The first thing I do after buying a new model kit of a military wheeled vehicle, is get a set of DEF Model resin replacement wheels. These resin wheels are far superior to vinyl tires, offering a huge improvement to the model due to their superior details, accurately delivered tire thread pattern and realistically depicted tire sag.
Typhoon-K Russian MRAP Sagged Wheel set (DW35100) from DEF Model is designed as a set of 1/35 scale resin replacement wheels for Russian MRAP KAMAZ-63968 Typhoon K kit from Takom (2082).
The set is packed in a hard cardboard box, with the box art image showing the contents of the set. Opening the box reveals a zip-lock bag containing resin pieces, as well as wheel masking sheets and masking instruction leaflet.
The wheels are delivered in light grey resin. The quality of the cast is superb; upon closer inspection I found no imperfections in the resin, no air-bubbles to fill or seam lines to clean.
The amount of details on these pieces is impressive, with all the tire and hub features well defined in resin. The carrier blocks are large but easy to remove. As these blocks are attached to the bottom part of the wheels, no visible detail is lost after cleaning the pieces.
Unlike some replacement wheel sets from various manufacturers which contain completely identical wheels, each DEF Model set always includes slightly different wheel variants. This particular set includes 6 wheels delivered in 3 different variants, labeled as A, B and C. Each variant has differently oriented hub and compression where the tire contacts the ground. The slight variance ensures that, if put on the same side of the vehicle, wheels A, B and C are oriented in a different way in relation to the ground. This way modelers can avoid repetitive appearance of the wheels and enhance realism of their model.
The set depicts Michelin XZL 16.00R20 tires. The all-terrain, all-position radial XZL tire is designed for special service and tactical vehicles, with dimensions of 1342 x 439 mm (52.9 x 17.2 in) and the approved rim width of 254 mm (10 in). The tire features non-directional tread with open shoulder design.
(photos from https://www.vitalykuzmin.net)
The tires in this set are sized to 38.15 x 12.25 mm, a fraction of millimeter smaller than the real tire in 1/35 scale, but still closer than the Takom vinyl offering which is too large in diameter.
Along with a very authentic representation of the elaborate tire pattern, the tires in this set also feature several markings on their sidewalls: the MICHELIN X and 16.00R20 XZL labels, as well as the microscopic Michelin Man logo… absolutely amazing details! The bolt pattern on the rim is correctly delivered, together with Central Tire Inflating System (CTIS) cap. The hub features another set of bolts with the center hub details superbly defined as well.
The wheels in this set are depicted with a slight sag. The compression in the wheel is not overdone and conveys the weight of the vehicle really well.
Fitting the wheels:
The set delivers direct replacement wheels for Takom kit. Test fitting the wheels to the Takom kit (parts A17/A29) reveals a perfect match, as the axle stub fits well into the central inner hub opening. The process is very easy and straightforward.
Three 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.
Typhoon-K Russian MRAP Sagged Wheel set (DW35100) from DEF Model delivers resin replacement wheels for 1/35 scale Russian MRAP KAMAZ-63968 Typhoon K kit from Takom (2082). The set includes 6 resin wheels in slightly different orientation, superbly cast with a ton of wonderfully defined and accurate details all around, and a realistically depicted tire sag. The wheels fit perfectly to the model. Paint masks are an added bonus.
Altogether, it really is a no brainer for me. If you plan on building Takom’s Typhoon K, these replacement wheels are a must have, as they offer a vast improvement over the vinyl tires and plastic hubs supplied with the kit. Highly recommended.
A big thanks to DEF Model for this review sample.