The VPK-7829 Bumerang is a new development of 8x8 armored personnel carrier launched by the Russian defense industry to replace the old BTR family used by the Russian armed forces. One of Russia’s most recent AFV projects, Bumerang was unveiled during the 2015 Moscow Victory Day Parade and comes in two variants: the K-16 Armored Personnel Carrier and K-17 Infantry Fighting Vehicle.
Zvezda released Bumerang, Russian 8x8 Armored Personnel Carrier as a 1/35 scale kit in 2019. The kit received positive reviews throughout the modeling community, the weakest point being vinyl tires which are not up to today’s standards. DEF Model to the rescue… the company best known for their amazing resin wheel sets now offers Bumerang Russian 8x8 APC Sagged Wheel Set (DW35117) as a direct resin replacement wheel set designed for Zvezda kit.
The set is packed in a cardboard box, about double the size of the usual DEF Model boxes. The front of the box features an image which displays the contents of the set and notes the kit includes 16 resin parts and a wheel mask seal.
Opening the box, I found it packed full. The plastic bag with the resin pieces is really big and holds the parts in separate compartments. The pre-cut masking sheet and wheel masking instruction leaflet are included as well.
The resin pieces are cast to perfection. I found no anomalies in the cast whatsoever, with the sharp details superbly defined and impressively delivered in resin. The carrier blocks on the wheels are large, but intelligently placed to where the tires contact the ground, so the blocks are easily removed and cleaned without damaging the delicate details.
The casting blocks on the wheel hubs need to be cut and sanded flat. This should not present a problem, as there is a clear separation line between the casting block and the hub, making it easy to deduce when to stop sanding. Just remember to take all the necessary precautions when sanding resin.
Some aftermarket companies offer their resin replacement wheel kits with all the wheels in the set being identical copies. When fitted to the vehicle, these wheels look repetitive and unrealistic. DEF Model replacement wheel sets always include several wheel variants featuring different orientation of the compression where the tire contacts the ground, providing a more authentic appearance of the model. This particular set includes 4 differently oriented wheels, labeled as A, B, C and D. Separately cast hubs add to the realism, as these pieces can be oriented and fixed to the wheel rim per modeler’s preferences.
The set depicts Belshina 16.00 R20 tire. These radial tires are produced in Belarus (“Belshina” is an abbreviation for “Belaruskaya shina” - Belarusian tire), with the dimensions of 1342 x 439 mm (52.9 x 17.2 in) and the approved rim width of 254 mm (10 in).
(photos from https://www.recomonkey.com)
The tires in this set are sized to 36.35 x 11.70 mm, a bit smaller than the real tire in 1/35 scale. Unfortunately, I don't have Bumerang kit from Zvezda, so I can't compare the size of vinyl tires supplied with the kit with DEF offerings, but the photos on DEF website suggest Zvezda tires being a bit bigger in diameter.
As for the details on these wheels… wow! The non-directional tread pattern is perfectly reproduced in scale and the sidewall details are absolutely incredible. Comparing these tires to the references I found on the internet, I could clearly recognize all the tire features as well as the lettering BELSHINA, 16.00R20 and Ƃеʌ-95, together with several microscopic inscriptions. Very impressive! The bolt pattern on the rim looks really good.
The hub is also masterpiece, very realistically delivered.
The wheels in this set are depicted with a slight sag. The compression in the wheel is not overdone and I feel it conveys the weight of the vehicle really well.
Five identical pre-cut masking sheets are included in this kit. The masks are of great help when painting the wheels, allowing airbrushing without overspray. Also included is the instruction leaflet which shows two different ways of applying the masks and painting the wheels.
Bumerang Russian 8x8 APC Sagged Wheel Set (DW35117) from DEF Model delivers a direct resin wheel replacement for Bumerang, Russian 8x8 APC from Zvezda (3696). The wheels are perfectly cast in resin and feature superb details all around. Although sized a bit smaller than the real Belshina 16.00 R20 tire in 1/35 scale, DEF Model wheels offer a vast improvement in detail over the kit vinyl tires/plastic hubs. Pre-cut masks which help in painting the wheels are an added bonus.
A big thanks to DEF Model for this review sample.