a detailed door and warning notices to a set of stairs which has excellent mesh treads.

At the rear there is a large cable drum complete with realistic thick feeder cable.  There is also fine electrical wiring leading to the automatic pinning system on the mast stays.  A short ladder leads into the open entry to the radiator room which has a large cooling fan inside.  Moving along the side opposite the operator's cab there is a large fine mesh screen at the main radiator and further towards the front a number of opening doors reveal equipment and a another radiator.

Inside the main body there is a detailed motor and some excellent electrical switchboard equipment, and the floor has some non-slip panels.

The mast is a very good heavy lattice construction which includes toothed racks for the drilling equipment drive, and a ladder which is complete with safety cage.  At the base there is a plethora of wiring and hoses which drive the winch and lead up to the drilling motors.  The drilling machinery is very detailed with motors to drive the drill rods and the pinion drive that pushes the drill down. 

The model is completed with some metal drill rods which have finely detailed drilling heads at the end.


The crawler tracks are free rolling and are mounted on spring loaded sprockets so it is easy to remove the tracks if required. 

The stabilisers work, but are not the usual screw variety found on other models.  Instead they are mini pistons which can be extended and retracted and are stiff enough to hold a set position.  These look much more realistic than screw jacks.

There are a number of opening doors on the model to the cab, the engine room and equipment cabinets.  Within the radiator room is a large cooling fan and this actually turns.  The roof of the model has three removable panels and when these are taken off the very detailed interior is revealed.  At the rear of the walkway the stairs can be set in either a raised or lowered position. On the back of the machine the main electric cable drum turns and there is a working cable guide which slides on a rail as the cable comes off the drum.

The mast can be set in the travelling position, and vertical for drilling.  It is also possible to set it an angle to replicate the angle drilling function of the real machine although the drilling platform has not been modelled to allow the drill rod to pass through at an angle.  The drill motor sits on a frame which travels up and down the racks on the mast and is moved by using two supplied keys.  The mechanism is fairly stiff so there is no problem setting the drill motor at any desired height. 

There is a small winch which is operated by a long key.  The hook modelled is very small and unfortunately it therefore does not have enough weight to keep tension on the winch string so it does not hang realistically.

Two drill rods are provided, one short and one long, so it is possible to pose the model drilling with either.


The paintwork and graphics are very good, and the quality of the modelling is high.  There is hardly any plastic used at all.   It is pleasing to see good quality instructions although this is slightly offset by concern that the packaging was not able to fully protect the model during transport.


This is a fairly unique model and does not have any easy comparison with other models.  It is not cheap  and this is a reflection of its size and the detail provided. 


This is a very good addition to the mining sector where previous models have often focussed on prime movers and excavators, and Bucyrus are to be commended for commissioning the 49HR.  It looks impressive and the removable roof provides interest when showing off the model.

Overall it is highly recommended.


The model was first announced at the Nuremberg Toy Fair in 2007.  The following versions were produced:  Bucyrus corporate colours - 1800 models; blue with white mast - 300; white with blue mast - 300; white with red mast - 300; orange - 300.  It was marketed outside the Americas by NZG as model number 687.
Inside the box.
The mast folded for transport.
Very detailed cab interior.
Detailed electrical equipment.
Hydraulic rams lowered.
Very detailed tracks and frames.
Power cable drum with working cable guide.
Plenty of opening doors to allow access for maintenance.  Here the Elliot Fuel and Lube Truck assists.
The rig setting up to drill.