A-4E/F Skyhawk Landing Gear

Published: February 13th, 2020     
Product Image
Reviewed by: Ben Morton - IPMS# 47301
Scale: 1/144
Price: $11.95
Product / Stock #: 14432
Product provided by: Scale Aircraft Conversions

For those that be unfamiliar with Scale Aircraft Conversions this handy explanation from Scale Aircraft Conversions website should solve that problem: We (SAC) are currently producing a line of white metal landing gear for 1/24 to 1/72 scale aircraft. Some sets consist of the main gear only while others include the nose gear. Some inaccuracies in the original kit gear have been corrected but the mounting points remain identical to the factory parts. We have not sought to duplicate component parts where the factory plastic parts are reasonably accurate.

After that explanation you might be asking yourself, 'self' why use white metal for these landings gear sets? SAC to the rescue,once again: One advantage of white metal over styrene plastic is strength. Metal parts will not warp under the weight of a built model regardless of the size of the aircraft, no matter how many years it stands on display. Another advantage of white metal is the way it holds up under "working" conditions (drilling, scoring, sanding, etc.), as it is much more dense than styrene plastic and has a much higher melting point. Being quite malleable, it can be bent without the fear of breaking & a useful characteristic when it comes to final alignment "tweeking". Note: our white metal contains no lead.

When working with white metal it is advisable to follow these helpful hints. Cue Scale Aircraft Conversions (SAC) website:

  • Since styrene cement has no effect on white metal, parts should be attached using CA glue (e.g. Superglue). We recommend using a thicker "gap filling" CA where parts need time to be positioned. Once in place you can use an accelerator to bond the parts instantly. These products can be found where ever hobby supplies are sold.
  • A set of miniature files comes in handy for removing mold parting lines while fine gauge wet-or-dry sandpaper aids in further "clean up" and polishing areas that represent polished steel.
  • A variable speed rotary tool can be useful for detailing certain areas. Just be careful not to grind on your fingers and ALWAYS wear eye protection. I knew a guy once that ... ...
  • Paint will adhere directly to white metal parts. However, a light coat of primer first will guarantee adhesion of the paint.

Scale Aircraft Conversions seems to be adding to its line of after-market landing gears sets on a daily basis. Maybe not quite that often....
The subject of this review is two complete sets of landing gear for the recently re-released 1/144th scale A-4 F Skyhawk from Eduard. I say re -release as the plastic bits from this model are from Platz with Eduard re-packaging them with an excellent photo-etch set (sold separately) paint masks, and new decals Aside from the aforementioned advantages of using white metal landing gear an additional value of these metal landing gear may come into play when you consider their use as a counter (nose) weight for the Skyhawk's stance on it's tricycle-type landing gear.
These landing gear from are Scale Aircraft Conversions are one to one duplicates of the injected molded bits from Eduard. This release contains two complete sets of landing gear, whereas the plastic bits from Eduard only provide parts for one aeroplane. (The earlier Platz release did have two complete models in the box.)
As these are duplicates of the kit plastic parts using them is a breeze. Just clip them off the sprues and away you go. As you can see from the images these metal replacements bits will need some clean-up. Don't fret. Cleaning up the casting flaws on these parts from Scale Aircraft Conversions is easier than cleaning up plastic parts.

You will need to retain the plastic wheel/tire part, for the main gear, as those are to be used with this after-market set. One other provision to be aware of is the small, back potion of the front landing gear door. This detail is molded into replacement front landing gear but, to my eye, looks better by adding either the plastic gear door (as I did) or by using some of your crafty modeling skills.

These after-market bits from Scale Aircrfat Conversions are a worthy addition to Eduard's 1/144th scale A-4F Skyhawk and with an extra set, plenty of room for error.

My thanks to Scale Aircraft Conversions and IPMS/USA for the review copy.

P.S. If you plan on attending the 2020 IPMS/USA National Convention in San Marcos, Texas this summer be sure and check the activity board for the Ice Cream Social being sponsored by Scale Aircraft Conversions. (wink, wink!)

Support Your Local Hobby Shop.

  • main gear
    main gear
  • nose gear
    nose gear
  • SAC parts
    SAC parts
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    Image 4
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    Image 7

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