Kobelco ED160 BR-5 "Blade Runner" Tracked Excavator "USA Version"

The Kobelco ED160 BR-5 is a fully capable tracked excavator with the added benefit of being able to perform the duties of a bulldozer. The PAT dozer blade allows the excavator to perform levelling and landscaping duties alongside the usual duties for an excavator, allowing it to be more versatile on site which in essence reduces the need for two machines, thus reducing costs. Ros has been chosen to produce the 1:50th scale replica which is presented here in the colours of Kobelco USA and they have certainly done a very good job in recreating the functionality of the full-sized machine.

The cabin has a fully replicated interior which is finished in a light grey colour with everything within highlighted, from the main things like the seat and side console to the joystick controls and track drive levers. Less obvious detaining includes the hydraulic cut-off lever and the lever to operate the blade which is located on the side console. Exterior cabin details include a metal grab rail with integrated mirror, sun visor, roof window protection frame and roof mounted work lights with a front window screen wiper arm and printed rubber seals on all windows.

The ability to open the side engine cover to show off the internal workings of the iNDr (Integrated Noise & Dust Reduction Cooling System) is a nice addition..

The compact dimensions of the body look good with metal used for the safety railing and all panel handles highlighted with black and silver printing which is used to good effect,

The track frames are fitted with rotating metal track pads which have captured the rounded ends of each pad to mimic the real machine. This gives the tracks an interesting look with the idler wheels tensioned to keep the tracks taut.

The blade design has been replicated to allow the angle to be adjusted, while the frame has plenty of height adjustment with dimples along the lower edge mimicing the fixing bolts for the blade's cutting edge.

The ability to also tilt the blade shows that a lot of development work has gone into getting this aspect of the model right and Ros should be commended on this.

To top it off, the ends of the blade are hinged, allowing them to fold in to reduce the overall width of the machine so it can be shown in a transport configuration.

The monoboom and stick have an authentic range of movement with a toothed digging bucket attached to the end of the stick. Interestingly, small screws are used, not only for the bucket, but also some of the other connections.

While I personally donít like screws being used throughout a model and much prefer rivets or pins, at least there is an option to easily remove the bucket for those who like adding aftermarket attachments.

The hydraulic circuits have been added to the model and even here, they have gone to great lengths to ensure all the different lines have been replicated, even the auxiliary lines and the end result offers plenty of realism with both fixed plastic and flexible rubber lines used to good effect.

For me, I would have to say that I think this is possibly one of the best models Ros has so far produced and goes to show what is possible when everyone is on the same page in terms of delivering a realistic and functional model. The model is available in both European and United States colours. Check out the Kobelco fanshop for ordering details.