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Bruce Hansen's Erector 70-Ton Crane

Bruce writes: "This model is the 70 Ton Crane built from a 1962 Astronaut Set (10½ set) which is in the background. Thanks to Harvey Nash who sent me copies of the plans. Without his help, I'd have been winging it by building the model from just the picture on the set box. The 70 ton crane was one of the two new models for the 10½ set in 1962 (Astronaut Trainer is the other). The action in this model is a crane which can be manually rotated about the base, an up/down powered boom and an up/down powered block and tackle.


One unique feature of sets in 1962 is that the P79 car trucks and MV flat car trucks changed in color from red to yellow. Though not pictured, the crane cab rotates very smoothly around the base on TB/TC ball bearings. The boom pivots on an AT 4" axle supported at each end with a P79 car truck. A third/fourth P79 provide a base to support the cab roof and a fifth P79 serves as the crane operator's seat.


The boom stands roughly 44 inches tall at its full up position. Full travel from low to high takes about 45 seconds. The boom is made from C 10" girders; two rows of girders and a left/right side. The two sides are joined by a number of O pawls. The top/bottom C strips are gusseted with four I 21-hole strips per side of the boom. A stabilizer fashioned from a CY 5" axle, AA eccentric crank and BT pierced disc prevent the crane from tipping over when the boom is lowered. The stabilizer is manually moved in/out and slides through an M small double angle mounted under the base.

The motor setup is electric engine no. 10 in the manual. This setup uses the NK ratchets and P13 pinions to lock the two driving axles when the motor is shifted to neutral or the other axle is under power. The block & tackle string is the lower axle; the boom is raised/lower by the upper axle.

This model went together really quickly; no issues or difficulties at all. Thanks again Harvey!"