F3F-3 Landing Gear

Published: August 22nd, 2012     
Parts Package
Parts Package
Reviewed by: 
Rod Lees, IPMS# 10821
Scale: 1/32
Company: Scale Aircraft Conversions
Price: $18.95
Product / Stock #: 32066

Russ continues to deliver bits and pieces which are, when you think of it, invaluable!  Most heavy thanks to him for providing IPMS USA yet another of his great works.

This set provides metal duplicates of the original plastic landing gear for a kit which has been with us since 1959.  (I have a box with the Gulfhawk kit; it proves, along with the decal sheet with manufacturing data, that this kit is just a year younger than I am!).  The kit was re-released by Monogram (and later by Revell) in 1964, 1973, and 1999, both as the Gulfhawk and the standard F3F.  The kit has cut-down Gulfhawk wings for both releases...to which Mike West has a replacements for the proper wingspan in resin, or you can use internet resources to cut/paste two kits to get the same result with a LOT more work!

Not much to be said here, other than I am holding out for the resin wing and cockpit from Mike West to start the build.  (Hey, we have deadlines and he's a busy guy who just got back from the NATS...just pokin' the bear, here!)  Resin casting is a difficult, unrewarding thing - I know from experience!

I had not anticipated receiving this set; as such, I was a bit tardy on ordering other upgrades like this set, and decided to do an "out of box" review.  Let's just say this set is perfect in addressing the issues of larger/ heavier models.  All parts will go together well, no doubt, because they are modeled after the originals.  If you check the picture, the kit items (grayer plastic) are to the top of each duplicate, and the SAC items are in white metal.

If you are unaware of the F3F kit from Monogram (now Revell), it was an "action" kit whereby you pulled the prop toward you to engage a gear, which was then used to retract the main gear by turning the prop backwards.  You then pushed the prop back in, and proceeded to play sky pilot with the model.  On landing, you reversed the process.

I remember about 1973, when I first built this kit, the gear worked even though I had really slathered on the glue...but then it started to sag under the weight of the model with the gear down.  Sadness.

Fast forward to 2012.  The SAC replacement metal gear will undoubtedly do the kit justice; now, the key will be to see if I can assemble it to make sure it still retracts!  I highly recommend this set to anyone who is building a stash model like me, or a more modern release.

Thanks again to Russ at SAC for the review samples, and to IPMS/USA for the review space.  Now, when I finish the kit, I'll go ahead and update the review.

  • Comparison with kit parts
    Comparison with kit parts

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