As great as it already is to be a fan of German half-tracks, things just keep getting better: not only do new styrene kits keep coming out like the new Sd.Kfz.6, but BitsKrieg, QuickWheel’s resin upgrade division, continues releasing superbly-cast wheel replacements and the appropriate painting masks. The latest is a civilian tread pattern road wheel set for the Sd.Kfz.250 and Sd.Kfz.10 which shared a common chassis. Given the number of older kits still on the market, and the fact that most kit makers still employ boring two-piece styrene front wheels, these are an invaluable improvement.
what you get
The set includes:
2 resin wheels
1 two-wheel mask for same
2 sets of resin “caps” for use on either vehicles or trailers/light guns like the FlaK 3.7cm
A two-sided insert with photos
Continental-branded tires are a staple of modeling, to the point where many modelers are surprised when other brands turn up on kits or after-market upgrades. BitsKrieg’s release of Dunlop-embossed tires recently had some members here wondering how the Nazis ended up using a British-brand tire. Perhaps doubters will be pacified with tires embossed with “Fulda” on the side? Fulda Tire has been a subsidiary of Goodyear since the 1960s, but has been around for over a century as a stand-alone brand. Their tires turn up on German halftracks during WW2, and this civilian pattern tread gives us another great option for customizing kits.
These front wheel/tire combos were used on both Sd.Kfz.250s and its gun-platform variant, the Sd.Kfz.10. The Italeri kits of the latter (usually referred to a the DEMAG after the original vehicle’s manufacturer, Deutsche Maschinenfabrik AG) are still very much with us, and their over-simplified styrene road wheels fairly beg for replacement. It might seem extravagant paying over $14 for this set and its mask for a kit that retails for about $30 or less, but proper tires on all except muddy dioramas will do as much for a softskin as an AM metal barrel for a tank. Even with newly-released kits, the tires are often the weakest part of the kit, despite the inroads DML has made, for example, with its Dragon Styrene. That’s because styrene can’t touch the detailing of resin at this point, not to mention that other kit makers are even continuing to release vinyl tires, which neither take paint nor hold up consistently well over time.
These tires/wheel rims were also used on light artillery like the PAK 36 3.7cm, or the Nebelwerfer
rocket trailer, so BitsKrieg has included end caps for use on limbers and trailers.
Hardcore modelers and old-timers usually scoff at us wimps who’ll pay $12-$13 for wheel masks, but I cannot paint wheels by hand with the precision these masks afford, nor do I feel like cutting out my own masks. But even if you feel “maskers” are pussies, the resin wheels in this set are worth the price. And at the rate it’s going, BitsKrieg will eventually have AM tires and front wheels for all German halftracks currently in styrene on the market.
If their quality continues like this, it can’t happen too soon.
To see a review of BitsKrieg's "common" off-road tread pattern set, click here
To read a review of BitsKrieg's "uncommon" off-road tread pattern set, click here