The ZIL-131 is a general purpose 3.5 ton 6x6 army truck designed in the Soviet Union by ZIL. The basic model of the cargo truck and its numerous variants are well represented as 1/35 scale plastic kits, with ICM offerings being cream of the crop. Although ICM kits received positive reviews on most modeling websites, the feedback for vinyl tires included in these kits was rather poor. Upon observing no sidewall details whatsoever and an annoying center mold seam running along the tread pattern, many modelers were looking for resin wheel replacements. DEF Model to the rescue…
Soviet ZIL-131 Truck Sagged Wheel set with Front Grill Part (DW35067) from DEF Model is packed in a nicely designed hard cardboard box. The front of the box features an image showing the contents of the set displayed on ZIL-131 model, specifying the set is designed for ICM’s 1/35 scale kit. Also, the box indicates that the set consists of 8 resin parts and easy mask seal.
The box includes a zip-lock bag with resin pieces, masking paper and masking instruction leaflet.
Upon closer inspection, the resin looks absolutely perfect. The quality of the resin cast is amazing and I found no evidence of air-bubbles or seam lines. The front grill openings contain some thin flash residue, but this is easily removed using the back of an X-acto blade.
The details on the wheels are superbly delivered with their features sharp and perfectly defined. Very impressive!
The casting blocks are placed on the bottom part of the road wheels, making the cleanup very easy and ensuring no detail is damaged in the process. Moreover, the casting block on the spare wheel is intelligently designed with minimal attachment points which follow the tire tread pattern. If removed carefully there will be no need to recreate the tire tread on the spare wheel. After cleaning, the wheels are ready for installation.
The set depicts heavy-duty Omsk M-93 12.00-20 tire. The tire features asymmetrical directional tire tread and measures 1142 x 335 mm.
I found several very detailed photos of the Omsk M-93 12.00-20 tire on-line. Comparing the 1/35 scale offerings from DEF Model set to these references, I noticed a really good match. The asymmetrical directional tire tread pattern is accurately represented, and the sidewall details perfectly delivered… just check the microscopic 320-508 (12.00-20) inscription, both on the outside and the inside of the tire. The bolts on the rim and the hub are well defined, as well as the characteristic shape of the central tire inflating system arm. The spare tire is delivered with the empty rim. Accurately sized to 32,60 x 9,50 mm, the tires in this set are a faithfully reproduced miniature copies of the real M-93 tire.
The road wheels in this set are depicted with a slight sag. The compression in the wheel is not overdone and I feel it conveys the weight of the vehicle really well.
This set includes 6 slightly different wheels, labeled from A to F. Due to the asymmetrical directional tire tread, tires A-C should be installed to the right side of the vehicle, while the tires D-F to the left side of the vehicle. Moreover, each wheel is differently oriented (in regard to the compression where the tire contacts the ground), which ensures the wheels fitted to the same side of the vehicle do not look repetitive, but slightly different, adding to the realism of the model. All DEF Model wheel sets follow this principle.
right hand side wheels
left hand side wheels
Fitting the wheels:
I’m not going to comment on the fit of the wheels to ICM kit just yet, hopefully I’ll post some in-progress photos of the ZIL-131 model soon. However, since DEF designed their wheel set as a direct replacement for the kit vinyl tires/plastic rims, I don’t expect any issues with fitting kit axle stubs into the central inner hub openings on these resin wheels.
Four 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.
A resin front grill part is included as a bonus in this set. Correctly shaped with a slight step on both sides, the grill is a direct replacement for kit part B27.
Soviet ZIL-131 Truck Sagged Wheel set with Front grill part (DW35067) from DEF Model delivers 6 road wheels and a spare wheel, direct resin replacements wheels for 1/35 scale ZIL-131 kits from ICM. The cast is absolutely flawless with superbly defined and delivered details. The tires look fantastic… accurately scaled and featuring all the specific details, these realistically represent Omsk M-93 12.00-20 tire. Depicted with a slight sag and offered in 6 slightly different variants (3 right side and 3 left side wheels) this set is a must for anyone building ICM’s ZIL-131 offering.
A corrected front grill is a welcomed bonus in this set.