Tutorial- Tectonic Craft Studios Crane Assembly

I picked up a crane kit from Tectonic Craft Studios at Midwest Miniature Expo. Here is how I assembled it:

First, separate the pieces into the four major sections of the finished crane.

The axis upon which the arm rotates. From left to right, these are the center axis and the pieces that go on it from bottom to top.

The crane arm itself. two middle/back  pieces, the sides, top and bottom.

The Wheels at the back of the crane. This is the axis and the parts on either side from the middle to the outside.


The main support body of the crane is a basic box with four identical sides, a top piece and two pieces for the base.

The axis goes together pretty easily. The two center pieces are glued into the slots in the bottom circle. The large square piece is not glued, since this is where the axis connects to the base it needs to move freely. The square hole in the large gear is tight on the axis pieces and get glued into place.

The axis gets attached to the crane arm. The rear pieces are glued to each other and placed in the center of the axis. The sides of the arm sandwich all of this together, slotting into the tabs on the center pieces of the axis.

The top and bottom pieces of the arm go on and the two remaining pieces from the axis slot into gaps left by where the axis and arm meet. It helps to do all of this in one session so you can move pieces around a little to make sure everything fits in place. By the time I was here, the axis and arm were very stable and solid.

Now, we move on to the wheel at the back of the arm. The axis is one piece that goes through the rear section of the arm and all of the wheel pieces. I found it best to assemble both sides simultaneously working from the middle out. First, the smallest piece is placed on the axis and I added glue on the outside. It is not glued to the arm.

The next piece is the largest wheel.

Next comes the gear piece and a U-shaped piece that slots thought the previous three layers. I put a bit of excess glue on this but it was easy to wipe off the excess before it dried.

Here is the finished arm with its axis and wheel. It balances nicely and rotates on the axis. At this point, you could attach the crane arm to a different piece of scenery, but I wanted to complete the kit in its stock configuration.


The base assembly is very straight forward.  The four walls are identical and line up easily. They have tabs at the top and bottom corners that slot into the two base pieces, one top piece, and the axis.


The finished crane is about 5 inches tall and the arm is a bit more than 6 inches long. I'm looking forward to painting this up and using it in some scenarios.

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