Il-2m3 Wheels and Paint Masks

Published: December 15th, 2016     
Product Image
Product picture
Reviewed by: Gino Dykstra - IPMS# 11198
Price: $9.23
Product / Stock #: 2207
Product provided by: Aires Hobby Models

Rubber tires on models have always been a problem for me, largely because of the unstable nature of rubber and vinyl. I've had numerous tires (and treads) crack with age, melt plastic hubs, or otherwise wreak havoc on lovingly-made models which I'd hoped to remain pristine for years.

That being said, I must admit that Trumpeter's 1/32nd scale Sturmovik comes with a very nice set of rubber tires. They feature a detailed and realistic tread and certainly look good in and of themselves. So why purchase the Aires set?

First, they ARE resin rather than rubber. Consequently, they will last over time much better than the rubber tires, which will outgas and eventually fail in one spectacular manner or another. That's just the nature of the material, alas.

Second, they have been crafted with a very nice flattened area that reproduces weight on the tires realistically. The rubber tires simply don't reproduce this feature as well.

Third, they come with masks which make painting the tires a snap.

The Aires tires are a direct replacement for the rubber tires and plastic hubs of the original kit. They are very cleanly and crisply molded with no air bubbles or other flaws which I could detect. For this kit, at least, Aires resolves a continual dilemma I've been dealing with, and the quality of these replacements means that I will be investigating Aires further for replacements for other kits which may be nice in and off themselves, but feature this Achilles Heel. I can recommend these replacements without reservation and all things being equal, find them well worth the price.

My thanks to Aires for providing this lovely set for my model and to IPMS/USA for a chance to examine them in depth.

  • Wheels on resin casting sprue
    Wheels on resin casting sprue
  • Resin wheels as compared to kit-supplied wheel and rubber tire. Note the increased detail in the resin product.
    Resin wheels as compared to kit-supplied wheel and rubber tire. Note the increased detail in the resin product.

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