SKP Model of the Czech Republic is an interesting, sometimes under the radar company that produces a wide range of products, including some slightly unusual items for the modeler. I've reviewed a couple of SKP items previously, and found them to be useful and of good quality.
The desert wheels in this set replicate those produced by the Kronprinz ( Crown Prince ) firm located in Solingen, Germany. These off-road wheels, sometimes called balloon tires, were largely used on Afrika Korps vehicles produced by Volkwagen; the Type 87 VW Beetle, and the Kubelwagen. Some probably found their way onto Schwimmwagens as well.
Above - Kronprinz wheels on a DAK Kubel.
According to my copy of Volkswagen Military Vehicles of the Third Reich, An Illustrated History ( Blaine Taylor, Da Capo Press, 2004 ), some 564 military VW Beetles were produced between 1941-1944 ( a bit more than I'd imagined! ), with the majority of them used in Rommel's DAK. These vehicles designed for tropical use had running boards and fenders designed for use with the larger off-road Kronprinz wheels. Interestingly, the Kronprinz firm is still in business, still producing truck and passenger car wheels.
I've found SKP packaging to be fairly basic, but it does the job. The wheel castings were in perfect shape on arrival.
What's in the Box?
Packaged within a small zip-loc bag are the 4 resin wheels, no spare is included.
The wheels are cast of a light blue resin. Above, you can see the nice detail on the wheels. The bolts and wheel rims are crisply done, with only one or two tiny air bubble voids present on the castings.
All four of the castings have some kind of mold shift mis-match on the side of the wheels nearest to the resin carrier / casting blocks, extending for perhaps 25% - 30% of the wheels circumference. It is fairly pronounced, and will need addressing before you mount these wheels on your vehicle.
Above - simple, but well done tire tread detail.
Except for the mold shift issue which shouldn't be a huge problem to deal with, these wheels are well made, with crisp detail. As with most cast resin wheel sets, you'll need to use care when removing the wheels from the resin blocks and hide the non-detailed surface area down on your model's base.
This inexpensive set will be nice upgrade for your DAK Beetle or Kubel!
Thanks to Hard Target Models for the review sample
Reviewed by Chuck Aleshire, AMPS Chicagoland
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