The AN/MPQ-53 is the "Patriot" in the air defence system MIM-104 produced by Raytheon. The "Phased Array Tracking Radar to Intercept On Target" was a tremendous upgrade to the US Army air defence system and the MIM-104 Patriot replaced both the MIM-14 Nike Hercules and MIM-23 Hawk systems for medium and long range air defence. The patriot system gained notoriety during Operation Desert Storm when it was used as an ad-hoc anti-ballistic missile system with debated success. Subsequent development of the system has greatly improved its versatility.
What this means for the model builder is that this system was designed to be mobile on a wheeled chassis. Compared to the systems it replaced, it is highly mobile and quick to deploy. However, the long range of the missile system means that it is a rear echelon asset that can be picky about where it deploys.
DEF.Model has produced 2 wheel sets for the Trumpeter kit - DW35091 (sagged) and DW35094 (no sag). These sets are meant to replicate a Michelin XZY 445/65 R22.5 wheel. The set comes with 5 wheels (4 in use and a spare), wheel masks, and instructions on how to use the wheel masks.
The resin wheels, including the spare, show an excellent depiction of the wheels WITHOUT weight. The casting gates are different than a normal solid plug that minimizes effect on the tread pattern. This is both easier to remove AND clean up. There are NO mold seams on the tires (unlike the Trumpeter vinyl wheels that have the difficult to adequately remove seam), making use a simple task of cleaning up the pour plugs and painting.
The wheels are handed, 2 left and 2 right, so make sure you consult references for putting them on correctly. The wheels are a direct replacement for the Trumpeter kit parts.
The wheels measure at 33.0mm in diameter, exactly the same as the trumpeter kit wheels. The Michelin XZY 445/65 R22.5 wheel is stated, by Michelin, to have a diameter of 46", scaling down to 33.3mm and since I cannot measure true fractions of a mm with my calipers, I am calling them accurate.
The masks provided are very nice to have and allow the modeller to either paint the wheel, mask, and paint the hub, or paint the hub, mask, and paint the wheel.
Highs: Highly detailed, accurate replacement wheels. Minimal pour plug presence and no molding seam.Lows: None noted.Verdict: Excellent replacement wheel set.
About Jacques Duquette (Jacques) FROM: MINNESOTA, UNITED STATES
The first model I remember building was a glow-in-the-dark P-38, running around my bedroom in the dark flying it, and stubbing my toes. I do a lot less running around with glowing models now. I mainly focus on 1/35 armor and figures, with Modern Russian military vehicles being my favorite. I a...