Published on
May 11, 2014
Review Author(s)
Scale
1/48
MSRP
$13.00
Product / Stock #
148-011
Base Kit
Academy
Company: Wheeliant - Website: Visit Site
Provided by: Stevens International - Website: Visit Site

Wheelliant is a sub-brand of Aires, a scale model resin detailing parts manufacturer located in the Czech Republic. Their lines include fine and accurately detailed cast resin replacement parts for model kits in the most commonly produced scales.

Wheelliant has produced replacement wheels and weighted tires for 1/48 Academy F-14A kits. The website indicates other sets (with different stock numbers) that are to be used with Hobby Boss and Hasegawa Tomcat kits. This set is intended to dress up and/or supplement the plastic kit parts. The easily assembled rims and tires are clean glue-on replacements for the kit plastic parts. Also included is a length of fine copper wire for use as hydraulic brake and/or electrical connection lines.

A side-by-side evaluation (see photos) indicates a replacement that provides a much more realistic scale-detailed assembly with a natural “weighted effect” on the tires. The Goodyear logo and other lettering are clearly visible on the sidewalls. Wheel rim detail is extremely fine, with inside and outside faces cast separately.

Assembly is straightforward. Use your favorite razor saw to remove the parts from the casting blocks, clean up the saw cuts, and provide a little tread “wear” with a few quick swipes of fine sandpaper. Painting of the rims and tires will be necessary, so check your references, and be sure to prime with the appropriate materials that are compatible with your preferred paints. Painting of the rim and tire parts may be easier to complete, if done prior to assembly.

Some cautionary advice: for those without basic modeling experience, use very thin CA (Superglue) sparingly, to assemble and attach these resin parts to your plastic kit, as the usual plastic glues do not react well with the cured resins. The copper wire can be cut to length, painted as appropriate, and attached to the kit’s gear legs with tiny strips of painted masking tape for additional realism.

In conclusion, this is an excellent replacement set that will lend increased realism to your 1/48 Academy F-14A Tomcat, and could probably be substituted with equally good results for any 1/48 Tomcat in your stash.

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