The Sd.Kfz. 7 is probably the most-famous half track used by the Wehrmacht during World War II. Developed by the firm of Kraus-Maffei, it served in all theaters and in roles that included troop transport, artillery prime mover and a platform for various FlaK guns (as well as a mobile control cabin for the V2 rocket). The Seven has also enjoyed a veritable Renaissance in plastic kit form over the past two years that has taken it out of the primitive versions still being pedaled by Tamiya into a flurry of new kits by both Trumpeter and Dragon.
One of the problems with both lines are the road wheels supplied. Sd.Kfz. 7s sported several makes of tires and tread patterns, yet the Trumpeter kits have a post-war vinyl tire, and DML has a Dragon Styrene tire in one tread pattern with no commercial markings.
Into this vacuum has come QuickWheel, the Polish company known for its excellent painting masks, and (under the brand name BitsKrieg) a growing line of superb resin road wheels for a variety of Wehrmacht halftracks. Their newest offering includes two versions of road wheel for the Sd.Kfz. 7: a "diamond" tread pattern and a "sleek" tread pattern with the Fulda logo on it that is one of the most-common treads seen on period photos.
what you get
Inside QuickWheel's usual zip lock bag stapled to a pasteboard hanger are:
2 resin tires with the Fulda logo on the side
2 six-spoke hubs
1 painting mask
a sheet of instructions with photos of original wheels
Vinyl tires simply aren't an acceptable solution to many modelers: you can't paint or weather them properly, and some vinyl has been known to disintegrate over time or after exposure to the solvents in paint.
A number of companies have released AM resin road wheels for the Sd.Kfz. 7, but none of them reaches the same level of execution that QW has with its resin offerings. There is almost no sign of a pour plug-- a relief for those of us who remember sawing off large plugs on other resin tire offerings, then trying to hide the ugly scar on the bottom. These wheels look as if they were reduced from the real thing to 1/35th scale. There is no clean-up, no need for tools, not even a hobby knife, just assemble and paint.
And the painting is a snap thanks to the QW vinyl mask included.
You might think you can paint a wheel by hand, but you haven't come as close to perfection as these masks will get you. And if you insist on making your own masks from tape, then I say "please, will you mask my kits?" Because I don't have the time to waste on home-made masks.
Despite the cost, I don't think a better or even an equivalent solution exists. These wheels will give either Trumpeter or Dragon Sd.Kfz. 7s the best-looking wheels around. Be sure to couple them with QW's bogey wheel masks (reviewed for the Trumpeter kit here
and the Dragon kits here
Thanks to Quick Wheel for providing this review sample. Be sure to say you saw it reviewed here on Armorama when ordering.