This review covers re-released set of M923 resin replacement from DEF Model: M923A1 'BIG FOOT' Truck Michelin XL Sagged Wheel Set (DW35130). The set can now be used with M923 1/35 scale plastic kits from both Italeri and I Love Kit.

Introducion:

I Love Kit company from China released their 1/35 scale M923 kit in 2021. At that time DEF Model already had two different types of M923 “Big Foot” resin replacement wheels in their catalogue, however those upgrades were designed for Italeri kit. Not wanting to miss an opportunity, DEF reworked their “Big Foot” Micehlin XL wheels, which are now suitable to fit both Italeri and I Love Kit models. 

The other DEF Model “Big Foot” set featuring Goodyear tires fitted for both Italeri and I Love Kit will be available later in 2021.

Review:

DEF Model packed this set in a nicely designed 11 x 8 x 3 cm hard cardboard box. The front of the box features an image of the M923 model with resin wheels installed and it notes the set is designed to fit Italeri and I Love Kit.

In the box is a zip-lock bag with resin pieces, as well as masking sheets and instructions.

The zip-lock bag is jam packed with resin… there are 15 resin pieces in total: 6 running wheels, spare tire and 8 adapters.

The quality of resin casting is excellent and I failed to find any imperfections in the resin whatsoever. The details are sharp and amazingly defined. 

The casting blocks should prove easy to remove. These are located on the bottom part of the wheel and the “scar” resulting from the cleanup process is at ground contact, leaving the tire tread pattern unhindered. The block on the spare wheel is large but with minimal contact points which follow the tire tread. This one requires some more patience to remove, but if done carefully, the tread pattern should not be damaged in the process.

The set depicts Michelin XL 14.00R20 tire. These are tactical vehicle radial tires with the dimensions of 1255 x 374 mm (49.4 x 14.7 in) and the approved rim width of 254 mm (10 in).

I compared the tires in DEF set to the images of real Michelin XL tires… the tire tread is authentically reproduced as well as all the sidewall embossed details. The microscopic inscriptions MICHELIN X, 14.00R20 XL as well as tiny RADIAL lettering are all perfectly legible under magnification. I particularly like the sidewall “stressed skin” effect due to flexible radial sidewalls… the effect is clearly visible on real tires. The complex bolt pattern is faithfully reproduced, with bolt heads well defined as well. Altogether, this is one of the most impressive DEF Model wheel sets I reviewed so far.


Front wheel details:

Rear wheel details:

The wheels are accurately sized to 35,65 x 10,60 mm and feature a slight compression where the tire contacts the ground.

This set includes 6 slightly different road wheels, labeled from A to F. Due to the asymmetrical directional tire tread, tires A-C should be installed to the right side of the vehicle, while the tires D-F to the left side of the vehicle. Moreover, each wheel is differently oriented regarding the compression where the tire contacts the ground, which ensures the wheels fitted to the same side of the vehicle do not look identical, adding to the realism of the model. 

Right hand side wheels.

Left hand side wheels.

Spare tire (front and back).

Fitting the wheels:

This wheel set is designed to fit both Italeri and I Love Kit models. Therefore, the wheels are not direct replacement, but need to be used with a specific adapter supplied in the set. If the set is used with Italeri model, two round hollow adaptors should be added to front road wheels. If the set is used with I Love Kit model, each road wheel gets a smaller round adaptor.

Image on DEF website could provide some help: link.

Wheel masks:

Four pre-cut masking sheets are included in this kit. The masks are of 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.

Conclusion:

M923A1 'BIG FOOT' Truck Michelin XL Sagged Wheel Set (DW35130) provides a set of resin replacement wheels for 1/35 scale M923 kits from Italeri and I Love Kit. The set includes 6 road wheels and a spare tire, perfectly cast in resin and with superbly defined details all around. Accurately sized, the wheels present a huge improvement over vinyl tires/plastic rims supplied with both Italeri and I Love Kit offerings.

Highly recommended as an essential upgrade for anyone building a 1/35 scale M923 model.

 

A big thanks to DEF Model for this review sample.

http://www.defmodel.com/

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