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Built Review
135
Front Wheels for Sd.Kfz.251
Front Wheels with QuickWheel for Sd.Kfz.251 Dunlop Type
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by: Bill Cross [ BILL_C ]


Originally published on:
Armorama

introduction

At this point in the hobby, there probably isn’t a better-represented vehicle in styrene than the German Sonderkraftfahrzeug Sd.Kfz.251 halftrack. Almost all manufacturers of plastic kits seem to have at least one, starting with Tamiya’s "Hanomag" kits from the 1970s. Unlike the recent spate of halftrack prime movers, the 251’s popularity rests on its “instant diorama” potential and its enormous presence on all battlefields of WW II (over 15,000 were built by war’s end). Intended as a stand-alone infantry support vehicle, the 251 was pressed by the exigencies of war into towing a variety of loads. And while developed by Hannoversche Maschinenbau AG (hence the nickname “Hanomag”) to carry Panzergrenadiers into the thick of the fight, Sd.Kfz. 251s were also mounted with a dizzying array of small-caliber guns like the 75 mm L/24 (nicknamed Stummel (“stump”) and the a 3.7cm PAK 36 anti-tank gun. It was even equipped with sound recording equipment to serve the Nazi propaganda maw. In all, some 22 variants have been cataloged.

With so many kit makers having released untold versions of the Sd.Kfz. 251, QuickWheel has brought out a superb resin replacement set for the front tires, which the major styrene kits have not rendered correctly, along with a mask for painting them. QuickWheel has been known for some time for manufacturing wheel masks that make the painting of road wheels and return rollers less than the superhuman undertaking usually required with many German AFVs. Recently the company has expanded into resin wheel replacement sets (click here to see a review of their Staghound wheels) with painting mask included.

The Kit

This set for the Sd.Kfz.251 is packed in a Ziploc baggie mounted on a pasteboard hanger, and has:

A pair of Dunlop-branded light gray resin wheels
A pair of wheel hubs
Wheel painting mask
A printed insert with four photos of actual tires and rims

the review

The photos at right show three examples of current wheels in styrene for the Sd.Kfz. 251: Dragon, Zvezda and AFV Club. None are the proper thickness, nor do any of them have the distinctive “Dunlop” logo-- or any other logo for that matter-- nor the other raised markings apparent on the actual tires. Yet beyond the obvious deficiencies is the tread: the 251’s tire treads were both distinctive and elusive to render with conventional styrene split-half mold technology. On the real thing, two rows of offset “teeth” give the treads an almost zig-zag pattern, not the alternating tooth pattern used by all three styrene makers.

I don’t quite know how QuickWheel does it, but their tires capture the tread pattern with only a tiny mold pore hole the size of the wheel’s axle at the bottom.

The wheel mask will make the painting of the set a snap, something that no hand painting can equal (at least not in my universe). And if you’re one of those folks who feel store-bought masks are for sissies, well, don’t bump into my purse. I’ve used QuickWheel masks (click here and here to read my reviews of them), and I wouldn’t paint any wheels now without them if QW makes a mask. In this case, it took more time for the undercoat to dry than to get them ready for mounting with a solid layer of Dunkelgelb: I popped them into the mask, sprayed on the color coat, and touched up one part that got a little bleed-through under one edge (the masks have a light adhesive coating on the inner portion to hold the wheel in-place, but sometimes some dirt or finger oils cause the adhesion to lift up a bit).

Conclusion

Game over, thanks for playing!

If accuracy is your goal, then you don’t want to build a 251 without this set. Period.

But just so I don’t sound too flip, here’s the bottom line:

These wheels are more-accurate than any kit-supplied wheels.
They have superb detailing that will make you want to build your Sd.Kfz. 251 as coming right from the factory or after a nice washing!
The mask makes painting them automatic.


Nothing more to say, except thanks to QuickWheel for providing this review sample. Be sure to mention Armorama when ordering. Oh, and the company plans to bring out other variants besides Dunlop. Can't wait.
SUMMARY
Highs: An excellent AM wheel replacement set, plus the mask to paint it correctly. Superb detailing, pristine casting.
Lows: Won't appeal to the "real men don't use pre-cut masks" crowd.
Verdict: Highly recommended. If you want accuracy, you'll buy this set, period.
Percentage Rating
95%
  Scale: 1:35
  Mfg. ID: QWX-002
  Suggested Retail: N/A
  Related Link: 
  PUBLISHED: Aug 19, 2010
  NATIONALITY: Germany
NETWORK-WIDE AVERAGE RATINGS
  THIS REVIEWER: 90.08%
  MAKER/PUBLISHER: 88.69%

Our Thanks to Quick Wheel!
This item was provided by them for the purpose of having it reviewed on this KitMaker Network site. If you would like your kit, book, or product reviewed, please contact us.

