The footage from the Russian invasion of the Ukraine often shows destroyed vehicles strewn across the war-torn Ukrainian landscape. Numerous images document burned out and damaged Russian army “Tiger” family of infantry mobility vehicles.
Photos: Vitaliy Gnidyi. Destroyed Russian army all-terrain Tigr-M (Tiger) infantry mobility vehicles on a road in Kharkiv, Ukraine, Feb. 28, 2022.
DEF Model recently released a new aftermarket resin set for 1/35 scale Tiger kits, designed to replicate battle damaged vehicle wheels: GAZ-233014 STS Tiger Flat Tire Wheel Set (DW35139).
The set is packed in a typical DEF Model hard cardboard side-opening box. The box art displays the assembled model fitted with resin wheels and specifies the set could be used with all the currently available 1/35 scale Tiger kits on the market (Meng, Xact and Zvezda).
The box contains 9 resin parts packed in a zip-lock bag, masking sheet and masking instructions.
I opened the zip-lock bag and inspected the pieces. The pieces are impressively cast in grey resin and I found no evidence of any casting imperfections, no seam lines or air bubbles. As with all DEF Model sets I reviewed so far, the details on the wheels are well defined and wonderfully delivered.
The casting blocks on the road wheels are located on the tire ground contact, and should prove very easy to remove. The casting block on the spare wheel features attachment points that follow the tire tread pattern, thus ensuring tire tread is minimally affected by the cleanup procedure. A thin layer of resin flash in the spare wheel rim opening should be carefully removed as well.
The tire depicted in this set is Russian-made Киров КИ-115AM 12.00R18, a radial tire with directional tread pattern, and the dimensions of 475 x 320 mm.
Note the early style Tiger wheel hub on this photo.
The tire in this 1/35 scale set depicts the Киров КИ-115AM tire well. The sidewall embossing is nicely delivered, with inscriptions КИ-115AM, 12.00R18, RADIAL as well as several tiny markings clearly visible. The wheel hubs are of later style, usually found on Tigr-M vehicle variants. The tire pressure control system and numerous other hub details are impressively reproduced.
I particularly like the way DEF Model portrayed flat road wheel tires. Comparing these 1/35 scale tires to the punctured tires found on reference photos showing destroyed vehicles in the current conflict in Ukraine reveal a really good match.
Due to the fact the tire tread is directional, the set includes two road wheels for the right side of the vehicle (labeled A and C) and two road wheels for the left side of the vehicle (B and D).
Right side wheels.
Left side wheels.
The spare tire is depicted slightly deflated.
Fitting the wheels:
This wheel set is designed to fit all the 1/35 scale GAZ Tiger kits currently available on the market. If used with Xact kit, a specific adapter supplied in the DEF Model set needs to be used to fix the road wheels. On the other hand, if used with Meng or Zvezda kits, the central axle opening should be drilled out using 2.4 mm or 3 mm drill bits, respectively. The image on DEF website could provide some help: link.
Also, a bit of modification is needed when fixing the spare wheel on Meng kit, but this is only a minor adjustment of the kit part. Again, the image on DEF website provides the explanation: link.
3 pre-cut masking sheets are included in this kit. The masks are of help when painting the wheels, allowing airbrushing without overspray. The instruction leaflet shows two different ways of applying the masks and painting the wheels.
GAZ-233014 STS Tiger Flat Tire Wheel Set (DW35139) from DEF Model delivers 4 road wheels with punctured tires and a deflated spare wheel to realistically recreate damaged/destroyed vehicle in 1/35 scale. The wheels are perfectly cast with loads of details impressively delivered in resin. The set is designed to fit all the Tiger kits currently available on the market, however, some minor adjustments are required. The set also includes paint masks, which present an added bonus.
Altogether, I can highly recommend this set for anyone wishing to do a damaged GAZ Tiger model.
A big thanks to DEF Model for this review sample.http://www.defmodel.com/