During WW2 the Willys Jeep was used over the entire world. Most of the time it was used as an open vehicle, but in some extremely cold climates the jeep was equipped with heaters and full enclosures to protect the crew. The winter gear also included snow chains fitted to the tires to provide increased traction when driving through snow and ice.
DEF Model recently ventured into 1/16 scale, offering two resin replacement wheel sets designed for Takom’s ¼-ton 4×4 G503 MB Utility Truck (#1016). The first set was reviewed here (link), while this review covers WW2 US 1/4 ton G503 Utility Truck Chained Wheel Set (DW16002).
The set comes in a top-opening hard cardboard box. The box features an image which shows the contents of the set.
Safely packed inside the box are several plastic bags with resin pieces, three masking sheets and a masking instruction leaflet.
Contrary to the box art label, I counted 15 resin parts in the set: 4 road wheels, 1 spare wheel, 4 wheel hubs and 6 valve caps. Valve caps are supplied as tiny 3D printed pieces.
The resin looks really good and I found no casting imperfections on the pieces. The level of details is very impressive, with the details sharp and well defined.
The part cleanup should be very easy, even for those with basic resin working skills. The casting blocks are attached to the bottom of the road wheels, at tire ground contact, which ensures no details are lost during the cleanup process. The casting block on the spare wheel is intelligently designed, with the casting supports following the tire tread. Careful cleanup should minimize the damage to the tread pattern. I would suggest being extra careful when handling the tiny valve caps as these are very delicate and could easily snap. A good thing is that DEF included 6 caps in this set, which means there is a spare.
Good Year tire / Combat rims / Snow chains:
I’m not going to delve into details regarding the Good Year 6.00–16 NDT or the combat rims, as I already covered those in DEF Model WW2 US 1/4 ton G503 Utility Truck Wheel Set (DW16001) review (link). Instead, I will focus on snow chains fitted to the road wheels.
Various snow chains were fitted to US vehicles during the WW2. As far as I can tell from the reference material, DEF Model used the chain type most often used on Willys, sometimes referred to as the “S” end link type. These have been found in Europe in quantity, the observation suggests 50% of the snow chains have been this style (link).
Comparing these references to the 1/16 scale offering from DEF reveals a really good match. The chain detail looks the part.
As the title of the set suggests, the wheels in this set are depicted sagged. I feel the slight compression on the tire ground contact is not overdone and depicts the weight of the vehicle well.
Also, the wheels in this set are not identical. There are 4 road wheels in 2 slightly different variants, labeled as A and B on their carrier blocks. The two road wheel variants differ in orientation of the tire compression, sidewall details and rim detail. This ensures that wheels A and B, when fitted to the same side of the vehicle, do not look identical but slightly different, adding to the realism of the model.
Front & rear road wheels / Spare wheel:
Front and rear wheel hubs are supplied as separate pieces in this set.
The hubs should be installed into the central wheel opening. Before gluing the pieces, note the difference between the parts and use appropriate hubs for front / rear road wheels.
The set also includes a spare wheel, cast together with a spare tire disc clamp and two mounting nuts, ready to be installed to the Takom kit.
The spare wheel showcases all the Good Year tire /combat rim details perfectly… the characteristic tire tread pattern and all the tiny inscriptions on the sidewalls are superbly defined and clearly identifiable. The combat rims look the part as well, with 8 rim bolts and the tiny plaque near the stem valve. DEF Model really did a good job on these 1/16 scale wheels.
Valve stem protectors:
The valve stem protector attaches to the valve stem using the valve stem threads. It protects the valve stem from mud and dirt, but is also a very useful item, as it holds the stem in place while installing the tube into the combat wheel.
Valve protectors are supplied separately as 3D printed pieces.
The DEF Model set consists of 6 valve stem protectors, which means there is 1 extra piece… a very welcomed addition, as the pieces are tiny and could easily fling from their carrier, falling prey for the carpet monster.
Fitting the wheels:
This wheel set is designed as a direct replacement to Takom’s wheels. The central opening on the back of DEF replacement wheels accommodates kit parts C2/C4 (front wheels) or C2/C3 (rear wheels). And voila, the wheels are ready to be painted and installed!
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.
WW2 US 1/4 ton G503 Utility Truck Chained Wheel Set (DW16002) from DEF Model offers resin replacement road wheels and spare tire for Takom’s 1/16 scale kit, taking the previous Willys wheel set (link) a step further with superbly delivered snow chains.
The resin pieces are cast to perfection, with all the details realistically delivered and superbly defined. With the two slightly different wheel orientations and convincingly depicted tire sag, the wheels offer an accurate miniature representation of Good Year 6.00-16 NDT fitted with snow chains. Pre-cut wheel masks to help in the painting process are a welcomed bonus.
A big thanks to DEF Model fir this review sample.