Aires has long been known for their superb resin detail sets. Recently, Aires launched a new detail set line known as Wheelliant. The new line uses a smooth cast resin that captures even the minutest details. Sculpting in multi-piece, highly detailed sets, the new line offers modelers an excellent alternative to kit parts.
Part of this new Wheelliant line is a detail set for the 1/32 F-14D Tomcat featuring weighted wheels. The set is billed as being for the Trumpeter kit, however could be used on any F-14 [provided the rivet counters don’t catch you]. The set comes as 12 resin parts and a length of soft copper wire. Each tire features highly detailed sidewall including manufacturer’s information such as name and wheel specs. The hubs are made from front and back pieces, which have exceptional detail, especially on the complex brake assembly on the main wheels. The instructions are pretty straight forward, and include a wiring diagram for using the copper wire to create brake lines for the main gear. The parts separate from their pour plugs relatively easy, needing a saw only for the hub parts. On my sample, one of the nose wheels had an incomplete pour, however other sets I have pick up since have been fully formed without any imperfections. The parts take paint well, and look far superior to the kit wheels.
My overall opinion of this set is high. The casting and detail is second to none I have come across. I highly recommend Aires’ Wheelliant sets, and if you are detailing an F-14D, you can’t beat these wheels. My thanks to Aires and IPMS/USA for providing the review sample.
NOTE: Tamiya kit wheels used for comparison.