|National Crane box. |
|All the parts out of the box. |
|Rear view. |
|The stabiliser which can be fitted to the front. |
|Crane ready to lift. |
|Detailed hook and boom extension markings. |
|Underneath the model is detailed. |
|'Why me?' |
|The National Crane Company originally started in 1945 and is now a division of the Manitowoc Crane Group. It is the leading producer of commercial truck-mounted boom trucks. The 1300H has a 30 ton capacity and a 110ft four section boom. |
The model comes in a standard picture box enclosing two expanded polystyrene trays. The review model had no damage or missing parts.
A small product guide brochure is provided with the model which describes the full size machine. There are no instructions for the model however, and a simple sheet would be appreciated by a novice collector as there are a number of small parts accompanying the model.
The chassis is very detailed with excellent hydraulic hoses running to the outriggers. At the rear the light cluster is painted. The two driving axles are complete with prop shafts and differentials and replicated suspension details. The rear wheels have very good metal hubs with finely treaded tyres, and there are rubber mud flaps bearing the National logo. Towards the front, the underside of the engine is visible and the exhaust pipe trails out to the side of the body. The front wheels are on different metal hubs to those on the rear wheels. The moulding on some of the tyres on the review model was not quite perfect with lipping on one edge.
The imposing front of the Peterbilt is modelled very well with a superb finely etched radiator grille. The bumper is metal and the headlight clusters have lenses incorporated for both headlamps and indicators. Both on the top of the radiator and on the sides of the bonnet (hood) there are tiny Peterbilt badges which are perfectly legible. The wheel arches have an excellent rubber lining which become mud flaps behind the wheels. Under the bonnet is a detailed engine, with a separate radiator, and there are various pipes and hoses.
The cab detail is all of an excellent standard. On each side fuel tanks with very fine graphics are modelled and are integral with the cab steps which have nicely patterned treads. The exhaust stack has a grab handle and the exhaust pipe has a hole and therefore looks like a pipe. There is lots of chrome work around the top of the cab with very good metal wing mirrors, lights and air horns. The model makers have helpfully included two set of mirrors and a choice of round or square air horns to be fitted by the collector. Particular care is needed with the wing mirrors as they are fiddly to fit and will break with excessive force. The main windows have been left off of the cab doors presumably to replicate the truck appearing 'in use' but it would probably look a little better with the windows in. Inside, the cab is detailed with the steering column having a tiny stalk below the wheel.
Behind the cab there are ladders leading to the platform providing access to the controls. The 'Easy Reach' control console is excellent and includes a remote control unit on an umbilical cord for operating the outriggers. Detail in this area is very good with lots of very small warning notices.
The outrigger beams are all metal with metal pads. The deck of the truck is finished with a very effective wood grain feel. Included with the model is a front outrigger which is finely modelled and includes hydraulic hosing, and an inspection basket which has excellent instruction notices and a mesh floor and side panels.
The crane boom is modelled to a high standard with boom angle indicators and more fine graphics. The main lift cylinder is metal. The winch motor has hosing and at the opposite end the hook is nicely detailed although it can only accommodate a single fall of rope so the model configuration will only represent a load capacity well below the maximum. A nice touch is the hoist overrun cut out which is modelled with small chains.
A boom extension is provided which pins to the boom end and gives extra reach for the basket. Even though this is a simple component it includes a control line attached to one side. It pins to the side of the boom for transport.
The front wheels steer, but the steering is 'notched' rather than variable so the wheels can only be posed in one position when pointing left or right. On this version of the Peterbilt chassis the fouling of the wheel arches is all but eliminated which is a welcome improvement on previous Peterbilt models. The rear axles feature working suspension.
The hood opens in a very easy action and the cab doors can be opened too. On the driver's side in front of the first rear axle is a small opening tool box. On the deck the 'Easy Reach' control console pulls forward to provide a realistic operating station.
The outriggers extend smoothly and can be screwed down. A great feature of this model is that the screws are sleeved so when the outriggers are down it looks much more realistic than seeing a screw thread. The front outrigger pins to a bracket and this then pushes into a hole in the front bumper and works well.
All the usual crane functions work fine. It rotates well, and the boom elevates and the angle is shown on the working boom angle indicators. The four stage telescopic boom extends smoothly. The winch is operated by turning the drum with a finger and this works satisfactorily.
The access basket can be pinned to either the boom head or the boom extension. It hangs freely and can be rotated around its pivot point.
This is a finely detailed model which has a very good paint finish and very high quality graphics. The standard of manufacture is also very good. Little use is made of plastic.
This model is very good value having regard for the detail and functionality.
This is another first class model from the TWH stable. Excellent detail and features have produced another product which will no doubt please both the Manitowoc Crane Group and collectors alike. A variety of poses can be created for displaying the model and the provision of the access basket is a welcome addition to this sector of the model world.
The model first appeared at the Nuremberg Toy Fair in 2008. The following versions were produced: Corporate (white), 1620 models; Red, 620; Black, 620; Blue and white, 620; White and red, 620. It is marketed outside the Americas by NZG as model number 696. In September 2008 a run of 500 models in Mammoet colours was announced.
|Inside the box. |
|Typical aggressive looking Peterbilt. |
|Opening the hood reveals a detailed engine. |
|Setting the main outriggers - no screw threads visible. |
|It telescopes to be quite a large model, over 60cm (2ft). Here it is part extended. |
|Small box with opening cover. The tie down holds the basket during transport. |
|'You just jump in and up you go!' |
|The provision of the basket provides an interesting dimension to the model. |