The UAZ-452 "Bukhanka" ('Буханка' or 'breadloaf') are a family of compact Russian cab over engine vans and light trucks with standard four-wheel drive, off-road capability, built by the Ulyanovsk Automobile Plant (UAZ).
Several modeling companies offer UAZ-452 as a 1/35 scale plastic kit. The most recent kit released in 2021 by Zvezda depicts UAZ-3909, a combi variant of the vehicle.
DEF Model released two resin replacement wheel sets for UAZ-3909 Russian Military Van from Zvezda. This review covers the set featuring Kama 219 tire: Russian UAZ-3909 Van Sagged Wheel Set (DW35144).
The set is packed in a small cardboard box. The box art displays the resin wheel installed on a model, stating that the set includes 5 resin parts and easy mask seal, and specifying the set is designed for Zvezda kit.
The box contains a zip-lock bag with resin pieces, masking sheet and masking instructions.
Opening the zip-lock bag, I found superbly cast resin pieces: the details are sharp and impressively delivered, with no casting imperfections that I could spot. Die-hard modelers might want to drill out the wheel rim openings, but I would prefer leaving these as they are, applying a dark wash after painting is done.
As with all DEF Model wheel sets, the casting blocks on the road wheels are located at the tire ground contact, so removing them should present no problems. Moreover, the resulting “scar” is not going to be visible once the wheels are installed on the vehicle. The casting block on the spare tire has several small attachment points which follow the tire tread. Careful cleaning should minimize the need to recreate the complex tread pattern. Clever engineering from DEF Models!
The tire represented in this set is Kama 219 (225/75R16), a radial tire with the dimensions of 744 x 223 mm. In Kama catalogue, this particular tire is listed in “passenger car” section, so I would suspect it is a civilian version tire.
Here are some more images showing the tire tread and sidewall details.
And here is the DEF Model version, up close and personal.
Check out the details and compare them to the ones on the real tire. Impressive! The tire tread pattern is well represented and intricate sidewall embossing with inscriptions KAMA 219 and 225/75R16 are clearly visible under magnification. The shape of the 10-hole rims is realistically reproduced with convex hub caps and 5-lugs. Sized to 21,20 x 6,30 mm, these resin tires provide a very authentic representation of the Kama 219 tire.
The tires of the road wheels are depicted sagged, depicting the compression of the tire due to the weight of the vehicle.
The set includes two slightly different front wheels, labeled F-R (front-right) and F-L (front-left), as well as two rear tires labeled R (rear). The front and rear tires differ in orientation of the tire compression, as well as rim and hub cap details. This ensures that wheels fitted to the same side of the vehicle do not look identical and repetitive, adding to the realism of the model.
The back of the front and rear wheels is different, designed to fit Zvezda’s kit as direct wheel replacement with no modification needed.
Here’s the spare tire.
A pre-cut masking sheet is 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.
The first thing many modelers do after buying scale model of a wheeled vehicle is to look for the resin replacement tires. Far superior to vinyl tires usually supplied in plastic kits, resin tires are better detailed, easier to clean and paint, and do not crack over time.
Russian UAZ-3909 Van Sagged Wheel Set (DW35144) from DEF Model provides resin replacement wheels for 1/35 scale UAZ-3909 kit from Zvezda. The set contains 4 road wheels and a spare wheel, featuring Kama 219 tires. The wheels are perfectly cast in resin, with superbly defined details, and provide an authentic miniature copy of the real tire. Wheel masks included in the set are an added bonus.
A big thanks to DEF Model for this review sample.