P-38 Lightning Replacement Wheels (Smooth Tires)

Published: December 11th, 2011     
Reviewed by: Doug Hamilton - IPMS# 21985
Scale: 1/48
Company: Ultracast
Price: $9.95
Product / Stock #: 48225
Product provided by: Ultracast

The P-38 Lightning was used is both European and Pacific theaters during World War II. It operated from paved strips as well as fields barely straight enough to throw rocks at. If there was one critical part of the aircraft on which the pilot placed his life during takeoffs and landings, it was the tires.

Ultracast, located north of the border in Canada, offers quite a few accessories for many different modeling subjects. This offering, #48225, is a smooth tire replacement for any 1/48 scale P-38 kit. The package contains three spoked wheels, two main and one nose. All are cast in a tan resin, and have the pour gate still attached at the flattened bottom of the tire. A razor saw removed the gates quickly, and painting was the next step.

I painted the wheels with Testors acrylic Aluminum paint. I then painted the tires with a mix of flat black and raw umber acrylic paint. I then gave everything a wash with black oil paint. Dry brushing a little aluminum and Euro gray enamel paint for highlights completed the painting.

The wheels are nicely cast, and look very good when complete. They look identical to the many pictures that show P-38's with this style wheel and tire combination. As always, the modeler should always check his photo references in regard to any specific aircraft that may be modeled. The mounting hole on the rear of the wheel will fit nearly any kit available, and may take a small amount of clean up for that perfect fit.

I really like these wheels, and think they are a very nice replacement for any kit-supplied wheels and tires. They're correctly flattened, and look great. I highly recommend these to anyone building a 1/48 scale P-38. Thank you to Ultracast and IPMS/USA for supplying this sample for review.

  • Side and rear view
    Side and rear view
  • Wheel hub detail
    Wheel hub detail
  • Finished and weathered
    Finished and weathered

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