Lemniscate crane

Figee lemniscate crane

During the building of the Bailey tower crane I was inspired by the Lemniscate cranes working in the port of Vlissingen and Terneuzen for the discharging of mainly coal from ocean going bulk carriers. The graceful movement and perfect balancing of these cranes offered a real challenge for building a Lego model. When one of these floating cranes came in drydock on the shipyard I’m working on, I got the opportunity for a closer look, take pictures, and, even better, I was able to get a copy of the General Arrangement plan. Initially, I decided to build the crane in the livery of our client Ovet, but after checking my Lego inventory, this proved to be too expensive. The Ovet colours are mainly gray, yellow and green and I would have to buy too much parts. Searching the internet I found out that in the port of Amsterdam, the same cranes are working, in a yellow, blue and black colour scheme. This proved to be more suitable, financially.

I decided to built to scale 1 : 30. The Bailey tower crane, I built before was 1 : 20, but I expected too much problems with the moving masses typical for this type of crane, when using this scale.

Specially challenging for this built were the slewing bearing (always!), the grab operation and balancing the jib movement.

The slewing bearing is documented in more detail on the page “Slewing bearing 150 mm”, on this site.

The jibs are balanced with counter weights. These counter weights must be positioned as low as possible for stability, as the crane is mounted on a floating pontoon. When the crane is at rest position (at minimum outreach) the counter weights are horizontal, with the weight as far forward as possible. To get balance in the model, while using lead pallets for weight, I had to deviate a bit from the dimensions of the original by extending the counter weights a bit longer forward.

Following movies show the various motions of the crane model:






Grab bucket operation

Grab operation was achieved by building a two drum winch, driven by an adder-subtractor gear. See movie below:

Below are some details of the crane and the pontoon on which it is built:

The crane is fitted on a floating pontoon, which isbeing built here.

Pedestal, crane removed.

Mooring winch detail.

Luffing gear, driven by 1 XL motor.


Special thanks to Werner Verhage of Ovet, who gave me tour through his crane no. 9 during his lunch break.

8 thoughts on “Lemniscate crane

  • 21-03-2021 at 21:41


    Heeft u onderdelijst of tekening van u grijper.

    Mvg groet Rober van os ui Terneuzen ben namelijk ook zo kraan aan bouwen

  • 23-03-2021 at 21:55

    Hey Robert als je me een mail adres geeft kan ik nog wel een andere foto van de grijper sturen. Heb je de winch al voor mekaar? gr. Marinus

  • 11-12-2021 at 17:14

    Ziet er goed uit. Kleiner dan deze maar daardoor beter qua bewegingen. Graaft goed!

  • 15-12-2021 at 18:31

    Bedankt. Hij graaft zeker goed in, het is ook een kopere grijper. Ik heb ook een poliep van koper deze werkt nog beter. Helaas draait hij nog niet lekker maar dat komt denk ik omdat hij nog niet in evenwicht is. Ben nog lekker met het contragewicht aan het spelen.

  • 02-01-2023 at 09:03

    Goedemorgen, zou ik een bouwtekening van deze mooie kraan mogen?

  • 02-01-2023 at 09:06

    Goedemorgen, hebt u van deze mooie kraan de bouwtekening?

  • 23-11-2023 at 21:00

    ik wil graag deze kraan gaan bouwen
    hebt u voor mij de bouw tekening?
    ik wil ervoor betalen!

    groeten Hendrik

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