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HO scale Kibri Tower Crane [Completed!]

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I'm really not sure what category to put this in , but it is a civilian vehicle of sorts...


Earlier this month I attended a railway modelling show near Maidenhead and managed to pick up an interesting kit:




The box says this is HO scale which makes it 1:87 and it struck me as being something nicely unusual, particularly as my model club has a special competition in March for models that fall into the "miscellaneous" class, ie its not an aircraft, military or civilian vehicle, figure, ship, diorama or sci-fi. So long as I don't make a base and lots of extra details, this doesn't fit as a diorama :)


Its a small box but its packed full of plastic - these are the sprues and there are 3 missing which have already been used int he assembly so far. I am positive I took photos before I started building but I can't find them anywhere so I've had to rephotograph everything. That is an A2 size backboard by the way to give it scale.




and these are the other 2 pages of instructions




Sadly the 'decals' are actually stickers that you need to cut up yourself.




Last night I started building the base and got this far, there are 32 pieces assembled so far




I've left two of the support braces off as I'll need to add the 'concrete' ballast blocks later which in the kit are plastic boxes but they supply 4 steel weights to put in them as you can see here




Do once the glue is dry I'll seal those up and paint them appropriate concrete colours. So the next part is to assemble the first of three tower gantries. Each piece is self-contained on one sprue so you can make the crane as tall as you wish, just like the real thing! This is the sprue, you get 3 of them in the kit




and this assembled into this




Now I'm beginnign to think that I need to paint these BEFORE I assemble them anymore. They will all be getting some weathering and appropriate chipping and I reckon it might be easier to do it before final assembly.


So for a final dry fitting for now, here is where it stands, it is already 9" tall...




Thats alll for now, need to decide how to proceed...



Edited by Kallisti
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A nice, unusual, subject. First thing I thought was "wow that's not easy to paint", so I'll agree with you that painting before final assembly will probably be best as you will most likely have to turn it every which way to be able to paint all the struts.

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It's worth noting that in 1/87 scale, any weathering beyond subtle washes can produce exaggerated results. I'd consider dry-brushing in slightly lighter base colors to indicate paint fade.

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Thanks for that suggestion, I can see what you mean, the structure is very fine so it will need to be subtle. I've also been looking at pics of leibherr tower cranes and they are usually all in pretty good nick so no rusting and maybe just a bit of dirt lower down. The cab and platform might get a bit grubby as well.


This afternoon I was busy with a problem that surfaced while I was taking photos of my progress yesterday. Whenever I build models nowadays I'm always aware of how I will transport them to model shows so I'm already looking at how this could be built to come apart - in a controlled manner! To this end I've added an extra support to each tower gantry which will help support them all, starting with the base - you can see here the white plastic tube with brackets attaching it to the gantry




I've used brace tube for the couplings between the plastic rods




Here are the other gantries with the tubes fitted and brackets being trimmed




and fitted together






This should blend in pretty well when its painted yellow :)


I've also assembled the platform that goes around the upper part of the tower where the cab will be




The kit includes some transparencies to which you attach the stickers to represent the wire metal flooring. I was a bit unsure of this at first but tested it out with one piece and it works quite well I reckon




The transparencies just drop into place so I can leave them off while everything is painted up and add them later. I test fitted the walkway to the top of the tower




I've also assembled the very top of the tower which will be able to pivot around the top of the tower. 




The sticky-up bit on the right was a bit of a puzzle at first until I did some research and it turns out its the motor that rotates the jib. Underneath there is the moulding of a small gear which matches up with the central hub which will later be attached to the top of the tower. You can see this in a pic of the real thing here




Onwards and upwards...

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  • 3 weeks later...

Bit of a hiatus on this build the last couple of weeks due to the GF coming over from Portugal and all the modelling stuff removed from the lounge into the shed where its SUPPOSED to be permanently installed ;)


All the main components have been assembled now and are ready for priming: first off the counterjob




Then the counterweights themselves




Next the cab and various access platforms




The piece in the middle contains the roof of the cab which will be attached once the cab has been painted and the windows installed. This attached to the side of the turntable of the crane shown in the previous post. There is another ladder that comes down to the cab from this platform but that isn't in the pic. At the top op of the pic is the winch motor platform that will be added to the near end of the crane jib, speaking  which...




You can see the trolley which can traverse the job plus above the jib the brace, also known as the fore pendant. There are also a couple of braces for the counterjob but I didn't photograph those. So just to test things out I decided to do a dry fit of the jibs to get an idea of the size..




Its pretty big for an OO scale model :) Everything is now in the shed for painting. I've given it an initial white primer coat, although some parts such as the counterweights were primed in grey, along with some of the crane parts that will be grubbier than the others. I've stocked up on yellow paint but I think I need to do a custom mix as the Tamiya yellows are VERY yellow, whereas the colour for this is a bit more reddish yellow... more like Thunderbird 4  or the JCB yellow I mixed for the excavator last year.


Finally a source for all the terminology, I found a really useful explanation on this page:




which has this useful illustration





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So finally, here it is - all painted and with a bit of weathering in specific places, mostly around the base, cab, counterweights and winch motor platforms.

It VERY large - 20" (50cm) tall and 18" (45cm) wide, but its mostly empty space. I have NO idea how I am going to transport this to the club or to shows. My plan to allow the tower to come apart didn't work once the jib was in place, even when I added a folded piece of lead foil as a REAL counterweight!


Without further ado here are some piccies






I was very pleased with the weathering effects on the concrete ballast. This is the location of one of the 4 stickers I ended up using :)




...and here are some of the other stickers :)






The load on the crane is the extra jib section that would have increased the length considerably!






So there it is - its was a fun and interesting build, definitely something different, which is what I like!



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