Pheon Decals | E32003: DH.9A Etched Brass Wire Wheels
Reviewed by Mike Swinburne
This is an item that has up until now been absent from a Ninak-builder's inventor - uncovered wire wheels for the Wingnut Wings DH.9A Ninak (Post-War). Pheon Decals announced this set a year or two ago and it was finally released in the Autumn of 2018. Four of the aircraft included on Pheon's gorgeous and colorful Post-War Ninak decal sheet are documented with the exposed wire wheels and I suspect these airframes are where 95% of the wheels purchased will end up supporting. At first glance, this product is going to look great when assembled.
This photo-etch brass and resin set supplements sprue J, the sprue unique to the Wingnut Wings post-war variant of the Ninak. Wingnut's sprue J contains three tires to which the PE in this set is designed to fit. That sprue also contains two hubs for the wheels destined to attach to the landing gear. Pheon has included two more of these hubs in resin allowing the builder to also model a Ninak with an additional uncovered wheel mounted underneath (or on the side of) the fuselage. The second resin piece is a spare hub in the event the carpet monster gets a snack. There are twelve etched brass parts in total - four for each of the three wheels this set will make.
The PE and resin come packaged in their own zip-lock bags, inside a small flat plastic case. A 5-page instruction booklet is included which includes some background information and two pages of the most detailed instructions for assembling wire wheels I've seen. Come to think of it, I don't recall ever seeing instructions with other PE wire wheel sets (a non-issue as none of those would fit this plane anyhow!). The five assembly steps and corresponding detail drawings should leave no doubt in the builder's mind how the wheels are to be assembled. They even go so far as to indicate the correct orientation of the "spin" of the wires.
Any Ninak could be built with these uncovered wheels of course, as well as a "regular" DH.9; one would just need to source the tires and hubs from the post-war kit sprue. If you fancy adding some wire wheels to your aircraft, make sure to purchase these. Follow the instructions and take your time to get the alignment perfect, and you'll end up with a set of gorgeous uncovered wheels to add interest to your finished model. The review sample was provided by Rowan at Pheon, and set E32003 can be purchased directly from Pheon Decals for GBP 8.50 plus postage.
*Note that at the time of writing this review, the etched wire wheels are not found in the "1/32" drop-down menu on Pheon's website. To get to the item page, hover your mouse over "More" on the top menu and then over "Etched" to select this item.
© Mike Swinburne 2018
This review was published on Thursday, October 18 2018; Last modified on Friday, October 19 2018