The 2 variants of this truck are basically identical, the major difference being the 4500A was a 4×4 truck and the 4500S was a 4×2 truck. As the war progressed design simplifications were made to both types to simplify production and reduce the use of scarce raw materials.
The main simplifications were in the areas of the fenders and engine covers; the more simplified and plainer they are the later the vehicle was produced. The final versions replaced the cab with a wooden cab. Zvezda has 2 kits of this truck, numbers 3596 and 3647. The later simplified version 4500A was called “Einheitsfahrerhaus” and that is what Zvezda’s kit 3596 is based upon while their kit 3647 is an L4500S. The wheels on these kits are made up of 3 layers, so resin wheels are a time saving alternative. There is also AFV kit number AF35170 of the 4500S for which these wheels may well prove suitable with a minimum of work. Most production of these trucks went to the wehrmacht. There were also many variants of the L-4500 made with cab bodies, cranes etc. If you want to scratch build a new body for any of these kits “Trucks of the Wehrmacht” by Reinhard Frank is an excellent resource.
The resin wheels from ET are in a cream coloured resin and come inside a sealable plastic bag which is taped to a piece of black card. The card is then placed inside a thicker plastic bag which is stapled closed through the header card. The use of the thick plastic bag is a good idea to prevent the bag splitting open. There are 3 pairs of wheels, 2 front wheels, 2 rear inners and 2 rear outers and a spare. You can see the differences in the image gallery. The spare is easy to spot as it is the only one that is not weighted and is missing a flat spot. A nice touch is that the pour plugs are on the flat spots, so will never be visible on the completed model. The spare is attached to the underside of the bed so is not very visible at all. The wheels have a very deep tread pattern and have smooth sidewalls with no embossed details. The inflation nipples are not present but a small piece of sprue will suffice. There is a very small amount of excess flash on a couple of wheels, but it is so small it can almost be ignored and does not detract at all.
These resin wheels are highly recommended and are a simple upgrade.
Thanks to ET Model for the review sample.