The Pantsir-S1 (NATO reporting name SA-22 Greyhound) is a self-propelled, medium-range surface-to-air missile and anti-aircraft artillery system. Designed to provide point air defense of ground installations against aircraft, helicopters, precision-guided munitions, cruise missiles and UAVs, the system is often mounted on 8x8 Ural-5323 truck chassis with a turret that houses the armament, laying drives, sensors, control equipment and crew.
Pantsir-S1 was recently offered as a 1/35 scale kit by Trumpeter, Tiger Model, Meng and Zvezda. Quite a lot to chose from… the one thing in common to all those kits are vinyl tires. Enter DEF Model, with their Pantsir-S1 AAMGS Sagged Wheel Set (DW35120), a direct resin replacement wheel set for Meng and Zvezda, as well as (with some modifications) for Tiger and Trumpeter kits.
The set comes in a cardboard box with an image showing the contents of the set. The box is large, about twice the size of the usual DEF Model boxes, as it has to accommodate 9 resin wheels and 5 masking sheets with instructions.
The resin pieces look really good with superbly delivered details all around. There are no noticeable casting imperfections, no air bubbles or seam lines. The casting blocks are placed on the bottom part of road wheels, making the clean-up very easy and ensuring no detail is damaged in the process. The casting block on the spare wheel is intelligently designed with minimal attachment points which follow the tire tread pattern. I suggest taking a bit more time to remove these… if done carefully there will be no need to recreate the tire tread on the spare wheel. After cleaning the casting blocks, the wheels are ready for installation.
The set depicts Belshina 16.00R20 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.vitalykuzmin.net)
Looking at the reference photos of the Belshina 16.00R20 tire and comparing the images to 1/35 scale offering from DEF Model, I was impressed with how accurate and well-defined the details on the resin tires are. Besides the perfectly reproduced non-directional tire tread pattern, the sidewall details are absolutely incredible, and I could clearly recognize all the tire features as well as the BELSHINA, 16.00R20 and Ƃеʌ-95 markings, together with several microscopic inscriptions. The early type rim and hubs are nicely delivered as well, together with a characteristic central tire inflation system arm. The spare tire is delivered with the empty rim.
A closeup of the sidewall details. Wow!
The tires in this set are a bit undersized to 37.80 x 11.90 mm, about 0.5 mm smaller than the real tire in 1/35 scale. I can’t compare the size to the vinyl tires in Meng or Zvezda kits, as I don’t have those kits in my stash, however the images on DEF Model website suggest Zvezda tires being a bit bigger in diameter.
The wheels in this set are not identical. In fact, the set consists of 8 road wheels in 4 different orientations (labeled as A, B, C and D on the casting blocks). The variations in orientation of the hub, as well as the compression where the tire contacts the ground, ensures the wheels fitted to the same side of the vehicle do not look repetitive, but slightly different, adding to the realism of the model. All DEF Model wheel sets follow this principle.
The road 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.
Fitting the wheels:
I’m not really able to comment on the fit of the wheels to Meng or Zvezda kits, as I don’t have either of those in my stash. However, DEF designed their wheels as direct replacement for the kit vinyl tires/plastic hubs and, looking at the images posted on DEF Model website, I don’t expect any serious issues with fitting kit axle stubs into the central inner hub openings on these resin wheels.
If someone used this particular set of replacement wheels on any of the Pantsir-S1 kits, please feel free to comment on the fit.
Five 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.
DEF Model resin replacement wheels are an essential aftermarket item for me, something I always use when building a model of a wheeled vehicle. All the DEF wheel sets I got were very impressive and enhanced the realism of the model tremendously.
Pantsir-S1 AAMGS Sagged Wheel Set (DW35120) is no exception to the rule. The set delivers direct resin replacement wheels for 1/35 scale Pantsir-S1 from Meng and Zvezda. The parts are well cast and, although a fraction of millimeter underscaled, the wheels offer fantastic details and provide a noticeable improvement over the vinyl tires/plastic hubs.
A big thanks to DEF Model for this review sample.