by: Rowan Baylis [ ]
One of the few weak aspects of Revell's impressive new-tool largescale P-51D Mustang is the wheels, and CMK have released no less than four resin replacement set to not only replace those provided, but also offer alternative styles of treads.
At first glance the kit wheels don't look at all bad, boasting crisply moulded hub detail. The problems start when you pay closer attention to the tyre treads. Naturally, there's a seam to fill (you can't criticise Revell for that), but the rather soft engraved diamond-pattern tread has little "orphans" along the centre line that I can't find any photographic evidence for on full-sized tyres.
Looking at CMK's diamond-tread, not only is the pattern consistent across the tyre, but the tread is actually raised from the surface like the real thing. In addition to the plain diamond-pattern, CMK also offer diamonds with holes in them, plus ovals and cross-treads.
Each set arrives in a blister pack with a card backing and a simple set of instructions. The casting is faultless on all the sample items. The hubs are separate and well detailed, while the tyres have delicate raised manufacturers' text and logos on their walls.
With most resin wheels, you can almost take it for granted that they are cast in such a way that the pour stub creates a flat spot that you can use to represent "weighted tyres". I always prefer a "weighted" look on my models, so this isn't an issue for me, but modellers who like "unweighted" tyres face a bit of a problem. So it's interesting to see that CMK have taken a different approach to the norm, with the pour stub on the wall of the tyre. You'll need to take extra care when cleaning this up, but it leaves open the option for unweighted wheels (especially handy for servicing scenes).
The four sets currently available are:
5124 P-51D Mustang - Wheels (Oval Tread Pattern)
5125 P-51D Mustang - Wheels (CrossTread Pattern)
5126 P-51D Mustang - Wheels (Diamond Tread Pattern)
5127 P-51D Mustang - Wheels (Diamond and Hole Tread Pattern)
ConclusionOne thing I really like about Revell's Mustang is that it's so affordable for such a well detailed kit, which means you don't have to worry about spending a little extra to replace items like the wheels. At 9.30 Euros per set, CMK's beautifully produced resin alternatives are definitely worth considering, not only improving massively on the kit parts, but offering extra options. Highly recommended.
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