Kolibri 1/87 DeMag AC665 boom crane
KIT #: 10754
DECALS: One option
NOTES: Snap kit for train layout


In 1910, the Märkische Maschinenbau-Anstalt L. Stuckenholz AG, the Duisburg Mechanical Engineering AG of Duisburg, Germany, and the Benrath Machine Works GmbH merged to form the Deutsche Maschinenfabrik. It was known worldwide by its telegram abbreviation Demag. Märkische Maschinenbau-Anstalt L. Stuckenholz AG had been manufacturing cranes since 1840, and in 1906, it was the biggest crane building company in Germany manufacturing industrial bridge, overhead, gantry cranes and hoist devices, and employing up to 300 people. In 1925, Demag branched into manufacturing excavators, then into locomotives and rolling stock. During WWII, they also built AFVs.

After the war, Demag developed their first hydraulic excavators. They would soon expand into construction machines, vehicle cranes, moving and conveying engineering (workshop crane and control devices), steel mill technology (complete metallurgical plants, in particular continuous casting equipment), compressors and compressed air engineering. The company also became a world leader in the manufacturing of injection moulding machines. Since then there have been involvements with other international companies in the US and Japan, including Sumitomo Heavy Industries, where they were known as Sumitomo (SHI) Demag. More corporate machinations occurred with different companies and name changes (too numerous to mention and too boring/bewildering to follow).

In 2017 Konecranes from Finland purchased the MHPS division from Terex, and they revived the Demag name as the MHPS became the Demag Cranes & Components Gmbh. In 2019, Terex decided to sell the Mobile Cranes division to the Japan based company, Tadano, and it became the Tadano Demag gmbh. In 2020 Tadano Demag Gmbh filed for insolvency. Surviving restructuring, Tadano dropped the Demag brand name in 2021.


I was in Townsville, in Queensland, Australia when a Toyworld shop had a sale. This small dusty box was marked at $30, down from $60, and because it looked interesting, and because I had more dollars than sense, I bought it (even though I'm not a bike/car/truck builder). Naturally, I had a good look at the kit, and noticed that it was a snap-together kit, but beyond that, it lay (but not dusty) in my stash for 30+ years. This changed when my Modelling Club decided to do a display of snap-together models (Modelling - It's a Snap), to show everyone that this type of kit isn't just for Junior modellers.

The kit came in a sturdy cardboard box, and the instructions were printed on both sides of 2 x A4 sheets. There were 4 large loose parts and 22 small sprues with 149 parts. The plastic was very-crisply moulded, without a trace of mould-seams or flash, and pre-coloured in grey, clear, black, clear red and clear orange. Other bits included thread and metal rods for weight and a nut-&-bolt. The kit's deficiencies I see are that the 6 x axles are plastic (not metal) and the wheels are not poseable.


There are two main sub-assemblies - the long chassis, complete with wheels and drivers cabin, and the crane, complete with operator's cabin. If assembled correctly, the crane will telescope, elevate and rotate. But where to start? Not knowing any better, I followed the instructions precisely, and had no trouble. The only deviation from it was that I attached the wheels to the chassis BEFORE I screwed the crane to it. The fit of the parts was superb (and THAT's no exaggeration).

There are 5 telescoping elements to the crane's boom, and it appears that they were extended by a system of pulleys, but there is no diagram to indicate how they are strung - or how the hook (of-which there are two options) is rigged. The crane has 4 outriggers, and the kit provides two sets - stowed for travelling, and deployed to raise and stabilise the chassis when the crane is lifting a load. Additionally, the kit provides rectangular plates on-which the outrigger floats (or feet) of the deployed outriggers rest (to spread the weight). At the back end of the crane are 5 plates that represent the concrete counterweights. What I did was to hollow-out the middle three, and fill the cavity with a lump of lead. The kit provides an accurate part to anchor the crane's winding drum. This can be removed and replaced with a tool so that the modeller can retract the cable.


Almost no painting was necessary because the parts were accurately moulded in the correct colours. I painted only the blades of the windshield wipers. I didn't weathering it because I wanted to keep it in a clean condition, and because I didn't have the time. All it needs is a dark wash in a few places (wheel hubs abs around the ladders?) to represent a pristine machine.

I've never had success with stickers on a model, so I accepted a college's offer to make a decal sheet from them. At first, they behaved, but they soon lost their grip on the plastic - Rats!!!.

I used the kit-provided black thread to tether one of the hooks from the cable reel. It was rigged in a basic pulley-style. For the display, I placed the crane in a deployed condition by hanging hung a shipping container (with a fishing sinker inside it) from the hook. This also served to increase the volume of the model. Unfortunately, the wing mirrors of the drivers cab broke-off in transport - Double rats!!!


This model was hindered by the lack of rigging instructions, the stickers and the decals. OK - I'm not usually a truck builder, but this build was a pleasure, because the assembly process was enhanced by the excellent engineering of the parts. The model itself is enhanced by its ability to be manipulated from a closed-down transport mode, to a fully-deployed working mode. The model train hobbyists are very lucky, in this aspect. This model has the attachment points for an additional support mast (aka, luffing) for the boom, and Kibri kit (No. 13021) includes it with this same crane.

If this kit is typical of all Kibri kits, I would strongly recommend that other modellers do not over-look them. Not only do they display the excellent engineering for-which Germany is well-known, but there are also many esoteric subjects.

George Oh

30 January 2024

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