Scale Aircraft Conversions is marking their Silver Anniversary this year, with twenty-five years of supplying resin and white metal parts to model builders. This is the fifth landing gear set from SAC that I have reviewed, and once again, they have provided an excellent metal option for kit-supplied landing gear. This set is intended for the 1/32 scale F4F Wildcat that was released by Trumpeter in 2002. The purpose of this replacement set is to provide stronger landing gear that is adjustable if necessary to obtain proper angles. Even with no previous experience in using white metal parts, this set will provide an upgrade that most modelers will have no issue installing.
The beauty of the white metal used by Scale Aircraft Conversions for their gear is that it will hold up to the weight of larger aircraft, and the metal is soft enough to allow for some final positioning if that is needed to square up the gear. Scale Aircraft Conversions does not use lead in their white metal mix, so the builder does not have to be concerned with that hazard. In looking at the company’s web site, the intent is to provide stronger landing gear, not to make better-looking gear, if the kit is already accurate.
There are no directions contained within the set, you simply swap out the kit provided plastic parts with the new white metal items. It is easy enough to find the corresponding kit parts for the items included in this set. The kit main gear parts are items C20 along with braces C35 and E25 as well as actuator and wall part E7. Kit parts C19 and 20 for the rear wheel, are replaced by a single metal part in this set. White metal can be cleaned like plastic with files and sanding sticks, or your abrasive of choice. Although paint will adhere to white metal alone, it is recommended that you prime the parts first, and the parts will need to be installed with your favorite CA or epoxy.
For my hits of this landing gear set, I will start by mentioning that it really will be nice to have a heavier duty landing gear beneath my Wildcat. The folks at SAC do a nice job with their level of detail, as it can be challenging to get reasonably crisp detail in white metal. The items in this set are mostly clean (the braces will require some mold line removal), and should not be a challenge to install into their proper places on the Trumpeter kit. For this review, I photographed the SAC parts next to the items that they will replace in the Trumpeter kit to allow the reader (and potential buyer) to see how they compare.
I did not identify any misses on this release from SAC, but I will caution the buyer to be careful when removing the braces from their runner.
In conclusion, I would highly recommend this landing gear set from Scale Aircraft Conversions to anyone owning the Trumpeter F4F Wildcat kit. The white metal will provide a stronger base for the aircraft to rest upon for years of viewing enjoyment. The ease of installation should make the set user-friendly for nearly any model builder wanting to add landing gear with improved strength to their project.
I would like to thank the folks at Scale Aircraft Conversions for providing this detail set to the IPMS-USA for review, and to Dave Morrissette, who runs the review corps, for selecting me to assess this detail set. I also want to recognize the folks behind the scenes at the Review Corps, who keep things running smoothly, and finally I send my appreciation to all who take the time to read my comments.