Maple Leaf Models
Michelin XML Tires
Maple Leaf Models 1:35 Set #MLM1001
Review by Terry Ashley

With the new Trumpeter LAV-25 kit (#00349) just hitting the shops many a modeller will be looking at the other major users of the type being Australia (ADF) with the ASLAV-25 (and variants) and Canada with the Bison and Coyote (and variants) which have a number of major and minor differences from the LAV-25 of the USMC.

The main external and visual difference is the large Michelin XML Tyres used on the ADF and Canadian vehicles with the ASLAV also using an exhaust similar to that on the Bison which is shorter than that on the LAV-25.

Maple Leaf Models of Canada produce a set of resin Michelin XML Tyres which consist of nine tyres, eight for the main vehicle and one spare and while designed for the Italeri/Esci LAV-25 kits will fit the Trumpeter kit with only minor modifications.

The wheels in my set are cast in a light green resin with very good hub details that includes the rim bolts and valve recess as well as the central hub bolt details well defined. Sidewall detail is well done with nice contours and ‘Michelin' and tyre data embossing which can be read with the well defined correct tread pattern also well done.

The standard of casting is good overall but there is a fair bit of resin residue on the pour points around the inside tyre shoulder which will require care to remove so as not to damage the tread pattern. The detail here on a few of my wheels was compromised due to this but should be hidden inside the wheel wells once fitted to the model. There are also some small round resin ‘nodes' present amongst the tread blocks and some around the wheel rims, but these are quite easy to remove with a sharp X-Acto #11 as they seem to just sit on the surface and come away quite easily leaving the detail intact.

Most of the wheels in my set had these ‘nodes' to different degrees as well as different amounts of excess resin around the inner shoulder and the cleanup on some was very quick while others took a little more effort but the end result looks impressive.

One good thing with this set is the inclusion of the ninth spare wheel with open wheel hub as most photos of Canadian Bisons/Coyotes carry a spare while the ASLAV-25 has a dedicated spare mount of the rear door and this wheel is just the ticket for this.

To fit the wheels to the Trumpeter kit you will need to add a small axle to the back of the resin wheel hub as the Trumpeter wheels use an axle on the wheel to fit into a hole in the axle arm while the Italeri kit has the axle arm fitting into a hole in the back of the wheel, but this minor alteration is very easy and shouldn't cause any issues.


Despite a fair bit of cleanup needed on these wheels the detail is excellent and the tread and sidewall pattern is very well done as are the rim/hub details and will certainly look good on the model. The extra spare wheel is a real bonus as you can't really make and ASLAV, Bison or Coyote without it.


Eight main wheels and ninth spare
Maple Leaf ModelsMaple Leaf Models
View showing excess resin clean required
Maple Leaf Models

A quick comparison with the Hobby Fan Michelin XML Tyres (Set #HF 804) sees these wheels with better (more accurate) sidewall and embossing details as well as the tyre valve on the hubs which aren't on the HF wheels.

The MLM wheels do require a lot more cleanup with the inside shoulder detail compromised in a few places due to this while the HF wheels are quite clean and free of any blemishes but overall the detail on the MLM wheels is better defined after cleanup.

Of course the big difference is again the ninth spare wheel in this set with the HF set only having the eight main wheels. Both sets of wheels are the same diameter and rim size and will certainly look the part as these ‘fat' wheels make the Aussie and Canadian vehicles look “meaner” than the thinner tyres of the USMC LAV-25s.

Comparison of the Maple Leaf Models and Hobby Fan Wheels
After cleanup

Hobby Fan

Thanks to Eric at Victorian Hobby Centre for the prompt delivery of this wheel set.
VHC carry both sets of wheels and offer a mail order service worldwide with the following contact details;
Victorian Hobby Centre
1st Floor, 21A Swanston St .
Melbourne , Victoria , Australia 3001
Phone (03) 96504817 (from outside Australia 61 3 96504817)

Page created 29 August 2005

Click Browsers BACK button to return to list
Home / Reviews / Vehicle Reviews / Maple Leaf Models