It's a great time to be into German softskins.
First there was a blizzard of Sd.Kfz.7 models in most variants (except the V2 command module), then all the remaining classes except the 12-ton Sd.Kfz.8 have started coming onto the market in 1/35th styrene kits. At almost the same time, a wide mix of companies has released styrene kits of German trucks. While most of the Wehrmacht moved on-foot or with the help of horse flesh, Germany employed hundreds of thousands of trucks, many of them drafted from civilian commercial usage or commandeered from its defeated enemies. The campaign in the Soviet Union especially decimated the Wehrmacht motor pool from combat losses, impossible road conditions and a chronic lack of spare parts.
Up until recently, modelers were living in a world where the only trucks on the market in 1/35th styrene were Opel Blitzes and Mercedes L3000s. That's changed lately, including the release of several variants of the so-called Einheitsdiesel
by the Polish firm IBG Models (reviewed by Jim Starkweather here
). Meaning "standard" diesel and usually referred to as the Kfz.61, it was developed during the 1930s to serve Germany's coming war needs for a light truck body that could be mass-produced by many firms. In fact, the Kfz.61 was built in the thousands by Henschel, Büssing-NAG and others, and performed various functions, including communications van and general light duty truck.
While the IBG kits look good overall, their tires are, well, pretty basic (the usual two parts). Fortunately our friends at Quick Wheel have come to our rescue with two sets of resin replacement wheels.
what you get
Each set comes in the usual QW zip-loc baggie package containing:
1 baggie of 6 road wheels
1 baggie with:
6 wheel drums
2 sprues with lug bolts
1 large sheet with photos and directions
These two sets give you the option of using rimmed (QWX-30) or unrimmed wheels (QWX-29). Actually, the "rims" are bolt guards, and now modelers have an option for their particular build (both types of wheel were used). The casting is the usual flawless level of crisp detail we've come to expect from a Quick Wheel resin replacement tire. But what really opens up possibilities here is the inclusion of the underlying wheel/brake drums and lug bolts. Modelers looking to show a tire-changing diorama have that option now, something available only to scratchbuilders previously.
The photos at right showing the kit tire with its rather basic tread next to the QW replacement should leave no doubt in anyone's mind which version to use in their build. The wheel rims have the air nipple molded in, and the spare's wheel is delicately-molded to scale thickness with the lug bolt holes sharply-defined.
Finally, there's the mask set with slots for six wheels. Having reviewed and used Quick Wheel masks for years now, I can't recommend them highly enough. You simply paint the wheels/tires their final color, then slip them into the mask for detailing the rims. No hand-made mask can rival the sharp delineation of these vinyl masks, and hand painting is, well, you simply can't do it as well by hand.
Simply put, this is the only solution to improving an already good model into a great one. And if you're looking to do a burned-out/wrecked Einheitsdiesel
or a diorama showing the crew changing a tire, the inclusion of the bolts makes that possible.
Thanks to Quick Wheel for providing these review samples. Please be sure to mention you saw these items reviewed here when ordering from the manufacturer.