The Stryker interim armored vehicle (IAV) is a 19-ton, eight-wheeled armored vehicle that provides the US Army a family of ten different vehicles on a common chassis. First introduced in 2002, the Stryker has been used in combat in Iraq and Afghanistan, and was recently delivered to Ukraine as part of the military aid package.
Stryker and its numerous variants are available as 1/35 scale model kits from AFV Club and Trumpeter. There’s a ton of aftermarket conversion/upgrade/detail sets for these kits, with several manufacturers producing replacement wheels. DEF Model offers two sets of 1/35 scale resin replacement wheels for Stryker family of vehicles and this review covers the set featuring Michelin XZL tire: US Stryker Sagged Wheel Set (2) (DW35156).
The set comes packed in a side-opening cardboard box. The front of the box shows an image of Stryker model with DEF Model wheels installed… a really nice way to promote the product. The label states the set includes 16 resin parts and wheel masking seal.
Opening the box reveals a zip-lock bag with resin pieces, two large masking sheets and masking instructions.
The parts are cast in grey resin. Upon closer inspection, I found the resin looks really good with the details sharp and nicely defined. There are no casting imperfections to clean… a big plus in my book.
Check out the details… wow!
The resin part cleanup should be very easy, with only casting blocks to remove. I would suggest using side cutters and a sharp blade. Since casting blocks are attached to the bottom part of the road wheel, at the tire ground contact, any cleanup mishaps will not be visible once the wheels are installed on the model.
So, my first impressions of the set are very positive… Now let’s see how well the wheel resembles the real thing.
The tire represents Michelin XZL 12.00R20 tire, an all-terrain, all-position radial for special service and military vehicles. The tire features self-cleaning, open-shoulder, non-directional tread design, and has dimensions of 1131 x 311 mm (44.5 x 12.2 in).
Closer inspection of the DEF Model 1/35 scale version of the tire looks very impressive and, as far as I can tell, perfectly matches the real tire. The tread pattern is replicated well, together with the sidewall embossing detail. The inscriptions MICHELIN X, XZL, 12.00R20 and RADIAL are nicely defined and clearly legible under magnification. The rim and hub details, with the complex bolt pattern, are realistically replicated in scale. Here are the “walk around” photos of the DEF offering, so you can check the level of detail on these 1/35 scale wheels for yourself.
The tire is sized to 32,30 x 9,00 mm, which makes it of perfect diameter and about 0,1 millimeter wider than the real tire in 1/35 scale.
As the title of the set suggests, the wheels in this set are depicted sagged. The slight compression on the tire ground contact depicts the weight of the vehicle well.
Also, 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 carrier blocks). The variation ensures the 4 wheels fitted to the same side of the vehicle do not look repetitive, enhancing the realism of the model.
A thing worth mentioning… The wheel labeled with A2 represents the front left Stryker wheel which needs hub step ring installed (AFV Club kit part F21 or Trumpeter kit part A30).
Fitting the wheels:
This wheel set is designed as a direct replacement for AFV Club kits. An adapter supplied in the set should be used when installing the wheels to Trumpeter models. DEF Model website provides images which can be of help: link and link.
Two big 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.
If you found this review, you are probably looking to replace the vinyl tires supplied with the AFV Club/Trumpeter kits. Vinyl tires do not take paint well, are prone to developing cracks over time, and feature poor details.
US Stryker Sagged Wheel Set (2) (DW35156) from DEF Model delivers 1/35 scale resin replacement wheels with Michelin XZL tire for AFV Club and Trumpeter family of Stryker kits. Perfectly cast and with ton of superbly defined details, these resin wheels present a marked improvement over the vinyl tires/plastic rims supplied with the kit. Paint masks are an added bonus.
A big thank you to DEF Model for this review sample.