The High Mobility Multipurpose Wheeled Vehicle (HMMWV; colloquial: Humvee) is a family of light, four-wheel drive, military trucks and utility vehicles designed by AM General. The production commenced in 1981 and the first batch was delivered to the US Army in 1983. The HMMWVs replaced M151 series jeeps and some other US military vehicles and soon became the vehicular backbone of the US Forces. With over 160.000 of these vehicles built and in service with more than 50 countries, the HMMWV is the most widely used military light utility vehicle in the world.
Tamiya, Bronco and Academy produce the best Humvee plastic model kits in 1/35 scale, with Academy being the only game in town for M1151 HMMWV variant. One of the main issues with all these kits, however, are their subpar vinyl/plastic tires, and many modelers opt to replace those using aftermarket options. DEF Model to the rescue…
DEF Model is a company from Korea, best known for their line of superb resin replacement wheels. The company offers 4 sets of HMMWV resin wheels with 4 most common tires installed on the vehicle. This review covers the US M1151 HMMWV BFGR Sagged Wheel Set (DW35158).
The set is packed in a small cardboard box which features an image showing the resin wheel installed on the Academy M1151 model, for which it was originally designed.
The box contains 5 resin pieces safely stored in a zip-lock bag, as well as wheel masks and masking instruction leaflet.
After inspecting the resin pieces, I was very impressed. First of all, I found no casting imperfections, which means minimal prep work… after removing and cleaning the casting blocks, the wheels are ready to be installed on the model.
Second, the amount of detail is just amazing. The details are superbly defined and can be fully appreciated under high magnification. Check it out… the scale bar corresponds to 5 mm.
Now, let’s see how the wheels correspond to the real thing.
The tire depicted in this set is BF Goodrich Baja T/A 37x12.5R16.5 LT. The tire design was inspired by the company’s legendary off-road race history and adapted to use on military HMMWVs circa 2007. The dimensions of the tire are 36.6 in (930 mm overall diameter) and 12.4 in (315 mm overall width).
The tires are usually mounted on 24 stud rims.
The tire delivered in this DEF Model set corresponds to the real thing really well. The dimensions of 26,80 x 8,95 mm confirm accurate sizing of 1/35 scale tire. Also, all the tire features are faithfully reproduced, from the superbly defined tire tread pattern to the intricate sidewall embossing with BF Goodrich, Baja T/A and several smaller inscriptions legible under magnification. I can even identify 37x12.50R16.5LT and microscopic TUBELESS RADIAL lettering… absolutely insane level of details! The rims look the part as well, with the studs perfectly defined. The hubcaps, different for front and back wheels, are nicely delivered as well. Altogether, this set presents a super realistic 1/35 scale miniature replica of the real Humvee wheel.
The road wheels in this set are not identical. There are 2 front wheels (labeled on their carrier blocks as “A”) and 2 rear wheels (labeled as “B”). 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 sidewall 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 finished model.
The road wheels are depicted with a slight sag, which realistically conveys compression of the tire at the ground contact due to the weight of the vehicle.
The set also includes a spare wheel, which is mounted on the tail gate spare tire carrier.
Comparison with the plastic wheels included in the Academy kit is not completely fair, as the tire depicted in this particular DEF set (BF Goodrich Baja T/A) is not the same as the one in Academy kit (Good Year Wrangler MT/R). However, the photo still serves a purpose, as it is clearly evident how superior in detail resin wheels are.
Fitting the wheels:
This set of resin wheels is designed as a direct replacement for plastic wheels supplied with the Academy kit. No modifications are required to fit the wheels into the Academy axle opening. Quick and easy!
Three identical 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 offers 4 resin replacement sets of HMMWV wheels with 4 most common tires installed on the vehicle.
US M1151 HMMWV BFGR Sagged Wheel Set (DW35158) delivers 4 road wheels and a spare wheel, designed to upgrade Academy’s M1151 1/35 scale kit. The wheels are perfectly cast in resin, feature a ton of superbly defined and accurate details, and offer a huge improvement over the plastic wheels supplied in the Academy kit.
A big thanks to DEF Model for this review sample.