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In-Box Review
Umex Hamm Road Roller
Umex MinimoverS Hamm Road Roller
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by: Frederick Boucher [ JPTRR ]

Originally published on:
RailRoad Modeling

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The early 1960s was a time of many model companies and hobby alliances. In Austria Umex was an early maker of detailed 1/87 HO scale models for the railroad community. They had a small series of construction machinery known as Minimovers. In North and South American Umex was distributed by the late great AHM (click here for AHM Reviews). AHM, or Associated Hobby Manufacturers, (Until recently was reincarnated as IHC,INTERNATIONAL HOBBY CORPORATION, until IHC's demise a year ago) was a multi-faceted hobby powerhouse c.1960s-80s. Modelers of that era, especially model railroaders, no doubt had some of AHM’s products.

Sometime in the mid-60s Umex and Minimovers joined Roco. Roco distributed the Minimovers with their Minitanks series of military vehicles (Please see RELATED LINK: below in the SUMMARY box for Minitank reviews).

Minimovers models are:

• U301 Caterpillar 4-wheel tractor
• U302 Caterpillar 4-wheel tractor
• U302 Caterpillar Traxcavator
• U303 Caterpillar 16 grader
• U304 Universal backhoe crawler
• U305 Caterpillar D8 bulldozer
• U306 Hamm road roller
• U307 Universal crane truck
• U308 Caterpillar 631A scraper
• U309 Euclid R45 dumptruck
• U310 Construction crane
• U311 Hamm tandem roadroller
• U312 Universal clamshell crawler
• U313 Caterpillar grader
• U314 Caterpillar 4-wheel scraper (for U301)

According to our friends at 1/87thscale.info, "Umex was an Austrian company that produced assembled plastic models of construction equipment from the 1960's to the 1980's (?). There were about a dozen models which were all accurate in scale. Almost every model was moulded in a bright yellow plastic with black detail parts and soft plastic tires. The Euclid truck and the Hamm rollers were also moulded in orange. Umex and Roco seem to have cooperated in some way since the Cat grader was also available in military green in the Roco minitanks series during the 1960's. Eventually Umex disappeared from the market but three of the models were reissued by Roco (they probably bought the moulds) in 1982. There were some changes to the models but the imprint on the bottom still read Umex. The Roco models were all released in a dark yellow that resembled the original Caterpillar yellow. In 1988 the models also disappeared from the Roco catalogue.

Roco models were:

1403 - Caterpillar 16 grader
1404 - Caterpillar 631A scraper
1405 - Caterpillar 630A tractor plus 482C scraper

In 1999 Puget Sound Casting began manufacturing an Umex copy, it appears to be a 'remould' in resin.

97013 - Euclid R45 Dumper"

Hamm AG

Hamm AG is a German worldwide manufacturer and marketer of road rollers based in Tirschenreuth, Germany. It is a subsidiary of Wirtgen Group GmbH.

Brothers Anton and Franz Hamm, who were gunsmiths, founded the company in 1878 to build agricultural equipment. The company built their first diesel-powered road roller in 1911, from a design by a second-generation Hamm, Hans Hamm. This was at a time when most rollers where steam powered. In 1928 the company abandoned all other product lines to concentrate on road rollers. Hamm produces the first all-wheel drive-all-wheel steering double-drum, or tandem, roller in 1932, and retains patent protection rights until 1970. The company introduced an all-wheel steering and all-wheel drive rubber-wheeled roller in 1963, and then rolled out its oscillating vibratory roller in 1989.

In 1999 the Wirtgen Group GmbH announced that it would purchase Hamm AG, and the transaction was completed in March 2000.[2]

Hamm Road Roller
This Umex model appears to be a 12-14 ton Hamm roller. It was powered with a 3-Cylinder Deutz Engine. The model is packaged in the typical Umex / Roco blister card that both displays and protects the model. On the back is the history of the roller.

The model is molded with shiny plastic in color. The wheels are painted black, presumably representing tar. The painting is a bit sloppy.

The model has good detail. Separate brakes, or roller cleaners, are behind both rear rollers. Individual cleaner scrapers are in front of them, too. A simple instrument panel is molded with raised detail. Side grilles are molded open. A basic engine bottom is molded onto the bottom of the vehicle. Separate headlights grace each side of the cowl. The driver seat was loose in the pack. Enjoy the photos of the model.

Unfortunately the Hamm emblem on the nose is not painted. Several parts have burrs from where the parts were separated from the molding sprues. Also, the headlights are neither clear plastic nor simulated with paint.

These models are fairly common at on-line auctions, and relatively inexpensive. The Minimovers Hamm roller is a good model. Nicely detailed, the model is also in scale. This roller looks like some American designs of the era. It will look good on any model railroad or construction diorama. Recommend.

[1] 1/87thscale.info
[2] Wikipedia

Click here for additional images for this review.

Highs: Nicely detailed, the model is also in scale.
Lows: Several parts have burrs from where the parts were separated from the molding sprues. Also, the headlights are neither clear plastic nor simulated with paint.
Verdict: A vintage disign, it will look good on any model railroad or construction diorama c.1930s-present.
Percentage Rating
  Scale: 1:87
  Mfg. ID: U-306
  Suggested Retail: Varies
  Related Link: Minitanks Reviews
  PUBLISHED: May 09, 2011

About Frederick Boucher (JPTRR)

I'm a professional pilot with a degree in art. My first model was an AMT semi dump truck. Then Monogram's Lunar Lander right after the lunar landing. Next, Revell's 1/32 Bf-109G...cried havoc and released the dogs of modeling! My interests--if built before 1900, or after 1955, then I proba...

Copyright ©2021 text by Frederick Boucher [ JPTRR ]. Images also by copyright holder unless otherwise noted. Opinions expressed are those of the author(s) and not necessarily those of ModelGeek. All rights reserved.


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