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Liebherr R 970 SME Hydraulic Excavator

Maker:  WSI
Model No:  04-1047
Scale:  1:50
Review Date:  April 2015

WSI Index
Earthmoving Index

Cranes Etc Model Rating
Packaging   (max 10) 7
Detail   (max 30) 26
Features   (max 20) 16
Quality   (max 25) 21
Price   (max 15) 12
Overall   (max 100) 82%


Liebherr R 970 SME Hydraulic Excavator Video  [YouKu Video]
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The box.
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Very sharp graphics.
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Detailed track frames.
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Very good cab guards.
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Very good hydraulics.
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Profile view.
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High detail.
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Impressive large machine.
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Big load for a truck.
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On the road.
Comment on this model.

The Liebherr R 970 SME Hydraulic Excavator has an operating weight in the range of 77 - 79 tonnes in backhoe configuration.   It is designated 'SME' as it is deemed to be in the Super Mass Excavation class.  It is suited to civil engineering and quarrying activities.


The model comes in the standard Liebherr box design with the model held within two separate expanded polystyrene trays and protected with clear plastic sheets.

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

There is no information about the real machine or model.  Although WSI list the model as 04-1047, the number on the box is 02-1556. 


The undercarriage has some simple detailing and the track frames look very smart with silver highlighted metal ladders. The rollers are modelled but are non-functioning.  The metal track pads are double grouser with bolt heads indicated, although the centre holes are not formed, and the main drive sprockets also appear to be metal. 

The cab is metal with fine casting details and metal grab rails and mirrors.  The slightly tinted windows have realistic seals and graphics, and there are good quality plastic protection guards to the front and top.  There is a thin aerial on the roof.  Inside the cab, detailing includes black controls and 'Liebherr' is printed on the seat back.

On the body sides there are metal etched walkways which look really good. 

The curved body is detailed with panel doors, an etched grille and metal grab rails.  The graphics are excellent and are very sharp. On top there are textured surfaces and at the rear the exhaust pipe has a black tip to represent a hole.  The hydraulic hoses running from the body are very good.  The main rams have excellent protection and hydraulics.

The mono boom is very good with lights which have tiny protection grilles, and both it and the stick have really good hydraulics mirroring the pipes and hoses of the real machine.  The connection rivets are painted so the look is authentic.

The bucket is a very nice casting.  It includes lifting eyes, and the teeth are excellent.


The tracks roll really nicely and they are tensioned by spring-loaded idlers. 

It rotates smoothly helped by the model's relatively heavy weight.

The boom, stick and bucket have a very good range of movement.  The cylinders are very stiff and hold any pose.  However some of the ram jackets show signs of yielding in the plastic as the pistons move inside them.


The 970 SME has a very high metal content and feels particularly solid and robust.

The paintwork and graphics are very good.


It is good value bearing in mind the high quality.


WSI has produced a particularly nice excavator model for Liebherr.  It has an overall feeling of quality.  Of course it would have been nice if it had a removable bucket, and even counterweight, but nonetheless it looks great.


The model first appeared at the Nuremberg Toy Fair in 2014 and the first release occurred in Q3 of that year.
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Parked up.
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Loading height is good.
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Metal sprocket.
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Details on top.
Excellent bucket.
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Tiny cover on the light.
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Loaded bucket.
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Digging on a bench.
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Tucked up small.