by: Tom Cromwell [ ]
introductionThe Germans, like most armies of the day, pressed a number of civilian car designs into military service during WWII. Recent kit releases have included a flood of these “staff cars” in 1:35 scale, including the Opel Olympia sold by Bronco as a “Stabswagen” (Bronco kit CB35047). With its “salami slice” wheel design, each wheel comes to a staggering eight parts! And even then, there is no lettering on the sidewalls. Well, SKP has come to the rescue!
contentsInside a sturdy little cardboard box there is a ziplock bag holding five blue resin wheels. Some of them are on pouring plugs, but two of mine were loose, having parted from the plugs before packing. These plugs are long but thin, marring a small section of the tyre tread. The tyres have a chunkier tread than the plastic kit parts, and include raised lettering that says “Fulda” and some microscopic tyre-data. The steel rims are clearly copies of the kit part, including the socket on the back for the kit’s mounting parts.
The new tyres are slightly bigger than the kit tyres, by about ¾ of a millimetre diameter, and this combined with the chunkier tread detail provides a tyre that is visually “bigger” and more robust. “Fulda” is a German brand with a long history in the tyre trade, so these new wheels provide more authenticity to a German staff car.
Since the rims are the same as the kit parts, and the new tyres are only slightly bigger, they should be a drop-in replacement that will save a good hour of build-time. My only caveat is that the kit spare tyre is already a bit too tight against the fuel filler neck on the rear of the car, so you will want to fit the replacement spare (at least temporarily) before adding the filler neck!
conclusionThese are a fine set of replacement wheels for anyone building an Opel. They add better tread and raised lettering that will really stand out with a little weathering, and they save a lot of aggravation with the kit wheel “slices”.