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Liebherr LTM 1500-8.1 Mobile Crane

Maker:  WSI
Model No:  02-1213
Scale:  1:50
Review Date:  July 2013

WSI Index
Mobile Crane Index

Cranes Etc Model Rating
Packaging   (max 10)9
Detail   (max 30)28
Features   (max 20)17
Quality   (max 25)23
Price   (max 15)13
Overall   (max 100)90%


Liebherr LTM 1500-8.1 Mobile Crane Video
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The box.  A photo of the model is on the other side.
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Fitted with the 84m boom and Y-Guy.  Not all wheels were grounded on the review model.
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Excellent chassis detail.
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Branded tyres.
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Fully loaded on the road.
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Access ladder is removable.
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Excellent detailing.
Pad down on the spreader plate.
Detail behind the cab.
Landing the counterweight frame.
A metal load is included.  The 92% and 100% boom locking positions can be seen.
Lifting a tower crane section.
Very realistic profile.
Overall profile of the boom is very straight.
Comment on this model.

The Liebherr 1500-8.1 mobile crane has a maximum capacity of 500 tonnes at 3m radius.  It was launched at the BAUMA Exhibition in 1998 and by 2013 over 400 had been sold making it a very popular heavy mobile crane.

The crane can be configured with a 50m or 84m main boom and a Y-Guy boom support arrangement.


The model comes in a Liebherr-branded box design with the model held within two expanded polystyrene trays.

There were no defects or missing parts on the review model. 

The model has a very good instruction manual.  It includes a parts list and clear photos showing the assembly of the various configurations.  The only thing missing are reeving diagrams for the various hooks supplied.

There is no information about the real crane and the addition of a reprint of a brochure or technical specifications would have been fitting.


The chassis is very highly detailed and it has fully replicated transmission and suspension systems.  Other detailing is high quality such as small hoses and tanks.

The tyres are very good with a fine tread pattern, and Michelin branding moulded in the sidewalls.  The wheels have different hubs for driven and non-driven axles.  The engineering of the axles and suspension is not perfect however and the model was unable to ground all wheels simultaneously although for most poses this is not an issue.

The driving cab has a tiny loop for hitching a hook line whilst travelling, the door steps are textured and the door handles are highlighted.  Door mirrors, windscreen wipers and beacon lights complete the external detail with a generic number plate also added.  Interior detailing is high quality with Liebherr printed on the seat backs and instrument stalks are tipped with colour.

Behind the driving cab the engine area is well detailed in metal and plastic, and there is a fine mesh grille.  The chrome exhaust has realistic holes in the pipes and black replica rubber skirts sit above each group of wheels, with rubber mud flaps adjacent to the outrigger boxes.

The outrigger pads have a working pinning mechanism which allows the pads to be fixed in an offset way so they are within the footprint of the crane when the outrigger beams are retracted, and there are locking bars which keep the pads under the crane neatly.  The pistons are smooth with the screw mechanism being internal so they look realistic and tiny graphics add to the authentic look.  Large metal spreader plates with useable lifting points are also included with the model.

At the rear of the carrier there is a textured tool box and the lights and wheel chocks are finely detailed.

The crane cab has metal grab rails with window wipers, and there are very finely detailed lights.  Cables run to the crane body and small graphics add detail to the cab exterior.  The interior detail is also to a very high standard.

Underneath the crane body the slewing ring and slewing motors are realistically modelled.  The crane body also benefits from the high level of detailing with small graphics and paint to add highlighting.  The chrome exhaust is also fine and there are many small casting details which add to the authentic look. 

The counterweight consists of a number of separate elements and each one is capable of being displayed being lifted as they have well-formed lifting points.  The Liebherr name is embossed within the casting on many of the ballast plates. 

The second and third winch assembly can be optionally fitted and the luffing assembly is already reeved in the factory.  It is a detailed part including many hydraulic hoses and a metal walkway.

The main boom rams are very nice metal parts.  Boom sections are supplied to enable the model to be displayed in either a 50m or 84m configuration.  The boom is the best yet seen on a mobile crane model.  The sections appear to be aluminium as they are light and strong, and have thin wall thicknesses and hence the boom profile is excellent.  Detailing on the lowest boom section includes a rotating spooling drum and useable lifting eyes, and the overall impression is very convincing although collectors may prefer to add some thread to the spooling drum.  The boom head is also very good with fine detailing and silver metal pulleys which probably would have looked better painted yellow.  There are 12 pulleys at the front of the boom head rather than the 13 seen in Liebherr documentation.

The Y-Guy system for the telescopic boom is a separate part.  It is metal except for the plastic hydraulic cylinder jackets and it is only here that the slight imperfect colour match is a negative point.  The guy rods are metal with the body and boom head connection pieces being plastic.

Three metal hooks are supplied and they are excellent quality with metal pulleys. 


xles 1 to 4 and 7 and 8 can steer as per the real crane.  The range of movement is limited, and the mechanisms are a little too loose meaning that some axles cannot hold an angle if the model is pushed, although this is not an issue posing the model in a static display. 

There is sprung suspension on each axle which is stiff and not every wheel grounds properly. 

The outriggers can be extended and lowered, and feature an excellent pad pinning feature with fine wire clips.  The range of travel on the pistons is adequate if the spreader plates are used, and the model can be supported wheels-free.

The operator's cab rotates from the transport position can be tilted to a good angle.  A tiny light assembly can be rotated and a plastic ladder can be fitted when the crane is in transport mode.

The crane rotates smoothly without rocking.

The counterweight system can be fitted in various configurations, including being mounted on the carrier deck during self-assembly. 

Raising the boom is easy with the locking mechanism on the main boom rams using an allen key to tighten grub screws on the jacket tops. 

Either the 50m or 84m boom can be fitted to the model.

Telescoping the boom is smooth and easy with a spring lock to clip each boom section.  It is possible to lock each section at either 46%, 92% or 100% extension like the real crane which is an excellent feature.

The Y-Guy system can be displayed as a transport load.  When in place the system performs well with each side tensioned by using the key in the slightly rough winches.  A high tension can be maintained and the boom tensions up well.

The key is also used to operate the main winch.  It is a clunky mechanism though and a smooth spring-activated lock would have been much nicer and more appropriate.  However it will hold a reasonable load.

Different hook blocks can be reeved. and they each have rotating hooks and working safety latches.


This is a very detailed model with a high metal content and the overall quality of the model is very good with no shipping defects on the review model.

The paintwork and graphics are very good.


As with all large crane models it is not cheap, but it is well worth the price.


The model of the LTM 1500-8.1 has been long-awaited considering the real crane was launched in 1998.  However the good news is that it has been worth the wait with WSI producing a very detailed model.  The engineering of the wheels and winch would benefit from a little improvement, but on display this is certainly an outstanding mobile crane model.


The model first appeared at the BAUMA Exhibition in April 2013 and was generally available later.  A version in Mammoet colours was also produced at launch.

This model was awarded Model of the Year for 2013 in the Cranes Etc Review of the Year.
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The tray.
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Running light - configured with a 50m boom.
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Steering angles are limited.
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Very good boom details.
Slewing ring and motors are modelled.
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Outrigger pads fully tucked in.
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Detailed cab with rotating light assembly at the front.
Three hook blocks are supplied.
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Nice transport loads are possible.
Adding the winch assembly.
Ready to lift.
Massive counterweight.
Silver metal pulleys.
Y-Guy opened up.
Y-Guy tensions up very well.  Some boom sections locked at 46% extension.
Additional winch assembly is very detailed.