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About Bill Cross (bill_c)
FROM: NEW JERSEY, UNITED STATES

Self-proclaimed rivet counter who gleefully builds tanks, planes and has three subs in the stash.

Copyright ©2019 text by Bill Cross [ BILL_C ]. Images also by copyright holder unless otherwise noted. Opinions expressed are those of the author(s) and not necessarily those of AeroScale. All rights reserved.



Comments

Great review Bill, and thanks for the chuckle I take it the masks included are reusable as with the 'regular' quick wheel masks, any idea if the wheels will be available separately, to cut the cost a bit if building multiple kits of the same subject?
AUG 19, 2010 - 05:24 PM
Forgive my ignorance, but did Dunlop actually supply 251 tyres? (the photos provided appear to be of a restored vehicle) A bit OT, but if so how did a British company get away supplying the Nazi war machine? Thanks for the review Rudi
AUG 19, 2010 - 05:45 PM
James, I'm glad you enjoyed it. Don't know the answer to that. The masks are reusable, but the adhesive that holds the mask onto the surface does degrade with multiple re-uses. The ring will hold the tires in-place, but I can't comment on how they would work 10x after the first use. I will let you know after I build the two DML Sd.Kfz.7s in my stash, LOL. I don't know the answer to that, Rudi. Greg Rossa who is the owner of QW is working on replacement wheels for all the surviving tire brands, so I will see what he knows. But when the Nazis seized power, they ended up nationalizing or otherwise controlling a number of foreign-owned businesses or multinational brands. General Motors' Opel, is the most-famous example, since the Opel Blitz became a staple of the Wehrmacht's motor pool. I don't know if there was a Dunlop factory in Germany, but Goodyear did have one in Fulda. But I'm assuming, and you know what happens when you assume (you make an ass out of "U" & "me").
AUG 20, 2010 - 03:48 AM
UPDATE: Greg Rossa, the owner of QuickWheel is on holiday (it's August in Europe and the cities empty out, LOL), but he offered several bits on this: a) Dunlop didn't supply 251/11 tires - it supplied MUCH wider range of German vehicle tires and that includes 251/11 (that can be seen on many pictures if you look very carefully) and I'm planning to make many more wheels for other vehicles in near future. b) the vehicle on the pictures is not really a restored one as much as its recovered (I was told that this particular one was taken out of the river - it had 2 different tires on it - Dunlop and Continental actually ) almost in full (including the tires as I was told by the museum keeper in which i took the pictures) - besides - would Dunlop really care to make tires that would fit 251/11 or that would have the same tread pattern AFTER the war? If yes - well I really wouldn't know why. I can tell that the tread pattern is genuine because every other tires i photographed had same one - unless somebody wants to say that for some reason Dunlop, Continental, Fulda and Deka made their tires for unknown reason after the war. It sure might result in some discussion but hey - if someone doesn't want Dunlop ones there will be 3 others to choose from very soon c) I don't know *how* the company got away but did it really have to? That's just tires they supplied I guess that's a question for someone who lived and worked at Dunlop during the war. But really - there was a Dunlop factory (at least one) in Germany during the war. Then what about Fulda? I see Fulda tires commonly on many trucks these days (I guess it's a Dunlop trademark now) - does that mean "they got away" with supplying the tires during the war too? By the way - I'm preparing a wheel set for Sd.Kfz. 7 with Fulda tire (also based on museum exhibition) if I haven't mentioned that before. Fulda Sd.Kfz.7 tires? Ooo, what a nice way to end a horrible week!!
AUG 20, 2010 - 08:34 AM
THanks for the info, Bill
AUG 22, 2010 - 01:07 PM
You're welcome, Rudi. Have added a photo of the finished wheels on an old Tamiya SdKfz. 251.
SEP 27, 2010 - 05:01 AM
   

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