The ‘Super Swamper’ tyre is a civilian produced off-road tyre which was unofficially fielded on some Humvee’s, primarily Special Forces GMV’s, due to a shortage of the standard ‘Good-Year’ radial tyres and apparent off-road capabilities of the Super Swamper tyre. These began to appear around 2003 during Operation Iraqi Freedom, and have been spotted on some US Special Forces vehicles operating in Afghanistan. As of 2004 the US TACOM has banned all use of these tyres, due mainly to the tyres failure to pass safety tests which determine if a tyre has the durability and reliability required.
Voyager are the latest aftermarket company to release a set of Super Swamper wheels, both Pro Art Models and D-Toys having released similar sets, whilst Legends Production includes a set of wheels in kit LF1212 ‘Special Forces GMV conversion set’. Cast in Voyagers light cream resin, this kit includes four tyres and moulded integral rims as well as one spare wheel lacking the central hub, and having the spare wheel bracket fitted instead.
The quality of the casting is very good with only a few small air bubbles to contend with, and a minimal pour block which will be easy to clean and is small enough to hide on the wheels contact surface.
The four wheels have stubs moulded to the back of the rim to allow an instant fit to any kits axles. I tested the wheels on the Tamiya kit and they slid into the axle without any modification. However, if one wishes to use these on the Bronco kit, it’s important to leave off the kit part B17 in order to make the wheels fit.
In terms of accuracy there are a number of problems present on these wheels. First of all comparing the tyres to the limited reference pictures available it does appear that they are too narrow, and actually look a little undersized when fitted on a Humvee model. I compared them against both the Legends and Pro Art wheels and they are noticeably undersized against the Legends wheels and a little smaller than the Pro Art wheels (which themselves are too small).
The shoulder of the tyre is too square as well and should be much more rounded, with the tread pattern curving round onto the sides of the tyre. The lack of curving on the tyre shoulder means the tread pattern does not come down far enough. This also unfortunately leaves a rather large flat surface on the tyres sides compared to the real tyre and the lettering ends up being too large as a consequence.
The tread pattern on the real Super Swamper tyres is rather complicated and Voyagers set offers a decent enough representation, but again it’s not perfect. The pattern looks a little too small and is spaced too tightly (presumably an issue relating to the tyres being undersized). The pattern is a bit rough in places and the treads are not spaced correctly at certain points.
The wheel rims themselves are quite good a have some excellent fine bolt detail, and are accurate compared to reference photos.
Overall these wheels are excellent quality, with crisp resin castings and offer good value for the money, but I recommend them with reservations. Whilst many may feel my criticisms are overly harsh, when comparing these wheels to the actual Super Swamper tyres the problems are noticeable and to me these don’t really capture the overall look of the tyre. Having compared the wheels with both Pro Art’s and Legends, it’s definitely the latter which are the most accurate and match the shape and size of the real tyre, it's just a shame Legends do not offer theirs as a stand-alone set.
Highs: Good quality molding. Lack of air bubbles and minimal clean up required.Lows: Undersized, profile too square and narrow, as well as some issues with the tread pattern mean these wheels fall short of the mark.Verdict: Voyager produces some of the finest upgrade sets on the market, but these wheels sadly do not live up to expectations. Recommended only for their ease of use and low cost.
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