Pavla Models has released a small resin wheel set for the 1/72 scale Airfix Gloster Gladiator Mk. 1 kit (A02052), but it can also be used with the Revell Germany version (04683), which is actually a re-issue of the old Matchbox kit.
The re-sealable plastic bag contains a pair of main wheels with each on a small casting runner, which should not be too difficult to remove. This set does not provide a replacement for the tail wheel. These wheels are obviously the same parts included in the now out of production Pavla resin kit, so they are getting additional mileage from them.
The casting is good but there is a little bit of a gap between the wheel cover and tire at about the 5 oíclock position. Comparing the wheel covers from the Pavla and Airfix offerings to a photos of actual Mk. 1 aircraft, the Pavla version are more accurate in terms of the number and location of the bolt heads but the raised rectangle is actually a metal placard on some covers, so this should be sanded down.
The one major issue is that attachment point for the wheels in the Airfix kit is a slot and the Pavla wheels have a hole, so the kit main undercarriage legs will have to be modified to accommodate the resin versions. The tires are unweighted, so you will have to sand the bottoms down a bit if you want to simulate weighted tires.
This is a fairly good upgrade set from Pavla Models, though it isnít a straight-forward replacement for the kitís wheels. Since they are relatively inexpensive (£2.00 at Hannants and about $3.00 in the U.S.) and a bit more accurate than the kitís wheels, you really canít go wrong.
Please remember, when contacting retailers or manufacturers, to mention that you saw their products highlighted here - on AEROSCALE.
Highs: More accurate wheel covers and fairly inexpensive set.Lows: Airfix undercarriage legs need to be modified to accommodate the resin wheels.Verdict: For the price, this is a good replacement set for the kitís wheels but some work will be required to use them.
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About Felix Bustelo (fbustelo) FROM: NEW YORK, UNITED STATES
I am primarily a ship modeler but I am starting to expand my horizons, so to speak, by building some aircraft and armor models. Kitmaker sites have certainly helped me with this endeavor as well as my ship modeling.
I started building models in 1971/72 when I was 6 or 7. I have fond memories o...