The old DEF Model set of HMMWV R/T II Sagged Wheels (DW35004) was the first DEF Model set I reviewed and the first resin replacement wheel set I ever used on my models. I was very impressed with how superior resin wheels were to vinyl tires supplied in the kit. Ever since, the first thing I do when buying a model of a wheeled vehicle is to look for resin replacement wheels from DEF Model.
DEF Model recently decided to upgrade their old HMMWV wheels and release a new and improved set featuring Goodyear Wrangler R/T II tire: US M1025 HMMWV Basic RT II Sagged Wheel Set (DW35150).
The set is packed in a small cardboard box. The box art image shows the resin tire installed on the model and specifies the set includes 5 resin parts and a masking sheet, and that the replacement wheels can be used with Academy, Italeri and Tamiya kits.
Here are the contents of the set: a zip-lock bag with resin pieces, masking sheets and masking instructions.
The first thing I noticed on this set is there are only 5 resin pieces. Each complete wheel is its own piece, unlike the old DW3004 set which was far more complex. The quality of cast is superb, with the details sharp and clean, impressively delivered. There are no evident air-bubbles or seam lines or any other imperfections in the resin.
Removing the casting blocks and cleaning the wheels should be very easy for anyone with basic resin working skills. The blocks on the road wheels are attached to the tire ground contact, so no details will be damaged during the cleaning process and the resulting scar not visible once the wheels are installed to the model. The block on the spare tire is cleverly engineered: it consists of minimal attachment points which follow the tire tread. Taking some extra time to carefully remove this block will minimize the need to recreate the tread pattern.
The tire depicted in this set is Goodyear Wrangler R/T II, the all-terrain bias ply tire that was standard issue to all US Military Humvees. The tire is 36-inch (914 mm) tall, 12 1/2-inch (317 mm) wide, mounts on 16 1/2-inch (419 mm) rims and is in a load range C.
Although the US Military switched to Goodyear radial "aggressive tread" tires for its Humvee inventory in the 1990s, pictorial evidence shows some of the Goodyear R/T IIs remained in service on Humvees until at least 2004.
I studied the reference images; the peculiar tire tread, the sidewall embossing and detail… and then compared these images to the 1/35 scale wheels from DEF Model. I found the complex tread pattern is authentically replicated, the sidewall inscriptions GOODYEAR (check out the tiny Goodyear logo!) and WRANGLER R/T II clearly legible, and all the additional tire details present and accounted for. The tire is sized to 25,90 x 9,15 mm, almost an exact match to the real Wrangler R/T II tire in 1/35 scale. The rims in this kit have 8 bolts which is a characteristic of early type Humvee rims. The bolt heads and tire pressure valves are perfectly defined. The hubcaps, different for front and back wheels, are nicely delivered as well. Altogether, a super realistic 1/35 scale miniature replica of the real Humvee wheel.
The road wheel tires in this set are slightly sagged. I feel the sag is well executed and realistically depicts the weight of the vehicle.
The road wheels in this set are labeled on the carrier blocks as A and B. Wheels A are front wheels, while B are back wheels. These are slightly different, not just due to the specific front/rear wheel hub caps, but also due to the orientation of the tire compression and rim details. This slight variation ensures the wheels fitted to the same side of the vehicle do not look identical, adding to the realism of the model.
I like the fact the set includes the spare wheel as well. Early HMMWVs had no dedicated place to stow the extra wheel, however reference images of vehicles deployed to the Middle East often show the spare wheel strapped to the brush guard or rear hatch.
Fitting the wheels:
Unlike the old set of R/T II wheels from DEF Model, which was aimed for Tamiya model exclusively, this set is designed to fit Tamiya, Italeri and Academy kits. The “pin” on the back of the resin wheel hub fits perfectly to Tamiya model with no modifications necessary. However, if fitted to Academy and Italeri models, kit axle openings should be widened using a 2mm drill bit to accommodate the pin. An image from DEF Model website could provide some help: link.
Three 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.
I remember using the old DEF Model set of Goodyear Wrangler R/T II on my Tamiya Humvee, back in the 2011. It was the first set of resin replacement tires I ever bought, but seeing the quality of the resin wheels and how superior these were to vinyl tires and plastic rims supplied with the kit, it was well worth the extra cost. Since then I never looked back and resin wheel sets from DEF Model became an essential aftermarket upgrade for all the wheeled vehicle kits in my stash.
US M1025 HMMWV Basic RT II Sagged Wheel Set (DW35150) from DEF Model delivers a set of resin replacement wheels designed to upgrade 1/35 scale Tamiya HMMWV kits, as well as Academy and Italeri kits with slight modification to the kit parts. The resin wheels are cast to perfection, with all the intricate details superbly reproduced. The road wheels are depicted with a slight compression at ground contact and offered in slightly different orientation so the model doesn’t end up with wheels on one side looking the same. The wheel masks are a bonus.
Thanks to DEF Model for this review sample: