This resin wheels set from French company Signifer is designed for Revellís Bundeswehr MAN 10t. milgl truck kit. The set replaces all eight wheels and also includes a spare, all of which in the kit are composed of three pieces Ė soft rubber tire and two plastic rim halves. In the Signifer set we get nine complete wheels cast in gray resin. There are no instructions included in the set as the wheels are designed to directly replace the kit wheels.
The resin used is very hard and brittle Ė which is not easy to work with. Luckily, all that has to be cut off from each wheel is a small casting block. There are a few air bubbles on the parts, but only around casting blocks on the bottom side of wheels. Unfortunately, brittle resin broke off in a few places from the rims leaving jagged edges.
Tires on all wheels (except for spare one) are gently bulged and flattened at the bottom Ė which is done reasonably well and looks quite good.
The tread pattern on the tires is truly beautifully done. It is one of the best looking tread patterns I have seen on resin wheels,.....but... the tread pattern is of the same type as it was on original kit wheels and this means it is Michelin XZL type. The pattern looks much better than this on the soft rubber tires in the kit, but still is not 100% correct. This wouldnít be a problem at all, if not for a fact that Michelin XZL tires are not the standard type used by Bundeswehr for MAN 10t. trucks. Whilst I cannot be 100% sure that these tires are not used, none of my reference photographs Ė and I have quite a few Ė show Michelin tires on 10t (and also 5t and 7t) MAN trucks. These trucks use Continental tires with a very different tread pattern (classic German military pattern that was used already during WW2). Michelin XZL tires are standard for 15t. MAN trucks, but there is no 1/35 plastic kit available of such a truck. Also 15t trucks have different rims from these used on lighter MANs. While using non-standard (or possibly plain wrong) Michelin tires was originally a Revellís mistake, it seems a pity that Signifer hasnít corrected it giving us the common Continental type.
Let's assume for a moment that there are 10t MAN trucks equipped with Michelin tires, what isn't impossible. In such a case unfortunately Signifer wheels would still not be fully accurate. For some incomprehensible reason Signifer decided to improve the look of the rims by adding details that donít exist on the real wheel! Added were four screw head details between existing bolt details and also two holes in the wheel hub Ė none of which can be seen on pictures of real wheels. On the other hand, a small hole (lubricating point) that was omitted from Revell hubs and should have been added, unfortunately was not. Two thin lines engraved on the side of each resin tire on the real wheel are raised, and there are three such lines on Michelin tires, not two. The tread pattern is not cut deep enough into the side of the tire, which doesnít look good. Probably the biggest error .... the rims protrude some 2 mm from the tire (each side), which would mean some 7 cm (about 2.7Ē) in real life. Real rims donít stick out like that at all!
To make things worse the resin wheels donít fit the kit axles well. The holes in the rims are too shallow and slightly too big in diameter. This means that one has to either drill the hole deeper or cut the tip of kit axle. Then the fit of wheel is still rather loose which means careful positioning and a generous amount of superglue is needed to attach these wheels properly.
Thanks to the very good looking tread pattern I can still recommend these wheels to modelers who want to replace ugly soft rubber tires in their MAN truck kit and at the same time donít care much for accuracy. Whilst the installation of resin wheels is not as straightforward as it could have been, it is still relatively simple. The only problem for modelers would be damaged rim edges that could be really hard to fix. Modelers who wish to build an accurate model of a typical Bundeswehr MAN truck should look somewhere else for the replacement of kit plastic & rubber wheels.
Many thanks to Signifer for a review sample!
Thanks to the very good looking tread pattern I can recommend these wheels to modelers who want to replace ugly soft rubber tires in their MAN truck kit and at the same time donít care much for accuracy.
About Pawel Krupowicz (Vodnik) FROM: WARSZAWA, POLAND
As first lines of this bio appear under all my reviews, I feel it is important that I start with this information: In March 2005 I ventured into the other side of modeling "industry" - I was not only building model kits, but also helping design them as a consultant for Dragon Models Ltd.. These days...