German field crane FRIES 16t in 1/72 scale


Name German WWII field crane Fries 16t (Item No. EXM 7223)
Producer  Extratech, Czech Republic
Packing carton box with photo 
Type of kit resin & photo etched parts

Model fits in all major dimensions to the 1/72nd scale (compared to a drawing in 1/35th scale, author Waldemar Trojca, Model Hobby, Katowice, Poland, 2001).

The kit contains 17 resin parts and 3 large photo-etched frets; all parts are in an excellent quality – current standard of Extratech. The whole upper lattice bridge is presented as one part, similarly, each of the legs consist of two parts (plus a bunch of small details, of course…).

Instructions leaflet is clear, there is a photo of the crane (the same as on the box) and location of parts and numbering on one side; assembly and painting instructions on the other one. Although the kit is not very difficult and number of parts is not very high, the assembly will be a hard nut to crack because the relatively high and wobbly construction will be extremely demanding in absolute precision of gluing.

General contentment and satisfaction so far. However, it would not be me, refraining from comments… So: a) supporting legs were in reality made from round tubes, which cannot be reproduced in a photo-etch technology faithfully; b) lattice construction of the upper transverse jib was made from steel sections (I, U, L) – the model works with a ”two-dimensional projection”, given by the PE technology, and c) the model totally lacks any representation of the chain drive of the trolley and rope conduction for the hoist of loads, incl. the pulleys on both ends of the jib, which is quite important with the see-through lattice construction. And a final note for the total purists: if the chain is to be in 1/72nd scale, it should have approx. 40 links per 1 cm of length…

And the final verdict: great model! Now, I have to hurry with the ”gutted Tiger” to be placed under this crane…

Instruction sheet graphic instruction sheet
Decals no
General Impression & Note

Excellent choice of a complementary type of machinery for a dioarama! This crane, sometimes mentioned as ”Strabo”, had been produced since 1942 by a German company S. Fries & Sohn in Frankfurt. The crane was a part of equipment of a maintenance unit in each German Panzerdivision, where it was used especially for removing tank turrets and for handling of loads up to 15 tons. The cranes of this type can also be found in the technical batteries of long-range rocket units, firing the A 4 (V-2) missiles. They were used for transferring the rockets from the railway cars to the Vidal trailers and then to the Meiller trailers, from which the rockets were launched.

The crane was easy to dismantle and move on the roads as a trailer to the truck – for this purpose it had two axles with standard double truck wheels of a diameter 1040 mm. Thanks to a simple construction (jack-knife tubular legs and pull wires, tightened by manual winches) it was possible to erect the crane from travelling position to operating position in twenty minutes. The trolley travel and hoist of loads was driven by a ten-horsepower electric motor, the crane could be operated manually by chains when power was off.

Basic data: length 14630 mm, width 2248 mm, height 6900 mm, weight 7825 kg.