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Grove GMK 5110-1 Mobile Crane

Maker:  TWH Collectibles
Model No:  053a
Scale:  1:50
Review Date:  June 2009


TWH Index
Mobile Crane Index


Cranes Etc Model Rating
Packaging   (max 10)8
Detail   (max 30)25
Features   (max 20)15
Quality   (max 25)20
Price   (max 15)9
Overall   (max 100)77%

Footnotes


The Grove GMK 5110-1 in Grove yellow. The counterweight is removed to represent a realistic transport configuration.
The Grove box.
Where to buy
The parts out of the box.  The main counterweight is already attached when the model is shipped.
Rear view.
The unusual long mirror fitted to the driving cab door.
Excellent detail behind the cab with an opening tool chest. 
Underneath, the chassis is very detailed.
The fly jib.
It looks great when paired with a Nooteboom Ballast Carrier.
Lifting a beam off a Nooteboom Euro Low Loader.
The Grove GMK 5110-1 is a five axle crane rated, as the name suggests, at a 110 tonne capacity.  It is a new crane and the printed specifications are provisional but it has a 51m main boom, up to 34m of fly jib and can be fitted with 40 tonnes of counterweight.  As a global company, Grove launches their cranes worldwide and they are designated to suit the local markets.  In the US this crane is numbered 5135 reflecting a 135 US ton rating.

Packaging

This model comes in a Grove box style.  It has a photo of the crane and some dimensioned line drawings.  Inside, the model is well packed in expanded polystyrene trays with some additional soft packing.  The review model had no defects or missing parts.

Included with the model is a small version of the provisional Grove product guide which has plenty of information on the real crane.  Unfortunately there are no instructions about the model itself and so the inexperienced collector may wonder where the parts go.  With that said, assembly is not difficult.  Out of the box the model is already reeved and all that needs to be fixed are some mirrors and the lattice fly jib.

Detail

The model is a heavy and detailed crane.

Underneath, the chassis is very detailed with excellent metal transmission and axles, and a full set of replica hoses to each wheel.  Engine details are also present.  The wheels are the same as on the smaller GMK 3055 model with rough terrain tyres mounted on the same style hubs.  

At the front, the driving cab sets a high standard.  Inside the detail is very good, with clearly visible instruments and a fire extinguisher.  There are also replica seat belts which is a surprise, although they look a little large for the scale.  On the outside there are some finely crafted mirrors which have to be fitted, including one unusual long one and one used for crane operation only.  There are some very nicely detailed steps into the cab which are complete with a patterned surface, and some very small graphics.  A loop for attaching the hook during transport is provided and an orange beacon light completes the detail on the cab.

The outrigger beams and pads are metal although the beams themselves are single castings and so do not replicate the two stage nature of the real outriggers.  In part this modelling decision results in the extension of the outriggers being proportionately significantly less than those on the real the crane.  On the plus side the details are great, with warning notices and legs which when extended look like pistons instead of screw threads.

The carrier deck has a strong diamond patterned walkway surface and there are very nice rubber skirts over axles 2-5, with matching rubber mud flaps.  Behind the driving cab there is a fine fuel tank with electric cabling, and a nice exhaust pipe and mesh grating as well as other equipment.  At the rear there is a spare tyre, fixed ladders and wheel chocks, and painted light clusters. 

Moving to the crane itself, the operator's cab is the same design as fitted to the 2008 revision of the GMK 3055 model and so has the same very good details.  There is an excellent array of hydraulic hosing which runs to the slewing motor, winch and counterweight attachment mechanism.  Fine mesh grilles and other pieces of equipment give the model a busy and realistic feel.  There is a wing mirror to fit on the side of the crane body and another mirror on the top of the crane body that gives visibility of the winch to the operator.  Both these mirrors would fold into position on the real crane but are fixed on the model.  The Grove name is nicely cast in relief at the rear of the crane and a light bar containing a pair of beacon lights completes the detail realistically.

The counterweight is made up of a series of separate slabs and they each have tabs for lifting chains.  The wing weights do not have the same detail so cannot be posed being lifted.

The main lift cylinder for the boom is plastic, but the five section telescopic boom itself is all metal and the lowest section contains detail within the casting and a couple of spooling drums.  One of these is wound with thread to represent cabling although it is non functioning.  At the boom head there is a block of eight pulleys which is all a single piece so a large multi-line hook would not function properly. 

The metal lattice fly jib is very nicely made with fine casting and some excellent pulleys which are thankfully not brass coloured.  The hook block is all metal with a three sheave pulley block but again this is a single piece so do not expect freely spooling multi-line operation.  The tie off point on the hook appears over large for the scale and is a modelling compromise.

Features

The suspension on the model is very good with each wheel individually sprung which allows realistic poses on rough terrain to be simulated.  The steering mechanism links axles 1 and 2, and axles 4 and 5.  Axle 3 does not steer, unlike the real crane, so it is not possible to pose crab steering.  Also it is not really possible to obtain a hard lock on the steering as tyres start fouling the wheel arches.

The outriggers extend and the pads screw down well and seem robust enough to provide any necessary stability to the model.

On the carrier deck is an opening equipment chest and this and be used for storing small parts such as pins for the model so this is actually quite useful.  The crane cab tilts to an angle of around 30.

Although not obvious, the counterweight is removable by carefully undoing two screws on the underside and this gives many more display options for the crane including showing a realistic travelling mode, or displaying the crane carrying out self ballasting.

The crane rotates nicely.  The boom can be raised easily but this means that the cylinder is not stiff enough to hold much of an angle without drooping so a pin (which is supplied) can be inserted into the cylinder jacket to fix the boom at a high angle.  Boom sections telescope and lock smoothly.

The lattice jib can be pinned into place and three combinations are possible; short, medium and long, with each one able to be set at a variable offset angle using the hydraulic cylinder.  On the short jib there are two pulleys which fold out to correctly run the line to the hook and this is a very nice feature.  Out of the box the hook comes ready reeved with a three part line.  It is possible, but awkward, to convert the hook to a different arrangement by cutting the line and re-tying it but this means threading the line through the tie-off point and re-knotting it.  This is however a little frustrating and a slightly amended design of tie-off point would have made this much easier.  In reality the model would really benefit from a single line hook to use in conjunction with the fly jib.

Quality

This is a high quality model from TWH with very good detailing.  The paintwork and graphics are very good.  Relatively little plastic is used and the overall feel of the model is right.

Price

The model is reasonable value (based on the manufacturer's retail price) for the quality offered, although it is expensive in the European market.

Overall

This is another very good Grove model and there is enough flexibility in the model's design to enable a large variety of poses to be achieved and this will please many collectors.  There are aspects mainly in the area of functionality where there is scope for improvement, but the detail level compensates somewhat.  Overall this model is highly recommended.

Footnotes

The model first appeared at dealers in June 2009.  This is a smaller capacity version of a crane released as
TWH 053 in 2008.  Four variants have been produced:
5110-1 Grove yellow version, 350 models
5135 Grove yellow version, 250 models
5135 Quality Crane version, 200 models
5110-1 Hanchard Cranes version, 200 models
 
The model and parts inside the expanded polystyrene tray.
The crane in road configuration with counterweight removed.
Fine details at the outrigger.
Detailed view of the cab.  The mirror on the left hand side of the crane body in this photo should be removed when the crane is transported.
Plenty of cabling around the crane.
The counterweight fitted with wing weights.
Short fly jib.
Self ballasting underway.
The model can carry a reasonable load.