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Grove GMK 4100L Mobile Crane - Wiesbauer

Maker:  TWH Collectibles
Model No:  090
Scale:  1:50
Review Date:  November 2009


TWH Index
Mobile Crane Index


Cranes Etc Model Rating
Packaging   (max 10)9
Detail   (max 30)27
Features   (max 20)17
Quality   (max 25)21
Price   (max 15)11
Overall   (max 100)85%

Footnotes


The Grove GMK4100L.  Here the counterweight is removed.
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.
Excellent detail on the cab and carrier deck.
Lettering on each section of the boom.
Small additional counterweight slab behind the winch.
Lifting a section of a Potain MDT178 Tower Crane.
Loading the ballast.
Separate ballast slabs.
The Grove GMK 4100L is a four axle crane rated at 100 tonne (115 US ton) capacity.  It has a 60m main boom, with up to 17m of fly jib and can be fitted with 26 tonnes of counterweight.  In the US the crane is designated the GMK4115L.

The review model is in the colours of Wiesbauer which is a family owned German crane and heavy haulage company founded in 1958.

Packaging

This model comes in a Grove style box which 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.  These protected the review model well and it was undamaged and had no missing parts.

Included with the model is a small version of the Grove product guide which has plenty of information on the real crane.  Also included is a ten page booklet of assembly instructions which set an excellent standard for quality and clarity.  The instructions are in English only and assembling the parts is not difficult.  Out of the box the model is already reeved so this saves work for the collector.

Detail

The model crates an impression of being very detailed as soon as it is removed from the box. 

Underneath, the chassis and drive train are reproduced and there is replica hosing going to each wheel.  The wheels are a little different to previous Grove models in that the tyres have a different feel to them and they are mounted on plastic hubs.

The outrigger beams and pads are metal and mirror the single stage beams of the real crane.  The details are great, with tiny warning notices and legs which when extended look like pistons instead of screw threads.

Detail around the driving cab includes very good mirrors, a beacon light and aerial, and internally a fire extinguisher and seat belts are visible.  The carrier deck has a strong diamond patterned walkway surface and behind the driving cab the detailing is really good with a very fine fuel tank with electric cabling, a nice exhaust pipe and mesh grating as well as other equipment.  At the rear there are fixed ladders and painted light clusters. 

Moving to the crane itself, the operator's cab is the same very well executed design as fitted to other recent Grove models, but with an additional mirror on the roof.  There is an excellent array of hydraulic hosing which runs to the slewing motors, winches, counterweight attachment mechanism and the main boom luffing cylinder.  Behind the cab two separate handrails are provided.  One replicates being folded for when the crane is travelling and another for when the crane is working and this approach does allow more accurate modelling in this scale rather than having an out of scale folding mechanism. There is a mirror on the top of the crane body that gives visibility of the winch to the operator but it remains folded in the transport position and cannot be altered.  

The Grove name is cast in relief at the rear of the crane.  The counterweight is made up of a series of separate slabs and they each have tabs for lifting chains.  The configuration of slabs is a reasonable interpretation of those of the real crane.  They do not sit quite right on the carrier deck during self ballasting but this is a minor point.

The main lift cylinder for the boom is plastic, and the seven section main boom is metal except at the collars which are plastic, and where the colour match is slightly off.  The lowest section contains lots of 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 seven pulleys which is all a single piece so a large multi-line hook would not function smoothly.  The metal lattice fly jib is very nicely made with fine casting and some excellent pulleys.  It attaches convincingly for transport although the pins used to secure it to the boom head look too long and skilled collectors will want to trim them back.

Two hook blocks are supplied and they are metal with a single sheave.  The tie off point on the hook appears over large for the scale and is a modelling compromise.  A single line hook block might have looked better on the fly jib, but even so it is nice to have two hooks.

Features

The suspension on the model is very good and functions with each wheel individually sprung.  The steering mechanism unusually links all axles but this does mean that crab steering cannot be posed.

The outriggers extend and the pads screw down well and are robust enough to hold the weight of the model.  They cannot quite extend out as far as those on the real crane but it is near enough.

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 and the cylinder is stiff enough to hold a reasonable 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 is a fold out pulley to correctly run the line to the hook although it does not quite fold out far enough.  The winch works well enough and an optional second winch can be added if desired or alternatively a separate small counterweight can be attached.

Quality

This is highly detailed model with a little more plastic than has been used on previous TWH Grove cranes although this has generally been successfully employed.  The paint and graphics look great in Wiesbauer livery.

Price

The model is good value (based on the manufacturer's retail price) for the quality offered.

Overall

This is another step forward in the detailing of mobile crane models with more fine details throughout resulting in one of the most realistic mobile crane models as at the time of the review.  All things considered this model is outstanding.

Footnotes

The model first appeared at dealers in November 2009.  Other liveries were produced and were made in the following numbers: Grove yellow - 450
Wiesbauer - 150
Red / white - 150
Schuch & Thies - 150
Bauemer - 150
Grove yellow 4115L - 450
 
The model inside the expanded polystyrene tray.
It looks very sharp in Wiesbauer livery.
Outriggers display a realistic looking piston.
More great detailing around the cab.
The crane can sit high on the outriggers.
The optional second winch attached
Fly jib is very good.
Fly jib attached and posed at an offset.
Short jib extension. Pins attaching the fly jib are a bit too long.