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MAN TGX + Nooteboom OVB-102-06 Ballast Carrier - Ainscough

Maker:  WSI
Model No:  9401
Scale:  1:50
Review Date:  May 2009

WSI Index
Ballast Trailer Index

Cranes Etc Model Rating
Packaging   (max 10)7
Detail   (max 30)23
Features   (max 20)15
Quality   (max 25)20
Price   (max 15)12
Overall   (max 100)77%


The MAN TGX + Nooteboom Ballast Carrier in Ainscough colours.
The box.
Impressive MAN Tractor with accurate decals.
Tilting cab reveals a detailed engine.
Rear of the trailer with the steering of the trailer axles in play.
The complete tractor and trailer looks great in Ainscough colours.
A spare wheel is carried on board.
The first axle can be clipped out of use.
It makes for a great combination when paired with an Ainscough Liebherr LTM1070.
Ainscough is the largest crane hire company in the UK and runs a fleet of mobile cranes from small sizes up to the heaviest cranes.  It has many Liebherr cranes and has recently added 22 new ballast carriers to its fleet and this model is a replica of one of these vehicles which is typically used for carrying the counterweight of large telescopic mobile cranes.

This is a model of a Nooteboom 6-axle ballast carrier designated the OVB-102-06.  In this nomenclature the 102 represents the total capacity of the trailer in tonnes and the 06 means that there are six rear axles.


The model comes in packaging that is a generic WSI windowed box.  Inside, the model is contained within an expanded polystyrene tray with the model held in place with a clear plastic former.  There were no defects or missing parts.

There is no information on Ainscough or the real truck which is an opportunity missed where the collectability of the model could have been enhanced.  Assembling the model is very straightforward, with the deck posts to be fitted if required.


The tractor unit is a MAN TGX 6x4 unit.  Underneath, the detail is very good with transmission and suspension features reproduced, and a good detailed gearbox.  The tyres are good too with a differing tread pattern on the front and rear wheels and these are mounted on detailed hubs, which have the red painted wheel nuts on the front axle just like the original.

The front of the MAN looks very convincing with realistic light clusters, UK number plate and STGO signage.  The door mirrors look especially good, being painted in yellow.  In addition to the windscreen wipers, the cab roof also has rear spot lights, air horns and good quality orange beacon lights.  Inside the cab, the detail level is good and the right hand steering will please UK collectors. 

The standard of the graphics on the cab is very high with the Ainscough logo rendered well.  Behind the cab there are simulated air lines which can be posed fixed to the trailer.  An excellent diamond plated walkway leads to the fifth wheel area.  At the back there are large plastic mud flaps and the rear light clusters have nice plastic lenses.

Overall the tractor is very detailed and plastic is used in a number of areas to increase the detail, but nothing actually looks like plastic so the overall effect is very good.

The trailer certainly looks very smart.  It has an excellent surface on the flat bed with timber decking which although reproduced in plastic looks very convincing as it includes fixing screw locations.  The main metal structure has diamond plating at the front end.  Along the sides of the deck various tying points are present and at the rear the light bar has authentic looking detail.

A set of manual controls for the trailer is represented forward of the first axle, and the hosing runs to this panel.  On the opposite side is a spare wheel holder.  At the front the headboard is nicely decorated with the Nooteboom and Ainscough logos.

A separate pack of metal deck posts is provided with the model and these plug into holes in the deck edge but the fit is not tight so they are difficult to keep straight and easily fall out.

Underneath, the full quality of the model is revealed.  The structure is excellently represented and hosing extends from the front to each axle assembly.  Each axle is a fully detailed unit with suspension and hydraulic features.  The pair of hydraulic landing legs have metal pads.  Tyres and hubs are good and the model reflects a UK configuration with mud guards on each axle.


The tractor unit has a steerable front axle but initially it has a very limited lock and it also seems to be sprung in some way so the steering always reverts to a straight ahead aspect.  However with some gentle force the steering lock can be improved, but care is needed not to break something delicate.  It has a fully tilting cab which opens up to a good angle revealing the detailed engine block.

The trailer has an opening holder for the spare wheel and the wheel itself is removable.  The hydraulic landing legs can be screwed down and the design of this feature is such that the screw thread does not become visible and this is pleasing as it looks like a hydraulic cylinder.

In terms of functionality the trailer axles are very good.  Counted from the front, axle 1 and axles 3 to 6 steer, with the rear four linked together.  Overall these give an excellent representation of the proportional nature of the steering with axle 6 steering the most.  Each axle has independent working suspension powered by small springs and this allows very good ability to pose the axles on rough terrain and representing the suspension of the real trailer.  As an additional feature, axle 1 can be raised and clipped out of service.


The overall quality level of the model is high.  The castings are very good as is the detail level, with plastic used appropriately to add detail.

Paintwork and graphics are of a very high standard and accurately depict the Ainscough livery.


The model is very good value bearing in mind its limited edition nature.


UK collectors will be particularly pleased to see this model in Ainscough colours, and the livery is sufficiently striking for it to interest collectors worldwide.  It may accumulate some rarity value over time.  The model is high quality and overall it is highly recommended.


The model first appeared in April 2009 and was made in a run of 350 models.

The parts out of the box, with the deck posts in a bag.
Underside view.
The landing legs are lowered.
Very detailed chassis.  The steering axles are showing the proportional nature of the mechanism.
The front of the trailer shown fitted with the deck posts. A 215t hook block is being carried.
Very nice detail on the tractor including painted wheel nuts.
Independent suspension on every axle.
The ballast carrier loaded with slabs (from a Liebherr LTM 1200-5.1), spreader plates and hook block.