Aires has added a set of 1/32 Spitfire resin wheels/tires (with paint masks) to their continually growing line of detail parts. Although labeled for Mk.IX Spitfires, these wheels are appropriate replacements for those found on most marks. The set features the early four-spoke wheels with typical smooth tires. They easily will fit the new Tamiya kits as well as the PCH kits and the earlier offerings from Hasegawa and Revell. Detail is exquisite…the hubs even exhibit the recessed valve stem and the tires have a realistic flat bottom with just the hint of a bulge. All appears to be spot on, as our friends in the UK might say.
The wheels are cast in a soft gray resin and each comes attached at one point on a shared casting block. They can be clipped off the casting block with sprue cutters and the stubs can easily be sanded to match the flat spot on the tires. I found it necessary to add a swipe of filler to one tire along the bottom to disguise what appeared to be a slight mold shift. Not a major problem…just a minor flaw in the sample I received.
After a quick wash in hot soapy water, the tires were painted with Tamiya NATO Black and the masks were applied following the steps on the instruction sheet. The masks fit perfectly. The hubs were then painted Tamiya Sky. The resin took the paint well and after a light overcoat of future, an oil wash was applied to accent the fine detail in the wheel hubs and a dusting of Testors Dullcote finished things off. The whole process was a breeze and the resulting wheels/tires will be used to enhance one of my 1/32 Spitfire kits in the near future.
This Aires detail set is highly recommended. My thanks to Aires and IPMS/USA for the opportunity to review the samples.