NZG Liebherr LTM 1250-5.1 Mobile Crane by Cranes Etc TV

This review is of a Liebherr LTM 1250
mobile crane and it has been produced by NZG models. Inside the Liebherr-branded
box the are polystyrene trays and in the top there are some parts and you can see
that they’re all nicely wrapped and if we then carry on and cut our way through
to the bottom tray, once again lots of soft paper has been used to protect the
model. Included is a nice quality instruction manual and that clearly
shows all of the parts in the box and then through various drawings the main
features of the model are described. These instructions are largely pictorial
and they describe the main features of the crane. Also included are some reeving
diagrams. To begin with, as we usually do, we’ll put the crane into road-going mode
and we’ll start with the outriggers because they are pinned in an operating
position and you have to forcibly remove the pin to get the transport position.
The manual suggests these pins should come as separate parts rather than being
fixed as they are on the model and that’s probably because once the pins
are removed they are quite a loose fit when you put them back. So there we have
the pad in the offset transport position so when we push it back under the
carrier it doesn’t stick out. The next job is to unravel some rope from the
winch drum and then we can run that forward so we can attach a hook block,
and with the magic that is Cranes Etc here it is already reeved on. For transport
you want to tie the hook on at the front but sadly the hitch hasn’t been modeled
to allow this so here we’ve just roughly attached some chain onto the number
plates. One thing you notice straight away is that the sheaves in the boom
head are on sliding axles and they can actually slide out of the boom head. It
seems to have been done this way to replicate the attachment points for the
fly jib on the boom head of the real crane.
It would have been nicer if these axles couldn’t slide out so easily. Moving on
to the fly jib and it comes in three sections which are all made of metal
and you join the pieces together using tiny nuts and bolts. This is a system
used by NZG many times before and special tools are provided to help you
handle the very small parts. The tools work well as long as there’s
enough space to actually get them in the various parts of the model and in some
places that’s just a little bit difficult,
but they do give the model a nice feel of precision engineering rather than
using plastic bolts. Out-of-the-box the parts have a guide
pulley which is in the raised position but for the transport mode you need to
unbolt it so it can be lowered. To get the fly jib on the side of the boom there
are three plastic clips which just drop into place and the biggest one goes at
the front and the smallest one goes at the back.
Once the hangers are in you can then place the fly jib in position and that’s
fairly straightforward but you might need to just maneuver it about a bit to
get it to in the right position. So the crane is ready for the road, let’s take a
look at the counterweight and it’s one of the more complicated counterweights
that you’ll see on a crane model and that’s because it’s made up of a large
number of different shaped pieces but fortunately the instruction manual is
good at explaining which piece goes where, and if you’d like to test yourself
you could try and build this as a blindfold challenge, and if you do it as
a blindfold challenge please post a video on YouTube so we can all see how
stupid you look. Once you’ve fully assembled the
counterweight you end up with a nice solid chunk of metal. To go with the
crane we need a truck to transport the counterweight so let’s load up a big
ballast carrier. The detailing under the carrier is very
good with the suspension and transmission modelled although some of the
drive shafts stop short and don’t actually link up between the axles.
There’s also some other details such as the tanks at the rear. The wheels have
different hubs depending on whether they are driven axles or not, and there are
nice small detail such as steps and door handles, and one area of high detail is
the many tiny graphics. The exhaust stack has a nice mesh finish and the
detail along the carrier deck is also convincing with a nice touch being the
flexible rubber skirts above the wheels. Again there are more tiny graphics
around the crane cab, but both the mirror and the grab rails
are plastic. Looking closely towards the back there
are many more tiny graphics. The crane superstructure is fairly simple
and that’s because there’s no engine in the crane with the whole machine being
driven by a single engine on the carrier. The hydraulic ram jacket is a little
unusual for a new crane model because it is plastic, and it has an excellent color
match. The boom sections are all nicely modelled in metal and the hook blocks
are metal too, and all of the sheaves on the model are also metal. The fly jib is
also a nicely engineered part nearly all in metal. We start with the
crane on its back so we can tickle its belly and it’s nice and spongy with each
of the axles having its own independent spung suspension. The steering on the
model is also very good with each axle having its own independent steering. The
range of movement is good and you can set any steering mode that you want. The
model is diecast metal and heavy but it springs nicely on its suspension although the review model seems to sit a little high at the rear end.
