F-10G Starfighter (Two Seat) Landing Gear

Published: January 22nd, 2021     
Product Image
Reviewed by: Paul R. Brown - IPMS# 24085
Scale: 1/32
Price: $17.95
Product / Stock #: 32149
Product provided by: Scale Aircraft Conversions

This set is designed to provide replacement parts for Italeri's 1/32 two-seat F-104 kits. As with most of SAC's landing gear sets, the metal parts are intended to be one-for-one replacements for the kit parts. The centerpiece of the set is a new single piece main gear section including both left and right main gear struts with attached retraction arms and gear door actuators. The set also provides white metal replacements for the hydraulic lines on the main gear struts.

There are four parts to the nose gear - the strut, two retraction arms and what I assume is the nose gear steering unit.

The parts are all well cast, but there is a casting seam on all the parts that you will need to remove with either a sharp knife and sandpaper or a fine file. Once this seam is removed, I polished each part with my Dremel using a brass wire wheel at low speed. I constructed the main gear section first as it fits under the aircraft keel section that runs between the two landing gear bays. I used medium viscosity super glue to assemble the parts as it allows some time to adjust the fit of the parts before setting up. Once the parts were where I wanted them, I used accelerator to set the super glue and then set the assembly aside for a couple of days to harden.

I next went to work on the nose gear and discovered I had made a slight miscalculation. I am currently building Italeri's F-104A/C kit and assumed that the nose gear parts for the A/C kit were identical to those for the G/S kit, which they probably are, however this set is actually designed to be used on Italeri's two-seat kits and the nose gear arrangements are different between the single-seat and the two-seat aircraft. On single-seat F-104s, the nose gear strut is located at the aft end of the nose gear bay and retracts forward. In addition, the scissor link on the strut faces aft. On two-seat F-104s, the nose gear strut is located at the forward edge of the gear bay and retracts aft. The scissor link faces forward instead of aft. The nose gear strut on all F-104's has a single fork on the right side of the wheel, leaving the left side open.

The nose gear setup in the F-104A/C kit correctly has the nose gear mounted at the rear of the gear bay, retracting forward with the scissor link pointing aft and the fork on the right side. When you point the fork of the nose gear piece in the SAC set to the right, the scissor link faces forward, opposite of the kit part. At first, I thought that SAC had somehow included the wrong nose gear strut, but when I checked the listing for this set on their website, I noted that the title of the set specifically says it is for the two-seater and there is a note advising the modeler that the nose gear strut on two-seaters retracts aft while the strut on single seaters retracts forward. Nothing in the listing or on the box tells you that the scissor link is reversed between the two as well. However, before I discovered that there are two versions of F-104 nose struts, I attempted to install the SAC strut in place of the kit part, only to discover that the mounting arm for the SAC part is narrower than the kit part and therefor is too short to fit into mounting holes in the kit's nose gear bay.

This a nice set and will add a fair amount of rigidity to your big two-seat Starfighter's landing gear. My only gripe is that the label on the box should clearly state that this set is strictly for two-seat aircraft as I can see someone (like me) picking up or ordering the set for their single-seat model and trying to figure out why the nose strut does not fit at all.

Thank you to Scale Aircraft Conversions for the review set and to IPMS-USA for letting me review it.

  • Main Gear Strut Installed
    Main Gear Strut Installed
  • Main Gear Right Side
    Main Gear Right Side
  • Main Gear Left Side
    Main Gear Left Side
  • Nose Strut Comparison
    Nose Strut Comparison
  • Nose Strut Comparison 2
    Nose Strut Comparison 2
  • Nose Strut parts
    Nose Strut parts

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