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First Look Review
HO scale
Volvo FH 16XL & Goldhofer THP
Volvo FH 16 Gl. XL with Goldhofer THP-SL Low Boy Semitrailer
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by: Frederick Boucher [ JPTRR ]

Originally published on:
RailRoad Modeling

Volvo FH 16 Gl. XL with Goldhofer THP-SL low boy semitrailer
Collection: CARS&TRUCKS
Brochure: Herpa Cars & Trucks 2013 / 05-06
Mfg. ID: 302227
Series: Shipping company; Heavy duty

Dealer Floor
Herpa has released this one-time edition model of the Max Wild Volvo 4-axle rigid trailer with the new Goldhofer THP-SL center line trailer. It features top-notch molding and assembly, separate mirrors, and excellent detail and printing.
    New type! A one-time edition model of the Max Wild company from Berkheim is released featuring the new Goldhofer THP-SL center lines. The current Volvo 4-axle rigid trailer pulls a total of ten new dual-tired center-lines. - Herpa

Volvo FH16
A Volvo FH16 is a heavy-duty semitruck tractor designed for long distances. Four 16-litre engine choices are available in 540, 600, 700 or 750 hp. For the driver Volvo offers a Sleeper cab, Globetrotter cab, Globetrotter XL cab.

Goldhofer THP-SL
Goldhofer AG of Memmingen, Germany, builds a wide range of transportation trailers and vehicles, for handling payloads of 25 to 10,000 tons.
    Goldhofer's modular heavy-duty vehicles are predestined for use in flexible and economical transport applications. The advantage of modular heavy-duty vehicles:
      * Swing axles with hydraulic axle compensation system (level adjustment)
      * Hydro-mechanic all-wheel mechanical controlled steering in 2-circuit design
      * Box-shaped centre frames with extremely high flexural strength
      * Optimised bolt lashing coupling for easy coupling of the chassis modules
      * Combination options in longitudinal and lateral directions
      * Versatile expansion options by means of additional equipment
      * Suitable for commercially available heavy haulers

    Ball bearing race ring design modules
    Heavy-duty modular vehicles in ball bearing race ring design are especially designed for heavy-duty loads in off-road applications. The robust design and high bending moment ensures safety and availability even in extremely rugged terrain.

The THP-SL is a twin-tired heavy-duty modular design primarily for off-road areas. Hydraulics under the gooseneck allow the drop deck to lower to the ground.

Showroom floor
Herpa packages this model in a form-fitted plastic cradle that is held inside an end-opening carton with a cellophane display window. The cradle is formed with finger holds to easy extraction from the carton. It also has slots for two accessory sprues.

The model is completely assembled except for the separate mirrors on the sprues. Molding is high quality with no visible flash, seam mold lines, sinks or ejection circles. Surface detail featured both raised and recessed detail as on the prototype. The tractor can be disconnected from the Goldhofer THP-SL low boy. That Goldhofer can be detached into five segments.

Windows are of very clear plastic.

kickin' the tires ad slammin' doors
This herpa model is a 700hp Volvo FH 16 Gl. XL. It features soft tires with good tread detail on detailed hubs. You can buy an extra detail set to make the front axle steer.

Up front are clear plastic lenses for the headlamps and other signals. Tinted clear plastic represents the brake lamps. The cab can be tilted forward to display the engine. To do so you must remove the lower front grille, which is held in place by two plastic tabs. Above the engine is a detailed cab insert. You can pop it out if you desire but that is a challenging endevour - tabs hold it inside the cab shell, those tabs simulating the door handles. I usually pop the cab off to show the interior yet this fit is so tight I feared damaging the model.

Windshield wipers are molded onto the window. Overhead is a separate sun shield. Atop the cab is a beacon made of tinted clear plastic.

The chassis is nicely detailed with tanks, axles, driveshaft, mud fenders, battery boxes, shocks and springs, fifth-wheel, and other details.

Goldhofer THP-SLThis heavy duty centipede is a modular, multifunctional heavy-duty trailer unit which consists of five sections, including three wheel units with a total of 10 dual paired axles holding 80 wheels! The sections are held together with metal pins. The center payload segment has simulated wooden planks on both sides which can be extended outward from the middle section.

The bogies do not pivot. The rear lights are painted on.

Paint, finish, markings
The semitruck is molded in color. The grille is chromed.

Trim markings are printed, as are all markings and lettering. No decals were used - Herpa does not use decals. Look at the amazing printing on the brow of the cab!

off the lot
This HO Volvo FH 16 Gl. XL and Goldhofer THP-SL low boy semitrailer is an imposing model on size alone! It is a skosh over 14 inches (35.5 cm) long.

Herpa scores with excellent fine molding with sharp detail plus separate mirrors, plus the clear and tinted plastic lenses for driving lamps and warning beacons.

This model has many positionable options. Modelers can tilt the cab over to expose the D16G engine. It has a detailed cab interior for those who wish to add a driver. The modular trailer can be disassembled or positioned for whatever load you put on it.

Great paint and finish enhances the model.

The few drawbacks are painted lights on the rear of the trailer. Herpa rarely includes any information about mounting the mirrors.

This is an impressive model with a great deal of potential for HO layouts or for modern heavy-duty truck collectors. I happily recommend it.

AB Volvo
AB Volvo is a Swedish multinational manufacturing company headquartered in Gothenburg, Sweden. Its principal activity is the production, distribution and sale of trucks, buses, and construction equipment. Volvo also supplies marine and industrial drive systems, and provides financial services. Although Volvo was established in 1915 as a subsidiary of AB SKF, a Swedish ball bearing manufacturer, the auto manufacturer considers itself officially founded on 14 April 1927, when the first car, the Volvo ÖV 4 series, affectionately known as "Jakob", rolled out of the factory in Hisingen, Gothenburg.

Volvo means "I roll" in Latin, conjugated from "volvere", in relation to ball bearing.

In 1924, Assar Gabrielsson, an SKF Sales Manager, and Engineer Gustav Larson, the two founders, decided to start construction of a Swedish car. Their vision was to build cars that could withstand the rigors of Sweden's rough roads and cold temperatures.


* Goldhofer AG. Type THP. [Web.] n.d.

** Wikipedia. Volvo. [Web.] 20 October 2013.

Click here for additional images for this review.

Highs: Top-notch molding and assembly; separate mirrors. Excellent detail and printing.
Lows: Painted trailer lights.
Verdict: This is an impressive model with a great deal of potential for HO layouts or for modern heavy-duty truck collectors.
Percentage Rating
  Scale: HO Scale
  Mfg. ID: 302227
  Suggested Retail: 39.50 EURO
  Related Link: Volvo FH GL series
  PUBLISHED: Oct 23, 2013

Our Thanks to Herpa!
This item was provided by them for the purpose of having it reviewed on this KitMaker Network site. If you would like your kit, book, or product reviewed, please contact us.

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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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