F4U-5 Corsair Wheels and Masks

Published: March 15th, 2016     
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Reviewed by: Charles Landrum - IPMS# 26328
Scale: 1/48
Price: $13.50
Product / Stock #: 4649
Product provided by: Aires Hobby Models

There enough other issues with the Hobby Boss late Corsairs, including the landing gear doors and openings that you might not notice that the kit wheels are rather poor looking, enough so that you might want to replace the. There is a lot of competition in the market for resin replacement wheels, but Aires has produced their own offering, and this set includes what other set don't, wheel masks. This set is target to the F4U-5, but it will work equally as well for any of the Hobby Boss late Corsairs, and for the kits by Hasegawa as well.

I don't have the Hobby Boss -5, but have a -4 so my review is in comparison to this kit. The Hobby Boss kit offers fully inflated wheels molded in two halves with anemic tread. The Aires wheels are also fully inflated and have a distinct radial tread. The hubs really set the Aires wheels apart from the kit wheels. The Aires hubs are for more realistic in shape and rim detail. On the spoke side there is even the presence of the inner part of the hub. The same can be said of the side against the landing gear. The attachment point of the pour block is between the tire tread so you don't lose detail or have to re-scribe when you remove the wheel from the pour block. I happened to like bulged (weighted tires) and that is the one detail missing. I am not advocating the partially inflated tires of another manufacturer, but most aircraft tires have some bit of bulge. Never the less, Aires provides a far superior wheel.

Aires masks provide the option of painting the tire and then the hub or the hub and then the tire. The wheel masks are in vinyl and not like the masking tape variety - with proper care you should be able to reuse the masks on several sets of wheels. A quick check shows a good fit.

I routinely replace my kit wheels with aftermarket wheel sets and so based on my experience, I highly recommend this set. Thank you to Aires for providing this fine detail set and to the IPMS USA for allowing me to review the wheels.

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