The heavy weight of the model also helps it to roll along nice and smoothly and
it also performs very well if you set the steering and that’s because the
stiffness of the steering is just right so the axles don’t wobble about when you
drive the crane along. OK that’s enough driving about so let’s get on site and
set the crane up. The outriggers have metal beams and
they are two-stage and as usual the pads are lowered by unscrewing them. It’s been
properly engineered and we have smooth pistons appearing and no ugly screw
threads. One thing the model does lack though is spreader plates and they are a
good idea because when extended the pistons are at the limit of their range. The
ones used here are not included with the model and they are NZG part number 787 Using the plates the model can be
held wheels-free and the outrigger beams have a decent profile. We move on and use
the giant hand to disconnect the hook block and because we’re now on site we
can raise the handrails from their transport position.
There’s also an additional set of handrail that just presses into place at
the back of the crane. Raising the boom does require a little
effort largely due to the plastic nature of the cylinder jacket but there is also
a locking system because you can use a key on a tiny grub screw at the top of
the jacket. It can be tightened up to give a firm grip
and hold a pose but looking at the manual maybe this is intended to be done
at certain positions where the piston is flattened out.
With the boom up we can get into some serious hook action and a key is
provided to operate the winch drum and actually it is a nice winch drum to use as
it’s got a positive action brake, and it’s nicely spring loaded.
Moving on to rotation and that works well enough with no rocking or rolling,
but overall it was quite stiff on the review model. Another smaller feature is
that the cab can be tilted. The counterweight mechanism on this crane is
interesting and there are two small stops that can be raised up they
indicate the position of the first piece of counterweight when it’s on the
carrier deck and the interesting thing is that this crane has what’s called
‘VarioBallast’ so the counterweight can be positioned close in as you see here,
and that’s used when space is tight when the crane is turning, but there’s an
alternative to obtain maximum lifting capacity and to do that you rotate out
the two attachment points and by lowering the two stops we saw earlier
you can reposition the counterweight accordingly.
The method of attaching the ballast is also very good because it tries to replicate
the real crane and using the supplied key you can unscrew and lower the
attachment points. Once you’ve got them lowered enough you
could then hook them into the counterweight and after that you can
reverse the process turn the key and lift up the
counterweight. Once the counterweight is lifted you can rotate the crane and it
can go into action. Here’s a different angle to show how the VarioBallast
works and if you want it is possible to show less than the full counterweight
block but you can only really do this by balancing the counterweight rather than
securing it in position. Moving on to the telescopic boom and it’s got the
realistic feature of locking points at various extensions and they apply to
each part of the telescope. The telescopic sections all extend smoothly
and they maintain a good profile. If you want to go for the maximum height
you need to add on the fly jib and you start by bolting up the swing-away
section and raising up the guide pulley. A fly jib then slots over the attachment
points that are on the axles at the boom head and you secure it on by tiny brass
nuts and bolts although the clearances are tight making
the use of the tools a bit more difficult. Once you’ve got it attached
there is another possibility which is to set it at different offset angles you
can set it straight or at one of two angles, and you secure it in position again with
a brass nuts and bolt. Fully extended this is quite a big model
so let’s go ahead and do a dim check and at maximum extension on the main boom
you reach a height of about 120 centimetres or nearly 48 inches.
If you add on the fly jib you then get get to 160 centimetres or about 63
inches. NZG set a very high standard with his
previous LTM 11200 crane model and this one also sets a high standard. There are
more tiny graphics adding detail, the VarioBallast is implemented nicely but
the model does really require some spreader plates. Overall though it’s good
enough to rate as excellent.

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